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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10 July 2005

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, they like it better than yours, damn right, it's better than yours

"I might be turning into a fag hag," I told Damien, the cute playwright I met and befriended the other day. He stroked his chin thoughtfully, "Most of my friends have fag hags. But I don't."
"Whee!" I said, "I'm a fag hag!"

Okay, so I probably officially don't count as a fag hag. I don't have enough gay friends, I meet them occasionally, more so over the past month than in my entire life and while I enjoy hanging out with Damien, it's more because he's fun and sweet rather than because he's gay. On the other hand, Priya and I were having this long discussion about this the other day--why we find ourselves drawn to gay men--and we figured it was because of the whole asexuality thing going on. It was refreshing to be with men who don't hit on you, even mildly, who you can flirt with, but know it won't lead anywhere and yeah, it's fun to giggle with a boy about other boys.

Why do gay men and single women make good friends? I'm not sure, but I do have a theory. (Jay, back me up on this one, okay?) Essentially, we're both lonely. All three of the gay men I have met (who are now serving as my general yardstick!) are restlessly searching for someone special, someone to spend their lives with, just as we as single women are. Perhaps not so much women my age, because we still know we have a few good years left, but I know women as they grow older, hit their thirties say, and even if they're doing fabulously in their careers and have fantastic friends, but they still yearn a bit, you know? Degrees of yearning vary from woman to woman, but still that yearning is something they have in common with gay men. That and the fact that I suppose after a while, we, the female sex, get a little disillusioned with boys who try to get their hands up your skirts, or do mind-fuck type things or slowly, carefully, delicately drive you mad. We want to hang out with men, because there is something there that your chick friends can't give you, but we don't want to spend an entire evening obsessing. Y'know?

Nikhil was the first gay man I ever met (the blog buddy from out of town who emailed me while he was here), but perhaps he set a trend, because now everyone I meet turns out to be gay. And if they're hot, the chances are greater. I was so hitting on Damien when I met him for a dinner interview and then after I was done asking all my serious questions we got chatting and it turned out we had a lot of friends in common and we had the same star sign even, and I was thinking that how we met would be such a funny story to tell people on our wedding day and then he asked me whether I wanted to go to Elevate on Friday. "Sure!" I said, grinning wider, "And will you bring some hot men for me?" (I was doing the whole 'play it cool' thing). "I'll try," he said, looking a little strange. "I'll bring some hot girls for you too," I promised, hoping he would say that I was enough and all that. "Um.. actually I'd rather go with what you said," he said blushing and I gasped, "Oh my god, you're gay?" Yes, well, we did go out and we did have a fantastic time, despite the fact that he's so pretty and I can't hit on him. *sigh*

Oh, by the way, in case you're wondering about the picture, it's of Sonu Nigam, who I saw in concert yesterday at some launch I went for. I would be convinced he was gay if I didn't see the way he was dressed--fake leather camel-coloured pants that clung to his legs, a shiny rexine black jacket and what looked like a tank top inside. Nope, definitely not gay, or gay and definitely not getting any.


  1. Well you are definitely right there. Isn't Damien bi? And look at the best part of it. You can date the same guy;) And exhange tips:)

  2. Sonu Nigam is soo EW! And I wonder why they had that Tama drum kit behind him, presumably it must've been to play the dhol sounds, even more eewer! I'd say he's gay and not getting any, though I've always believed that Sonu Nigam and Phalguni Pathak is actually one person acting out two roles, just the way Mayawati is a clean shaven version of Mulayam Singh.

    I've always found the concept of women being happy in the company of gay men a bit odd. Eventually, it all gets to be even more depressing because that is not exactly what either party is looking for and things don't work out quite well when you pick something out of desperation. But the not being groped at part scores pretty high on the +ves, can't ever really overlook that.

  3. This whole man, woman friendship gets a little messy at some point. Somehow, this notion of fab platonic friendship can get a littel hazy at times. With gay men, I suppose one can just be oneself and not be overwhelmingly concerned about one's femininity. I don't know. May be they are almost your girlfriend's but somewhere inherently men! :)

    Oh, Sonu Nigam? Ewww! I have discovered that everyone, almost everyone loves a Sonu Nigam joke, also Tusshar Kapoor joke... And seems Dilli is hosting the choicest celebrities at the moment - Sonu Nigam, Shilpa Shetty and Salman Khan!

  4. eM, you are so right. While I do enjoy hanging out with my gay friends, they complain that it is spoiling their reputation. Gay men are fun to hang out with and they are excellent cooks as well - have you noticed this?

  5. Interesting point, eM. And well reasoned out.

    How about the other way round? Any inputs on how a straight guy would get along with a lesbian? My gut says equations wouldn't be quite the same as between straight women and gay men!

  6. Damn right it's better than that song will be stuck in my head all day! Thanks.

    The guy was wearing a tank top? I'm going to ask Jay for his expert opinion on this but I would venture to guess that he is as gay as the night is long.

  7. asya: Most definitely. And NO ONE knows how to do it better than men :)

    ab: Nope, Damien's completely one hundred per cent homosexual. I know this because I asked him, most hopefully :)

    codey: Fantastic theory! I must remember that. I suppose being a COMPLETE fag hag might be slightly sad, but it's always nice to have a healthy mix of friends. Speaking of, yet another very pierced, very gay man just called me. I had met him at one of those very drunken parties and now he wants to do coffee and chat tomorrow :) Clearly I am sending out gaydar.

    primal: There is no such thing as a purely platonic relationship between a straight man and a straight woman. Trust me. And tell, tell Sonu Nigam joke :)

    lubu: Sadly no one has offered to cook for me yet :(

    n.a: Heh. Any chance of THAT friendship working would promptly be ruined once straight man accompanied gay women to their bedroom :)

    mint: I don't know. See, it was a HIDEOUS tank top. (If you blow up the picture and zoom in you can see it. Unfortunately all my closer shots had him all blurred coz he kept jumping)

  8. a friend in singapore used to pretend to be gay, go the distance with the dressing and the shoes and wristy twirling and everything, and women used to warm up to him like a steel pot on a high flame. and once he had them wrapped around his little finger he'd make his move and blame it on his lack of sexual orientation. the women would be glad that they brought out the bisexual in him, and he was getting laid and running out of women to con. he finally got busted when he tried the same thing on a sister of a previous screw-ee. but ingenious while it lasted.

  9. i have two friends who are lesbian - they are very cool to have as friends. especially one of them. like you go out for a few drinks and she's like check that chick out etc. and no problems in the bedroom either! :)

  10. @n.a.: your gut feel is right. it does not work. I tried it once, but it was hard to shut off a reptilian brain that kept asking "whats the point of hanging out with a chick if you are not going to get laid?"
    i guess the difference is that women are not looking to get laid all the time, while men pretty much are.
    BTW, i am told there is something called a "need for companionship", that girls apparently have. dont understand what THAT is all about ;-)

  11. LOL... stand aside everyone, the resident quack on homosexuality is here :-p

    You're right about the loneliness; I know a LOT of gayboys who are desperately hoping to fall in love and live happily ever after - preferably sooner rather than later.

    Unfortunately their efforts are hampered by:

    a) a short shelf life. Sad but true - gay men are the most age-ist people you'll ever meet. The older you get, the more invisible you become. 60 year old men can only be detected by rent boys.

    b) promiscuity. Sadder but truer - we love our casual sex. So if you're not doing the cheating, chances are you're being cheated on.

    Next, fag hags... well, the obvious reason why we get along would be because we all like boys, wouldn't it?

    Finally, the tank top dresser... fag couture is so, so in these days, isn't it? You can’t tell from the dressing anymore. If you haven’t got that inborn ‘gaydar’ – that mystical ability that gay men have for sniffing each other out - the only other way to find out would be to dangle a penis in front of him and watch if his eyes light up.

    OK, enough incendiary statements and sweeping generalisations. I'll shut up now before I get flamed.


  12. sonu once had a gf 15 years older: smita thackeray

  13. jay: fag couture is so, so in these days, isn't it?

    Could not agree more on that count. Majority of the so-called party shirts these days would have been turned down by the brawny, manly lot as being too sissy prolly 2 years back.

    em: Um.. a complete fag hag and a healthy mix in friends are two different things. It is almost the same as men hanging out with 'safe' women friends because they have nobody else to go out with. Ultimately it just leaves both parties with a feeling of having been cheated.

  14. A friend of mine once had this gay guy friend. It was going along great, all platonic and stuff. Till one day, she decided that she was going to STRAIGHTEN him. Im using her exact words. And there in lies the problem. She liked him so much, that instead of just wishing he were straight, decided to do something about it. And poof went the platonic happy magic cloud.

    Moral of the story: Anyone ? Anyone ? Mi-bi is the way to go baby !! ;)

  15. when I read your posts during my occasional visits, i'm so impressed by your ability to write. I could never match that. There are some moments when you write about your thoughts, that even make your posts pretty interesting. But the amazing amount of self focus could be avoided.

    It seems very much like someone who wants the spotlight at everyturn. I do hope that you would relax and let your thoughts speak for themselves. But then again, its your post and its your blog and your space in the creative world. These were just thoughts that I thought I should share.


  16. Unwritten rule of this universe : all the good guys are either gay or married

  17. Hello all.. My internet access has been down over the last couple of days. Plus other stuff has been happening, so I have *horror* neglected this blog for the past four days. But we're back online, and NOW i can FINALLY reply to all your comments :)

    nish: Heh. I've often wondered whether some of the gay guys I meet are actually secretely straight. It's seems the perfect ploy--get women completely comfortable around you and all that :)

    kafka: But you seem to be an exception there, because I know of no other straight men who would be friends with gay women without elaborately imagining them in bed.

    jay: Thank you for your insights :) And fag couture. Hmmm... that might make for a good story!

    bonatellis: Sonu Nigam and Smita Thakeray??? NO!!! :)

    codey: I agree. Which is why I said I probably WASN'T a fag hag :)

    vignesh: Did the straightening work? And *ahem* how did she do it? ;)

    r: Thank you for your polite way of putting that! (A lot of people have been ruder and have been promptly deleted!) But to you and to everyone else who asks why I only choose to write about myself, may I refer you to the "about me" section on my sidebar? That sorta serves as my disclaimer :)

    april: Hi!! Welcome back! :)

    tama: a) Coz Sonu Nigam's outfit NEEDS to be blown up to be fully appreciated b) silver surfer's a guy :)

    vibhu: Awww.. well, if it makes you feel any better, everyone who I've met only in the past month or so has been gay. The rest are all straight as arrows.

    taz snow: You said it, sister!! :)

    zg: Well, thanks for dropping by :) And I don't remember the rhinocerous hats bit. I thought it was a plain old top hat.

  18. Now wait just one minute - I have plenty of fab platonic male friends...

    Also, some of us manage to get to 30 (and beyond) without any of that yearning nonsense...

  19. I don't understand why straights dread gays. I guess they are cool to hang out with and friendship and all if you can keep the whole sexuality thing aside and look at it from a human/intellectual/interest/fun point of view.


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