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
Sign up for my newsletter: The Internet Personified
30 March 2005
Dating life episode one: No means no.
Anyway, I've recieved quite a few emails, NOT with confessions, like I had hoped, but from people who claimed to know who I "really" was. And to you guys, it's very nice and all, that you have figured out the woman behind eM, but please, please, I stay anonymous for a reason. If I truly wanted the world to know who I was, I would blog under a real name, but since I don't (because whatever little anonymity I have allows me to blog as freely as I want to) I would appreciate it, if you kept all Sherlock Holmes-ing to yourselves. Tell me about it, sure, but isn't it more fun to keep guessing who I *might* be?
Enough of that, on to my story. I went out with this guy I met recently--Dody-- yesterday, to a noisy little pub. We were just meeting up for a drink, I thought it might be fun to expand my social circle a little, and since he seemed to want to spend time with me, I naturally felt a little flattered.
Dody had just returned from out of town and so, to make polite conversation, I asked him how come he went. "To help my girlfriend..I mean, fiance, move house," he replied, seemingly oblivious to the look of shock on my face. Okay, so maybe I had read too much into the situation. He evidentally wasn't hitting on me. Good going, eM, I thought grimly, when did you become so egotistical that you thought every boy who asked you out for a drink was interested. But something still didn't feel right. I mean, I don't know whether it's okay in some circles to go out alone with a woman you've met maybe once before for a drink and still be only interested in a platonic relationship. I always thought that the simple act of asking someone out ALONE meant you wanted to explore the romantic possibilities. Anyway, I was rather relieved, when the bruises on my ego began to fade, because this meant I could relax and not bother about whether to impress or not, because hell, he had a fiance for fucks sake.
So we discussed K, who apparently was a friend of Dody's, and a couple of other common friends and professional acquaintances. And we discussed movies (his favourite: Fight Club. My favourite: Reality Bites with Magnolia a close second) and books (his most recent: Eats, Shoots and Leaves. My most recent: Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close) and music (his preferred genre: hip-hop. My preferred genre: Alternative). And the evening seemed to be going pretty well. He showed me a new tattoo on his forearm, we talked about the difference between champagne and sparkling wine and it was all going swimmingly well.
Then, regretfully, because I was having a nice time, I decided to leave. It was getting rather late, I had had two drinks and the place was empty. I didn't see anything amiss when he asked me whether I could give him a lift home, I mean, he lived right there, right?
So I dropped him and we did the whole socialite two-cheek-kiss thing when suddenly I realised that two cheek kiss was turning into a full-on mouth kiss, with tongue. "Um.." I said, smiling nervously, "I don't think this is such a good idea, I mean, you're engaged and all." "Live in the moment," he breathed, trying to cop a feel. Instantly Robot Woman emerged and I clamped my hands on his, prying them away finger by finger. "I DON'T feel comfortable with this," I barked. "Oh, c'mon, you know you do," he said grinning at me. "Um... not so much. And I have to go home now, goodbye." He refused to listen to me, until, like manna from heaven, my phone rang and I have never been so happy to hear from my mother. "I gotta go," I said, shaking a little, because it truly sucks, sucks, SUCKS to feel physically weaker than someone. For the first time in my life, I hated being tiny and skinny. I wanted to be huge, to be overpowering, to be like Lara Croft. (Actually, no, I've always wanted to be like Lara Croft. Now that woman is hot!)
Anyway, so I left him there and went home and felt a little sad, because if this was what dating life was going to be like, I'd much rather be single. And every other guy I've been with has known to stop when I say stop. Why do guys do this? And he probably thinks nothing's amiss, that I'm just being a little flirty, not realising the extent to which he's freaked me out.
There's this myth about women, that when they say "no", they really mean "yes". Well, guys, I'm sorry, that's not true. No means very simply, no.