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
11 April 2010
Isn't This A Lovely Day And Other Things About England
Also, I understand that you're here for the sex and the drinking, and the sex and the drinking, it is happening, but it's just not blog-posty enough for me to write about it. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's still great sex and still great drinking, but there's only so much I can go on about sex with a significant other, before you roll your eyes and say, "Next!" and click on one of the many noteworthy blogs I have linked on my sidebar over there. So, no, this is not a post about either of those subjects.
Where was I? Ah, yes, England Observations. Based on the opinions on someone who has never actually left the comforts of her own birthland. Not Bill Bryson by any means.
1) The English, they love their country. And they love talking about their weather. I don't know why this is such a surprise to me. Surely, everyone loves their own country. But I'm used to people liking (or hating with a purple passion) India, so it comes as a surprise to me that other people in other places like their own place better than anywhere else. Weird, huh? What will these foreigners do next?
2) And, oh my, the weather. The weather is like that eccentric uncle of yours who might come and visit or might send you a mysterious crate containing tiki figures that come alive in the night and take you back to the past. The weather is That Dude. The weather has a personality of its own, and gets a second page newspaper mention every day. And a remark, each time you meet someone new. It's always, "Oooh, nice day for it, isn't it?" or "Aren't we blessed with this remarkable sunshine?" or "Yes, it is the current temperature of Outer Siberia, but, ha-ha, you can never tell with the unpredictable weather!" As soon as the sun shines, even if the temperature is barely hitting 10 degrees celcius, out come the shorts and the tank tops, and you (and by you, I mean me) in your polo neck sweater are all too obviously the foreigner. (And the one who doesn't really "get" Weird Uncle Oswald.)
3) The words, they are foreign. It's supposed to be English, you know, the language you and I both speak, the language I'm typing in, but the other day, I ask for the waste paper basket, you know, a BASKET to put WASTE PAPER in, because I'm totally not a litterer, and I am met with blank looks. Blanker than blank. No one can blank as well as a salesperson in England who doesn't understand what you're saying. Until JC stepped in and asked for the rubbish bin. I see. RUBBISH BIN, you understand, but not waste paper basket? My word was so much more descriptive! Also, sweater = jumper, quilt = duvet, and many other new words that I can't recall right now, but they exist. I just learnt the old words! Why you gotta be changin' things around for?
4) The English, who gave us our railway systems, also have their own railway systems, and like a boy who will not rest till he's fiddled with every bit of the tracks, the engineers here are like that. THEY. WILL. NOT. LEAVE. THE. TRACKS. ALONE. You're like, "What else is there for you to do? It's done! It's perfect! It makes my country look like it's still in the 1950s!" but they're like, "Those words belong in a rubbish bin, love. The tracks! They need fixing!" And then they will twiddle around with the tracks. And make you take either overcrowded buses or trains that dart all over the country before they take you home. And even if you say, in despair, "The tracks look fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. Really fine. Can we go now?" they will say, "You're just saying that, I'm convinced these tracks make my bum look big."
5) You do not make eye contact unless you know people, and even then, you keep eye contact to a bare minimum. Couple dry humping within your eye range at a railway station? Well, that's your fault for facing in that direction. Turn around, stare at a halpless pigeon for a while. (Although, even the animals get very self concious if you look at them for too long.) People have an unusually loud (and amusing) conversation? Giggling can only be done ON THE INSIDE. Outside, maintain your isn't-this-a-lovely-day face and perhaps say to the person next to you, "Nice day isn't it? We're blessed with this beautiful sunshine."
We're getting to be friends, me and England. I'm beginning to understand its whimsical ways. And I do love this place, I truly do, Uncle Oswald weather, train track fiddling and all.