My latest book is The One Who Swam With The Fishes.
"A mesmerizing account of the well-known story of Matsyagandha ... and her transformation from fisherman’s daughter to Satyavati, Santanu’s royal consort and the Mother/Progenitor of the Kuru clan." - Hindustan Times
"Themes of fate, morality and power overlay a subtle and essential feminism to make this lyrical book a must-read. If this is Madhavan’s first book in the Girls from the Mahabharata series, there is much to look forward to in the months to come." - Open Magazine
"A gleeful dollop of Blytonian magic ... Reddy Madhavan is also able to tackle some fairly sensitive subjects such as identity, the love of and karmic ties with parents, adoption, the first sexual encounter, loneliness, and my favourite, feminist rage." - Scroll
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13 October 2004
The One With The Sex
K and I had been daringly progressing from making out to heavy making out to even heavier making out, till it seemed like the room would explode from the intensity of our desires, throbbing and hanging in the air like unsaid question marks. It seemed as if even the mirrors were fogging up, those sultry summer days and that everywhere we went, even in public places we couldn’t stop touching each other. Just gentle hand brushes or an arm around the others waist, but secret tingles at the thought of the secret hickeys hidden away on our bodies.
We had, of course, planned it, both of us being virgins, even gigglingly bought condoms--- Durex Super Fine, if memory serves. And then he looked at me and said, “So we’re really going to do this?” And I squeezed my eyes shut (as I had heard long painful stories from my girlfriends) and said, “Yes, we really are.”
I wish I could tell you it was beautiful and pleasurable, but it really wasn’t. The pain I felt, so much worse than the first time I used a tampon, his apprehension about hurting me, because though I tried to hide it it showed on my face. And his pain (did you know guys feel pain at losing their virginity too? Cool) mixed with his desire. Not pretty. In fact we almost stopped several times.
But then we perservered and finally we weren’t virgins anymore. I rolled over, naked and sweaty, and little knowing that this would become a habitual thing, lit my first post-coital cigarette. (Can I just say, someone should write an ode to the wonders of a cigarette after sex. Nothing, but nothing, feels as good, not even the act itself).
That evening we went for a walk to a little-known park in the area. K bought some roasted corn from a vendor, and we sat on a bench there, not talking, not even looking at each other but just being in that moment. It wasn’t even happiness, it was beyond happiness, the kind of feeling that makes your stomach clench and your eyes prickle. The kind of feeling that scares you sometime. The kind of feeling you cannot articulate.
My legs felt as though they couldn’t hold me anymore, and I knew that I glowed because I could see the reflected glow on his face. I felt like the first woman on the earth and all I wanted in that moment was to be alone and be silent with him in that park forever.
Sex with K was never just sex (until the end). It was making love in all senses of that phrase. So much so that by the end of it when we lay spent, I’d find tears in my eyes. And that didn’t surprise me.
I had sex with an old flame on Saturday. It was brilliant and he was more experienced than K ever was. But now, looking back, I wonder how I could reduce my beautiful tear-inducing making love to random sex.
It’s tough some days.