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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5 June 2005
The One With The Meme
Anyway, here goes my set of answers for posterity.
How many books do I own? Ooh, that's a toughie. I'm presuming we're not counting the books that are owned collectively by my family, though I have inherited all my mother's old gray paperback Salingers. Okay, so just in my room, not counting books that I've had to review--say, um.. 2,000? My maths is terrible, so I see many many books on shelves and in cupboards and give you a rough estimate. There is no table space in my room anymore.
The last book I bought? Damascus by Richard Beard. I don't buy very many books, unless they're secondhand, because thanks to the fact that both my mum and I are in the literary journalism business, we get a lot of free stuff. So one day, when I was in Khan Market, waiting for a friend, I pottered into Full Circle and decided I would buy a book I hadn't heard of, based on the blurb at the back. Like Russian Roulette or something. I wanted to make a judgement totally and completely on my own, without reviews and friends telling me about this "new great author I had to read." I took a chance on Damascus and it's really very good.
The last book I read? I've been so zoned these days, I head straight for my children's literature shelf for some really easy reading. Re-read an E. Nesbit trilogy--Five Children And It, The Phoenix And The Carpet and The Story Of The Amulet. I love E. Nesbit. She makes me feel all warm and safe.
Five books that mean a lot to me? Hmmm, okay, I'm a pro at this, because I often do "If-you-were-stuck-on-a-desert-island' type questions.
>Totally The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Like discovering Holden Caulfield was a woman. I mean, come on, how can you not love this book?
> And while we're on the subject of good ol' Holden, would it be terribly cliche to say The Catcher In The Rye? Because I loved that book. I didn't know people could write like that. At the time I was just out of Little Women and so on and seeing people saying "Fuck" and all on the printed page was like discovering your most respected teacher didn't wear panties.
> Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. Oh, Judy, Judy. How I loved Judy. How Judy could just about crawl into my mind and sorta rinse out my thoughts and then use them in her books. My copy of this book is in tatters--dog eared, pages falling out and my name in tipsy cursive on the title page.
> Um.. um, Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. Yes, yes, laugh away. Make comments about chick lit. But I'll have you know, this book was very cool and very funny when it first came out, way before the term 'chick-lit' was ever invented. It still is very funny and I still read it, so hah! And watching the movie so does not count as reading the book, by the way, if that's your parameter for judging it.
> And finally, glorious Swami And Friends by RK Narayan. Brilliant and the first bit of Indian-writing-in-English I read. And loved the fact that they ate lime pickle by the river, instead of kippers and scones in the meadow.
Five more people to tag.
Jeez. Is there even anyone left who hasn't already been tagged? In an attempt to push circles outwards, here goes: (And yes, I can count to five, but I don't feel like it and you can't make me)
and writer in exile
There. Now no one should feel left out. And 'confessor' type blogs can be brought into literary circles. Yay!
UPDATE, Sunday, 5 pm: I beg for your sympathy, kind readers, having just returned from the hospital with my entire foot in a toxic-green plaster cast. "Fibre-glass," the doctor tells me, "Easy for walking and you can drive with it too." Only it makes me look like someone with clubfoot, because the weight on my left foot drags it downwards and I limp slowly everywhere. "Only essential walking," he tells me later as I glare at him, dragging my leg behind me like the fucking Hunchback of Notre Dame.
It's a broken toe--actually a toe with a hairline fracture. Fucking painful. How did I hurt it? I'll blog about the whole story later, but it involved a barrel and a mechanical bull.
Oh, ow. My body is unused to having something attached to it and now my back hurts, my toe throbs and my chest where I fell off the bull has a nasty bruise.
Things I cannot do now include running away from prospective rapists/mass murderers/people out to get me; wear high heels; wear a salwar kameez; take a shower and get any action, unless I sit down and elevate my foot. Gah. Not a pretty picture.
So won't you please feel a little sorry for me? :(