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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21 April 2010
Travel is broadening (especially to the waistline)
Anyway, I've been a busy girl this last week. On Thursday, an English friend from Bombay was in London (and consequently got stuck because of the Volcano, which we shall now refer to in capital letters). Me and English friend did a walk through Fleet Street and the inns of court and stopped at Samuel Johnson's house. Which is where I made the discovery that Samuel Johnson and me? Totally BFF. He liked strong, outspoken women, one of his closest friends, in fact, was a former hooker, and he liked women to have opinions. His man-servant (back in the day when slavery still happened) was more like a friend, and when he died, this guy, Francis Barber, inherited most of Johnson's estate. Also, duh, he wrote the dictionary. AND his cat Hodge was such a personality that he has a statue to himself, right outside the house. And he died on December 13th, 1784 which is EXACTLY TO THE DATE 197 years before I was born. Maybe I was him in a past life. Anyway, me and Sammy are kindred spirits and to remind myself of that, I bought a fridge magnet from his house (I have a fairly extensive collection of fridge magnets from all over the world, that I get people to bring back for me) with his most famous quote on it: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life has to offer." My sentiments exactly.
We also pottered around Notting Hill and went to the very same travel bookshop that inspired the bookshop in the movie-that-shall-not-be-named. In fact, English friend looked at me outside the bookshop and said, sternly, "DO NOT MENTION THAT MOVIE." Here I was all set to go on about the Julia-Hugh love, but I obeyed and said nothing at all. (Hehehehe.) The bookshop however, was brilliant, one of the best selections I've ever seen and it was really cool that the proprieter had actually read the books on display and was able to recommend them. The only bookshop close to my house in Bombay is Crossword, and there, well, let's just say, they look quite clueless even when you ask them where something is.
JC's mum and I have been bonding, and we often take off and do stuff together while he is at work. Last Friday, we went for the Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy. (Question: I have always pronounced it Van-Go, but people here seem to pronounce it Van-Goff. Which is correct? Readers, I appeal to you.) Brilliant, brilliant stuff though, and I am now totally inspired to do arts-and-culture-y stuff when I get back to Bombay, provided I can drag Ira and BB with me, of course. (You can read about my impressions of the Royal Academy here.) Although, the last two exhibitions we went to were a bit of a bust, one had a couple of drawings of cats and a vaccuum cleaner and a recording of a voice going, "Catastrophic, catatonic" and so on, and the other was photographs of random chairs and things, which were quite pretty but not exactly Van Gogh standards, if you know what I mean. But, free wine, which makes schmoozing in Bombay so much fun.
Ooh, I also checked out the very famous Harrods while I was in London and oh my. Window shopper's paradise. They had this very kitschy memorial with sphinxes and a fountain and things for Diana and Dody, which just added to the palace like feel of the whole place. I hear they're opening a Harrods at the Palladium at Phoenix Mills as well, which, yes, JUST what we need, right? Fuck Harrods, I say, bring back my export surplus guys on Hill Road that they chased away as part of the 'Clean Up Bandra' campaign.
Saturday night, JC had a friend over and we barbecued in the garden. They very thoughtfully brought back some lamb seekh kebabs for me, but as I have said before, it's best to just avoid Indian food while you're in England. I stuck to a bacon cheeseburger and was quite happy with that and my vodka-Cherry Coke, playing random Bollywood songs for two very disinterested Englishmen. But mmmm. Cherry Coke. Number one on my list of things to miss when I return. Ahem. I mean, AFTER my loving fiance, of course. No question!
Fringe. Stuff like that.