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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11 December 2007

An Open Letter To My Not-So-Nice Anon Commenters

Dear Little Troll,

What's wrong? I feel a gap in our communication. What exactly is it that's upsetting you about me? I've tried to fix it, really I have, but every week, every new post, you pop up with another delightful insult.

Is it me, troll? Have I let myself go? Do I look fat? Am I not still bringing minty freshness into the bedroom? If that's so, then I sincerely apologise. I like to believe our relationship is one of trust and mutual understanding, that I will say something, and you will respond to what I am saying as opposed to a random battle you seem to be fighting with me in your head.

Sometimes I feel like I am giving you too much freedom. Spare the rod and spoil the troll. But my strongest belief is that if I let you do what you like, eventually you'll do what I like. I have great hopes from you. And then I look back, just randomly, over my last couple of posts and I am sad and disappointed. I am hurt, troll, that despite my greatest efforts, you still feel the need to tell me that I suck because I don't know Malayalam or Telegu. That my writing is terrible, at best. That I am far too "Western" to even attempt to be Indian, no, no, don't look away, troll, you and I both know you said it.

But then, there is a service you perform, even if you don't know it. You are funny, even when you are insulting. Some days you make me giggle, even while on other days you crush my spirit and make me want to just delete this blog and start over somewhere else. You come to my blog even when you think it's "peurile" and "personal blogs are a waste of time". You believe that what you have to say is so profound that you must share it with everyone else. You take a post I've spent an hour or so working on, and you make it about you.

Wow. How do you DO that? I've been trying for years.

See, the argument you give me is that since this is on a public space, you're allowed your right to diss me as much as you like, because like it or not, the blog is not a journal. I made gentle noises about this on a previous post, but I think I need to reemphasise. Allow me to respectfully disagree. Nope. You're not allowed to say rude things. Why? Because, yes, I get that it's a public space for judgement and so on, but you know, the last time you went to a nightclub/restaurant/generally fun place? No? Not ringing any bells? Well, most of these establishments that exist in the real world, away from the murky confines of virtuality, have this little sign that says, "The management reserves the right to provide service to whoever they see fit" or something along those lines. So basically, they could kick someone out. It's a public place, it's open to most. Therefore, if you are bad mannered on my blog, you will be evicted. Simple.

Let's not go there, though, trolly (can I call you trolly?). Let's establish some common sense type things, yes? I'll even make them easy to read and understand:

1) You not likey blog, you not visit.

2) You not likey blog, you definitely not refresh comment section to add new two cents.

3) You have opinion, very nice, you start own blog.

4) Where your book deal is?

5) You think eM is ugly/dumb/getting too much attention/all of the above, oh no! You mutter under your breath, or even out loud. No need to send bad emails.

6) Bad emails, baaaaaaaaaaaaad. No good. Make eM sad. And filling up trash folder. Forefinger hurts from delete.

7) We talking about you, now, yes? Whole post, just for you? You are only child?

8) Since whole post about you, you can put comments in this post. No delet-y. But after this, you not talk about postie, you talk about something else, we say bye-bye comment!

There we go. I hope I will not have to address this issue again in the future. You seem like a smart person.




  1. heh heh. i'm a long time lurker - never commented before but i just had to say, I LOVE IT!!!! Well done you!

  2. Ooh can I be a troll too? Can I? Can I? Please? with a pink mohawk? Even if I enjoy your blog... :)loved this eM huzzah!

  3. seriously, some people just don't get it, do they?
    just be letting them seethe in their own filth. (yeah mixing of metaphors and all that)

    you rock, go on rocking

  4. The management retains the right to refuse entry.

    And we all have similar days. You're just nicer than most.

  5. Why the negative portrayal of only child? Me no like.
    Other than that - hilarious!

  6. "Where your book deal is?" Wicked. :)

    [Er, in the positive way. :) ]

  7. "Ohmigod, you killed trolly! You bastard"

    Hehe..good one. If you lecture like this, me no want be kiddy who keeps breaking your window with de cricket ball ;D

  8. who is the illustrator of that illustration you put up?

    does he/she freelance?

    Looking for one myself.

  9. wow you lucky girl get hate mail and your own trolls.
    I'm bored of the one off blog comments I get with good wishes and what not. I want trolls!!

    Any hurt trolls here, please visit my blog. I provide chocolates, milk and negativity to breed on.

    *sorry for the advertising...its not intentional..snicker*

  10. hey,i guess that's the price of popularity. people tend to get outta hand, even in real life soetimes.
    maybe they don't realize how cruel they're being, or maybe they do.whatever!
    Don't let them get to you. you're cool. i like you(and so do a looot of others). so chill!

  11. That's grace under fire for you. Entha poise!!
    (Apologies to Pri's Entha hotness tag :-) )

  12. Nicely written... Been a long time since I have been here...

  13. Sigh. I was expecting some serious carnage. Have you learned nothing from me?


  14. Hi eM,

    Go get em , gal ! You're spunky . But when you're famous , you've got to put up with some of this negative publicity . Good going !

  15. HAWWWWWWW. Bad, bad eM, she scare trolly away. Me likey trolly, me miss trolly, trolly type things make my day.
    Me thinks trolly has gone back to where trolly came from - under a rock.
    Also, I love the illustration - very Roald Dahl.

  16. eM,

    Well done!

    You write well! You turned this situation to a great (read very funny) entry. The reason I write this ‘anonymous’ comment is: I don’t have a blog. (not talented :’( ‘sniff’).

    I started reading your blog after reading an article in paper (yeah, I am a mallu.) Well, it should be a complement to you I got hooked and started visiting often and read the older blogs too.

    About the comments, you become more popular with increasing number of comments (Anon. or not). And the comments are also rather entertaining, even when you write a not-very-eM blogs, the comments keep the blog active.

    And in many blogs, one commentator starts saying his opinion about that entry, another comes in and says eM is too cool to be criticized (sort of kicks the first in the butt). The first anon commenter retaliates saying “eM in not so cool because …… (his reasons, which may hurt eM).

    I read that you are going to write a book; with it you will become more popular and will be criticized more and more. Don’t bother too much about it. You are good in your own ways and don’t have to change your writing style or life style.

    About, you not knowing Malayalam and Telugu, I have only one regret that, you will not be able to appreciate your dad’s talents.

  17. sameer is just mad because you've probably detered the his audience is limited to you n me...
    I still say invitation only is a great way to keep unwanted trolls out...

  18. I guess you have done it this time. You have scared them away! They were kind of funny sometimes...

  19. Not a single nasty comment??? These trolls are boring!

  20. Kudos!! Superbly dignified way of showing your aggression...true ladylike style! Wish we could all handle situations in such a manner with utmost dignity! It takes a lot of balls to keep that fiery hot ball of anger inside and not lash out...It takes a Real Lady to behave with so much dignity..This is something that maybe even you dont know abt urself Em...But ur a True Lady down to the tips of ur toes...Salut!

  21. hahaha..that ought to squish the turds! you're a genius, in case anyone hasn't told you :)

  22. I don't know if Blogger has this feature but Wordpress allows you to block comments from certain email addresses or IP addresses (basically comments that contain any specified characters in their content or specifications). Perhaps you should consider shifting if for nothing else but to rid yourself of the bothersome boors?

    There is always the comments moderation thing but I'm guessing it just isn't practical to hold the kind of comments this blog gets in queue till you have a chance to screen them.

    Nice post, btw, you manage to make even a stern warning sound funny!

  23. Arrey ideasmith, she could just disable anonymous commenting. Although then the trolls could just give themselves nice troll monikers.

    Great post eM :)

  24. Very funny. Very wicked. Very eM-ish.

  25. I so totally empathize with you. Although my trolls kept offering me free porn and free advice about HOW my blog should have been! Off with the anonymous comments, since then!

    I wish plagiarism was legal - would have ripped off the entire post then. :D Keep writing!

    P.S. Why you no re-commenting to deprived fans' comments? :)

  26. kudos chip of the old block -- he who demolished mallu trolls with single sentence letter to editor

  27. main hun troll..main hun troll..
    main hun..
    main hun..
    main hun..

  28. huh! troll comments trolly comments and gets a whole post to trollself!

    i promise i will start trolling in my real name, if I get a whole post dedicated to me? can i please? please!

    trolly come back, it's getting late! time to troll dear.

  29. Loved the troll-sketch that you have put up. Whodunnit?

  30. I am that troll anom who commented on Thursday, November 29, 2007 7:30:00 PM PST and commented on that language thing. So that makes me father of just 2 comments.
    First , On why I commented.

    1. When you write a piece and put it in public view, You are essentially saying something. And every assertions ( a perspective of world loosely translated) in any audience ( private or public) would have counter assertions and that abstracts to what I am doing. Am I doing with a purpose. The answer is NO as it is a momentary retort to your assertions as they counter to my perspective of world.

    Seond : Whether It was unethical, taking too much freedom, violating your space

    you are the admin of the blog with all your rights to delete comments/ not allowing anons etc and a rational will in your head. And as long as you provide space for commenting and I feel like retorting, I would do. So Both of us are given choices and we will keep exercising them. No moral/ ethical/ behavioral suitability questions here. Only Rational choices

    Three: On that language thing

    I see that as a general pattern, a king of language racism. And when you see it on a piece written by a very intelligent and Lovable one (Both adjectives come with a share to your father), the urge to retort is high. But I mean what I said. Please explain how it hurts. Plus I get this kick on picking biases of others. And in your case it was definitely not for not knowing, but the showing-off of ignorance with a tinge of lingistic bias.

    Fourth: How valid is your analogy of nightclub/restaurant/generally fun place.

    The places you mentioned are places where services are offered and are essentially private in nature. Please dont arrogate to yourself the position of an entertainment provider. If some people are indeed entertained, be thankful to them. A more suitable analogy for a blog would be that of a column writer in a newspaper who tries to shape perspectives and opinions with expectation of counter views / comments and perhaps counter coulumns. And the editor has full rights to publish what she/he wants. But never a right to say " You cannot comment this way because it hurts" That would be naive or childish at best and timidity or jittery at worst.


  31. You should put up a disclaimer saying "I... am NOT... my FATHER!"

    a la Starsky and Hutch.

  32. ooooooh lookie, we caught a troll! hello naveen! and i'm sorry you come to my blog even if it doesn't entertain you. and perakath, excellent idea, once and for all: I AM NOT MY FATHER. hehehehehe.

    so, to answer questions: the troll illustration is off google. sadly i can take no credit.

    please, by all means link to my post :)

    sameer, heh, i am a LADY.

    mallus, i read my dad in translation. and hey, it's HIS fault i don't know malayalam, not mine. :)

    i tried comment modding for a while but it took a lot of time to sift through all the comments, plus the lovely luttle free-for-all i get occasionally is way too fun for me to give up.

    everybody else: thank you! i'm glad you had fun. i had fun writing this. :)

  33. If the trolls can inspire you to come up with such a ROTFL-post, long live the trolls!!! This was one of your best posts ever ever!

  34. I first agreed with eM, that troll was troll-like. But after seeing his reply comment and attitude, I am wondering if trolls have some trolls of their own~?!

  35. Brillianto enabled such a lovely post...

  36. Oh Dear Naveen,

    By virtue of my famed long nose, I'm automatically allowed to meddle, hence:


    1.When you write a piece and put it in public view, You are essentially saying something. And every assertions (Its every assertion, my boy, not every assertions)( a perspective of world loosely translated)(Duh?!) in any audience ( private or public) would have counter assertions and that abstracts to what I am doing. (Are you sure you ain’t looking for, “translates to what I am doing?”) Am I doing with a purpose (Doing who...naughty boy? Aren’t you supposed to be doing IT?) The answer is NO as it is a momentary retort to your assertions as they counter to my perspective of world (I think you meant to say, they are CONTRARY to my perspective of THE world?)


    Groan..I’m tired after the first para only. But don’t worry, Papa shall soon come back and help you battle nasty aunty okie? Shame on her for picking on little Dickie.Tch..Tchh.

    Careful huh? These Southie types are known for their liking of young pee-wee boys with great English!

  37. check this out for troll pics -- and philosophy

  38. you know I really like this blog, but this business of surrounding yourself with only people who like you is annoying in life, all criticism should nudge, not wound.

  39. My dear long nosed ( Hope its clean) Pinochyo,

    You have truly and completed inherited the cultural traits of the famed BIMARU civilization .

    With this BIMARU baggage of knowledge and proficiency in language comes your correction of Naveen's comments and thus highly justified. Though you dont know the difference between abstract and translate (normal for a concept challenged n.....e), you have done a credible job in spelling correction and measuring dick lengths ( Again normal for a Ekta kapoor following n.....e intellectual..thats not a oxymoron ..). As a person who still have to see a world beyond groans and dicks, you have shown excellent grasp of the world. And for English Language are second to none. Throw those fools who gave that prize to Miss roy. Where was Pinochyo the great ( sucker)

  40. Haven't laughed this hard in a long time
    -Long time lurker

  41. I agree with the anon person who posted this.

    you know I really like this blog, but this business of surrounding yourself with only people who like you is annoying in life, all criticism should nudge, not wound.

    You should be able to take criticism, as much as it hurts and bothers you, its something all famous people have to do - comes with the package. Besides, dont you think it will get a bit boring if everyone agreed with what you said and how you said it?
    My two cents - and by no means I mean this in a trolly way - just my insight. And since I really don't mean it in a bad way - am not gonna post as anon :)

  42. but btw, this was one of your best posts, just cause it was just so plain funny.

  43. I appreciate the way you handled
    troll.I thought you are good at posting your feelings only (Heroine). You proved that you are also good in Anti-Heroine character...

  44. ho..ho.. well... u earned urself hate mails... is this like howler? exploding itself..... cooolll eh?

  45. Oh One-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,

    I thank you for your concern for the cleanliness of my nose..Someday in our old age, sitting by the fireside with that cuppa, you MUST tell me more about this seeming experience you have in peering into orifices of various kinds..

    Having said that, I Bow to Thee, Oh Genius. With Sherlockian precision, you have seen through my attempts at impressing the fair eM!!I mean,How do you do that..really?

    A small complaint, though. You seem have forgotten my origins ( sniff...considering we have old age plans together)and attributed BIMARU roots to this otherwise colorless southie existence of mine.
    ( Btw,Have I thanked you for the addition of this wonderful almost-expletive to my list of choice ones? I also take this occasion to thank Wikipedia and remember my various BIMARU friends, who I have felt have always lacked such a wonderful common identity)

    I appreciate your concern that ONLY the n...ies( lemme guess, you're looking for Northie? Don't be shy my boy..come right out of the closet)have access to better education in English.But somewhere in those formative years spent being our common friend Naveen's Doppleganger,you seem to have forgotten your social science classes..You see, there are several states which achieved 100% literacy much before our poor country woke up to Ekta K and your favorite author Pinochyo is unfortunately from one of them.

    Bah...I'm tired now.When you manage to pick up all the remnants of your shattered illusions, do drop in..We could chat again.

    eM..errr...How about an award for the longest comment ever?

  46. My eyes well up. O god, o god, o god! Such selfless act! Now even the comments are only for the troll. This is the heights of virtue, o Mother Teres-eM.

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. Anonymous @ December 12, 2007 8:58:00 AM PST:

    Why are we making it a Southie v/s Northie debate? Do you really have to stoop so low as to use a derogatory term, for your fellow country men, just to project that you are superior? If that makes you a better human than BIMARU population, by all means use it. I am an Indian (not a Southie or a Northie) and that makes me proud. I never felt the need to belittle another human to satisfy my ego. I am sure you must have a good reason for such atrocious behavior and you must be proud of it. Keep it up and one day you might evolve into a fully grown racist too.

    So far at least Naveen has shown the decency and given reasons for his actions. I am sure you are above and beyond reasons.

    Anyways, think of it when next time you write your country's name in a form or tell someone your nationality.

  49. hilarious post eM. i think this post is the equivalent of a 'nudge' (to whoever wrote about that) but if you're seriously intent on banning all disagreeable comments then you need to get a perspective. a broader one at that. it's not about being famous or not, though you are (and kudos to you!), it's about being able to take criticism in your stride. the kind you know, despite your best efforts at denial and self-preservation, is useful. disable insults? for sure. but criticism?

  50. eM, u said u were hurt by some comments, well now I am hurt. I am that mallu person who wrote a comment above. And only to clarify, I am not saying it is your ‘fault’ that you don’t know either language but I don’t like the way people brag about not knowing a language.

    And about you not being your dad, if you didn’t have an identity of your own, I wouldn’t come back to your blog. You are a ‘GIRL’ who talks boldly and heavens know India needs that.

    But, being a BIMARU, I don’t think I can come back to this blog anymore.


    PS: Belated Birthday wishes

  51. only people who dont have people agreeing with them, find it boring when others agree with you! also - criticism is all very well but i notice its only done by trolls. why not leave a name and a number? we can call you back and discuss the matter at length and to your satisfaction.. right? eM, I agree with every word of your post.. this must be boring for others! to say nothing of the silly north south divide resurfacing.. get a life people.

  52. @ madmomma

    Please dont use that cliched stuff again "get a life " ..what does this mean.

    @ eM

    Why cant u disable anon commenting . That one action speaks louder than all these 1000 words on ur petty likes and dislikes. Put money where ur mouth is.. see how simple life is

  53. found you linked to a not so nice (read nasty) blogger. am stunned by the amount of drivel on that blog, but through the drivel i found this post- so there is some use to the drivel after all.

    great troll trashing!

  54. Every new electronic technology has its etiquette and its equivalents in the "real" world...and Anon trolls are like hit and run drivers. In my experience Anon is always a coward - someone who wants to lob a bomb onto my porch and then run, not have a mature conversation. A couple of times I lifted the "sign in" bar and was instantly disappointed. So...back to sign-ins for me. At least your post lets me know, I am not the only one....

  55. @sane-- you may as well be anonymous, man. if there's no link attached to your name, there's hardly any difference between you and an anonymous commenter. you can change your nickname every time, can't you?

    Yesterday I spent half an hour reading how moderates its comments. Now that's one funky system... way too complicated for a blog, though...

  56. btw nothing against 'sane' in particular...

  57. Wish you a very Happy Birthday eM, albeit belated. :)

  58. My favorite would have to be the ones that justify their troll-dom, and then blame the owner of the comment space they choose to defile. Great post :p

  59. Em,You lost so many commentators about ur unusual word "TROLL"?. It is not good post that whatever you desire from commentators.All comentators are different.Your classification "Good or Bad".Really hurt us .Til this post we all of our office staff in agood IT company with you.We know TROLL.So we may think you are UNFIT for our Management

  60. I've been lurking for a while now (2+ years :O), but I just couldn't resist:
    'Hey eM! Who's your daddy?'


    ahh joy for the day :)

  61. Excellent.. excellent.. i've been checking your blog on and off over the last year and its always been perfect, so i never commented (why mess with a good thing eh?)

    "you have opinion, very nice, you start own blog"


    where is YOUR book deal? You'll definitely make one sale

  62. Its been ages since I commented on this blog. So here it goes: "I do not understand why eM has to be so kind to these trolls...If I were you I would say it in typical desi style..Jisko padhna hai padho...jisko nahi padhna hai, g*%nd marwao..Stop policing the net...get a life!!"
    I rest my case:-)

  63. anonymity is not only about hiding behind a mask - hell, even em was anonymous until she was outed. some of us choose not to have extended lives on the net - we browse, we read, we comment when we like it, we don't see the need to invest time in building a blog- we sample, we window shop. whether you like it or not, the internet is all about anonymity - if you wanna live in a community of known faces, go to a fucking village, not the net. and for all those proud of leaving their names - like we can trace you anyway!

  64. looks like you're blog is much loved, or the exact opposite, both in extremes.

    nice post. smart and incisive...

  65. eM,

    The Troll's answer seems very bang on! your retort, erm, not quite so. in the post as well as in ur reply to the troll u sound a portly petulant baby sitting on her high chair with a bib around her neck and crying abt how people are scolding her. You write. People react. Why all this drama?
    about the book have one, yes, but lets not get ahead of ourselves here, right? How the book does, (being that it is up against something quite phenomenal) only time can tell and then too, arrogance will not do u well in buying readers. while you love to filter comments, the really stupid but necessarily complimentary ones always see light of day.
    The self proclaimed, blindly western importer of philosophies, and not to mention, holier than thou "liebral" is the most intolerant of all. and you be just that here.
    Its ok to drink and smoke and heck even dance around naked. but it not ok to not do any of these or frown on any of these. you are the kind who fiercely protects the right of women to smoke and chose their sexual partners, but equally fiercely frowns on that girl in college who wears oil in her hair, wears a salwars kameez, frowns on smoking and does not drink. She is not worth it just because she has the right to frown on u?
    two words: intolerant and pseudoliberal. Dont assume for one moment people are buying you chinese english lecture. its as lame as ur kiss ass anonymous commenters, vacuous and living vicariously. I know ur life if much for fiction than fact and feel free to insult me.
    No it doesnt hurt at all :D

    Sreetama Ray
    (many of ur fellow bloggers know me. Ask around. Clue: I am from Calcutta and work in the media in the capital. May be you will come back with some solid personal insults? yes? no? awww.

  66. so even you are a victim of the troll syndrome..join the club!

  67. Pretty down on that one, Sreetama. Would love see Em comment to your comments..

  68. Alright. Profanity in comments should be avoided.
    What about the blogs themselves?
    Who to and how to prevent those insane bloggers (especially the all and sundry in Tamil) who vent their feelings of hatred, frustration and jealousy?

  69. i think sreetama wrote that last anon comment...the self-congratulatory one....

  70. first timer at ur blog

    loved this post... really!!!

    good job!

    hi trolly!!!

  71. Hi Em!

    Came here through Madmomma's blog and loved this post. I hope you don't mind my saying this, but I think I may love you too!

    Linking up to your blog, hope that's okay


  72. bloghopped from madmomma.. where were you hiding for so long. putting you in my feedreader! well said!

  73. hey eM

    To be honest,i have not found any writer who can lace humor with what they are saying as well as you do. Your english is out of this world.

    I think if you could link up that kinda literature with a solid plot, who knows, you might have a best seller in your hands.

    Think about it.

  74. Miss eM ..


    - Sally.

  75. Dear eM (or M R M)
    Yeah.. you said it right, it is not your fault, but your parents fault, that you don't know Malayalam and Telugu.

    One thing, I don't think it is good for anybody to tell that they don't know something, which they are supposed to know. This is not something you can boast of, infact you have to be ashamed of telling this. Unfortunately what I feel after reading your blog is, you are simply showing off by proclaiming that you don't know those languages. You are just marketing your ignorance towards your mother tongue(s).

    Other than this not-so-small matter, everything is fine, infact excellent. Keep going.

    All the best

  76. this has gotta be your best post!!!


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