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

17 September 2005

Karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon...

I know some chameleons. Girls who rapidly morph from personality to personality to suit the guy they're with. Boys who become from fun loving creatures of the night to looking slightly hunted as they jump to do their girlfriends commands. Both people suddenly take on each other's tasts--from music to food to clothes. I'll find them completing each other's sentences, listening to AC/DC or something they used to hate, and being just togetherallthetime24/7noroomforanyoneelse.

I confess, I used to be a chameleon. I used to change personalities faster than my outfits. With Golfer Ex, I was a socialite, I went to all the parties he went to, I hung prettily off his arm, sometimes I'd chat with the other girls there while the guys went to get us drinks from the bar. Sometimes, (and this embarrasses me) I'd hold his beer while he played snooker or whatever, the perfect image of the socialite girlfriend, with the long ironed hair.

With K, he was the chameleon. He started smoking because I smoked, beginning with lighting my cigarettes then finally buying his own packs. My friends were his friends, the books I loved were the books he loved. Did I get annoyed? No, because I thought it was sweet and beautiful that he had the same interests, that he liked my friends and they liked him, that we were such a postcard couple.

The postcard ripped as you know and now, like some sort of haggle-toothed old soothsayer I hobble after my friends, going, "Oh you don't need him to fill your voids." And, "Don't you two ever do anything without each other?" But they scoff and ignore me, or sometimes say, "Wait till you're dating someone." And they bask so gloriously in each other that even I feel bad for saying anything at all. Let them enjoy it while they can.

I will never be a chameleon again though. I almost lost my identity once and I'm scared if I let someone else swallow it up again I'll never know who I am. Singlehood is self discovery is knowing that one and one make TWO goddammit, not two halves of one whole or any of that. Do the math. So I'm prepared. Fully. I'll stay catlike, independent, and perhaps, I'll meet another cat.


  1. Wisdom comes to us in strange ways.

    Even though there wasn't much in terms of taking over likes and dislikes, there is always the usual non-approving glare. Things like that contribute heavily to them alarm bells going of in my head these days. And poof ! I run.

    Here's to you, Smokin Cat ;)

  2. yeah, true love or companionship is when people love for what u r and not what u become with them. But again in every relationship u hafta change and adapt.

    i think its the balance thats imp.

  3. hmmm... your friends may be right u know.

    so how u doin CC?

  4. I dont think a relationship in which either of the partners is not being what they are can really work out in the long run. I think u always need to be what u r and only when u get accepted for that can u be part of a meaningful relationship. Btw that cat reference might be sending out wrong signals ;)

  5. but you know, the opposite happens too. my ex and i refused to change at all and very soon found that we had nothing in common.

  6. ah well, the weiderst tight rope walk of all. On the one hand, what you say is true, but then, so is the poisonous paati's point. by some strange (il)logical inference, this post reminds me of this:

    who knows if the moon's
    a balloon,coming out of a keen city
    in the sky--filled with pretty people?
    (and if you and i should

    get into it,if they
    should take me and take you into their balloon,
    why then
    we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

    than houses and steeples and clouds:
    go sailing
    away and away sailing into a keen
    city which nobody's ever visited,where

    Spring)and everyone's
    in love and flowers pick themselves

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. I guess everyone goes through that phase.. which eggs do you like kinda thing like in Runaway Bride.. I'd say a small quantity of liking the other person's eggs is fine too. As long as you don't lose track of which one's your favourite.

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Hello!
    Have been silently reading the past coupla weeks. Whatcha doing tonight? (i.e. Monday.) How is the puppy. And btw, i don't think of you as a cat at all. You're more of a dog in my eyes.
    I just had a brilliant idea by the way. I was looking at the picture you posted before I read the blog, and I wondered...
    how would it be if you, for a bit, or on a new blog, found interesting pictures, and then nominated two or three of your trusted readership to email you their pieces of writing, based on the picture? It could be prose, poetry, fiction, commentary, editorial, anecdote... anything!!! And it would be fun!!!

  11. Well said! Being together doesn't mean being each other, right?

  12. Hello all,
    Net at home has been down so haven't been able to respond before :) And before I reply, just a minor clarification: it's NICE to have similar interests as the Love Of Your Life, but not so nice if you BECOME the other person. Thin line, people, thin line! :)

    Onward, ho:

    vignesh: Alarm bells, yes. The sirens, the bells, the noisemakers, all make my head a very noisy place to be these days :)

    ankur: Balance my friend, is vital as wise men say. (That and only fools rush in)

    sakshi: Oooh, I think so! :)

    saltwater: Hey, welcome back!

    jasmine: Hmph. What do 18-year-olds know about life? :P

    rohan: What kind of signals? ;)

    vishnupriya: And you're better off now, no? :)

    kaashyapeya: Cummings?

    moonlight: Also, I think, the losing identity happens when you're insecure and stuff and don't really know who you are.

    cowlick: Absolutely. I agree. But I hate eggs :)

    megha: Thank you! :)

    dee: Today's no good. Tomorrow? And brilliant idea, but I think more fun if people send the pics and we (ie, you and i) do the writing! :)

    ideasmith: Well I'm glad SOMEONE agrees with me :)

    ab: Yes, I'm a looooooot better now and TONS of fun stories also :)

    vibhu: Shrikanto has actually disappeared. We think he's dead :(

  13. So where are they? The fun stories I mean

  14. Methinks sent me your way.
    I like your flavor of writing.

    Take Care

  15. Your writing is getting better. I can't wait for the book (there must be one).

  16. Yeah, temme abt it. I'm such a chameleon that i (sometimes)forget my tru self.
    And the strange thing is when I really am myself... i wonder wot's gone wrong with me!

  17. First visit to your blog..
    I must say "very true" for this post.. Knowingly or unknowingly we all do that!


Thanks for your feedback! It'll be published once I approve it. Inflammatory/abusive comments will not be posted. Please play nice.