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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19 March 2005

Your daddy's rich and your mamma's good lookin'

The A/C men-- a huge Sardar and his little assistant--are in my room right now servicing the air conditioner. Which means I suppose, that I'm going to have to admit it--it is summertime. No wishy-washy Spring about it. It's only March though, and I still sleep with a comforter, although I do have my fan on. And my nightwear changes too--from tracks and a sweatshirt to shorts and a t-shirt. The smell of summer happens in the evenings (the daytime is just too bloody hot to think about summertime smells)--the warm, slightly salty smell that always leaves me feeling vaguely excited, as if good times are just around the corner.

I suppose that's a reflex thing though. This used to be exam prep time, the time when you watched every single soap (I was hooked on to the Bold And The Beautiful for the longest time during my pre-boards) and each day just merged into the other and you would give an arm and a leg just for it to stop, for something to happen. Anyway, so back then, the smell of summer meant almost the end of your bonded labourer period. It meant that the summer holidays were approaching--long days spent in your room with the A/C up and the music on and friends dropping by and going out at night. The summer vacation was what we worked towards, the parties, the excitment, the out-of-town trips. Most of us usually got waxed the last day of our exams, and had the full beauty treatment--the neglected eyebrows, the un-pedicured feet--all went through a transformation so that we could be all pretty for those long weeks of doing nothing. I miss the summer holidays. I want two months off now! With no tension about "applying for leave", or "what about work". I want all the newspapers to shut down for the summer--it's not like anything happens anyway--and I want to go away, perhaps to Goa and sit on the beach and be a hippy with flowers and seashells in my hair. That's what I want.

In college though--when Puja was alive--me, Iggy, Pieces and Puj used to have study groups. I'm proud to say *ahem* that I was the stellar student out of the four of us (which is not really saying much, because I had already read the books and they couldn't be arsed) and my notes were excellent. (Seriously. Nitya borrowed my third year notes for her exams and topped DU South Campus. I got a second div. There is no justice in this world). Anyway so we'd sit around in Puji's room, very determined to study and we did study for like the first half-an-hour. But then someone would start talking, and someone else would pull out some vodka (because Puja said drinking after 11 am was okay. It didn't mean you were an alcoholic) and then since everyone had stopped working, you thought 'Hey, good time for a cigarette break.' And we never bonded so much as we did during those study sessions. Of course everyone did abysymally, except me coz I secretly studied at home too. :)

I miss Puja. This is the time of the year when I'm most reminded of her. She died in the middle of our second year exams, and I had just met her, we had just gone for Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone. And big scary adult things like death just weren't supposed to happen to your friends, to this friend, the most alive one out of the lot of you.

I'm sorry. Now I've depressed everyone. It's just that I can't talk about her to anyone who knew her--not Pieces because she just tells me to shut up, not Iggy who has locked it away in some secret part of her and will never let a word cross her lips about it. And no one else will understand, y'know?

Summertime. So much happens in the summer, doesn't it? It seems that life just starts whirling you around for a laugh. Every single life changing moment of mine has happened in the summer. I just hope this one will be good.


  1. It really was tragic eM. Read about it. And I know how you feel about young abrupt unfinished departures. Like relationships without closures. Only more tragic. I'm really sorry. A prayer for her.

  2. and football in the sun, sleeping in the corridors of our hostel instead of our sultry rooms, and of waterfights in an already thirsty Chennai..

    eM..lost a friend here too..but she is still alive somewhere..

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  4. and football in the sun, sleeping in the corridors of our hostel instead of our sultry rooms, and of waterfights in an already thirsty Chennai..

    eM..lost a friend here too..but she is still alive somewhere..

  5. summer brings back some good childhood memories, doesn't it? i'm so sorry about your friend.

    and nope, i don't have a blog. it's much more fun (and easier too, i may add) to comment than write myself :))

  6. We seem to be feeding off each other in all sortsa ways !

    I lost a friend one summer. He wasn't as close to me, but his girlfriend was one of my best friends ever. It was sorta like a summer killer. It killed any fun we would usually have, the usual fast driving was out, everyone was real careful about the drinking... all these are good things, but as you said, they are adult things....


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