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Madhukar Parab belonged to the wave of immigrants that arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador in the 1970s. A struggling artist from India, he did whatever he could to make ends meet. Little did he know that he would become the owner of a condom packaging business in rural Newfoundland.

His story really begins with a stop to refuel at the gas station, where a young Judy Barrett was dared by her co-workers to ask this diminutive newcomer out on a date. They soon fell in love. But the choice to marry someone from a different culture was met with opposition and racism from both sets of families. The new couple persisted.

Madhukar, who had a fine arts education and training in Mumbai, India had dreams of becoming a renowned artist. However, these ambitions were dashed by the reality of working within the economic responsibilities of raising two children.

Constantly on the lookout for an opportunity that would get financial security for his family, he finally found a potential solution: importing condoms from Mumbai, packaging them in Newfoundland, and selling them to local pharmacies in the province.

Initially, setting up the business and selling the product was met with challenges. Madhukar was confronted with opposition from the residents of his rural community for setting up the business. This was when the AIDS epidemic was still a concern in the region.

In The Condom King of Newfoundland, we meet Madhukar Parab’s family and friends — we are given a close look into his life, as a member of a forgotten generation of immigrants. It is a story of humour, absurdity and resilience and one man’s ordinary-extraordinary life.  

Credits (Click to expand)

Co-Created By 
Prajwala Dixit & Rodrigo Iñiguez Becerril

Producer 
Prajwala Dixit

Editor 
Rodrigo Iñiguez Becerril

Director of Photography
Rodrigo Iñiguez Becerril

Original Music
Eric Satie

Archival Research
Conor McCann

Stills
Vaida V. Nairn 

Production Insurance
Front Row Insurance

Legal
Stewart & McKelvey

Special Thanks
Milan Parab, Manik Parab, Shashi Parab and Craig Francis Power
Sushuma Parab
James Langer
Kerry Gamberg
Donald W Welsh (Spread Eagle, NL)
The Anglican Parish of St. Mary The Virgin

Big thanks to the board and staff of Eastern Edge Gallery for the generous use of their beautiful space.

Produced in Association with CBC
General Manager, Programming: Sally Catto
Executive Director, Unscripted Content: Jennifer Dettman
Senior Director, Documentary: Sandra Kleinfeld
Senior Director of Production, Unscripted Content: Alexandra Lane
Executive in Charge of Production: Lesley Birchard