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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12 November 2004
The Festival Of Lights... and me
It's Friday, lazy Friday here in Delhi, through the windows I hear the occasional sound of firecrackers going off. "Bombs" that people love so much, because the only way to show you're having a good time is by making a lot of noise. Later in the evening, streams of coloured sparks will be going off everywhere, unlike me, not everyone believes in the environmentally-unfriendliness of firecrackers, not to mention that they have little children making them and inhaling their toxic fumes just so some people can make a lot of noise.
Ooh, enough of me being a wet-blanket, eh? Happier things, the fact that this marks the Hindu New Year, that every person in North India (and some parts of the South) are celebrating, buying new clothes, praying to the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi that some monetary things may come their way. (Okay, Lakshmi, I've been good, send me some cash flow too, please?)
I am, if you haven't already guessed, not too big on this whole religion thing. I'm an agnostic, that word for people who sit on the fence and refuse to join any camp. Neither with the god-fearing (all things that happen are the way of God) or with the god-disbelievers (Who is this God person anyway?) A chicken-shit way to be, I admit. But I've always been like that. When I play flash, I'm the one who never bets on just a high card. I fold on anything less three cards of the same suit. I don't gamble, I don't take risks, and I guess this makes me a very boring person.But I'm safe, no? I'm in control this way.
This colleague of mine was asking me the other day, "Why do you create set visions and set goals for yourself? You should be flexible, know that anything can happen"But this way, I told her, even if events don't pan out the way I want them to, at least for that brief moment, I'm in charge, I'm the remote-wielder. The ball's in my court and I savour that, roll it around on my palate, before I spit it out and hand it to someone else.
Diwali at my house has never been the big deal thing you see happening in Hindi cinema. In boarding school, if you were in class 10 or class 12, you got to wear a sari on Diwali. That was the ultimate, something that set us apart, as the girls from all the other classes flitted around in salwar-kameezes, we got to glide in a sari. Occasionally tripping over the folds, of course, but still glide and have the guys in your batch regard you as women for the first time, not playmates and classmates whom you teased and flirted, but people to be set apart and just looked at. The braver boys hung out with us, but Diwali, when I was in class 10, was about the girls, and comparing saris and jewellery and getting your housemistress or the more domesticate dof your classmates to help you pin up the folds and wrap the nine yard length around you.
But today, there are a couple of family-less people coming over to my nuclear family hosuehold, the only one I know of with no "old people" to visit or make sweets or do a puja. We're going to watch a movie, eat biryani, possibly I will escape to my room at 9, watch the movie special on Star Movies and go to sleep wishing it was a normal Friday night so I could numb some brain cells and go to a club or something.
Oh, remember I posted about Little P coming back in December? A day after I posted that she came into town to surprise us all. But I might as well have not seen her now, because the problem with living out of town is that (if you're popular like P) you have millions of people to meet and say hello to and you get barely any bonding done. She didn't even know the whole K story, what transpired in the next three months, who I am right now... but we're going to talk, I told her. Girl's night out probably happens tomorrow if all goes well.
I have some more exciting news, but until I'm sure about it, I'm not going to say anything and jinx it all!
The blessings of Lakshmi go with you.