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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20 July 2010

A Saturday Surprise

It is only in the aftermath of a party that you can tell how successful it was. For me, Sunday morning was maid-less and I was battling a not-so-bad hangover (orange juice! it is the answer!) and feeling generally fragile, having only been to bed at 7 am. So I crawled around, doing clean up as best as I could and coming across the debris of my party. Some things heartbreaking (a fridge magnet that I loved having lost its magnet and half of its contents) some things bizarre (why is there cake smeared all over the coffee pot and rice cooker?) and some things nostalgic (ah, look, that’s where I put my last glass of vodka orange.)

The party was a surprise birthday one and one of the most successful ones in that genre that I have ever pulled off. That being said, I was just the house provider, the real host (and mastermind) was my friend Apple, who wanted to do something special for her boyfriend, Rodrigo. The trick to a surprise party, I have learnt, is to have it in an unexpected location. Rodrigo was not expecting to find a room full of people with masks on (more about the masks in a bit) leap out at him in my living room. He might have been more suspicious if it was his own house. There’s my party tip for you today: location, location, location.

Anyhoo, the back story/lie was that Apple was at a do, and her shoes had broken. So she called Rodrigo (putting on her “I’m your girlfriend and I’m stuck and I’m annoyed” voice while the rest of us tried not to giggle)  and asked him to pick up a pair of shoes from my house. I greeted him with my best “It’s about time! I was just about to leave.” Impromptu acting is clearly my forte. Then he stayed a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time just talking to me, his hand on the doorknob, while I smiled and nodded and willed him to just OPEN THE DAMN DOOR ALREADY BEFORE SOMEONE LAUGHS AND GIVES IT AWAY. And finally, when I thought all this impromptu acting was going to burn a hole in my brain, he opened the door and “SURPRISE!” was yelled so loudly, I’m sure everyone in the neighbourhood heard it. Sadly, I missed the “surprise” face because I was standing behind him, but there were lots of photos and I think I pieced them together.

Oh yeah, the masks. So, Apple decided to print out a bunch of pictures of Rodrigo’s face and cut them out, mask style for people to hold up. What it must have been like for him to enter a room with more hims I can’t imagine. In the party aftermath though, I find his face everywhere, and it is a little disconcerting. Although, he’s now my coaster, which is oddly cool.

I figure in the universal scheme of things there are hosts and there are guests. I am one of life’s hosts. There is no feeling that gives me greater joy than a room full of people enjoying themselves in my house. I like to step away from the socialising for a couple of seconds and survey what I have wrought. I like people to be having a good time, everyone drinking and chatting, no one sitting alone and bored in a corner. I do love parties, aftermaths? Not so much.

And speaking of after parties, and parties in general, Confessions Of A Listmaniac is launching in Bombay this Friday (July 23rd) at 6.30 pm at the Landmark bookstore in High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel. I can't promise you booze at the thing itself, but we are all going out after to celebrate. Plus it's a good book (even if I do say so myself) and it's funny and you'll like it, I promise. Come!


  1. Oh good luck with the launch! Wish I could come. :0)

  2. Super! Good luck eM! Are you going to be launching in Bangalore too? You've found yourself quite a fan following here too.. :) Do come!

  3. cool :D

    Good luck wid the stuck in stupid London :(

  4. I cannot wait for the book to be launched. So excited!!

  5. Surprise parties! You've let on the secret ingredient!!

  6. good tip! and all the best for the launch

  7. Wearing Rodrigo's face as a mask, that idea's genius! Must try it out sometime. Good luck with the launch. Any chance it's available overseas?

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  9. LOL. Fantastic tip for the party...a room full of 'hims'!!
    I wonder when the book will come in Pune?
    Good Luck with the launch!

  10. fun party that seemed like....

    good luck with the launch

  11. YAY! book launch.Will be there if rains allow.

  12. Good luck with the launch! Will you be launching in Pune too?

  13. hi eM i just wanted to say that your blog is great fun to read, i used to read it religiously when i was stuck at my old sucky job - it kept me alive, it saved me from boredom. now even though i have left that place, i keep coming back to read your blog . i wish you would blog everyday!!!! but thank god for your archives :D

  14. i just read your book (well, 1/4ths of it) today at a Crosswords at Turner Road. it was weird because someone scribbled your name on one of the first few pages. was it you? anyhoo, the narrative and characters combine to form a really lovely read. at first i thought Layla was me, because i have that in between hair. but then i realised my eyebrows arent beetling (which has become one of my favourite words now). looking forward to your other work. cheers.

  15. Dear indievdual,
    That was a signed copy. :) Thank you for liking Layla.

  16. You are simply amazing!!! I just can't believe an Indian girl in these topics.... U R GREAT...


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