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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6 June 2006

Challenge what the future holds, stand up and be counted, don't be 'shamed to cry

I got a new phone on Sunday. It’s been a while since I treated myself, so I went all out instead of opting for that Nokia which everyone has, the kind that has a basic camera and all that, but still makes my old phone look like a piece of shit. I decided to push my budget to ten and buy myself something REALLY fancy. Only, fancy phones come with fancy prices and everything was like eleven at least, or fifteen at most. I was being reasonable as well, though I was lusting after the N-series, that was much too much out of my budget.

But then Small, who got a MotoRazr v3i on her birthday, decided she wanted to switch back to Nokia. This phone was complicated, not as easy to use, and she just wasn’t that into it. So, she sold it to me, for ten thousand, and it is beautiful. It still smells new also. And the plastic screen sticker is still on it. I devoured the user manual, from cover to cover and I’ve figured it all out. It’s not as user friendly as the Nokia, no, but it’s so worth it, once you’ve mastered it. I love the shape, the feel of the sleek metal under my fingertips, the ringtones, the way someone’s picture flashes when they call, the way the iridium flat keys light up, the way I can close the flip and take my picture, the way I look and behave around it, like it’s natural for the girl-who-nobody-noticed to be going out with the most popular boy at school.

But, I had a problem. My phone has this wonderful way of dividing people into categories, so that you can assign a ringtone to a particular label, or just send messages to people at work and so on. It was, as you can imagine, an arduous task. Motorola gave me only a few labels to work with—personal, business, VIP, family, best friends and general. No options. No way to figure out whether friends at work would count as business or personal. And who would I call my best friends anyway?

K, now, his number is stored, but there’s no category for ex-boyfriends. No special ringtone telling me that this was a good time to put a smile on my face, no matter what I was doing, and to sound super busy and important. There’s no category for boys you hooked up with in a drunken moment but wished you hadn’t. People you had a tiny crush on. People who were attracted to you. People you were attracted to. People your friends had dated so were no-nos, but there was still some sort of spark that left you feeling very guilty after you spoke to them.

And friends. How do I divide my friends into “best friends” and “personal”? What about my drinking buddies, who I see only once a month or something and we get very smashed? How about old friends who you sorta lost touch with in the middle but are in the midst of rediscovering? How about people who used to be your best friends several years ago? Friends you lived with? Friends you had a big fight with? Friends you went on a trip to Goa with, many years ago? Friends who knew you since you had braces and braids, should they rank higher than the ones who thought you emerged out of your womb looking the way you do now? Even if the latter knows you better? People you meet on the internet, or through blog meets. People you’ve never met. Ever. But they still know who you are, thanks to your voice. People who used to date friends, but once they broke up, you’re not sure whether you’re still obliged to talk to them. People who used to date friends, but who became better friends of yours.

Work is even worse. People in my direct team should get a special listing right? And what about my friends from work, good friends who know stuff about my life, and vice versa and whom I meet out of work as well? PR people who I want to avoid versus PR people I really like, who give me good stories. The boss’s boss’s boss?

You might want to think about that, Moto guys.


  1. Hmmm.. actually you can create new groups in a moto. I have a normal V3 and if i go into the phone book and click on the middle button (the one with the horizontal lines on it), then go to catagories and it gives me the normal choices of business, personal, yada yada. But if i click on the same middle button, it gives me a choice to make a new one, and then i can give it a name and add members and choose ringtones. So there, problem solved i think.

    Reading this comment from the top just made me realize what a geek i really am

  2. Okay two things:
    a) THANK YOU! That is so cool!
    and b) You just destroyed the point of this post! :P

  3. Heh....

    Sorry i just realised that myself. Oh well, you learnt something new

  4. 1) Yea, the V3 is a nice piece of work, but at the end of the day, Motorola SUX!

    2) Will there be a category called: 'Mysterious Acquaintance Whom I Had A Good Time With, And Should Have Some More Good Times With' ?

  5. well, i just gulped down what i had to say too.
    The first comment made saying it useless. He has solved the problem and my comment hold no more water.
    But good post, as always.

  6. wow..that;s qy=uite a task...sorting out people in categories...

    Enjoy ur phone nevertheless!!

  7. i thought the point was that it's pointless to categorise people, because categories overlap and change.

  8. I'm actually lusting after the Pebl but on the other hand I am a die hard Nokia user. Decisions, Decisons.

  9. Lucky you. That's a sexy sexy phone. I by the way have bought this basic of all basic nokias. The one with the candy coloursand FM...that model only a sober grey version. I so miss my Samsung flip one:(

  10. ok i have a v3i and it freezes almost everytime a call comes in. do NOT be deceived by its super sleek sexy-ness. anyway could one of you clue me in on how to put a pic to a person's that their pic flashes when they call...also how to assign ringtones to individuals?

  11. Okay, I see you've already been lectured on creating new labesl. So I shal refrain. BUT I have a new phone too, and this is my first personal brush with labels and I'm so happy! Just the right pointer to act all pricey and busy or put on the honey-coated voice. Only I get mixed up with them ringtones :(

    And wild child, eh? ME???

  12. I am not so much tech-savy. But if we remove the 'tech' part of the post... wonderful!!

  13. So post the post and the comments.. i still cant decide.. is functionality of Nokia worth sacrificing for the sexy-ness of a V3i??

  14. i thought it was an ad for the phone

  15. Go for the N series sometime when you want to change phones. Amazing piece of work. Finally Nokia seems to have woken up. Does not beat Sony Ericssons w series though, but the mp3 player and inbuilt speakers are pretty good enough. Headphone sound quality is excellent, plus the 2 mega pixel camera is cool, tho pics turn out grainy sometimes.

    Plus whole loads of software available for Symbian OS used in Nokia.

    And yeah, Razr has got cool looks. It is more stylish.

  16. I don't have the razr, but I have the next one down on the moto scale - and it still has entirely too many bells and whistles and gadgets. I can take photos and videos? Why? I can sort people into arbitrary groups. I have this thing called a "moto mixer". What the hell is that? It seems to play music. What if I just want to make a phone call?!?!

  17. The Motorazr is one of the most over-rated over-hyped phones I have come across. I used to have a Motorola V300 (yes, I am vain enough to dig clamshells!), when I managed to swing a Razr to try out. The software is really horrible. Try calling someone named Simone. You have to type S, then patiently scroll through to the middle of the list! No, siree, can't type the S then the I and so forth. Yes, it's got the looks, and yes, I am a bit too geeky about cellphones/PDAs :-|


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