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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11 July 2006
Everything but the girl
Everyone was dressed up, including me, though I had just come from a long stretch of work and no dinner, but I borrowed an apricot summer dress from Small, with what I thought was a halter neck, but it turned out was a cross-back. It's a gorgeous dress, with white batik flowers on it and I thought I looked pretty nice, especially when Taz, brother of another friend from college, wound a string of jasmine flowers around my head. (It didn't look as goofy as it sounds, actually, coz lots of people asked me where I got the flowers, and by the end of it, two friends stole it off my head. But it's a short hair look, really). Amulya looked fabulous as well, in this very opening-credits-from-Sex-And-The City dress, white with a poufy skirt and little white heels and a white bag.
But this was like going back to college, first year or something, I remember Amulya's parties from then--they were pretty much the same huge affairs--usually with someone either crying or throwing up or making out, or all three. (Not the same person, you understand, that would be hard even for my multi-tasking generation). Well, since we're all more grown up now, I don't think there was any of the crying and the throwing up, but it was bizarre seeing the same people in the same place doing pretty much the same thing almost, woah, six years later.
I went with Small and Lily, who I don't think were having as good a time as I was, because despite the whole deja vu thing, there were still some fun people who I hadn't seen in a while, and who share a part of my history---however briefly. So the two of them left around one thirty, but Iggy, who had just arrived said her and her friends would drop me home (I heart living in South Delhi, by the way), so I stayed.
Total headcount by the end of the evening, two men, one woman.
*I've got the power! Dum-dum-dum...dum-dum-dum, I've got the POWER!*
Or maybe it was the flowers. Who knows?
Strangely though, I think it was about three in the morning, Iggy nowhere to be found, boys who were giving me a ride not looking like they were anywhere near leaving, chatting with another boy who it turns out I've known since I was five (!) (Delhi is so small, I'm getting sick of saying what a small world), I realised how this party was different from a similar one six years ago. (Wait for it, revelation moment coming up)
It wasn't them, it was me.
So meeting the same people many years later, looking up through the same dropped eyelash look you perfected when you were seventeen at an old flame now, throwing the same blue shots down your throat and nearly gagging, it wasn't the same because the shot-throwing, eyelash-dropping girl was well, not the same. Does this make sense? It doesn't look like I'm making sense even when I'm writing this, but it's really hard to convey what I felt, how I felt, like I was on a swing, pointing upwards, looking backwards to where I came from. Like looking at something from the wrong end of a telescope. Smaller and within context. Life's greatest moments are when you realise things in context.
In context then, I got home as the sun was rising, too tired to change into nightclothes, stripped out of the dress and passed out in my underwear. I had to open the door for the maid in my towel and had a ferocious hangover for three days, but still. In context, it's all good.
ps: This post was written BEFORE the Mumbai blasts, or possibly, just before I knew about them. We all have friends and relatives in Mumbai, yesterday the network was jammed trying to get through to them. Desi Pundit here has a better round up of the links than I can offer, just know that Bombay is a city I admire deeply, despite all my digs at it (in a versus Delhi battle), so my fingers and toes are crossed for you guys. Terrible times.