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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14 September 2005

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road, time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go

It seems as though my life has reached some sort of plateau. I can't explain it, it's almost like the magic gone. Days stretch into weeks and months, I watched August go by, rapidly, like it didn't want to overstay its welcome and September now barely touches me. Life goes on outside my door, outside my car window, in other people's lives, but it's like I've been forgotten by the powers that be. Number 14536783, the obsolete model that no one can upgrade because they would rather just buy a brand new one. The one that sits in the storeroom, still in its shiny new box, now covered with dust and cobwebs and perhaps someday when the People are cleaning up they'll say, "Oh how did that get in here. I was looking for that." But that'll be my epitaph.

And it's not even like I'm depressed or angry. I just feel.. well.. vacant. Unoccupied. Like if you asked me what I was doing last month, I wouldn't be able to tell you, because I'm always doing the same thing. Nothing has excitement and sometimes I feel these, "the best days of my life" are just disappearing into some sort of black hole or vaccuum, just getting sucked up or inhaled and I have no account of them.

Relationships? Don't make me laugh. The sameness, the yellowy mustard tinge that everything has taken on moves to men as well. Everyone is the same, I hear the same lines, I occasionally feel a heart flutter but that too is momentary. An old habit, if you will. I don't feel like flirting or batting my eyelashes, because really what is the point? Another kiss? Another failed two day thing? Another bout of getting excited with his first sms and then wanting to just run away from it all at his seventh?

I need a break I suppose. I need a break from waking up at eight, in work by eleven, interviewing people who are all, at the end of the day, going to say the same thing. I need to get away from the barcoded mass produced days. I need to stop being the Journalist Barbie and be, well, be the rag doll my grandmother made me.

I need someone to be happy that I was born. I need me to be happy that I was born.


  1. It's called the Quarter Life Crisis, eM.. :) We've all been there... and clich├ęd though it may sound, it passes....

    I remember being there after 1 year of working... of endless 15 hour workdays and working weekends.. When it REALLY got to me, I took a week off and just did the things that I enjoyed doing but had not done in a long, long time... :)

    Head for the hills-alone- for a week or so... It should help! :)

  2. gosh girl, and i thought it was just me... its this place we are in. the world still looks the same from up here!

  3. No, no hills. You know where. Just do it. You know you want to...

    It seems an alarming majority of us have been afflicted with this condition. Some sort of blog virus I suppose...

  4. greenday.

    but yeah, happens to all of us. mebbe vignesh's right, a blog virus. but it's an off-blog virus too.. have you read that quarterlifecrisis thing?

  5. may be you are too anxious for something to happen ... may be you should wait for it to come to you, rather than let the emptiness make you try and get to it first ...

    been there, done that ... so some free gyan :)

  6. Will it be extremely rude if I say - That was a lovely post! Among the very best I have read on your blog.

  7. Everyone, thank you :) It's really nice to know others feel this disconnect as well. I thought I was going crazy!

    ditty: The hills should, hopefully, work. I've taken a week off in October, we're even planning a road trip, which should be fun!

    shivangi: Heh. Clearly it's something in the coffee!

    vignesh: A blog virus? And it's creeping out of the blog into our fingertips? Ooh.. scary!

    methinks: Very good! (about the song identification, i mean) and quarter life crisis would all be very well if I had REACHED quarter life. I'm peaking early, I think.

    tama: I LOVE that first line. Where's it from? Where's it from?

    bonatellis: I know, but it's hard to stop from being impatient no?

    sd: Oooh, thank you! It's always nice to be appreciated! :)

  8. well written...i guess everyone of goes thru this sorta 'What is life? We are born, we live a little and we die'
    thing. being struck down by cynicism is something thats happening to all of us. we need to keep our eyes open. theres so much still left out there to discover.
    'And this too...shall pass.'

  9. Every once in a while it feels as if the fast-forward button is stuck on the remote and we're helpless bystanders.

    Your model will never be obsolete eM. Recharge your batteries.

    (Sorry for all the analogies)

  10. Ah..that nagging feeling of emptiness! Let us know if you find out how to get it out of the way! Everyones gone through it, but noone's bothered to sketch a road map to the exit. Damn!

  11. Hey eM!! Don't fret...things will seem better soon. Here's sending all the positive energy from me to you...

    Andy es, do take that break- at least for 2-3 weeks. Even if it means taking a loss-of-pay leave. Just disconnect completely and you will relax.

  12. Ah! This must happen, is normal. If you are forever happy and exuberant then you need to be worried! :D

  13. I am happy that u were born even thugh I feel shortchanged abt the fact that I count for only one vote. Try humming ur blues away with 'Wake me up....September Ends' :)

  14. It's normal! And it will pass. Maybe, you need a bit of a vacation (if possible) in the meantime?

  15. when did you EVER wake up at eight and get into office by eleven? :)

  16. abhishek: I don't think it's cynicism so much as just plain ol' detachment. :)

    mint: Fantastic analogies though :) I think I'm going to go get serviced :)

    jax: I think blogging helps a lot. It really really does, even if I sound like a nerd for saying this :)

    sunrayz: I can't take leave now, and my next leave is only scheduled for October :( So far away...!

    primalsoup: I know, I know. I just prefer to be upbeat, you know? :)

    rohan: Awwww.. thank you :) And of course it counts :)

    amandarama: See vacation thing above! :)

    samit: I so am in work by AT LEAST noon. :P Unlike some people who sleep all day. :)

  17. might seem harsh but mostly people who are rich are afflicted by this syndrome.

    I know you will say you are not rich.If you ask Ambani he will also say he is not. I mean nobody agrees. Anyways , besides that monotony gets to everyone. Grass is always greener on the other side. Lakhs of people will give their hands and legs to be in your postion. What u dont have is what u want. Its human tendency and everyone wishes so. Best thing to do is to do introspectionThink of all the wonderful things u have and the crores of people who dont. Accept what you have . Tomorrow u might have whatever u are wishing for today. Even then you might feel same way. When acceptance comes all this rubbish thoughts vanish.


  18. err..especially after the slightly moronic comment preceeding mine, and the many meaningful and sympathetic ones predeeding that, there is not much that I can say I suppose. However, when I read something that reads like a printout of my endlessly looping thoughts, I can't help but comment. Except for one bit though- unhandsome, squishy-around-the-edges poets don't have the luxury of getting to a stage where relationships acquire a routine sameness. Relatoinship? Now how does one spell that? Oh, did I say it was among the better posts I've read in your virtual boudoir?

    Mottled todays passing by
    To yesterday's cemetry.
    Noises trail off, the room
    Acquires the stillness of the tomb.

    Or, in the words of a poet much better than me,
    "between dark and dark, a shining space,
    With the grave's quietness, but not its peace"

  19. Life goes on outside my door, outside my car window

    i read. and i bow my head to a superior blogger. and remeber the lines to use on some unsuspecting non-blogger acquaintance in the near future.


  20. Well written! I guess everyone goes through this, once in a while. You've portrayed the scenario and the emotions (or the lack of it) extremely well.Cheers!

  21. you know, there is a grain of truth in what cynicalcount said. i think what would really help is to take a year off to see how the rest of the country lives. treat it as a voyage of discovery, of the country, and more importantly of yourself.

  22. you need a break. a holiday, i say!
    the hills, the hills! to the hills!

  23. kaashyapeya: At times like this, I like Emily Dickenson, "I'm nobody, who are you? Are you--nobody, too?" :)

    rimi: I do that ALL the time :)

    aparna: Thank you! :)

    vishnupriya: Alas, if I had the funding to take a year off and do the country I'd do that in a hearbeat. But sadly, money must be earned!

    vibhu: I guess it's because when I'm in a funk I write more lucidly. Even in the good ol' days of journal keeping, my sad entries are waaaaaaay nicer than the happier ones.

    vague: Are alive with the sound of music? :)

    jaygee: The Quarter Life Crisis Club? :)

  24. Actually its the Rest-Of-Your-Life club..:)


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