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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16 May 2010

Back to life, back to reality

Heathrow. Getting my very heavy suitcase to the check-in desk. Being told I was *gasp* SEVENTEEN kilos overweight. Being told it was *heart attack* THIRTY ONE POUNDS per kilo. Hurriedly unpacking and giving JC's mother most of my heavy stuff. Telling the grumpy check-in girl that I'd take the other bag as cabin baggage.

Stopping at duty free, buying a carton of Camel Lights. Rushing to the boarding gate.

Doha. Arabic everywhere. Duty free there is SO much cheaper. Absolut Mango, check. Benson and Hedges Special Filters, check. Trying not to think about JC further away with each step I took, well, not so much. Stepping up to the check in counter. Being told my seat had been changed from 17 K to 11 B. Asked for a window seat, but no luck. Oh well. What difference did it make? Economy is economy.

Boarding. Walking through economy, no seat. Keep walking, keep walking. Through... curtains? Really? OH. MY. GOD. I. AM. IN. BUSINESS. CLASS. They upgraded me! Whey-hey! Steward notices my confused expression. Clocks me as a newbie. Try and make myself look respectable. Accept a glass of champagne and put my feet up. Too bad this flight is only a couple of hours and I'm... so... tiiiiiiiiiired.

The best sleep I have ever had in a plane. The seat goes all the way back and I curl up under my blanket, only to awake when we're circling Bombay. Ah. I don't think I can ever do economy again.

Bombay is instant shedding. Off comes the jacket, the cardigan, the socks. Standing in line at immigration. Realise I have forgotten to fill in the landing form. Sent back to the back of the queue. Make my way to the front again, only to be told pencils are Not Acceptable. Seriously? I almost cry, and they take pity on me and let me stand there and rewrite it.

Baggage claim's a bitch. One line gets broken, the other takes ages. I'm standing amongst people who shove past me. Well, Toto, I guess we're not in the UK anymore.

Home. Upstairs. Flat looks decent but dusty. Cat looks shocked at my appearance. Doesn't let me out of his sight. When I go to the bathroom he stands outside and meows. I guess the fact that cats are perfectly happy with just someone coming in to feed them is a myth. Now, what shall I do with him next time I travel? Oh dear.

Friends are happy to see me. Bandra is much the same, with the addition of a few new places. And, how sad, Bonobo is no more. And Escobar seems to have never existed. Did I really leave? Did my two months end before I noticed? The only lingering signs that I have been anywhere at all are some souveniers and a bad stomach.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


  1. Welcome back Em :)Also, I read your book.. very very.. nostalgic :)

  2. It's funny how time flies eh? Though I guess it's good to be back with the familiarity and friends of course :)

  3. Here are a couple of things you could do for your cat if you anticipate a lot of travel (i.e., over two weeks) in the future:

    1. Get another cat to serve as a companion. Most cats do well with other cats.

    2. Get another human to take your cat in for a while.

    Cats really aren't as anti-social as they are made out to be. Even if they don't want to cuddle much they appreciate knowing there is another living creature in the house. If they're left alone for too long they can get stressed and act out. (If you've had your cat for a while then you probably already know all of this.) Good luck with your kitty!

  4. Ah, that business class upgrade thing always happens to OTHER people. Never me. Although they do say that once you've flown business, you can never go back to economy again. Sooo maybe it's just a clever ploy to extract more of your hard-earned cash next time. I don't need that.

    Alright, alright!!! I'm jealous. :o))

  5. Always good to come back

    I too should try to visit Doha, its not far from Muscat. But I envy you for the champagne and B class travel. Now travelling economy will be like drinking Aristocrat after getting high on Teachers

  6. the upgrade sort of topped off an excellent trip now, didn't it?

  7. oh totally true! u shouldn't fly business unless u can do it everytime! *sigh*

  8. i like cats. and business class. airport lines are painful. whenever possible, i avoid check-in luggage, but a two-month trip obviously warrants it.

    wv: stralu -- main tribe from the planet stral

  9. I am a new reader of your blog. I really liked it. Would like to read more of your posts in future. Sir, even I'm an author. I've recently published my book of Hindi poems. You can read some of my works here-

    Keep Walking...


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