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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18 May 2007

Que sera sera

It's the season for ex-boyfriends. More specifically, mine. Golfer Ex was in town a couple of weeks ago, and we met and bonded most prettily, much to the amazement of everyone else there. "It's so nice that you and your ex are such good friends!" one of them said to me and I smiled, trying to look like I had always been super mature and super smart about these things. Which, of course, I haven't been. Even with Golfer Ex, we're talking about one rebound hookup with another boy (Emotional Scarring Type Damage); several drunken phone calls (Serious Ego Deflating Damage) and of course, ahem, the night, many years later when the two of us also got it on (No real damage, not that I can tell). And he's the only ex I have who's made the transisition between boyfriend and friend. (And by ex, here I mean people I was actually dating, not random hookups, because I remain friends with many people I have played tonsil hockey with).

K.? Not so much. We've tried, several times, but I think being in love with someone for so many years, means they still have the ability to get under your skin. And vice versa. We just don't seem to be able to get along, even though somewhere at the back of my mind, I really, desperately want us to go back to what we were right before we were dating. But he was my best friend, I sniffle, but he's so DUMB for not realising that we'd still make such awesome buddies. Not that I want to get back with him, not at all. Or do I?

While Golfer Ex appears in my physical plane, K appears in my dreams more and more of late. And it's always the same dream. I'm back three years ago, we're just about to but haven't yet broken up, except since I'm from the future, I know what's going to happen to both of us. And I tell him we can't end it, because we're NEVER going to get back together and three years later, our lives are so completely different and separate from each other in ways we had so not imagined when we ended it. And so we try to make it work and we do. End of dream.

And since my physical and subconcious planes are so easily taken over by ghosts of the past, it's no surprise that the internet follows quite closely. I got a message on Facebook from my very first boyfriend, Neel, the other day. Well, I had a boyfriend before him as well, but that one didn't count because I was twelve and he was nineteen and all we did was walk around Khan Market. Neel was the boyfriend I had when I was seventeen, my first kiss, my first making out session (though since I was still a "good girl" in those days, nothing below the waist) my first Valentine's Day with presents, my first movie date and hand holding surreptitiously. So many firsts. I met him when I had the hots for another boy, his friend in fact, and I sneaked out to attend the farewell party of the other boy's school, and Neel happened to be there and we exchanged numbers and spoke on the phone for like a week before he asked me out.

We dated for four months, which was fun in the beginning but rapidly became boring. I was tired of him after a while, not so much attracted to him as I had been in the beginning and finally at another party, this very swish one on Prithviraj Road, the eve of his birthday, I ended it rather tactlessly, just letting the words blurt out. He was so pissed and I was so guilty, because it was his birthday after all and in retaliation he started dating this girl who was a sort of friend of mine because the other boy I had the hots for was dating her. Seriously, my life in Delhi is like The Bold And The Beautiful. Except less bold. And only marginally beautiful. I do remember though the feeling of immense relief I had when it ended, I slept like I hadn't slept for weeks, and didn't bother to call him for ages after that. Maybe bad relationships now are a result of bad karma from that one. But seriously, how long can my bad karma last? One seventeen-year-old mistake? Universe, it's time to cut me some slack already.

I don't know how to respond to his Facebook message. Long time, he says, what's been up? Erm, about nine years, that's what.

Exes are a funny sort of relationship to have. Are you friends? Not really, right, because you've been intimate in a way you'd rather your friends not see. And then of course, if they're YOUR ex, you must be theirs and I find it so hard to think of myself as an exgirlfriend. It doesn't sound like me at all.


  1. Tis the season alright!
    younnoh my closet peesimist can always see me as the ex...
    now i really have to have that cotton world t-shirt bitterness and resentment inside

  2. Exactly what I was thinking about last evening. *jadoo* Just that you have the right words. It is indeed the season of EXs.

  3. I have a simple rule when it comes to exes. I can be in touch with all of mine. My husband cannot be in touch with any of his. Fair? I think so.

  4. @eM
    I tried to stay friends with my ex and we did for abt 7 months after the break up. Then one day, "We should not be in touch anymore, Abhi!" Someone explain that to me!?!?!

    thats funny.

  5. if your life story comes out on book, the number of characters would be similar to war and peace!

  6. It is indeed the season of exes...I met my ex of a 6 year relationship yesterday. It was supposed to be a simple stroll through the market....needless to say, we ended up having sex in the ladies washroom.
    Long term relationships never really end...I feel like there is always that connection that you just can not break off. Maybe that's why our exes are so bent on totally breaking off all forms of contact...because they are afraid of getting back together..even if its for a quick fuck in a dirty washroom.

  7. And all this from the land that put a fatwa on Richard Gere because he kissed Shilpa Shetty. What a fucking fiasco.

  8. it seems to be the in thing to do these days, this "getting in touch with the ex's"
    we're in touch alright ~ except that i have never written such politically correct emails before!
    how does one say "I'm fabulous and you're not" in a ex-correctly way!

  9. friendship with Ex's is fine but its the stalker ex's that you gotta be careful for. You dont see their true colors until you break up and then voila, its a whole new personality..

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  11. I've realised from my experience that you cant really generalize the relationship with an ex. I have 2 ex's. EX A and I are total buddies. We even give each other relationship advice. Its almost like v have both forgotten that we were once together. But Ex B and I totally get on each others nerves and have mutually decided not to keep in touch. So there!

  12. Long time, he says, what's been up? Erm, about nine years, that's what.

    HAH I loved that, eM.

    New blog coming soon. Shall stay this time. Feel it in the boooones. Well bones at least.

    I will adequately beg for mentions, etc. =P


  13. The type of concerts I frequent happen to be the ones frequented by many of my own exes. Not fun.

  14. Beautifully written... and so true...i particularly like this part - "Exes are a funny sort of relationship to have. Are you friends? Not really, right, because you've been intimate in a way you'd rather your friends not see." so true... :)

  15. I think the ideal is to be friends with one's exes. Not the flings but the slightly more long-term ones - after all these are people who know you best and why waste that? But it becomes complicated when the current person you're with can't handle it... I mean everyone's jealous of their partner's exes but I try to at least pretend I'm not

  16. I don't know what's more difficult - handling your exes or your partner's!

  17. It hurts too much when u think abt wot could have been. I tried with mine and well just didnt do hi and bye but just cant do more! Its like wot u said, I am 'friends' with ppl I slept arnd with before but the ex thing,tres difficile!

  18. I just cut them out dead...its way too messy otherwise. Bit of a problem though, if you have lots of common friends and keep bumping into each other. Lack of things to say to each other is sometimes more obvious than bland chitchat or meaningful conversations.

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  20. firstly, i m very impressed with ur writing ..
    secondly, ur post .. meeting ex's can be fun, more so getting to know whom they are dating now ;)
    the first 2 are married now ..with over protective spouses. lol
    thirdly,wondered why SEX always end in EX, well not always mostly

  21. Definitely the season for "ex's"... I just got another one recently and guess what tattoo I got 2 hours ago? "Que sera sera" Ain't that the truth! Take care! =)


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