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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16 August 2006

I can't help but be scared of it all sometimes, but the rain's going to wash away I believe it

Possibly the only good thing about having to work on Independence Day is the fact that all the roads are completely empty and you can zip rapidly over normally very crowded junctions. And parking is a breeze, I didn't even have to parallel park, reversing and re-reversing like I normally do, just swish-fwoosh and I was there, all parked and ready to face the day.

We had an Independence Day party last night (or Pakistan's birthday, take your pick). Luckily, the weather has been phenomenal, or at least it was yesterday; today is still horribly sunny. It stormed several times, but by the time the party started it stopped, except for a few bolts of lightening every now and then. There was quite a bit of booze--Small and Lily (who, hmph, DON'T have to work) bought Old Monk for me, and a bottle of Fuel (Seagram's new vodka that comes in this really cool bottle. It's fairly new, so everyone thought it was foreign stuff, avoiding it and sticking to the Smirnoff, until one girl shyly asked me whether it was okay to open it. Little do they know that it costs about one tenth of the Smirnoff, but it just looks fancier. Packaging is everything, I realise). And Filmmaker Friend (FF) had recently had a party so he brought over oodles of booze--at least ten Breezers and three other bottles. So, clearly, we're sorted for a WHILE.

Anyway, since all three of us had fairly hectic weekends, we looked ready to pass out by the time the party started. And it started really late, too. People in this city have no concept of time. Though I suppose I shouldn't be saying that, seeing as I have sashayed grandly into an eight o'clock party at eleven. (Although, I WAS the first one there). I don't know why we think late entrances are cool entrances. Who made up that social rule anyway? Why do we think we're going to look like losers if we actually show up on time? Alternatively, since I am never on time, this works for me, because then I look exciting and busy, like someone with a happening social life. Punctuality, said my good friend Evelyn Waugh, is a virtue of the bored.

Boy Next Door (no, really, he lives next door) who has this excellent terrace-balcony area, looked somewhat alarmed to see his home invaded. We had invited him, and sort of subtly asked whether he could leave his terrace door open. At first, he took it like a trouper, coming in every now and then to refill his drink (the rent, I guess, for his balcony) but then I noticed how he was increasingly retiring to his house, a bewildered expression on his face. So I told Small and she ushered everyone back into our house, leaving Boy Next Door alone with his terrace swing. I wish we had a terrace swing.

Anyway, so since last night was mainly Small and Lily's friends (where ARE all my friends, I wonder? Do I need new friends and no one's telling me? Am I suddenly unpopular? Is it my breath? Grah) I lurked in corner with FF and drank a lot, only I realise I'm not getting drunk anymore. It's quite sad. At one point, three drinks, no TWO drinks used to be it for me. I remember when I was with Golfer Ex (who was also present at last night's party, only much later) he used to call me a cheap date, because with one rum and coke, I was giggling into my glass and with two, I was all wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! here we go! Last night, I think I had some four or five drinks, and not mild ones either, but still I sat soberly, having sober conversations about work and playing pool and movies and books and love lives and all through this I was wondering why in the name of fuck I was still in a space where I could HAVE this conversation.

It wasn't a very eventful party, as in, no great romances were formed and no secrets told (well, none that I heard at any rate), but I enjoyed myself. There's a certain sort of well-being that comes when you know all is right with your world, and your friends are gathered around in your living room and affection is being given and received and everyone knows you and is, essentially, looking out for you.

It's nice to be alive some days.

ps: A good friend recently confessed to me that she had started a blog too. The virus is spreading, my friends, and I'd like you to join me in welcoming Fortunata. Oh, and here's a post about me, too!

Oh, and also, while (whilst?) I'm pointing out new links, must show you this blog, from someone who commented a few posts ago, but whose style I really like.


  1. here in the US, they had a parade two days ago for Independence day..yet here we are, on Independence day, and not a soul stirrs in the streets (and I live in the middle of desi central).

    It's been a long time since i've been in india during Independence Day...

  2. "no great romances formed"

    wasnt some post a bit ago was about Romance with R in caps, bold and underlined making its way into ur life, are we out looking for more of that capped R ?

  3. I would have to say that after coming to live in the UK my pet hate is unpunctuality. And most Indians get off Indian standard Time (ie always late) and begin to develop timeliness as a virture. Not because the magical water has made them do so. Just that if they arrived at 11 they would have to leave in 15 minutes to catch the last tube home!!

    And oh to be mentioned by a superstar blogger like yourself - that Cale is so lucky!?

  4. Quite an irony to have an Independence day party with booze n works esp as it’s supposed to be dry day. But hey, what the hell, who cares? Yayyeyy to India’s independence, 21st century isshtyle!

  5. Hello, hello. Decided to respond to comments today, as you can see, I've realised I don't respond often enough, which is TERRIBLE, because really, I do very much like recieving these comments. Even the trolls. :)

    cale: Boy Next Door is most definitely NOT cute. In fact, he is a little, well, odd. Previous reference to him here:

    and also, for more about damien, he's mentioned for the first time here:

    :end archive plug:

    vi: Well, they didn't do much here either, except shut down the bars. Oh, and seal the borders. Plus, I don't think it's fair to expect the US to celebrate August 15, no? We don't celebrate July 4th.

    pirate: Oh, shut up. I was sober. YOU, on the other hand, were very drunk.

    jhantu: Yes, but that's MY romance. No one else formed Romance, capital or otherwise.

    30: Unpuctunctuality is something soooo Indian, that even firangs I go to interview expect me to be late. A couple of times I did attempt to show up early or on time, but I had to wait, so I abandoned that.

    anon: Ahh, yes, but that's why we chose to have the party on the 14th, when liquor stores were doing brisk business. I celebrate patriotism and independence by being free to drink. (Or having a free drink, take your pick)


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