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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22 October 2007

The Wedding Chronicles Part One

I don't know when weddings became fun. Certainly, as a child, I never enjoyed them much. I was always dressed in hot silks, told no, I could not take a book, and since I was never one of those children who ran around screaming, I usually just sat, dangling my feet off a chair going, "Can we go now?" More boring than that was the shopping for the wedding, endless salwar kameez shops, where the saleslady looked at me like I had a tropical disease and my mother and my aunts debated on which identical looking sari would be best suited for which function. Bor-ing.

Now that I'm all grown up, I LOVE weddings. (Though remembering the torture I went through as a child, I'm never going to force my kid to go to one) And since my oldest and dearest friend is getting married this week, I've thrown myself into the celebrations with gusto. Leela and I, you might recall, if you've been reading this blog for long enough, knew each other when we were two and a half, and then ten years later when we were 12, we met again, perhaps the snottiest pre-teens in the entire world. But when a friendship is meant to be, like ours obviously is, a little snottiness doesn't get in the way of fate. Our mothers recognised us and were very excited, we sort of shrugged, since we were neighbours and all, and then proceeded to fall madly in love. In fact, she should just be marrying me. But, since she won't, I guess Ishan is a good second choice. I don't know him as well as I've known Leela's other boyfriends (since I was mostly single during my teen years, I practically dated the guys she dated as well) but I do like him. Last night, at the non-bachelorette party (non, because there were BOYS and no strippers) I plied him with much alcohol and we have many photographs of the top halves of our faces.

I'm in Delhi, by the way, for the next ten days, well, till next Monday, doing wedding-y things. Tomorrow there is a brunch type thing after which apparently we (the young girls on the bride's side) are supposed to converge at someone's house and practice dancing. This, I am going to avoid. Instead, I will whisk Leela away and we'll go shop or something.

Is it just me or is it odd for everyone when their first friend gets married? Suddenly, our lives together seem to stretch so very far away, being twelve and in the same government colony, in the summer, smelling the wet khus of the coolers and lying on our stomachs chatting, did those things really happen to us? The eM and the Leela who were fourteen, fifteen , sixteen, hang around ghost-like now, their arms around each other, giggling and saying, "What happened to you guys? When did you get soooooooo... adult?" Even her little sisters, the closest thing I have to little sisters, Bani (formerly known as Dearmost) and Maya, have jobs now, with free spoons. (Don't ask, this is apparently the high point of Maya's career) and last night they both looked so, well, sexy and grown up, I wanted to cry. But then, I wanted to cry at many points. I'm emotional like that. We all looked glorious last night, I must say, even though I was in my self designated party Nazi role. Basically this meant that I made everyone who came in drink this shot made of vodka, guava juice and tobasco (No, no, it was an EXCELLENT shot, it set fire to your throat and then all the way down your body, leaving these tendrils of warmth in your veins. Mmmmm.) and then I made them say three things about themselves. People got quite into it too. And then, at one point, when conversation was flagging, I introduced drinking games (people who know me are at this point rolling their eyes so hard they can see the back of their brains, but fuck off, everyone had fun) which were very successful. Neeti, whose house it was, another friend of Leela's, had gone all out for this party, so there were these round tables with candles on them on her enormous balcony, a guy rotating kebabs, a hookah and an improvised pole, which by the end of it, the boys took over and swung themselves around it very happily. I tried, but it made my palms hurt, which is when I called Volt drunkenly and murmured suggestive things to him, but I think I woke him up. (And, as I wrote that, he called. Like, totally, ESPN.)

Up next is the wedding weekend, next week, the mehendi, the sangeet and the actual wedding, where everyone will bawl like babies, and dance a lot and eat good food and why did I not like this as a child? Weddings rock!


  1. Loved the first half of the fourth para. But then you wandered off. Continue, no? :)

  2. I spent five minutes giggling helplessly halfway through the post, given that I had an interesting convo last week with Maya about her free spoons. :)
    But you're in Dilli, and it's the perfect time for a wedding! Bliss!

  3. I'm actually a tad freaked out by weddings. The very first person in my sub-generation's getting engaged in a few weeks, and I've got to somehow get to her engagement somewhere deep in the heart of Gurgaon. I'm wholly with you on the whole where-did-kiddyness-go and all that.

  4. loosing a friend to a marriage is like slow poison...

    you dont realise it, and the end is imminent! :)

  5. lol...ESPN is a sports channel!

    did you mean ESP?
    i know how you feel.all my friends are slowly getting married...and some are having babies too.
    its like baby season here...with cute fat, pudgy babies being born all around.
    its playing tricks on my brain.
    i seriously still feel like a can we be getting married and having babies.we just graduated dammit.

    but i do think im stuck in a time 25.

  6. Khizzy,
    ESPN is the fop definition of ESP. eM is playing on words. :-)

    Echo the first comment - loved the first half of the fourth para and would have liked to read on...

  7. I just LOAVE weddings.

    The drama..the catching up..the gals in their finest ;)

    Attended two this weekend, going out of town for one tomorrow.

    Woohoo !

    Have fun.

  8. Ah!! I do agree on this one.... weddings rock... especially the ones where its ur buddy getting married.. der r simply too many things to do.. catch up on... and that... the las drink, smoke, flirt as bachelors... teh list goes on... jeez.... i feel lik gng back to my schooldays!! sheesh!!

  9. does marriage means the same?
    where is our culture?
    what do we expect from each other?
    do you understand or believe in what is written at:

  10. heh...know exactly how you feel...just spent 10 days in various cities doing much the same thing for best buddy's wedding...please also include looking after various relatives and buddy's boss....makes me want to avoid getting married ad infinitum

  11. While you are in Delhi, dont forget the promise of the first story, from somewhere deep inside the dusty cobwebby cupboard.

    Remember, you promised!

  12. weddings.. i still find them boring.. except the festive fliring that happens in weddings ;)

  13. Yes weddings do rock and as a kid even I felt bored. But where this post strikes a chord is regarding the marriage of a friend. I dont know if you wrote this much only and there is a lot more (i m sure there is, please share it). Losing a friend to marriage, no, lets say, seeing your best friend/s getting married and you staying in your own shell or world is kind of hard. I am about to go through the grind in the coming two years. Fuck man. I echoed a similar thread in one of my earlier posts. losing friends to coupledom aarghh. hope, NOW, you had a nice time at this wedding. :)

  14. My best friend got married last yr and me n this friend did the toast at her wedding. It was so much fun. We were bridesmaids, got golden(!) dresses n golden shoes to match (don't ask!)

    We said the most embarrassing things - all part of the toast of course. A ritual I think everyone undergoes when a dear friend's wedding happens :)

  15. ങ്ങളെ അച്ഛനാ എന്നെസ് മാധവ്?

  16. I read about you in 'Kalakaumudi'. I appreciate your bravery and your discoveries about the modern society. I am eagerly waiting for your book to be published. Great work

  17. Have fun. Friends weddiings are lot better than relatives. But somehow, I can count the number of weddings I have enjoyed in one hand with a couple of fingers left to count :) No offense and I did get married myself, but I still feel weddings boring. :)


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