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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4 January 2005

Never Been Kissed

Welcome to The Compulsive Confessor, 2005! There will be more of the same—stories from my past, references to my present, and random entries that don’t seem to fit anywhere, really.

Today’s topic of discussion, and my first post in the new year will focus on kissing. More specifically, the first kiss.

My first kiss, was with this guy who I’ve blogged about before, my first real boyfriend Harsh. It was New Year’s Eve and we had been stuck in a massive traffic jam around 11.45 pm. By 12 we reached the party we were heading for, and walked towards it, amidst sounds of firecrackers and people cheering. Harsh steered me behind a car and hugged me. “Happy New Year,” we both said, and I noticed that his arms didn’t let go, not immediately. For the first time in my life, I was aware of the silence before a kiss, you know what I mean, when there’s a pause in the conversation that can only be filled by his lips on yours. Of course, I jumped into the gap and said, eyes down, “So are you going to kiss me now?” He smiled and nuzzled my cheek, “What do you think?” And I, carried away by my own daring, said boldly, “I think you should.”

That first kiss sucked. My head snapped back, I didn’t really know what to do with my mouth, I knew my hands should be somewhere, so I placed them on his shoulders thereby cutting off circulation to my neck with my elbows. After a while, he stopped and took my hand, smiling smugly. I staggered a little and then said, “So that’s what it’s like.”
“Yup,” he said, still with the smug smile.

On the whole, I was rather glad to get it over with. I was seventeen, a rather late bloomer, since all my friends had been making out steadily since they were fourteen, but I did wish that kiss had been more magical, the way it was in books and movies.

So, a couple of days ago, I took a brief survey amongst my friends. They all laughed initially at the memory but agreed finally that the first kiss was nowhere near what they imagined.
“The guy was gross!” exclaimed one friend while another said, “Yeah, I just didn’t know what to do with my mouth.” One said the memory was so bad she didn’t even want to talk about it. They were memories to make fun of, not to think about with mushy eyes. We pulled on our cigarettes and giggled through the grey smoke.

Did no one have the perfect first kiss? Was it just a myth built up by “young adult” books? If that’s true, it’s kind of sad, really. Like not believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy anymore.
What was your first kiss like?


  1. Mommy told me not to kiss gals before I get married because it could get them pregnant.

  2. Verrry verrry nice blog .... Happy New Year ... :))

    - Anonymous

  3. SEVENTEEN?? Good Lord Above!! I am still waiting..

    But I guess the first kiss would be rather awkward coz u dont really know what to can study those hollywood kisses all you want, but you still wouldn't really know what goes where!


  4. Fourteen!!! Where were all these women hiding when I was 14. For that matter where are they hiding now?? OK - one advantage of being a late bloomer is that I have loads of experiences (other people's) to draw from. So, here's hoping for that perfect one.

  5. I second the comment about fourteen. It amazes me.

    My first real kiss was early in college; we were at a birthday party type thing in Kakanagar; she got up and declared that she needed a cigarette; I followed her; we reached a nearby park; I put my arm around her waist companionably, thinking about something else, and all of a sudden she put her left hand on my cheek and guided my lips down on hers, startling the living daylights out of various ayah-and-ugly-toddler pairs nearby.
    It was the best kiss ever, and I still shiver all over whenever I'm back home and drive down Mathura road past that park.

  6. hmm 14 sounds a leetle too young...but I bear good news..A perfect first does exist..I ve been there

  7. kissed at 14 and yes, first kiss can be perfect. I had it :) I think it is matter of chemistry and comfort- just like it is at a later stage in life!!

  8. Ah. I see '14 sounds a leetle too young', so i guess that makes me a tweeny-sliut, huh?
    My first kiss was at 12. Like, a real kiss. And,say what you want, haters, but it was bloody perfect. I remember thinking "This is easy. Oh, damn, I forgot to close my eyes!".


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