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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12 October 2005

A Brief Intermission While I Turn Into Fanny FanGirl

I lurve Vikram Seth. I want to marry him and have his babies. I met him, some eight years ago, a cranky 16-year-old (or was I older? Eighteen? I forget). Anyhoo, so my mum calls me from the living room one evening and says, "Look who's here!" And I'm in an old nightshirt, my hair standing on end and I growl from my room and whine about how I was sleeping and on the phone and I don't want to meet anyone. But finally I emerge and ohmygod, it's Vikram Seth. In my living room. Looking at my bookshelf. Oh my god. And he's very sweet and fully prepared to have an intellegent conversation and all I can say (oh forsaken rehearsed conversation on Kafka and Camus!) is, "But I'm in my nightie!" Over and over again. Finally, he gave up on me and left and I just wanted an earthquake, right then and there to swallow up my sorry soul.

I met him today also and had a really hard time sticking to being professional. There were long gaps in my interviewing process as I gasped for air while he talked to me. Then as we wrapped up he said, "Haven't I met you before?" "Yunh," I said, blushing madly. He smiled. "Weren't you.. um.. dressed rather unconventionally?" Professional resolve dropped and I gasped at him, "Oh my god, I can't believe you remember that!" (Oh, eM, eM, was that a squeal? Did you squeal in front of Vikram Seth? Don't squeal, no, no.) "I thought it was very endearing," he told me then and I wanted to kiss him. But you will be happy to know, I held on to my baser instincts and simpered like a 14-year-old meeting Nick Carter. "You must've been all of 16," he said and, "How old are you now?" "I'm 24," I said, rapidly adding the two months left. "Wow, it's been eight years, huh?" and he looked so wise and beautiful I nearly kissed him again (Okay, any excuse to kiss him, I admit. And yes, I do know he's gay. Oooh, I just said I do. Ooh. *gets a grip*) I finally came up with something to say that wasn't MarrymeIpromiseI'llmakeyouhappyandI'llevensharpenyourpencilsandmakeyoucoffee. "Goodness I feel old." "Not as old as I do," he laughed and oh, he has a lovely laugh.

He signed my book even, saying Well met again in his scrawly handwriting and yeah, well, there was kissing in my head happening. What is one to do when one has big crush on one's professional relationship-type people? See, unlike Salman Rushdie (who I have not met, but wouldn't it be cool if I had?) Vikram Seth is eminently kissable. He's so down-to-earth, a Dilli-wallah like me. No reporter would ever feel like kissing Salman Rushdie, I mean, unless she looked like a supermodel but then he already has his supermodel wife so technically he's already probably judging you in his head as you walk in and technically, technically you have already failed the test.

Anyhoo, so as we left, me still walking on air (Endearing! Dude!) the photographer looking most amused at my early entrance and consequent conversation, he says to me (the photog, ie, not Vikram Seth), "I've never seen anyone both gushing and drooling at the same time." "Hmph," was my witty retort. "You should've asked me to take a picture of the two of you," he said then, teasing, but I didn't care, coz ha-ha, Vikram Seth thought I was endearing and not him, so what did he know.

So that's my Famous Person story. For the love of God, if you know me in real life DO NOT bring this up. I like to think of myself as a calm, rational journalist, not usually prone to gushing, but oh. Oh.



    *runs out of breath*
    *points and retches*
    *skips away*

  2. Is he cute? I always thought he'd be very old.

  3. holy cow..he's gay??
    he does look incredibly calm and gentle..

    lucky u!
    how come he turned up at your place??

  4. Yeah, what Dee said... hahahahha !!

    In other news, German women are NOT hot. And they drink too much beer. Which is good, but you know...

  5. o my god! you met him! an article on the new book? two lives? oh my god! you met him. and he's kissable?
    a dilli wala?
    o my god! (but, urm, isn't he .. .like... petite?)

  6. Mmmm....a friend of mine told me that Vikram and his boyfriend were at one point looking around for a surrogate mother for a child they wanted to have (with I'm presuming Vikram as donor). So if you do want to have his babies......(geez I'm such a salacious gossipmonger!)

  7. gah... and here there are all these eligible, straight men.

  8. I so envy you! :) Seth was the writer who had 'profound' impact on me since I saw him in an interview on DD many years ago! :)

    so, how is the book... at Rs 695, I would rather someone gifted it to me! :D

  9. He's gay? All the nice guys turn out to be gay, or taken. Hrmph.

  10. tht reminds me of a visit of my teenage cousins when i was 5 y old.
    i dissappeared under the living room table after pouring a full bottle of perfume over my head. They wanted to video me but i remained rather smellable thn visible...

  11. dee: Very funny :P

    hyde: P'raps you do ;) Who knows?

    jay: He's old-ish. Late 40s, I think. But think Richard Gere and Sean Connery etc and you'll know older men are very very sexy!

    madame, anantya: His family and mine were at a common dinner party and since thye live quite close by they offered to drop my mom off. :)

    vignesh; Awww.. never mind I'm sure the Isstates will have more to offer :)

    methinks: Ya, he is KINDA short. Shorter than me I think, but height is inconsequential. :)

    thalassa; Oooh, really? I should totally bring it up next time I see him, sorta discreetly. Hmmmmm... :)

    sandeep: Where? Where? ;)

    primal: The book's okay. Not as good as his other stuff, I thought.

    a-hem; In this case he's gay AND taken. Hmph.

    jemgal; May I point out being five and SIXTEEN are two entirely different time periods? :) In your case it was probably a cute story, in mine I wanted to die

  12. Ha ha. I would not have said that if I did.

  13. Seth is gay. I never knew that. But then he is from DOON SCHOOL after all. I am not surprised.

    Nothing against Seth, Doscos or gays. In fact, I have some great Dosco friends from my college days in Delhi. And Seth is a great writer.

    It's just that Mayo and Doon have been rivals for decades(it even spills over into Stephens). And whenever a Mayoite( I am one) meets a Dosco, the Mayoite has a nice laugh over this age old Dosco-Gay issue.

    Even Vir Sanghvi(a Mayoite) hinted about this in his Rude Food section of Brunch.

    Joys of boarding school education. How I miss Mayo. How I miss North Campus.

  14. wow!you met vikram seth ?wow !you just gave me a reasont to attempt at becoming a journo

  15. Very refreshing, honest and funny :). Bloghopped here from The Box's blog, will come again.


  16. I never squeal, but this time: oooooooooooooooooooh!!!

  17. Remind me of a Dave Barry article in which he is planning to ask this girl out for dance, and practices his lines many times over, goes to her and says, "Hello dance, this is Mary, will you go to Dave with me?"

  18. lol - i LOVED ur post - cant beleive never read ur blog before! ur great :)

    ps - the dash is my punctuation mark of the day - pls excuse!

  19. why is EVERY man stupid or gay or taken or a child (comparitively) - bah!

  20. LOL....a teenager in front of Nick Carter. What an image you draw, lucky Vikram Seth, and he's GAY. Whatha...

  21. I've started a blog that is collecting all the 55 word stories. Can I use yours?

  22. LOL ...Loved your post and can completely relate to it. I'm crazy about Vikram Seth ... envy you deeply for having met him TWICE. Even if once in your nightclothes.

  23. I love your blog! I visited Delhi a couple of months ago, and I'm in love with your city, to the extent that when people in Agra mistook me for being a Dehli-wali I was over the moon :)

  24. oh wow. you met vikram seth. and you talked to him. wow. i am very envious.

  25. I'm looking forward to the possibility of hearing him, maybe even talking to him, Monday.

    You think I should mention that you want his baby? Something like, 'Oh by the way, that endearing girl in a nightie? She wants your baby'.



  26. Dude, his hair is in total retreat.

    But I get it.

  27. haHA!! mangs referred me to this as i had a post on similar lines...but this is way, way fun-ner! :)
    well met, and well retold!! :D

  28. hahah amazing...

    'dressed rather unconventionally'


  29. oh yess! I love him too. Even after I broke my heart reading 'Some men like Jack, and some like Jill, I’m glad I like
    them both...' years ago. :)

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  31. Hope for you, child. He's not exclusively gay, he's bi.
    As he states in an interview to the Premier Rag, printed today.


  32. Uhh well his writing might be sexy but you drool over Vkiram Seth the man??? I had found him very high and mighty at an event where he had turned up with his mom. And I am very tempted to mention that I remember something similar on the night we met someone called Ashwin Kumar eh;-)

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  34. He's bisexual actually, so technically you could have kissed him! that is, if you didn't mind the shocked look and all!

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