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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15 November 2006
What to do when you miss people
In all this debate about my "anonymity", and how many people know my real name, it was quite a relief to spend the weekend bonding with many friends, who actually know my stories, in real life. Had dinner with Leela's two sisters and their friend, and we spent a lovely time do-you-remembering, and oh, when you were 16 and I was thirteen and so on. Maya and Dearmost (she did ask for another name on this blog, but apparently an ex-boyfriend gave her a book once, with "dearmost" in the inscription and we thought it was so perfect, and too nice a name not to be used all the time, therefore, say hello to the Dearmost) read this blog a lot, in fact, I'm beginning to suspect a little too much, because Maya began quoting back details to me which even I had forgotten. Anyway. We all went to TC, Gurgaon, and sat in a very loud corner and played drinking games, which soon disintegrated into "tell all your secrets and giggle wildly" game, and oh, dudes, I felt so old and wrinkled and like Mother Earth or some such and it was not pleasant feeling maternal. Maternal feelings have not come upon me for some time. But the cool thing about TC Gurgaon, is that when they called the last order and finally began breathing over our necks to get us to leave, we said piteously, "We haven't finished our drinks yet!" And then they gave us disposable glasses to take with us, and I felt most cosmopolitan and grown up. (But in a good way, grown up, as compared to MATERNAL grown up. I'm feeling many family feelings these days, even a sisterly pang towards a former hook up, which we both found most alarming. (Fortunately, it didn't last very long.))
Then, there was a winter setting in party at the Pirate's house. Which was nice, because I went with Fariha, and we haven't had much time or opportunity to just talk, you know? But this time we did, speaking of our lives and our friends and so on, and in the middle of all this my cellphone started to flash, "Unknown number" and I picked it up and it was Leela! Calling from London, to tell me all. I had sent her and Urvashi a long, sad, pondering email the other day, and she felt for me, and we spoke till her calling card ran out. But finally I now know all about her wedding and the proposal and so on, but as soon as she hung up I missed her even more than I was. Which over the last couple of weeks has been an intense, strange sort of missing, for all the people who aren't here--but her and Urvashi especially. They're not very alike, as in, I'm sure they'd get on like a house on fire if they ever met--but you know, they're different people. But they both have this marvellous resting quality about them, you could spend hours with them, and not be bored, coz you could both do your own thing. It's a funny thing about missing your friends who have taken off for better shores, you know somehow, that things aren't going to be the same, that you can't fit it all in into a half an hour conversation or a long email, that they're not going to know that you were in a two hour long traffic jam that morning, or the incredibly frustrating thing that happened to you at work--there's only room for the important things. Except, I don't know. Hobo and I grow closer despite, or perhaps because of, our distance, we meet online almost every day, and she knows a lot about my life, even more than some people here. Speaking of Hobo, Fariha had to leave the party early, so when I got home, I was still wide awake and all wheeeeeeee, Saturday night! And I logged on to Skype, and got Zaphod, and another college friend, Amulya, who switched on the webcam and put me on speaker so I could speak with her and Hobo, and it was such fun. Almost like we were in the same city, almost as if it was a sleepover again at Pieces's, and we had all been drinking till five in the morning, and were sitting on her balcony and smoking cigarettes and looking at the stars and in that bewitching moment, there exist no secrets, nothing you don't tell, and nothing you get judged on either.
What is it about old friends that makes me think so much about them these days? I realise they hold my past, they know me through (as cliched as it sounds) love and heartbreak and denial and idiocies (oh, so many, many, MANY idiocies) and you fight with them and you sulk and you think you'll never talk to each other again, but at the end of the day, there you are. As we grow older, and a lot less forgiving, friendships are harder, somehow, there's a lot more investment that you have to do--suddenly, there are a whole new set of expectations. But with people you've known for about five years or longer, there's a different zone, like resignment, but not quite so negative. I feel like sighing a lot around my old friends, just sighing, because I know I don't want to be elsewhere. And then, in the rare times that we happen to be in the same city, and we talk over each other, no one even waiting for their turn, because there's so much to say, and we're all like, "You did what?" And then we shake our heads, or laugh and say good for you, and either, that is SO you or dude, that is SO unlike you, but it's nice that they know this. No?