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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23 April 2007

Dear Diary,

I'm watching Friends as I write this, because, because my major achievement for this week has been getting cable. And all the stuff I said before about how awesome it was not to have a TV because I can read, and who needs it anyway and blah blah blah? LIES. TV is so fabulous. Really. My dying braincells are collectively orgasming as they go into shutdown. It's that episode where Joey and Ross get stuck on the roof, and Chandler can't sleep and Rachel is still dating Tag and Phoebe has that fire alarm thing. Not one of my favourites. I'm trying to recall what my most favourite one is, I think the one where Rachel and Ross do Baby Got Back for Emma. That was hilarious. Soon it will be 3 pm and I will switch channels and watch The Apprentice. I don't think I'm ever leaving my apartment again.

Especially after the weekend I've had. Friday, I went out with Pieces and it was supposed to be a quiet evening. (Sorry, I just got distracted by an ad on TV where I think I saw someone I went to college with, so, if you're reading this and you're from the same college, the ad with the womens health magazine? That's the same chick, right?) Anyway, so we consumed about two drinks each, and it had been so long since we had hung out like one-on-one, that naturally, all our deepest, darkest thoughts were brought out, including, um, demonstrating techniques of oral sex with the help of a willing, consensual beer bottle. Never mind. After about two hours of this, her friend calls and asks us all--Pieces, her boyfriend (who joined us later) and me--to an engagement party for his cousin. Being quite tired, I wasn't going to go, but he said he'd leave in like an hour and a half, and it was only ten, so I went too. The party was actually in quite a pretty place, by the sea and you could hear the ocean roaring and if you didn't breathe too deep, it was lovely. (And I'm not being all anon not telling you where we went, because I seriously don't remember. It was one of those party hall type places?) But they didn't have Old Monk amongst all the free booze, so I decided not to drink at all. Only, that wasn't so acceptable to Pieces and her friend, so I ordered a Bloody Mary (because vodka in cocktails is okay to mix with dark rum, but vodka straight up with like oj isn't. I don't know. It's my drinking logic.) Lalalalala, I'm drinking my Bloody Mary and it's really rather nice and then shots come out, and I refuse once and then twice and then Pieces reaches out and slaps me (and it HURT) and then I hit her back and then she slaps me again and I go, "Okay, okay, I'll drink, pleasedonthurtme." She's quite strong, that girl. And of course, after I had one shot, the next three just appeared and held a gun to my head, so I had to open my mouth and let them jump down my throat. They're rather aggressive creatures. And I don't know how I made it back home, much, much later, because I had parked my car elsewhere and Pieces's friend dropped me off to it and I got lost twice before I found myself on the road home. And then, oh, dreadful drunken conversation with the Nonboyfriend, which was all guh. And then just as I was falling asleep, I get this call from this dude who was at the party who I had once hooked up with, saying, "I'm downstairs, can I come up?" "Uh, no," I said, "I'm asleep." And then he kept calling till I put my phone off, and the next morning I have like five texts, all saying stuff like, "Just one hug" and "You and me, sweety." Oh dear. What alcohol will do to people.

This would have been amusing the next morning, if I didn't feel so sick. Seriously, it was like the mother of all hangovers. Not just dehydration like I normally feel after a bender, no, no, this was nausea and a headache that began pounding in my forehead and then moved to ringing in my ears. I would've just stayed home and slept it off, but I had made plans for Saturday--visiting the Strand book sale with the Nonboyfriend (which after last night's conversation, I didn't want to cancel) and X's birthday party at night (which she had been planning for a month)--so I got myself out of bed and into town for the book sale. Which by the way, was an excellent idea, I got Collected Stories by Carol Shields, who I think is one of my favourite short story writers ever, and Dream Catcher, Margaret Salinger's memoir of her father, which I've always coveted. And picked up Women Who Run With The Wolves for X.

By the time we battled traffic enough to get to X's, it was 10 something, and we were both exhausted. (I love how I'm saying 'we' like it's so established, when secretly I was all thrilled with the novelty of having a date for a birthday party. The thing is, I normally don't take guys I'm seeing to parties my friends are throwing. I don't know why, or perhaps I do, I don't want the guys to take me or my friends for granted, I don't want my friends to form a bond with someone who might be temporary, and also, I like going solo for these things, so I can chat and make conversation and not have to keep checking on someone else. But things with the Nonboyfriend seemed, I don't know, well, different. And everyone knows he's temporary. Nice, but temporary. So, when X's boyfriend bonded, I laughed and told him not to get too attached.)

The party was good fun, lots of nice alcohol (hey, hair of the dog, baby) and food, and we sat around and chatted till about two, when it was time for us to leave and my headache was revisting anyway.

And now, here it is, Sunday afternoon, and I have one cigarette left, and if I smoke it I'll have to go down and buy some more. Unless Shark Tooth has some. Ooh, yes he does. That's good to know, even if I don't smoke them. I just like the thought of smokes in the house.

And this has been a rather pointless post, the minutes of my weekend. But I need this sort of writing too, I suppose, that is of absolutely no interest to anyone except me.


  1. I think one of my favourites is the one when Monica and Chandler are dating, but only Joey knows, then Rachel knows, and the whole they-don't-know-that-we-know-that-they-know thing happens. And Chandler's fear of bras. But that's just one of my favourites.

  2. maya, you cow, i texted and you never replied. sniff.

    lepuq says my word verification, like a fancy french way of saying le fuque.

  3. ggjknt. god gave john kurt night tremors. pointless, like the post. heh, such fun word verification is :D

    *sigh* to laze around on a sunday afternoon and not have to worry about ongoing exams. what wouldn't i give for that at the moment! :'(

  4. I haff no money to reply. But I want to hear full details of how you did this. And I got jmatify. It's what I want to do to my exams right now - jmatify them. Go on, say it out loud.

  5. wait till you get into HD tv. I am so spoilt with my room mates 50 inch wide screen HDTV that I cant take standard definition any more.

  6. my party got a mention!
    yay...HUGE SMILE!
    dying to read the book...will mail pics hug hug

  7. I must be getting old. Or maybe I am stuck in a time warp and the region indicator on the time machine is stuck on India. When I read this blog, I cant figure out if its written by an Indian or someone from NYC. I dont know if thats a good thing or a bad thing. Not trying be judgemental here. Just confused. Does being Indian have any identify left now? Should I be so bothered about becoming americanized? All confusing.

  8. maybe this wasnt such a bad post if it made me comment. there is a difference to ur writing since u moved to mumbai. donno what exactly but there is!

  9. amit: see, pieces and i were discussing our ever so 'umble BA degrees and we came to the conclusion that education is overrated and we never, ever want to go back to college. and your comment (and mayas) just fortified my belief. exams. ugh.

    maya: shameful child! no, but have number etc, CALL me from your landline and we can fix up the deets.

    shek: um. would you lose all respect for me if i told you i didn't know what a HD TV is? ooooh wait, high definition? my tv is tiny but i love it still.

    chrisann: so much for being all secret identity type and calling you X! :) of course the party got a mention, i had a lovely time.

    zee: aww.. thank you.

    musings: it's globalisation, baby. embrace it with open arms.

    n: the question is, is it a good difference or a bad difference? this makes all the (heh) difference.

  10. Re: Pointless posts. As you can see, a wide variety of people read your posts. You have a flair for writing, and for me personally, reading blogs such as yours, is a great stress-buster too! :)

    Heh, that comment on globalization is spot on!

  11. The only point I connected with in the post was Friends... My favourite was the one where Phoebe sings Smelly Cats at Central Perk!! Love Phoebe's inanity!

  12. And oh! Did I tell you? The Compulsive Confessor is on my blogroll :) If I've told you, plz ignore this comment :P Blame it on too much blogging!

  13. ooops about the secret identity
    but yours is still secret right?

  14. musings: In response to your question on "Indianess"
    I think our Indianess is directly related to our personal deffinitions of what is "Indian" to us... as is when we're defining "americanized"
    We've been hearing about
    "diversity" since we were in's a blog by an Indian with a difference
    don't worry about it being "good" or "bad"
    read and enjoy....

  15. this is creepy .. i was watching the same episodes..
    or maybe not.. so were countless other indians on sunday afternoon.. and i do believe the nooh yawkers were sleeping still

    also, can i be that beer bottle puhleeez?

  16. Kinda shocked that you drive drunk with such .. insouciance. It's really irresponsible. One of these days you'll kill someone, or yourself, and it won't be pretty. And this is true however carefully you drive when drunk, so that's not an excuse.

    Seriously? Grow up!!

  17. Pointless post? Not really.. such fun to read!!Love them.. I just wish you'd write more and often! :)

  18. I agree its globalization. Embrace it? Yes. For sure. What to embrace and what not to embrace? I think its a matter of personal choice.

  19. to add to the previous comment...

    i think a choice is a choice when it is made consciously. my point is that globalization does not mean americanization. i think that if i dont know what being an indian means then this thin line that separates americanization and globalization would definitely become invisible.

  20. i'm really in a comment replying mood these last few days :)

    shantanu: thanks, thanks. i guess minutae aren't exactly pointless after all, seeing how many comments this post has got!

    me: ya, i realise a lot of my favourite posts involve phoebe. like last night? i was watching the one where she picks up that dude who's all enthusiastic about life (cameo by alec baldwin) for monica and ross's parents anniversary party. i giggled my way through it. oh, and thanks for linking me!

    chrisann: ha, ha, well, i certainly hope so. have nothing more to contribute to your americanisation vs globalisation argument, except this, being an indian, born and brought up in india, i don't think of myself as american in any way. sure, my focus and my thoughts to a certain extent have been influenced by the western media, but i'm still a specimen of that strange thing--the urban indian youth.

    wild horses: zee cafe, 2-4 pm? :) and yeah, join the line, baby.

    anon: seriously? fuck off.

    perspective: thanks :) and i do try, whenever i'm "inspired".

    musings: see response to chrisann above.

    A THE A: um... no?

  21. indian urban youth. hmmmm. that explains it. :-)

    does the "urban indian youth" think its ok to drink and drive? sorry to say but i dont think irresponsibility and "urban indian youth" mean the same thing. i know the response to this - musing...fuck off. ok then. :-)

  22. anon: seriously? fuck off.

    typically mature and thoughtful response. but what do i exzpect from someone who drives drunk and doesn't give a fuck about it.

    if, god forbid, you ever do cause someone to lose a life because of your cussed irresponsibility, i hope they use this blog as evidence against you. but i hope it never gets to that point.

    maybe you should befriend Salman Khan, you seem to share his ethical standards ;)

  23. lets see, so far i'm
    a) immature
    b) a murderer
    c) salman khan

    why do you even bother to read my blog? why do i let anonymous commenters comment?

  24. c) salman khan
    I do think you are salman in disguise

  25. did you just tell the anon who admonished you for driving drunk to fuck off!?! have you somehow forgotten the number of dead friends we have between us, unnecessarily dead because of some drunk driver's stupidity? what the fuck is the matter with you!? honestly i'd resisted commenting on this post because of the way you glorified driving around drunk. good for you bebe, honestly, what a star you are!

    i can't even believe peices let you drive off like that and by both of your admissions you know you were both completely sozzled. thank whatever looked after you for letting you reach home safely. and for not endangering anyone else. but i guess you prolly took a leaf out of alistair pereira's book. running over one life only costs you one month in jail. fuck a party's worth that kind of sacrifice no!?

  26. i dont think there is anyone amongst us who has not done this. its very easy to moralize and to focus on others. i guess comments on this topic should be restricted to who have NEVER driven under the influence. maybe we should also restrict people who have been passengers but let their friend/family drive under the influence. in that case i am restricted. :-)

  27. we at the compulsive confessor want to issue this public service message: drinking and driving is bad, kids. don't try it at home.

    now will everyone kindly get off my back?

    ps: i'm going to be turning this blog into a private one shortly, which means you need to be invited by email to join. its basically to be able to start blogging candidly once more, without fear of being censured or found out. i'll let you know exactly when, and if you still want to keep reading, send me your email address so i can invite you to the list!

  28. get off eMs back everyone. Even if she was drunk. a lady driver is as good or bad behind the wheel, drunk or sober!!! .... i'm on your side lil eM.

  29. why would you react to some comments by starting an invitation only blog? its your blog. you dont have to react. there might be 10 people around you in physical space who might create issues but a blog is something read around the world. everyone is entitled to an opinion. people gave theirs. you gave yours. people are judgemental. big deal. its a blog and that too one of the better ones. forget people. be the way the politicians treat them. they have short term memory. :-) anyways, your life your choices. but ya just give me your license plate number so that i can stay far away from it. hahahaha. come on. take it easy.

  30. dear 'musings' with the olive branch,

    eM driving around drunk and being all callous and cool about it is something i will necessarily reprimand her for. she's a close personal friend of mine, between us we've known at least 4-6 people who've died in the past 7 years all due to a drunken driving accident either one caused by themselves or by someone else. the point is after having seen the devastation such callousness causes and after having vowed to mend our own habits, if this is carrying on then it is my duty as a freiend to remind her that a car is not just a vehicle. with a drunk driver behind the wheel it's a freaking weapon.


  31. i read your blog because in general i enjoy it. i simply cannot believe, though, that you'd not only do something as irresponsible as drink and drive, but also defend your actions. now it turns out you actually know people who've been victims of drunken drivers - i didn't know that, makes it truly unbelievably callous. and it's stupid to issue sarky PSAs when you don't follow your own advice: not only do you drink and drive, you boast about it on your blog. Shame on you. I'm appalled at your callousness, your lack of respect for others' lives, and inability to own up to your mistakes. So I repeat: please grow up, take some responsibility, and stop thinking that the world owes you any favours. You shock me. And hobo - thanks for backing me up.


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