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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26 March 2009

eM’s quick guide to being fabulous even with a recession on*

* even though the word ‘ recession’ is now being used as this fail-safe excuse for everything. I can’t pay you more money—there’s a recession! I can’t go out tonight—there’s a recession! I wish I loved you more, but what can I do, there’s a recession. (okay, I made the last one up, but it’s possible.)
Other eM’s quick guides here, here and here.
1) Dress cheaply but wear your clothes like they’re all designer labels. I’m serious. I went rummaging about on Hill Road and bought two dresses—cotton, one a simple box neckline, A-line fit (SO tight I have to sit up straight and not breathe in too deeply) and the other an ethnic print, strappy, low cut thing (beautiful and comfortable and soft and I want to wear it forever). I accesorised with nice shoes and some junk jewellery and, nope, no one could tell the difference. (And no one will, unless you tell them, which I always make the mistake of doing. (“Lovely outfit, eM!” “Oh thank you, I got this for a 100 rupees off Hill Road.”) Anyhoo, this way, you can go shopping whenever it pleases you and you have some nice outfits and you won’t feel so bad if they only last a few wears. The secret to this though is not to buy anything that looks like it’s been an export surplus thing. Avoid lycra or floral prints, avoid the top that you see hanging on almost every single shop, and only buy something you can see yourself spending REAL money on in a REAL shop.
2) Suss out all the openings and events in the city. At an art gallery opening, you’re bound to get a free glass of wine. Check out Facebook events, there’s usually something or the other on. You could also join a few Mumbai even mailing lists—I’m sure they’re out there—for up to date news on what’s going on where. For instance, the GQ thing I went to last week was open bar till 11 pm and was also open entry. Look like you belong (boys, wear shoes!) and nine times out of ten, no one’s going to ask for your invitation.
3) Almost every single bar has some sort of special night. Off the top of my head, ladies night happens at Zenzi on Tuesdays (one free glass of wine), Firangi Paani on Wednesdays (happy hours for girls between 8 pm to 10 pm), and Rock Bottom on Thursdays (All you can drink—all night long. Except water, you have to pay for that.) TGIF has happy hours till about 7.30, Janta is always cheap for pre-drinking, Banana Bar has loads of buy-one-get-one-free nights, all you have to do is keep track, and then you can whisk off to your next (more expensive) destination and be happy not drinking or just nursing one thing for the whole evening.
4) Bring back the fine art of the house party. I threw an EXCELLENT one last weekend, even if I do say so myself. A friend was leaving, a friend has just moved to Bombay and we had people all over the place. I told everyone to bring their own booze and I have loads of leftovers now. Plus, I think it might’ve been the seal-breaker on other parties, because I now have three to go for this weekend. And even if the ones you’re invited to are bring your own booze type, it’s still cheaper to get a bottle of White Mischief or even Smirnoff, than it is to have an equivalent night out.
5) Rediscover the ‘hobby’. FYI, the guy outside Toto’s? The DVD chap? Has some really, really good prints and pretty cheap too. I bought a whole bunch last week—boom, my week’s entertainment taken care of. If I could cook, I would be, right now. I’m spending more time writing and chilling than I ever have before, okay, so it’s out of necessity and not choice, but it’s getting easier to get used to.
Well, that’s all I can think of for the moment. Add your own money-saver fabulosity suggestions in the comments.
Ooh, and I almost forgot! This is my first post from my brand new laptop! It’s so pretty and shiny and wide-screened. I love him, I do, and his name is Holden. (As in ‘Holden’ all my information and Caulfield. I’m nerdy like that.)


  1. how cud u get a new laptop during this recession period???

  2. Heyyy really awesome...*grin*

    Havent been to Bandra for a realllly long time..great idea that one ;)

    BTW I do have a suggestion. Could you, pretty, pretty please, post all the articles you write here too or leave a link or whatever.

    I really like the way you write and I (as well as other kindred souls too I imagine) would love to get to read that too :D


  3. welllll, K, I've been wanting to put my columns up on this blog for some time, but didn't know if they would "go". we could have a quick show of hands to see how many people agree with you.
    okay people, who wants to see some OTHER writing on this blog as well? yes? no? (maybes confuse me)
    i'm going for the majority vote.

  4. yes eM! please post ur columns here.... would love to see them!

  5. I am not your laptop! :D

    I implore you to rename the baby. Common, it wont even know!

  6. I wish I lived in Bombay :) I would shop every weekend!

    and hey, do post your columns here :)

  7. Yea! Put 'em up! *frantically waves arm* Have always wanted to read your columns.

  8. I really like the way your language flows. It's like you wrap your emotions in English and throw them at us. We could EASILY feel what you are going through. Maybe it's because you use words like Annnnnnnnd...LOVE...S-L-O-W-L-Y. But believe me, it really puts the zing in your flow. Keep scribbling.

    Yeeeeeeeeeeah!!! we would love to read your columns.;)

  9. ahamazing idea!...yes yes yes!

  10. yes! *raised hand* i'd love to read. i once searched all of internet and found them inaccessible.
    hei, can you do it like a second blog? just a suggestion..

  11. Yes. But not on a second blog. Look at what happened to Crowley's attempt at that!

  12. Please post your columns...If the blog is so great and the book is mind blowing...I can only smile and imagine what the columns will be...hands up! And congrats on a nice profile pic of his ;)

  13. Columns: yes! but not on a second blog. "deepest darkest confessions" didn't do too well.

    Money saving tip to stay fabulous:
    find friends with the same shoe size. sharing shoes doubles your collection. just make sure they don't have some icky foot problem.

    also, if you can't cook- no worries. buy all the ingredients and show up at a friend's place. they cook and you chat with them and you have a lovely evening in place.

  14. ... you go to Janta too!!! ... get outta here! Is it the recession? LOL. Wouldn't surprise me if I ran into bludy Shahrukh Khan there one of these days!

  15. Yippee what a great show of solidarity!!! Wonder why I didn't think of that before :D

    eM we leave you with no choice now. But yea please do post the articles in this blog itself -- and the archived articles too if possible (if I am not asking for too much).


  16. good post :)
    and i like the name Holden, its nice !

  17. *hand in the air* i want! i want!
    Hope you and Holden lead a very happy life together. *grin*

    Over n out.

  18. hehe..this is superr cool,so much like the eM of the olden days(prior to ur dept to uk)..I shudb trying out ith madras on ma mind..

    Jai Ho to holden.. ;)


  19. Congsie for the laptop!!
    Holden is a cute name. :)
    Yeah, post other articles too. I am not sure if i want them mixed with the usual, "exclusive" posts on this one.

    And erm...could you please please please tell me where exactly in SN can i get nice dresses for 100 (or even 200, 250, 300)bucks? I've been going there since forever and its SO difficult to find like, good stuff. :( And the good ones are expensive, by sarojini standard i mean.

    Help!! :(

  20. Good.the time u purchased LAP^TOP..Recession goes LAP_DOWN....too late for this post...

    Ok..Whatever u sho(w)ed off how can we move beyond recession to all fans.

  21. *raised hand*

    and..ahem..well...i'll have to take your no-response as 'yes- i can name your blog under 'blogs i follow' category.(Refer to my request a couple posts before!)

    Congrats on your new lappie! Well christened too :)

    ..and great posts!

  22. Two posts in a span of six days,that made me SUPER happy.Please do post the other articles you write.I used to read your blog improvement suggestions in my local HT.Sadly they have stopped featuring your column now :(

    Looks like the flavour is back!I loved this post :)

  23. Yeah different writing but on another blog would be welcome. I like Holden for a name, mine's called Yvonne. Yvonne the second actually, but I ignore that part.

    There's something I thought you should see, a name-sake of your book:;jsessionid=8AB8AA0C971F97597FF6F074FFD0485F.worker1?ISBN=9780091796884

  24. accidently i came across this blog..and enjoyed a lot...thanks

  25. me too raised my hand .....
    Congrats 4 ur holden :)

  26. nice post... a cool recession aftershower.....
    hey.. watch out for social fanatics..:) {Now that eM's quite a celeb, none would mind putting up some articles like " oh eM is promoting drinking " "look, eM still goes for pirated dvds...bla bla.."}

    is it jewellery or *jewelry ?

  27. * aye aye

    one more vote for column posting.

  28. Yes, woudl love to read your articles right here!

  29. Just chanced upon this blog from somewhere... I like Holden :)

  30. please put up some OTHER writing on the blog as well:)


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