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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1 October 2011

Thinking about tomorrow

Typing this out on the new Blogger, which is very sleek and pomo, but also a bit scary in its zen like buttons. Yes, I've returned from the hills, last week was spent just  catching up with all that I've missed, and it was quite a lot. The last week of September heralds in the beginning of what I call Busy Busy Time, and on my little desk calender, it seems like already all the dates are circled with squiggly little notes about what I'm meant to be doing, which in my case, is more who I'm meant to be seeing. Most of these little squiggles say Wedding! in as cheerful a tone as squiggles can say, but there's also drinks and coffee and various projects, and I'm just glad I got all that work done in Ramgarh before I left.

After all that detoxing, I'm retoxing, and it has totally taken a toll on my skin. I'm trying not to obsess or touch my face too much, but it IS rather ridiculous at 29, to still get a zit. I should be over this by now! What doesn't help is remembering that at sixteen or whatever age you are when you get all pimply, my skin was as clear as.. er, a  baby's bottom? Is that a thing? But my body should get used to all the pollution in the air and the fresh poisons being poured into it, sooner or later, and I have high hopes from this October. Not least because I'm going off to the Jodhpur RIFF once more this year, last year I went to nurse a broken heart, and such is the wonder and magic of the place, I returned (almost) healed. This year, I'm looking forward to being a bit less broken hearted, and much more cheerful. No More Tears, like a Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo tagline. Plus, there's jazz and dancing and all sorts of fun things. I didn't get to go to Goa this month, like I had planned on, so Rajasthan it is. And live music is so much more superior to any other kind of music.   

You know what else October means? This is the month when I can stop being all cool and casual about it and be all like Birthday! Birthday! Birthday! I know, I know, it's two whole months away, but I feel like the festive season kicks off with Diwali and ends with my birthday. Yes, yes, Christmas, New Year's, blargh, but they're all just foils. Really, this winter is all about me turning 30. A big birthday means a big celebration too, and now I can start planning. Two months too soon? Oh, who cares? I'm actually looking forward to turning thirty, in an odd way. I feel like 29 is like a year of WAITING, and it'll be nice to have 30 here and over with. I remember turning 20, my friend and I had a joint birthday party, and there was lots of drinking, and I basically only remember it because of the photographs, one of which had another friend dipping me backwards, so my hair touched the floor. Twenty was the year I discovered both death and sex, which is like a plotline of a bad literary novel, but it's true. It happened to me. I promise you, though, that it won't be my bad literary novel. But a learning year. And now a new decade, what a very long time to have been alive. I'm not displeased with my lot though. Sure, at twenty, my visions of thirty included marriage, babies, etc. But they also included books, which I have done, and friends, which I have. I'm beginning to rethink my stance on marriage, as more and more friends get hitched, it's inevitable that you wonder what that aspect of your life is going to look like. But here's what I learnt in this year of waiting (which means they're useful after all) that I'd ultimately rather be happy than with someone and unhappy. Does this sound like a very single cheer-yourself-up kinda thing to say? I don't understand why we have to be so rah-rah about the singleness. Some days it does suck, and you're lonely and sad. And some days, it's pretty awesome. Much like any other relationship. But, see, we're brought up to believe that marriage is like one of the tasks we have to check off on our Life Goals list, and here's the thing about being alone , it makes you rethink your Life Goals list. Simple as that.

The one sad thing about turning thirty? I'm finally going to have to change the "About Me" of this blog to thirtysomething instead of twentysomething. Sigh.


  1. I'll be turning twenty next year. Your blog is one of the few I used to read back when I was in India which I still read. I sorta miss the festival season in the country, I hope you have a fucking fantastic time, preferably with a lot of wine. I'll quote Alan Moore: Every day, the future looks a bit darker. But, the past, even the grimy bits, well it just keeps getting brighter all the time.

  2. Hey eM,

    I'm another one of those who've been reading your blog since ever.
    Too much of a turmoil in your head! Why is 30 such a big deal! Would you have changed the way you live had you been 20 right now?!
    I love your blog when you write with passion, i miss it! Luv!

  3. There is something def. magical about Jodhpur

  4. Well I turned 30 last year, and I can assure it isn’t half-bad actually. Though the pangs of being called ‘Auntie’ by spunky teenagers are another thing altogether.

  5. I just turned 30 in's quite fun actually - you get to wear big girl heels.

  6. I know age is just a number and all that jazz, but I just hate that number. or may be i just hate ALL numbers. birthdays would be so much more fun if they were like a special day without those x number of candles on the damn cake.

    P.S. good to have you back. look forward to more frequent posts!

  7. hi eM glad you are back, i missed your writing on this blog!

  8. lets start with the zit shit. i feel you. ive had that baby bottom skin for like 28 yrs of my life and then boom, this horrid purple fellow shows up and he wont leave my right cheek. the bastard's been there for 6 days now. i keep getting visions of it settling down there forever, literally, like one of those craters madhuri dixit has and no matter how many times she smiles and everyone's like ahhh, those craters are right there staring at the world. so annoying. ive been trying to convince myself its the birthing process of that dimple i always wanted. it helps me sleep.
    and about 30. i think its gonna be awesome. these 20's are great and all, but rather extreme in a painful way. its all highs and all lows. no middle ground. which is good, but i get the feeling 30 will sort out issues of the 20s. but ofcourse i speak for myself. look forward to reading what its like when you get there. love.

  9. Too much of a turmoil in your head! Why is 30 such a big deal! Would you have changed the way you live had you been 20 right now?!
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  10. Hi... I just finished reading your book 'You are here' and that is how I happen to visit your blog. I read quite a few posts in one go and really liked it. I am definitely going to come back to read more.
    Super amazing cover of the book,very impressive I must say :) Waiting for you to write a new book! all the best :)

  11. didn't you know 30 is the new 25? Age is just a number. :) curious to know more about your Ramgarh trip.

  12. what age is,it's our perception and what marriage is, it's our passport, the permission for so called social acceptance.But what almighty has provided us with is the power to override any rules or decisions said to be made by him/her or anybody else.So live life as you want whether like sushmita or aishwarya the decision will always be yours............................

  13. Heyloo, you have just been awarded! Please hop over to my blog to claim it :) Congrats!


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