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
Sign up for my newsletter: The Internet Personified
15 October 2007
But, I digress...
One thinks it might be time for one to change the subject. Although one loves posts with many, many comments (as an ultimate validation, one is, after all, an only child) one realises there is only so far one can milk it. Unfortunately, despite recent media attention, one has been having a rather dull week. One has been ill, no, not a viral this time, this was less pleasant, if that's possible, and in the process one made many friends eye roll by being ill and refusing to see a doctor. One does not like doctors, you see, (oh fuck this) okay, so no one likes doctors, but I have a particular distaste for them. I'm usually dependant on my "strong Andhra peasant gene" to get me through things and (can I blame this on my mother and get away with it? I think I can) my mother was never one to give me like medicines and stuff when I was sick. Well, only if it got worse, but in the first day or two of a fever, I'd get half a crocin and a day off school, which suited me just fine.
I think it might also be a living alone thing that makes me so lazy about looking after my health. The last time I was ill, two months ago, was the fifth time I had gotten a viral infection since I moved here. I ignored it, popping a crocin if it got too bad, till one rainy morning, I couldn't move. Not only that, I had to switch off the fan and pull two extra quilts out of the cupboard, and still, I couldn't stop shivering. This next bit is the irony of it all, even though I hate going to doctors, and think anything can be cured by a good night's sleep and a glass of water, I am a hypochondriac. So, the other day, I'm sitting at Deepti and Neel's and holding a white cushion and I coughed and there were red spots on the cushion. Everybody else carried on with their conversation, and I was sitting for like three minutes, staring at the cushion, planning my funeral, thinking of cancer treatments, thinking of what wig I was going to buy to replace my hair and then Deepti noticed I was quiet and asked what happened. Fearfully, I showed her the cushion, my eyes scanning her face for the obvious distress and sympathy that would follow. She looked at it, looked at me, trembling in my corner, clutching the cushion to my chest, and said, "Um... you're drinking tomato juice."
Soooooo, yeah. Hypochondriac and averse to medical treatment. What a pretty pickle! I imagine it's some sort of mutated gene, a survival of the fittest thing that makes some of us dislike doctors and be inherently lazy, and others who go to doctors when they fall down and skin their knee. Us, the lazy, hating doctor type, will eventually die. This proves one of two things, depending on which side of the creation debate you're on. One; early man evolved into homo lazius and homo doctorus. The only problem arose when both homo lazius and homo doctorus took to golf. The planet was overpopulated! Therefore, clever Evolution Genie (whose name was Oho, making his initials what, class?) (Fuck, these antibiotics clearly contain pot) made all of homo lazius redundant, leaving space for everyone else , (namely, homo doctorus). Or two; God is a doctor. But when you take resessive gene one, laziness/doctor aversion and team it with resessive gene two, hypochondria, you get, well, me. An oxymoron. (Which reminds me, how many years ago, Pieces and I were talking and I think the word 'oxymoron' came up and I said I was unsure of the meaning, and she bit her lip and looked around for an example and then said, "A smart surd is an oxymoron." (we meant no offense really, my soul is Punjabi, balle... balle? No?) which now is the sentence that always swims into my head when I use the word. That and Defence Colony, early evening in the summer, both of us in tight t-shirts and blue jeans, leaning against a Maruti Esteem.)
Where was I? Are you still around? Are you secretly judging me for having totally lost my ability to write coherent sentences and paragraphs that actually relate to each other? Well, sit right back, my judgemental friend, light yourself another cigarette, and prepare to be even more smug, because I'm not done. (Writing 'light yourself another cigarette' just made me fumble around in my bag to pull out mine. Product placement bastards. They're taking over the world. I just watched Thank You For Smoking, which you should absolutely watch) I was telling you about how I'm unwell with a Secret Painful Infection (not an STD, but you can feel free to speculate on any others) and how my friends were annoyed because I hadn't gone to a doctor in the five days I suspected I had the SPI and how on Friday night it escalated and I was really not very well at all. I spent the night with the concerned friends, and my phone was low on battery and so when I got back from the tests and the diagnosis the next day around four, and turned on my phone I got many worried text messages asking where the fuck I was and whether I was dead and if I was dead could I at least do them the courtesy of informing them. I made the last one up, but, no, really, since I was feeling like shit, I was all misty eyed at the concern. This will add totally new dimensions to the funeral in my head next time I play it out.
This was actually supposed to be a post on living alone and the Toll It Takes On Many Of The Things You Take For Granted, which it isn't anymore, and this is a fucking long post so I can't go into that now, but I will make you a list.
Living Alone And The Toll It Takes On Many Of The Things You Take For Granted
1) There is no milk.
2) There are unemptied ashtrays.
3) You bathe with cold water for three months because you're too lazy to fix the geyser.
4) Ditto on the light in your room.
5) In fact, ditto on any household thingamajig that doesn't work.
6) There is dust, lots of dust.
7) There's an almost about to explode carton of grape juice in your fridge.
8) Your clothes are wrinkly.
9) There are home delivery boxes everywhere.
10) You skip breakfast, because you're "not a breakfast person." You so are a breakfast person, it's just easier to go straight to lunch.
11) Your fingers recognise the snooze button even when your eyes are closed. I don't know about you, but my mother likes to wake me up by beginning a conversation like I'm already involved in it. For instance.
Me: (asleep, in dreamland, lalalala)
Mother: (many loud noises, some gragefigeoifgksnv;loebclqwhnw)
Mother: And so I said I thought you'd love to do it.
Mother: abekbvlkeb;gwlbg4egn lglr4ng...what do you think?
Me: (just about opening one eye) Huh? What? Coffee?
Mother: You're not answering me.
Me: (realisation dawning, because this has happened many times before) That'sbecauseIjustwokeup.
Mother: How long can you sleep? It's a lovely day! The sun is shining!
Me: Evidentally. It's morning. Can I have my coffee now?
Post coffee, I ask her what it was she was talking about and we have the coversation again. Where I can make more legible noises. She doesn't have a snooze button. But that house always has milk.
(This is a compilation list, by the way, and should in no way be reflected entirely on either Shark Tooth or Small or Dee. They're all pinaccles of perfection and perfectly beautiful flatmates and anyone would be lucky to have them. This is all me, not so much a pinaccle of perfection, but they love me, so I guess I get by.)