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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10 April 2007

We get a life already

After weeks of anger and grief, I’m finally ready to put up a happy post. Bring on the frivolity, I say, one can never have enough! Just returned from Delhi this morning—and Delhi without Shakti was so strange, surreal even. It still hasn’t sunk in that she’s gone, I think in a way the distance helps me, I feel oddly removed from it all, like it happened to someone else. But! Happy news!

One finds oneself in a rather odd position these days. I’m, um, in a committed fling. A CF, if you like. With a nonboyfriend, and a nonrelationship. What exactly is a committed fling, you ask? Well, we’re not seeing other people—at least, I hope we aren’t—and yet it has a time limit, a month and a half to be exact, before it turns into just the sort of long distance thing neither of us wants to do. (And when I say neither of us, I totally mean more him than me, because me? I like long distance romances, it leaves me free to do my thing. Oh well.)

So, ever since I moved to Bombay, I’ve been “dating” a string of people. Dating is in inverted commas, because I never know quite what to call these evenings with boys, this waiting around for the text message or phone call, this dressing up and kissing (and sometimes more than kissing) this feeling of non-emotions (which is why, I suppose, having a nonrelationship makes so much sense to me). But you know, no one I seriously liked. My friends knew them all as New Boy, so much so that they were unable to identify one New Boy from another, they just became a string of New Boys, all eventually dismissed as “that asshole” or “that one who became too clingy” or “that one who I had nothing in common with.” I figured the Nonboyfriend would be one of those, so for like a week, I said, “Haan, so I was out with the New Boy…” and then a week became two and then three, and he was still around, and what’s more I was still around, and not ready to cut my losses and run for the hills just yet. My commitmentphobia is so weird. On the one hand, I really, really want to meet someone and be happy and blah blah, and on the other, I consciously pick men who are physically or emotionally unavailable so that I can eventually blame the not working out on them, and not be this strange messed up person. I realised I was doing this late last year, because I was wondering why I had this Asshole Magnet, when everybody else was doing all right and then it hit me. It really wasn't them. So, I attempted to date men who seemed to want to date me, and then immediately found a zillion things wrong with them and ended everything effective immediately. I suppose the Nonboyfriend could fall into the Physically Unavailable category, seeing as we won't be in the same city for very much longer, but he does seem to like me. And I like him, which is always nice. And (so far) no panic has risen in my gentle (yet stunningly attractive) bosom.

Like many of the men I have engaged in emotional intercourse with in the past, he reads this blog. So, *sigh* one must be chary with details, although I would like to tell you nice things--little details of our connection--record it also for myself, so I remember that not everything is black and white. I swear dudes, I should totally start journalling again, journalling in a notebook with like a pen, with REAL NAMES and REAL INCIDENTS so when I'm all old and senile, I won't have to go, "Who? Whatshisface?"

(Although I can tell you that after dancing around the house singing SexyBack, just to mortify his finer musical sensibilities, I get a text saying: I'm listening to SexyBack and it reminds me of you. I never thought Justin Timberlake would serve as "my song", this is what I get for trying to be cocky.)

How remarkable are my twenties. How serendiptious life is. How many men will I have to keep dating?


  1. I too have experienced what you are saying. A string of non-available boys, and then self-questionsing thoughts. But, someday some New Boy might become the boy!

    Do record the incidents with real names and real details. These things become beautiful vestiges, :-)

  2. COMMITED FLING - I see a revolution/evolution in the offing in the realm of relationships. Tell us more about this little jaunt of yours, it sounds nothing less than an evocative and surreal short story.

  3. I like the idea of a committed fling. I call it "serial monogamy" though. :) good going girl.

  4. might be a strange point but here goes - one of my parents abuses alcohol. somehow i joined this group called al anon which is for family and friends of alcoholics. and this finding one asshole after another thing was very typical of most of the members. like a common thread. a symptom of having been effected by the disease of alcohol. its amazing how the disease of alcoholism works and how rampant it is and how ignorant most of us are about the way it works.

    in your free time try doing this -

  5. Some nice new phrases you coined there what with committed flings and emotional intercourse...

  6. You're in your twenties, you're dating (ostensibly), you even talk of having had emotional intercourse (the real thing is anyway overrated) and you get to meet a string of New Boys who want to date you. Now you've met a guy who likes you and whom you apparently like without giving in to committment phobia. What more do you want? I mean, it's better than having fallen in love at 18 and married at 23?!

    PS: I like your blog

  7. I've been reading your archives, and know that you weren't always commitment phobic. To draw some parallels, a jerk totally cheated on me and ripped my heart out after a three year relationship when I was 23. For the next few years I was in the state you have described. Looking for jerks who are unavailable and blaming the break up on them :)

    Well, anyhoo, Now I am six-months married at 28. Arranged-married. And haven't felt like running away yet. Though I know the emotional relationship aspect yet has to go a long way.

    Just sharing. Good luck.

    Love your writing and love your way of thinking.

  8. A WOMAN and commitment-phobic? What are you, some kind of angel?
    You do realise you're going the Anais Nin way? Great if you can keep it up.

  9. I know the commitment phobia.. Someone who s nice to you and wants to date you and take things slowly, I dismiss as 'too good for me.' And it is sooo much better to just have a relationship for just a couple of days (preferably one night) and then leave it at that.. You wont be left with the fear of 'am I getting too dependent on him?' 'is he the right one?' 'should i get married?' ..

    And yeah as I keep discovering myself the whole 'getting married-having kids- live happily ever after' seems like a distant dream..

  10. I have been waiting for a non-committed girl who could be THE GIRL, for around 25 years.
    Arranged marriage out of question as mom is not interested!
    All this comes from the low sex ratio of India. Excess guys would always mean there would be some guys like me on the streets (927 females per 1000 males)

  11. 'How many men will I have to keep dating?'

    Well I texted you, you know, and I did say right, flirting is nigh, but you bloody said I was too young, innit.

    *mutter mutter*

    the word verification thing pretty much sums up my current emotion: zesmVsKW.

  12. you have just come up with the perfect label for what ive been having with a guy who studies abroad - a committed fling.
    its real good fun, u have the sweet texts, the blushing, the action..
    maybe an analogy will help..
    u taste baskin robbins for the first time ever and love it. its the best. then one day, u win a years supply of kwality walls... ure excited! ure happy! they make summers bearable.. ice cream is ice cream right? but after ur 139th max orange..
    u miss baskin robbins.

  13. Honest girl, I say, sieve out the bad or weak apples and hang on to the cherry whenever it is that fate/opportunity chooses him to come along regardless of how many frogs you might have to kiss.

  14. U are brilliant !!
    Absolutely loverly :)
    Chanced upon ur blog and now i think im here to stay :))

  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. Haha ...Your comments are more interesting than the blog itself.
    Write on girl

  17. like you make stereotypes go round. Of course some women are committment phobic as some men are. In fact, have you met men? Known them as we do? Therein lies the reason why sentient ones amongst us are so commttment phobic.

    Carry on with CF. I think you're just in denial about the F part anyway. Hardened as a hard boiled egg you are now eM. Give the boy a chance I say.

  18. How remarkable are my twenties. How serendiptious life is. How many Women will I have to keep dating? :-)

  19. "How many men will I have to keep dating?"

    Just one more love, and we both know who that is.The one to rule them all . You can't go wrong with a guy who quotes LOTR.

    p.s. If you don't know who it is, it's me.

  20. are truly awesome, i have seen noone else take such pride and spread such joy over seemingly trivial matters.

    call me dude....long time no chat.
    and next time you're in delhi, dont call me 4 hours before your flight expecting me to swing by and meet you..irrespective of our eastside connection

  21. wow u write good and touch our cords amazing confessions goos ur compulsive habit can get u a career

  22. Unrelated to the post - I've been a regular reader of your blog for a while now, and I've linked it on mine. Hope that's cool? Thanks!

  23. Heehee! *N thats all I am qualified to say!* :O

  24.'committed fling', that's the god forsaken word that explains it all.
    Nice reading your blog makes.

  25. Oh dear god. You just made me realize I am in a committed fling.

  26. Oh been there, been there! I did a CF too, for some part of last year. Now, I'm onto something goooood. ;0)

  27. I started reading your blog a while back.and I realized I got a little late. So I keep going to archives to read your old posts.. this was one I felt so connected to.. In a similar situation these days, its a relief to find some one who shares a similar experiences.. makes me feel a little less weird..thankz for that :)


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