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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23 July 2008

I'm Not Trying To Break Your Heart (it just happened)

When's your thinking time? Mine's usually when I'm commuting. That's when I catch up with all the niggling things that have been on my mental checklist of 'Must Resolve' for ages. Also, I use travel time to return phone calls, but when you're on a train it's hard, because of the changing signals and the fact that no less than three old aunties will be totally not disguising staring hard at you and eavesdropping on your conversation.

Luckily, because I NOW HAVE A BOYFRIEND I CANNOT SAY THIS ENOUGH BOYFRIEND BOYFRIEND BOYFRIEND my little Romance Must Resolve List is a lot less full. It's now less "Oh my god, will he call?" and more "So Zenzi or Janta tonight?" (Being broke, it's been mostly Janta). Which is not to say we have the perfect relationship or anything. We think quite differently about several things, but I think we're reaching a happy medium of understanding and you know the whole love will keep us a-liiiiiiiii-iiiiiiive thing.

So now the free space that's in my head is used to come up with new writing ideas. I do three columns now, as some of you know and between that and the blog and maybe the new book (can't talk about it yet, but I do have an opening paragraph! Well, two openings, but I like the second one better) I have a lot of new ideas to think about constantly. I love it, by the way. Beats the hell out of a full-time job anytime. The other day, I was talking to someone about ending a relationship and it struck me that I've not always been Little Miss Perfect about ending things. Annnndddddd that brings us to a list! The top five ways I have been an asshole (bitch doesn't begin to cover it) about breaking up with someone.

1) Class nine. Being 'proposed' to in an empty classroom. The boy was shy and awkward and I think he was asking me out for the same reason I said yes, because everybody else was dating and we were perhaps the only un-couple. It lasted one weekend. Exactly. After agonising all through Friday and Saturday, I finally called him Sunday evening and said, "This was a mistake. I changed my mind, goodbye." And then avoided him and his hurt looks in school for the next month.

2) Class eleven. Dating someone for two months until I finally realised he wasn't for me. I picked a huge fight the eve of his birthday and ended it at midnight, avoiding him for the weekend too. Oy. I am horrible. He didn't talk to me for ages after that--and really, I can't blame him.

3) Twenties. Dating two men at the same time, while trying to make up my mind about which one to get into a relationship with. Dinners, movies, lunches, parties etc with both. Picked one and changed Facebook relationship status. Yeah. The other guy doesn't talk to me either.

Gah. This list is depressing. But the good news is, I think there were only three. If I think of more, I'll add them. In the meanwhile, it's your turn now.

EDIT: So, the first post at the other blog is up. You remember, the one I mentioned in the previous post? To get your post in there (and a chance to win a signed copy of le book) write to adminATinDOTpenguinDOTcom. /end plug/


  1. You stay true to your name of 'The Compulsive Confessor'. Whew, I can't believe you actually admitted to all that publicly, so HUGZZ and a hip-hip-hooray for ya!

  2. Hey...
    "u r true to ur u hav dare to accept the things that u did...."


  3. okay i think i know why my love life sucks. cuz i've been an asshole to boys too.

    1. tenth grade. dated boy only cuz i had crush on his best friend and wanted to get closer to him. bailed after three days.

    2. twelfth grade. left long distance boyfriend on hold while i tried luck with new boy. new boy didnt work out, so went back to long distance boyfriend. long distance boyfriend never knew.

    3. sophomore year. dated boy for three weeks. got bored. dumped him over email.

  4. i love the way u say "boyfriend boyfriend boyfriend" hehehe!
    the bitchiest i have been with men :-
    1) In second year of college when I saw this man cos I'd had a huge crush on him and he asked me out in a dramatic fashion bent on one knee on a moonlit nite on his terrace. That crush lasted precisely 6 hours after that. I was seeing him cos I pitied him. I called it off a month later on the phone while my mum wrote down what to say on a piece of paper and I read it out aloud. she wrote things like " I'd still like to be frands and yada yada yada." !!!!!!!!! He must've cursed me to death.
    2) Leading the men on and fooling around randomly and doing the vanishing act when you don't answer calls and remain invisible on g talk cos u know how silly u have been. thats being plain mean.

    I try to justify all the instances to myself but on hindsight I have had to pay the price of being a bitch each time doublefold.

  5. Hey it’s after a long time am coming back to your blog…I think I should continue from where I stopped (I finished 2004 and went off let read year 2005 was for you)I feel like i missed a lot.

    To confess back…hmmmmmmmmm….

    I think of life and the problems to be resolved in life when I get hit by this thing called PT…(do not Laugh Out Loud when I expand it) I like to call it as Philosopher’s Time (as by the nature) but can also be expanded as potty time (if you go by the exact time).

  6. every time i mentally rewind the clock and attempt an a listing of how-when-where I got into trouble with/over young ladies.....i start with class 8.... it gets a bit woozy as i ascend the age ladder!!

    I blank out just a few minutes before I got married!!!

  7. but yes.. this has been a fun post to read!!

  8. It happened to me when i was in grade seven, quite a number of times after that!...
    I really enjoyed this blog.

  9. i so liked arjun's first comment!! especially about the blanked out before marriage bit!!

  10. Duuuuude.. are you mad? I'm frantically touching wood on your behalf. "Boyfriend boyfriend boyfriend," I believe... not so much as a verbal kebab of chillies and limes on that sentence, even.

  11. my first time on ur blog..dis ws quite an interestin post , evn the comments are. u confess & make ppl do the same too eh. gud! & yeah..gotta appreciate ur being an open buk. :)

  12. I have never been dumped like that. And I hope I never do.

  13. ooh yeah .. been there
    1) dumped long-distance boyfrend over e-mail after stayin in isolation for a month (in hindsight, i shud have just led him to think am dead would've atleast gotten me some pity)
    2) dumped high school boyfrend (by not returning calls and avoiding all his frends)
    3) got back with no:1 (long distance bf) wen he came down to my place and broke up in less than 24 hrs

    P.S : still very close frends with both of em...well, after going thru a couple of those "awkward years" of course ;P

    P.P.S : long-time reader, first time commentator:-S(??)

  14. hah.only one pops up in my mind right now.
    Twelfth grade: had been having eye contact with one guy for some time. He asked me out and then I realized, like, right then ...that I wasn't into him. So i told him I was moving the next day to another district. was sad when he saw me the next day and the next and the next. lol..but I effectively avoided all 'eye-contact' which was what got me into that awkwardness in the first place.

  15. Ahhh... the things we girls do! and somehow we manage to make everyone else feel sorry for us also.. and make the poor guy seem like one big jerk! i don't even feel sorry about it!
    damn! u r right.. 'bitch' doesn't even begin to cover it!
    amazing post! and Good luck with the book :)

  16. I really liked a boyfriend ,boyfriend boyfriend part.. I never have dumped or been dumped (unnatural scare of dating), but a pal of mine - his girlfriend dumped him in the most bitchiest manner ,, she asked her new boyfriend, to approach the old one, and say it was off., that she was with the new boy toy now....!!

  17. em, don't do it! you'll scare the poor boy away. you've known this guy for a month, you've been dating him for a week and you're already proclaiming to the public that you're head over heels in love and picking baby names in your head?
    i'll tell you what will happen next. one day the two of you will be sitting in bed, and you'll be drooling love poems into his ear and he'll go "eh.. heh heh.. baby.. it's cool and all, but do you think we could slow down a little?"
    and you'll say "slow down? but i've already told all my readers that i'm totally in luurrve with you. what will they think?"
    and he'll go "woah! can't breathe... need some air.."
    you get my drift, right? a month ago you were bragging about shagging some firang in singapore, and now you're acting like some love stricken cow that's happily piling up all her eggs into one rickety basket.
    get a grip, girl!!
    ..oh, and also, when did you decide that you were too cool to respond to your commenters any more?

  18. ohhh yes...been there, done that!

    12th grd: guy decided to break up cz we were goin to diff universities...i made a huuuge fuss, declared my undying love for him......and then broke up with him within a week cz i realized he was right and there was no way we could do a long distance with nothing common (skool/university stuff) to talk about!!

  19. After a long waits...this post was Hot and Spectacular...even u says"Not Miss Little Perfect" ..for 50% u are Miss Little Perfect only that you cannot identify coming through your intangible HANDLE boy-friends is based on how can you get maxim satisfaction within a specific time..But for US its based on How much Tangible within a movement during a period of time

    Good luck.

  20. Argh.....the bitchiest I have ever been is when I dumped long time time boyfriend within a month of moving to a new campus and meeting a new guy...that too, never told him upfront but kept avoiding his calls and suggesting we should 're-think' etc...and the poor guy found out only when he came down to my campus to pay me a surprise visit and saw me and the new guy together.....

    I know....bitchy doesnt even begin to describe it. Hated myself for months (years?) afterwards. Recently got back in touch with the old boyfriend....and he is happily married now. Which makes me feel less guilty (about breaking his heart and all).

    And I paid for my nastiness too.....the new guy turned out to be an abusive psycho types who made life hell for me for a while...incidentally he got married within a few months my breaking off with him (and got divorced also quickly enough).

    Sorry for hogging the comment space...but felt good to let it out.

    And what is with all my exes getting married these days?

  21. :D i know the feeling.

    On my first date, I ate the red rose the guy gave me. And insisted on driving. His bike. Ended a few hours later. Needless to say, I didn't become famous.

    Another date - another guy - bike broke down and I fixed the spark plug. Date ended after the date. Not one for my good deeds list.

    Another date - was steady after +one drink more than the guy who was sloshed. don't ask. Didn't earn me any brownie points either.

    endless, fun-to-think-about list. though probably not the stuff to archive for the grandkids. :D

    You rock on!

  22. 1. my class 4-9 sweetheart was still into me through college. when long term college boyfriend and i broke up, i snapped up the open offer. then used him as agony aunt for a few weeks and broke up. then made out with him one drunken evening and then refused to talk. it took 6 years for us to be friends after that :(

    2. year out between undergrad and postgrad school - dated someone 'on trial' for two weeks, at the end of which i broke it off, saying 'i really need something more special'. later that night got drunk and made out with him (in view of his best friend's parents at their house party), and called him in the morning to say 'that meant nothing to me, nothing changes'.

    oh god... my life for the last 2 years must be penance for all this!

  23. hiya, just a quick reply to mr. mysterious. Whats the point of being scared of love, what good did that do for anyone. I find the thought of being commitment phobic more scary, i don't get how people can live like that. Why are people hiding from experiencing life to the full, its such a waste. What you risk shows what you value. Also, I don't scare very easily :)

  24. Big confessions!

    Was it you in the latest Vogue?

  25. 1: in a long distance relationship, made an 'arrangement' with a bf where we could both see other people. I was seeing other guys and making out with them. He was waiting.

    2: Psychotic bf travelled some 200 kms to get me popcorn as part of affection-showing process. Dumped him some months later when he was wandering the streets of some new city. Alone.

    Do i win or do i wash more linen?

  26. Ur post drove me to do something really crazy! "cry-regret-apologize"! I suddenly couldnt block the little closed compartments in my brain and all the breakups i handled in the worsr (read super asshole of the century manner!) came back to me in a moment! I just couldnt escape from them anymore and i spent a crazy sum in called my 3 exes and apologizing sincerely after so many years and i meant it! Finally i think now i feel some kind of cathartic closure! Coz all these years i have just blocked the memories of what a jerk and a bitch i can be at times! I offically thank all the men for not killing me at that point of time for behaving like the meanest lowest scum ever! Thanks for the post! I dont feel like a saint but some sort of purging has happened!

  27. Broke up with this one guy 3000 times in 4 years... yes it went that long... lol... and then finally one day decided 'neaaah' again... so I vanish...>>zoooooooook<< return after a year just to discover he is 'engaged'. I am still confused... who ditched who? :|

  28. can i just say.. jc rocks. like totally. i need to come to bombay asap.

    bo'lle o' wa'er?

  29. JC, you're the dude. You make me like men a little bit more.

  30. I kept seeing this girl for over an year and it included everything from the everyday call to the routine catching up every possible time...
    and, even though this went on for more than a year i would never have the courage to name this relationship...thought i was having a good time at first, misunderstood it by a huge margin when i believed it was more than that....but, by now it was too late ...and, then waiting for my calls turned to avoiding them and playing dumb games to see how far things could be pushed... tried everything to save what i believed could not be such a waste.
    Unfortunately, it was ...
    Coz, when i once i put my foot down and know for certain what it meant to her...
    it seemed like it was a joke and i was a bubblegum that wasn't all that juicy anymore.

    A lesson learnt in how even the self-proclaimed wise-guy can feel like a moron... anybody is fallable.

    Nice guys do end up last...
    [believe me, i'm not proud of it... but do like me for my sake - *selflove* :P]

    Everybody makes mistakes, i made mine.

    Nice to see you accept yours.

  31. Dumped a guy because I was getting married to someone else...

  32. I have been reading your blog for months and have been impressed by it and have started my own blog too. I really agree to many facts you have mentioned about relationships but i do have mnay irrational fellings too which I would be able to let you know in a differnt way rather than blogs or mails.
    Its called feelings!! Man has the same feeling women too have and its not always women who get pissed off by men by what they do or what they feel about the opposite sex but it could be the other way round too.

  33. 1.I was seeing this girl in class 11th-12th and then I got bored of her and told her that "I think we should call this off" and walked away and didn't answer her calls and was amazed that it could be so easy.Though she is seeing a friend of mine for quite sometime now I still don't talk to her.

    2.I led on a girl for a long time even though I was in a relationship and it stopped when I changed my Facebook status.

    So my record has not been that bad

    I can't say all this on my blog 'coz a lot of people read it!

  34. dating in 9th grade! just out of peer pressure!hmm... feel bad for the guys, really! I've faced the reverse...someone telling me that I should stop calling or emailing (late 90's) was really hurt!

  35. Damn! does this feel grrrrrrreat to be believe that the word 'bitch' cant do enough justice...and i am proud to admit that is so does! Some mental peace it brings to be addressed as a bitch and much more n more...
    the word defines woman power :P for sure :)

    for the woman you are proud to be ...well done :)

  36. Was surprised to see the blogger on a TV show. I could not help but comment on the show.

  37. full form!
    And JC, looks like you should Blog too!

  38. First visit to your world and through with most 2004. Sorry, didn't read 2008 yet. So, the post I'm commenting on is still unread..(Pun, actually)...

    Anyways, dunno how much transformation you've gone through in 4 years, but you in 2004 bears so much resemblance to me. I'm a guy and yet, our inner selves match so much. And No.. I'm not hitting on you... But really, If I was looking for a relationship today and I knew you personally, you'd be the one. And no, I ain't hunky-dory that someone like you wud love to spend time with. Just a "Very Average" guy-next-door kind.

    Read your article on Vanita (yeah, I read woman's magazines, thanks to my recent heart-break, I read anything i get my hands-on, for the fear of being alone) and Google'd for this blog. So, saw this, loved it kinds. Maybe I'm still lonely and kind of seein a friend in you. Yeah, I smoke too, and I'd love a smoke partner. Maybe a phone partner too (.)

    Note the highlighted full stop.

    Any I'd love to be a part of your blog too. And in case I never hear from you, which has a very high probability, All the best for your new book. Take care and have fun.

    Leny W

    MSN/Live IM & email :

  39. Hmm.

    1. Seventh Grade: Asked this girl to some dance, she said no, daddypoo had a problem with it, I turned to her best friend standing next to her, best friend said yes.

    2. Eleventh Grade: While not technically bitch-worthy, there was this girl I was quite fond of, knew she was into me, but I ignored that and tried to keep it platonic. She tried to bring up a relationship several times, I went through a whole bunch of excuses, finally ended up dating a close friend of hers. She did forgive me finally, fairly recently.

    Oh and howdy, long time :p

  40. The one that comes to my mind is keeping a guy hanging on because I was deciding whether to date him or not. That when I was absolutely sure that I was not attracted to him.

    The other one is that I hung out with a guy during my visit to Venezuela (december 99) and the very last day of my vacation I told him I wanted only friendship with him. He was really hurt.

  41. I just read the other blog here:
    The confession is shocking! Does anyone think it's really true? Hats off to the girl if so! Though I guess she might be after a signed copy of the book!

  42. how wicked! men around the world would be proud :)

    you were super cute in school though (now don't get all senti on me with the 'and what abouut nowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww') so I don't blame the barrage of lovesick followers...

  43. arse hole is d word for me 2, lady!! Dumped a gal coz i was bored.. after dating and making out wid her for god knows how many times in my engg.

    Another one to the wind, after 3 months of whirlwind dating and what nots, coz she didnt interest me ny more..

    Funniest part is dat i neva felt anythng aftr that for both the gals.. poor souls...

  44. Hey Mynna...
    Chk this out...
    Inspired by you...

  45. hmm... done a little of that too. dumped long time boyfriend over the phone - hadnt seen him 22 months is my excuse. and i'm sticking with it.

    you know - i always wonder abt the officious anonymous commenters on my blog and how it reflects on me. here i am, reading your blog and i realise - hey - doesnt reflect on the blogger at all.

    late realisation i know... :)

  46. There is a new post up on Deepest Darkest Confessions, where eM chooses your confessions. The ones that appear will win a signed copy of You Are Here, eM's new book!

    For your chance to win check it out and send us your secrets, or confessions to

  47. thankfully!!
    i have had no such issue..
    and all my exes are stil in touch with me.... :)
    if i touch you, your heart or your soul.. you are mine, is what i say!!

  48. i love that i'm not the only asshole. :) although i still think my birthday-dumping story trumps all of you guys!

  49. So which three columns do you write for, are they online? Would love to read them!

  50. So have a boyfriend ;)

  51. eM, r u not scaring the boy by all this public declarations of luv?

    btw ... i'd been a big fan of urs and been silently visiting ur blog all this while. the courage u have is admirable. i just cannot think of opening up so much without the backup of anonymity!

    and yeah ... is the other blog really urs? i thought the story there was very very unreal!

  52. that was so high fidelity-esque... well almost :)


  53. Is it too late to start reading your blog? I`m loving it though. Shall go through the entire archive. But first things first. Congrats on the book!! I dunno if its selling in USA or not. But I`ll definitely try and get hold of a copy. Secondly I too have had similar experiences. Dated 2 guys at the same time! And one happened to be a regualar boyfriend of 3 years!! God! what a wild time that was! :)

  54. mine was in his bedroom (beat that!) halfway through....well. coz it struck me right then it wouldnt work between us. horrible horrible person im!

  55. now this oen was the most intersting thing man....puplicly experessing your ups in life!!!

  56. I love your balls to write so boldly. Great going Meenakshi!!

  57. hehe, one or two points there did ring a bell!
    btw, *applause* for having disclosed your blog url to the media! going so majorly public must take some guts!

  58. dear friend,
    i dont know who u r.
    neither does i know what u r.
    being a little interested in qiuz i attended one yesterday only to be found me getting to a 2nd position because of your 'COMPULSIVE CONFESSION' which i was unaware of.....
    Anyway i believe that life is always a thing to learn, to experiment and to discover because none of us have any previous experience with life.......
    Anyway just went through your series of confession, got interested(amused, not pretty sure) and so writes this.
    hope u will find some thing to learn in this too because i believe that each person is special and unique in all aspects and so i bet i am something new to you from where u can learn some thing
    special and unique........
    god bless you dear confessor (MEENAKSHI is pretty nice anyway..)...


  59. i think you and my ex could be friends..


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