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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15 March 2005


Tanya, sitting around in my room with Priya and Kabir. Much Old Monk and Smirnoff was being consumed, the smoke in the air practically touched the floor.
Tanya (taking a contemplative drag of her cigarette): So the other day, the guidance counsellor at college asked me to give up smoking.
Me: Balls.
Tanya: Ya, he said, you shouldn't smoke, because then later when you get married you will have (dropped voice) pregnancy problems.
Priya: You're not serious.
Tanya: Ya, so then I said, 'Sir, I'm not planning on having kids.'
Me: That's telling them! There are enough kids in this country anyway. I plan to adopt. Anyway can you imagine a belly ring on a huge pregnant stomach?
Tanya: Listen, na, I'm not done with my story. So then he goes, 'How can you not have children? You're a girl! It is a gift!'
Me: (by this time cracking up) A rare talent!
Priya: We should put it on our resumes. Skills: Can write. Extras: Can produce babies.
Me: Ya, but the boys have to help too.
Tanya: A little.
Priya: Very little.
Me: Ya, but the human race can't get propogated without the men.
Priya: I'm waiting for the day that men will carry the babies. I will have children just so I can see that.
Kabir: Like seahorses.
Me: Yes, very good Kabir! Exactly like the seahorses.
Priya; So.. um... do the female seahorses have penises?

Dee in my car. We just finished watching Million Dollar Baby. Oh, the boxing. Oh, the sound of gristle against fist. Oh, the blood. Oh, Hilary Swank's perfect body. And oh, the depression.
Dee: Now why would that win four Oscars?
Me: Coz it's sad. You know, like Titanic.
Dee: I'm going to make a very depressing movie. It'll have a dog that dies.
Dee: Ooh, and kids! Lots of kids.
Me: That's already been made. It's called Old Yeller.
Dee: Well, one of the kids in my movie will have cancer.
Me: Ooh, and the other one should be handicapped. And all they have to live for is their dog.
Dee: Who dies.
Me: Run over by a mean man.
Dee: Run over by their father who is mean and beats his wife.
Me: But he learns the error of his ways, too late, because by then the kids are dead.
Dee: And the wife kills herself.
Me: But there should be some kind of sport. Like baseball. Or, ooh, sailing!
Dee: The last shot will be of the boat. Adrift. Because the man jumped off it. And he set it on course before he did, so now it's heading straight for the Statue Of Liberty.
Me: And he used to work at the WTC, and just as he kills himself, the tragedy happens. Which will symbolise how pointless his suicide was, because he would've died anyway.
Dee: Okay, I want to make a depressing movie, not a bad one.


  1. Your second conversation (between you and Dee) reminded me of a movie called "Majestic". It's a Jim Carrey movie, intended to make viewers feel good (I did), directed by the guy who directed "Forrest Gump", Jim Carrey is subdued (very subdued) and the opening conversation is VERY similar to yours. Check it out. :)

    I have come across so many women who would like to see men pregnant, it is scary. :)

  2. Men get pregnant all the time... its called being in a relationship :D I crack myself up...

    Anyways, I think belly rings will go very well on pregnant bellies. Bigger the belly, bigger the ring, until finally you can do the hoolahoop thing with em ;)

    I miss sitting with my buddies and drinking and having conversations like this, eternally highness, eternal bliss...

  3. Anurag: Majestic.. hmm.. is that the one where Jim Carey has this really funny hair and is on stage for some reason? I think I caught a bit of that on HBO the other day.

    Vignesh: Ya, I can just imagine myself with a huge hula hoop through my bellybutton.. no thanks! And sitting around drinking with friends is the best, why did you stop?

  4. eM,

    No, you must be talking of "Man on the moon", which is based on the life of comedian Andy Kaufman, and on whose life REM wrote the song "Man on the moon" as well, which, by the way, is a terrific song and highly recommended.


  5. My wife is preg rite now, and she has a similar fantasy, ooh, you men shudda known how difficult it is, n I shud inject you with GOnadotropins to make you feel dizzy 24X7, she goes.

    But I think, she's quite enjoyiong being preg on the side, especially now that the baby has started kicking.

    It truly is a gift, even though I'm just a man saying this.

    BUt well, drinking with friends might be a close second. (especially when you go "I love you maaaan, in that Daffy Duck kind of spluttery voice.)

  6. Anurag: As a matte rof fact, I HAVE heard Man On The Moon, not being that music illiterate!
    Manish: Congratulations! So when do you become a daddy? And ya, the "I lurveeeeee you man" is very fun when you're drinking! :)

  7. He he, thank u thank u (takes a bow). Being the aforementioned boy in this case, I did help a little, very little. :-D

    June 1st week it is, dear eM.

  8. Hey eM,

    I think my post made me look like some real music frood. I am not. I have very limited likes. The only think I am open to is trying new music. :)

    Talking of music, I discovered the soundtrack of Black Hawk Down somewhere and I was impressed. Really groovy music...

  9. I don't have any friends !!! :((

    All my buddies are back in the States... I never thought I would say it, but I really miss Pittsburgh !!

  10. Very interesting conversation EJ..especially liked the part about the resume 'Can produce babies' part.. never thought of it as a skillset..hohum..

    Man on the Moon is an excellent number..shd listen to it..


  11. ooopss.that shd have read EM..sorey...


  12. Lady, I like. Which is kinda rare. Me very picky about chick-writing. Compliments, etc


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