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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2 January 2007
Last night's party was perhaps the best way to spend my New Year's Eve. There weren't that many people--only about ten---but the conversations were fantastic, the alcohol was plentiful, and the bonfire was raging. The music was good too--oldies, which I love. My friend Vir, whose house it was at, has this most fantastic place, even though it's in the middle of nowhere, actually perhaps because it is in the middle of nowhere. His entire HOUSE house, is underground, so the bathtubs have like stones coming out of them, and it's impossible to get a signal most places. The rest of the land, most of which I haven't seen, is foresty, with large chunks of wilderness, and caves in one part. (He's promised me a party, once he gets the caves cleaned up, because they have tunnels that meander all over the place.) We were up on a hillock, because that was about as far as the generator back up reached, and the fog was so thick, we couldn't even see the house. Iggy and I, on a bathroom mission, got completely lost, and walked around and around in circles.
It was sort of sad as well, New Year's Eve. Small leaves for her college in Germany in a couple of days, and last night and this morning was the last time I will see her for at least six months. If not more. We've been such excellent friends, such good flatmates, our relationship is almost like siblinghood, complete with the bickering. And I'm so used to her, and having her around, and having someone who knows I get weepy with PMS, that when I'm unsure about things, I touch my bottom lip a lot, who I don't have to explain stories and people to, because she already knows them all, who will cut me down to size in an instant and yet fight madly with me if she thinks I'm not fighting enough for myself. These are things that can't be learned. There was a small going away party on New Year's Eve Eve, mostly her friends, but some of mine as well. My room, my ex room, was all empty and desolate looking, but then Tall started moving her things into it, and her new flatmates arrived the next morning, and soon it was as if we had never lived there at all. "Have lots of parties in this house," I said to them, as I exited, handing over my keys, and Annie, who is one of Tall's new flatmates, smiled and said, "We'll have them in your name."
This time tomorrow, I shall be in my new city, in my new house, and life will stand on its head. How long before that feels like home?
Anyway, so last night's party. By the time I was on my fourth or fifth drink, I was having a conversation with a boy who told me that the one thing I must remember is not to smile so much. "No?" I asked, puzzled. "No, dude, you smile entirely too much, you have to stop." Reader, I tried, I really did, but the corners of my mouth kept curving upwards, and it didn't help that because I wasn't drunk enough I decided to smoke a joint (well PART of a joint anyway) which probably meant I wasn't as sober as I thought, because I only ever smoke, in the rare blue moons that I do, when I'm quite sozzled. Hence, giggles. And he looked most disappointed in me. Although when I told Small this, she said, "What rubbish, people don't smile enough, that's the problem with this world."
Thanks to everyone having cellphone clocks only, we all had different times on our phones, and the first Happy New Year! was at 11.57. The rest of us, who actually had 11.57 on our phones, attempted to protest, but then we said, ah, fuck it, and threw our arms around the nearest person. Small and her boyfriend were the only couple there, so the whole I-have-no-one-to-kiss-at-midnight didn't bother me one bit. We tried to call near and dear ones, but signals were jammed, so finally, I was still getting happy new year messages at 2 am.
They say whatever you're doing at midnight is what you're going to be doing for the rest of the year. Last year, I spent midnight trying to shove one unsquashable boy away from me and explain to him that I wasn't interested. And yeah, that pretty much set my pattern for 2006. The year before that was at Vir's house again, where at midnight, I called K and burst into tears, setting the stage for 2005. This year, I was happy and content, with friends and company, and no lingering if onlys. (Although if their clocks are right, and mine wasn't, then 2007 will be spent going, "Huh? Is it time already?") All in all, I should think, a happy year. A FUN year.
Le sigh. Delhi, I will always love you MOST.