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

Sign up for my newsletter: The Internet Personified

25 November 2006

How much drink can a dipso drink if a dispo could drink drink? (the super long holiday recap post)

Yay! Home! And the internet! I feel like I've been away for AGES now, instead of like four days, only, vacation time is so so short. Returned from Bombay Tuesday night, after spending three of the four days I was there, fairly drunk and happy. I love it when I can do that without feeling guilty about the next day and how much work I have to do and blah di blah blah. Ooh, and I saw Sushmita Sen! Who won my respect and admiration just by how deftly and adeptly she parked her huge car in a tiny parking space.

(I was fully meaning to add that last fullstop and continue, but then, well, friend/date type person arrived and we had to leave and so blogging was sacrificed on the altar of actually getting some. I'm sure you understand.)

Moving on, then. I've realised I like that city even though I know that going somewhere on holiday is totally not the same thing as actually living there, and moving your comfort zones takes a certain amount of time and effort and actually being comfortable somewhere else. Pieces was busy, as expected, so when I landed and made my way to her house (which was right by the sea! Which was Good Omen One, by the way, for those of you who are at home and keeping track of the score) where Noor, her soon to be ex-flatmate, kept me company as we tried to decide what my evening's entertainment would be. Noor and I took a walk to the boundary wall of the apartment complex, where there's this gate that lets you get out and sit on a reasonably clean bench and watch the sun set over the ocean. It all looked so pretty and fairy tale-ish, that I begged Noor to come and take a walk so we could dabble our toes in the surf. "Uh.. trust me, dude, you don't want to do that," she said, settling back and she wouldn't be moved, until I saw exactly what she meant as this dude took a crap on the shore, letting the waves work as a potty shower, right in front of us. But if you overlooked the turds and the smell, really quite pretty.

Since Pieces was probably going to be tied up till like midnight, I called this dude and asked him to take me out somewhere. We went to another place overlooking a beach called Eleven Echoes, which made very nice margaritas so I was most happy. And on the way back, several places were pointed out to me, including Amitabh Bachchan's house (the Egyptians would collectively orgasm, I think) and the place where Fardeen Khan, was it? got picked up for buying cocaine. These Bombay people are repositories of information, I tell you, I don't think I could do a similar homes-and-landmarks-of-the-rich-and-famous here. (Although, someone once told me a story about how once in the middle of the night they were looking for a friend's house and they wound up ringing Satish Gujral's bell instead. But I don't know where the house is) By the time I got home, Pieces was asleep, and when she left early the next morning, she saw my foot from under the bedcovers and left an eyemask by my pillow, but that was the only interaction we had really.

Till about three pm the next day, when the movers arrived, seeing as Pieces and her boyfriend, Gautam are moving out and Noor is returning here, when I (helpfully) scotchtaped boxes together, till I realised I was doing such an inadequate job, that I became the official scissor holder and snipped tape. And then chilled by a rolled up mattress while all around me, people were being very effecient. I'm not much help in situations like this, I realise, but I am ornamental. And I seldom lose my temper, both excellent qualities, I think. Now that that's justified, back to the recap. Interestingly all the movers wore these white Nehru caps, which struck me as quite odd, because all the while they were hoisting up boxes to their shoulders, the caps would teeter and almost fall off till they adjusted it again. Surely, so much easier to not wear the caps at all? And white? To move stuff? No one seemed to know why exactly they were wearing them though, the only explaination I got was, "Oh, they all wear them."

And then the Pieces came home, and we had a joyful, if slightly rushed reunion and she and Noor walked sniffly eyed around the remnants of their old home and finally everything was gone, and the three of us, plus three of Pieces's friends finished a quarter and some of vodka with Thums Up and lay back giggling slightly. So. Good Omen Two. (Only the weather was all hot and sticky and now as I write this, warming my frozen feet under the blanket and tucked under my ass, I'm all siiiiiiiiiiigh. So maybe Good Omen and Bad Omen cancel each other out).

Then we moved to Pieces's friend's house (which was where, for interested people, I saw Sushmita Sen) and drank some more, and another Good Omen happened (well, part two of Good Omen Two) coz dude! You can call for booze! At midnight! And they bring it home to you! What a great city for alcoholics. And so Sunday passed with an almost twelve hour binge of drinking. (And Pieces's friends very sweetly said, when I complained that I had very few friends in their city, "Don't be silly, any time you want some company, you have us." At which point, thanks to all the drinking, I was all overcome.)

Monday, by the time I emerged all bleary eyed, Gautam and Pieces had left and Noor was sitting on the balcony, drinking a glass of tea and she looked surprised to see me. "I thought you had died," she said, and "Order some lunch for yourself and get out of the house, do." But being an essentially lazy person, I chose instead, to raid our absent host's bookshelves, because he had an excellent collection of graphic novels and the ENTIRE ASTERIX AND TINTIN series and I just died. Oh, but then another Bad Omen happened as I was channel surfing and Noor said, "What are you looking for?" and I said, "Some movie channel, Star or HBO" and she said, "Oh those have been banned" and I said, "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME." but it was true. So, you can get booze at midnight, but you can't watch Lara Croft. Strange. (But I went to Palika yesterday with Small and bought 11 DVDs to prepare myself, and I feel slightly better. Oh dude, there will be no Palika Bazaar in Bombay. And no TC. And no place where waiters will know me. Why am I moving again?)

Then Pieces came home and she was early for a change, so we all gussied up and decided to go out, to this place called Zenzi, I think it was spelled, which was quite nice. Oh, and just like previously in Gurgaon, I was given a disposable glass to take away my drink in when they finally threw us out.

Phew. Getting quite tired now. But like, one day to go, so I shall perservere. By the time I woke up Tuesday morning, Noor said, "Okay, get out of the house NOW" so I did, and made it as far as the closest train station from where I was planning to go into town and walk around a bit, perhaps drink a little more, before I headed back and caught my flight at 9.30. But by the time I reached the station Curly (who now wants to be referred to as Shark Tooth, so fine, Shark Tooth) called me and said, "Let's have lunch." And I was all like, nooo, we should go into town and now I have company, but he was insistent so I got into a cab to go meet him, only to be stuck in the Biggest Traffic Jam in the world. (Quite a few Bad Omens, I see) It was such a bad jam, the taxi guy turned around and said, "Maybe you should walk." So I did. I walked and I walked and I walked and finally I reached and Shark Tooth reached, but by the time we got to the Goan restaurant he wanted to go to, it was shut, and so both of us Delhi exiles lunched happily, on, um, Punjabi food. Sigh. Then we took a cab back and walked around on a beach promenade thing, and I got home and Pieces called and said to wait till she got home so she could say bye, and since it was only seven forty, it was all cool.

By eight fifteen, I finally left and got to the airport by 8.45, where the outraged Spice Jet people told me the flight was actually at 9.10, NOT 9.30 and I was the last passenger. So I galloped through security check and galloped on to the plane and when I got to the Delhi airport, Small and Tall were waiting for me and we went and ate keema paratha.

Good trip, yeah?


  1. sigh! WHAT wouldn't i trade for 4 days in beloved bombay? well, iam a bombay exile! :D
    n hey, u do have like loadddss of markets where u can find decent dvds and every other thing u possibly need! so no worries! enjoy girl!

  2. You know, and I swear it happens, ask the paan-waalas, and they'll tell you the latest gossip on Bollywood. You will realise how many people just live on the flicks and actor lives. Each autowalla will have a tale on which actor they gave a ride to. I found this ridiculous, but drinking reallys keeps you going. Oh don't go...

  3. Hi, I landed on ur blog after ages and ages. To learn you are shifting to Bombay, what fun. Oh, the crowded trains, the vada pavs, the spray of the sea if you walk on marine drive (walk from Nariman pt to Chowpatty - it is fun) --- last time I went there the road was being repaired, the books sold on the pavement at Fountain, Fashion street for export samples...I miss it so much. Have fun

  4. I hope wherever you're moving to has a nice loo. I love Bombay but thats the one thing that's in short supply in Bombay. Gosh! how i miss calling for booze in the middle of the night and cigs and butter chicken.

  5. Zenzi is a nice place.

    Were you staying in Versova?

  6. you have NO idea of what bad traffic jams are until you've been in dxb!
    but bombay will be fun! everyone loves bombay!
    i was there for a week and i had a balll! although i need more friends to get drunk with, i was unfortunately hanging out with very sober people. got drunk just twice. :(

    oh well, maybe next time!

  7. HA! sounds like you had a blast, thats cool - bodes well for the big move!
    What I wouldnt give to be able to order booze at home?! not just at night, but at any bloody time!
    Ah well...
    enjoy kiddo,

  8. wow. I love the way you describe bombay beaches and stinky and shit filled yet pretty. So nicely put

  9. :)

    a good trip i'd say

    its me first time here and very pleasing to see your admiration for alcohol. one approves.

    i like. i like.

  10. -There are blogs, and then there are blogs... yours is the latter (Seen Bond yet...?).
    -Many thanks for the visit, and the clarification (sketchers).
    -Grilled Maya (S......) the other day, but figured out blogging is better this way.
    -About waiters not recognizing you, hmmm, 'drinkability' should safely rid you of that in a short span of time.
    -Never read much (science geek you see), never studied literature... so the only thing I look forward to when I read is entertainment, and yours and Mangs' blog gives me loads of that (Met Mangs once at her friend B's place a few months ago).
    - Bombay, hmmm... Don't like the place much. But let's see your take on it. Someone once told me it's important to be 'open' to change. I told him to FO, but hey, that's why they invented the word retrospect... right?

    More Later.

  11. sneha: ahhh... but THESE dvds, the ones at palika, are three-in-ones, for like a 100 bucks. so technically, i now have 33 movies. and the entire sex and the city series. for the bargain price of 1100. can bombay match THAT, now, i ask you?

    jerry: hahaha, are you serious? i must start chatting up the paan wallahs. i WAS going to quit smoking, but it's for a greater cause now. and awwwww, don't worry. i'll be back. and we shall totally bond before i leave. call me!

    dusty: the opinions i have been getting about this move have varied from "you'll love it!" to "you'll hate it!" no one seems to have a neutral stance on the subject. odd.

    beks: well, i don't think anything can compare to the loo small and i share now--which is HUGE and even has a bathtub! (which we've never used, but still, it looks good)

    whitelight: i didn't realise it was so easily identifiable! yes, i was indeed, for like one day before we moved.

    sonia: i suppose with the right kind of alcoholic friends you could even get drunk in chattisgarh or something, and if your friends are the sober type then you're doomed to either drinking alone or not drinking at all. personally, i like option a, but you already know from the title of this post that i'm on the verge of becoming an alcoholic.

    (in fact, am fairly queasy right now thanks to drinking binge we went on last night, hopping through FOUR different places and finally staggering home at 4 am. sigh.)

    the dude: i know, right? i don't think anyone who hasn't lived in delhi gets that a) thekhas shut at 9.30 and b) you have to be TWENTY FIVE to be legally drunk. (three weeks to go!!)

    scritch: :) thanks! i wrote that sentence and i looked at it and thought, hmmm, no one is going to get the sheer paradox of the whole thing, but it really WAS pretty.

    party cloudy: thank you! :) i'm fairly proud of it myself, she said modestly.

    once again: i think more than half of the people who read this blog are hard core drinkers, which gives me great joy. although sometimes i worry that i'm a bad influence on the younger generation. oh well.

    tanmay: yes she called me and told me you had enquired, and that she was being suitably discreet. :) never mind, i'm sure it'll come to you. and if you like the blog, you'll LOVE the book :)

  12. Oy!
    Cal does have nightlife.

    Nwo don't ask me, because I'm a geriatric, but most of my friends seem to get sloshed midweek too, you know what I mean, so while I'm not asking you to MOVE here, you could leave off dissing my city until you've tried it out, and another thing is, what language problem dudette, we spikka da Inglees, capische?

    Which is my version of eM-speak.


  13. I can't believe you're one of those people that holds up the entire plan! Whenever I fly there's ALWAYS the announcement that they're waiting for a passenger etc., etc., etc., and that seriously is the most irritating thing ever. The worst part is they always end up being from Business or First Class, so you can't sneer at them and say "hmmph natives" as they walk past us in economy really.

    glad you had fun in bombay! i never manage to though. i guess you've just got to know the right places and people? no? oh yeeahhhh sorry, you've got to be reasonably loaded, haven'ya.


    mwah mwah.

    - cale

  14. wooooooah, sorry, *PLANE. that must've sounded like it came from a gugrat.

    "kem cho? baby baby, maney snakes khaoon cho baby?"

    "we have snacks in gujurati forest."

  15. back again mit Link. do visit. i like trying to guess your name.


    non? merde. but you did say it was traditional lak.

  16. oh fuck. this should do it. click me! click me! well "cale" at least.

  17. 25... yeah right! none of the raging alcoholics that ive come across would be even close to that!
    21, maybe 22... its the single stupidest law ive ever seen...
    eh, but im starting to rant so will shut up!
    all the best for your trip (meant in every concievable way!) and keep posting!

  18. honestly, who really cares about the downright pointless details of your mundane existence! its really depressing to know that you actually wait for comments to certify your monotonous rambling. and dont you think that you've read bridget jones's diary one time too many?! i came by your post accidently (a rather boring accident, i might add). anyhow keep going, alot of people in the world need to feel better about their own existence.

  19. shall i delete or shallnt i?
    oh, i think i shallnt.

    where are the trollllllllls? send in the trooooooollllls. don't bother, they're here.


  20. Say, how much did Seagram's pay you for mentioning 'Shark Tooth'?

  21. I love people who feel the need to insult anonymously. So brave. I bet anon still lives with mummy.

    and yes anon, it is sometimes mundane but that's what's so great when you read someone else's diary or blog. Its an insight into their life, sometimes dull sometimes mundane & sometimes exciting. Its as good as voyeurism can ever get. You want excitement, jump off a bridge.
    mummy will cry for her beba.

  22. Sounds like several good omens, and you will have a blast :)
    And yes, I was suitably discreet.
    It's not explainations, but explanations :)

  23. well bombay can match the pirated DVDs for sure and much in the same price range
    but calling up to get booze delivered at the doorstep, man i need to bether

  24. oh well, of COURSE bombay can match that! it's BOMBAY we're talking about... u can get these DVDs at andheri station (for the same price or even less!!) (and many other places i suppose!) :)

  25. why would you wanna dip your toes in the surf? have you seen the freakish mutated rats that crawl around, between, under all the rocks at nariman point? or was it bandstand? eitherway it was ugh! but the city is charmin and so is sush. and she can park too, now that's what i call a woman. for bollywood afficionado bombay's a treasure trove of information. and bombaywallahs. or mumbaikars, whichever's in mode these days. but you might not be the only one relocating to that lovely city.............

  26. but compared to delhi eating out options in bombay are pretty poor boss, like for whatever price range you consider delhi's got better food. except seafood but there bombay has an advantage despite the radioactive ocean water. oh well what do you care you're not a foodie. for bouncy and i it's a major consideration. :)

  27. Why are you moving...!!!! because after living there for a bit.. you will realise that the best city would be delhi's roads and weather with everything else from mumbai!!! Enjoy..

  28. I just did not read after the Asterix and Tintin collection and the graphic novels part. Which ones were they?? I remember that feeling when I found a 5 feet shelf stacked with graphic novels on both the sides at a library. I just sat there on the floor and greedily lapped up 2; then borrowed 10 (cos thats the permissible max). That night I read until I eyes watered. Then I slept and woke up only to finish the last one that was left unread.

  29. to behnchod hain.

  30. have you ever heard of AA? :-) Did one of your parents ever drink? Then it might be Al Anon that you need. Google them.


Thanks for your feedback! It'll be published once I approve it. Inflammatory/abusive comments will not be posted. Please play nice.