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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13 February 2006

magenta, cerise, burnt sienna, cornflower, scarlet, indigo, mauve

> Went to Elevate after the longest time on Saturday night, or the wee hours of Sunday morning, depending on your perspective, to watch the fabulous Talvin Singh play. The place was crowded, not as crowded as it would be, granted, when people like Jay Sean or Juggy D come in, but crowded enough. We went to the second level, of the transparent swing-seats and phallic beanbags, and crowded around the little parapet type area, where you could look down upon the hoi polloi dancing below on the vibrating dance floor. Only with Talvin Singh's strange music (psy? house? world?) no one really seemed to know how to dance to it. Some couples slow-danced others did bhangra moves, arm up, one leg extended, and the majority did the strange movements I call 'rave-dancing', when you stand still, move your head up and down, make your hands into fists and raise them to shoulder level, moving them up and down as well.

We went because Small's cousin had come in from Bombay and he "really really wanted to go to Elevate" because that's the one Delhi club that people in Bombay talk about, and so we gathered, Small, her cousin, Urvashi and I, at our house where we drank steadily from 9 to midnight, and then set out. Urvashi, Small and I were already feeling tired at this point, old age catching up with us, I guess, and we would've probably been okay with just going to TC and wrapping up our evening there. But her 20-year-old cousin was full of excitement, his eyes shining as we reached, trying to figure out the difference between Bombay girls and Delhi girls (after a point, we told him to stop generalising, and he stopped, chastened). But then, once we got there, he seemed bored and sleepy and fucked off for the longest time to talk to his girlfriend back in Bombay. Oh well. I was pretty sleepy too, but then we ordered vodka-Red Bull and within like five minutes I was jumping around, head moving with the best of them. I love vodka and Red Bull (though it costs like 500 bucks! Dude! They should warn you before you order). Plain Red Bull gives me a headache, not wings, but with vodka it's a charge. Though Small told me it makes you skip heartbeats. I know it has testosterone, which is what gives you the energy. Imagine if they made drinks with extra oestrogen. All the men would come around with tears in their eyes and big, soppy smiles and say, "Dude, I lurve you" throwing their arms around their bemused friends. They should make it. I'd buy it.

Anyway, so it was four by the time we left, and five by the time we stumbled into bed, bleary eyed. Perhaps once a month, Small and I agreed, not more. We grow old.

> Does anyone think it's weird that Caroline In The City is called Caroline Duffy and there's a real life poet called Carol Ann Duffy? Coincidence? I think not.

> I'm an Angry Consumer in the Delhi Ecosystem these days. Grarh. It's just one bad service after another. First, Airtel has been fucking with me forever, ever since I signed up for the stupid postpaid account. I had to beg and plead with them to change my billing address for something like two months before they finally did, charging me late fees, of course, even though I explained to them that I did not in fact, recieve my bill. Their executives are badly trained, and no one seems to know what's going on. What Airtel needs is a computer system where you figure out who's spoken to whom. Anyway, so last month? Thye tore my cheque while taking it out of the drop box and asked me to issue a new one. Fine. Then they cut my services off, saying they hadn't recieved any payment. THEN this chick calls Small (how in the world did she get her number? Big Brother's watching us, I tell you) and then gets in touch with me at work and says they haven't recieved a new cheque, coz they've lost it. Oh-kaaaaaay. She also says, more or less in this snitty tone that I must be mistaken, because none of their customer service executives would ever tear a cheque and it's never happened before. I call up my bank, cancel the new cheque I've issued, and then get to PVR Saket, where there's an Airtel booth, where you can pay by cash. It's six pm, I get there, a man is lazily talking on the phone, and he waves one desultory hand. "It's closed," he says, "Come back tomorrow." At this point, little blood vessels are popping rapidly, like bubble wrap, in my forehead and real steam is coming out of my ears, so I go next door, to a stall that's selling phone covers and all and tell them I want a Hutch prepaid card. (Which by the way, if you know me in real life, please email for new number). In great triumph I activate it. The next morning, I get a call from the same Airtel chick who says sorrowfully that she had activated my account, and why had I switched. "Because I am sick and tired of your service and I'm going to tell everyone, nanananana-naaaaaaaa," I said. "Can't you at least give your connection to someone else?" she asked. "Nope, coz you suck and I hate you," I said dignifiedly and she hung up. Phew. Anyway, so if you're contemplating getting an Airtel postpaid, consider yourself warned.

And then I was at Yo China last night with Small and her mum and we ordered a Double Combo which had chilli chicken and lamb in hot garlic sauce, and I asked the waiter to make it chilli chicken dry, coz it didn't specify what kind of gravy it was going to be in and he said, "We only serving with gravy. Dry, you have to order extra." But surely you can just not put any gravy, and give me dry chicken?" I said, reasonably enough, I thought. "We only serving gravy," he said, eyes shifting away. So we ordered the dry chicken, extra, and it was terrible. See why I am angry consumer?

The one happy spot in my consumerism is Boots Cucumber Lotion. I bought it at Kunchal's in GK-I M-Block market and it smells all cool and refreshing and makes your skin feel all refreshed. I've been using it like mad, I love the way it's not too olily, so I can use it on my face also.


  1. I find it amazing how you switch from (would-be) empowered ass-kicker babe to twittering puddy-tat. I mean, Boots Cucumber Lotion? I suppose that is exclusively for the ladies. Or wait, we'll suddenly find a few hundred Delhi dudes splashing it on!

  2. Just occurred to me that my comment might seem mean. Let me clarify, I love your blog. Lurrvvveee. (Look, momma, OESTROGEN!)
    (Word verification - ouwfrk. Does Blogger read our comments first?!)

  3. airtel, that mere word gives me the jitters. I took their number and didnt use it for one day. I forgot to deactivate it and now i lost the sim card. I got a bill this month and SURPISE! somebody is using my card. I had forgotten to deactivate the cardd again today. And then you came by reminding me about their 'SERVICE', if you can call it that.

    Touch Tomorrow, they (airtel) said in the beginning. Express yourself, they then said. I swear to god, if i was to take them seriously and 'expressed myself', they would leave this business for good.

    Welcome to the ever widening club of H.A.T.E - Hate Air Tel Everyday!

  4. CC - Red Bull. Giving you wings is all very well, and I love the pretty young women with their mock-tincan-backpacks and free samples and energetic manner, who I permit to lecture me about how great "taurine" is, and to dissemble when I ask what the necessary downside to this taurine stuff might be. But its obvious that in fifteen years, everyone is going to be like, "Dai, how did we not realize that taurine is so fucked up it even gives your cancers cancer?" And then we'll pop open another can, because it turned out to be addictive, too.

    At least we know that no one will ever say that about vodka.

  5. crizzie, start paying up ur bills on time
    em - i'm falling for u - help!!!!!!

  6. Welcome to Hutch! It's SO much better, believe me. Now all you have to deal with is a pushy Hutch executive (or a Hutch DSA) calling to ask if you want a Hutch post-paid conection. Never mind if you already have one. The point is: If they know I'm a Hutch customer, shouldn't they also know that I have a post-paid connection? It is irritating to tell them, week after annoying week, that I ALREADY have a post-paid! Basically, they're all the same ...except, the Hutch ads are a bit better :-)

  7. Oooh I miss Delhi now. I did go to Elevate this winter break, btw... since you told me to. Rather interesting t'was.

  8. "Nope, coz you suck and I hate you,"

    Awesome baby!! Although, call me the grammar nazi, but don't think there should be a comma there, after you.

    Yanyway, ever scrutinised your posts and wondered if the way you write seems to say that your life seems divided into the two categories - 1)at work (which you don't write about) 2) out guzzling alcohol

    Just a thought.
    Also, you love boots cucumber 'cause its not too 'oily'.

    Am Bored with capital B, as you can see.

  9. oscar de la renta - wud surely recommend some of his stuff, may even outclass ur levis - NOM

  10. Thank you god. For making the compulsive confessor finally move to fresher pastures:-)

  11. Im getting Super excited about TC and Delhi now !!!!

  12. Dude,

    'rave-dancing'--ahem..what exactly would you know about that?

    Partying, Red bull, Vodka , Testosterone, Oestrogen, Taurine Airtel post-paid...hmmm

    Methinks these are random thoughts of a disoriented mind.

    Maybe worth a thought, then again maybe not.

    Peace Out,
    The Beatnik Baba

  13. Let's make that Wannabe Grammar Nazi, the thing inside me:
    The comma is necessary (after you) because it's followed by 'I said...'
    So the sentence reads, quite correctly,
    'Nope, coz you suck and I hate you,' I said dignifiedly...

  14. *sigh* how quick we are to judge people we really don't know very much about.
    dear beatnik baba, my interests are large and varied and just because i don't speak of certain nights spent watching the last cracks of darkness turning into dawn on the beaches of Goa, or in a delhi farmhouse with the pulsating sounds of chemical trance still running like a million joyrides through my veins and watching as my friends bounced on e, while i discovered how wise i was with a few joints, doesn't mean i don't know anything about it. in the future, kindly refrain from generalisations.
    yours truly,

    ps: i promise i'll reply to the rest of you later! God promise, mother swear. :)

  15. Bombay food sucks, Delhi food rocks, Bombay girls are hot, Delhi girls ar ecold (weather?), Bombay pubs are stars, Delhi pubs are black holes, Delhi id dead, Bombay is alive

    Some comments I have heard abt Bombay and Delhi...

  16. I suspect you couldn't get the chicken without the gravy because it had already been prepared god-only-knows how long in advance. Anything that's freshly cooked to order can always be changed.

    Of course, it's entirely possible that the waiter was just stupid. Or stubborn. Or both.

  17. Dude, the future, kindly refrain from generalisations....Hahahahaha. Em ko gussa kyoon aata hai.
    The E or X that is available in India is absolute crap(Fact). Thailand is the place... Full Moon nights, psy trance and A. The A in Goa is pretty good at times.

    I heard creepers eat couch grass at those "supposed" farmhouses in/around Dilli. Could you please confirm that?

    I am emphasizing on the trait

    how wise i was with a few "joints".

    Have we met before :-).

    Nah I guess not.

    Keep writin an I'll keep reading

    God promise, mother swear. :)

    No offence meant.

    Peace Out,
    The Beatnik Baba

  18. well, anon: not so much a wannabe, buddy.
    The 'I said is a part of her narrative, so the comma should be after the quotes close; not before. The comma before would be appropriate if she'd continued speaking to the airtel lady, which she had concluded, and therefore there must be a full stop and not a comma.
    So there.
    the sentence would do well to read: "Nope cuz you suck and I hate you.", I said dignifiedly...

  19. has The Thing Inside Me ever read a book? A book. ever?
    where on earth has s/he picked up such strange (and erroneous) perceptions of punctuation?

  20. "Imagine if they made drinks with extra oestrogen. All the men would come around with tears in their eyes and big, soppy smiles and say, "Dude, I lurve you" throwing their arms around their bemused friends. They should make it. I'd buy it"

    hello is any manufacturer even lissening to this!!!!!!! lol i'm with u on this one, would totally buy it and slip it into drinks of the "oh-so-macho" "boys don't cry" "isn't knowing that i love u enough" guys! :)

  21. i believe "the thing inside me" person is correct. also theres no such thing as "post-paid"... you can't have post (which is future) and paid (which is past) as a hyphenated word... its just a billing account is all

  22. eM, I happened to read your post when I was visiting Delhi & hell...I've been looking for that Boots cucumber lotion everywhere. So, inspired by your post, i set off in this new city, meandered my way through the crowds and traffic in GK-1 M Block market & atlast FOUND MY BOOTS CUCMBER BODY LOTION!!!!! Thanks!

  23. "Nope cuz you suck and I hate you.", I said dignifiedly...

    Full stop.
    End quote.
    A comma?

    Really, one wonders about certain people having READ anything at all.

  24. always been a hutch post-paid subsriber. airtel doesn't have an online a/c where you can change your address, your talk plan and all other services?

    i never went for airtel coz of the shahrukh khan pics!!!

  25. lifesaver- did not knwo I could get my Boots fix in Delhi! I love them!!


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