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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5 February 2012

Wondering if I'll stay young and restless

Looming above my head is a massive deadline. I need to finish book three very soon, and things are going well, but slowly-ish. I've got a large chunk done, it's just wrapping it up and giving it a bit of a polish that remains, and I can't wait to finish it, to have another book lurking on my hard drive, but this last bit is always the hardest part. If you've read my first book (and if you haven't, there's a handy link on the top left corner you could go buy it) then you probably already know that I'm a character writer. I love peeling people apart, in a non-cannibal way, writing about them, their motivations, what makes them tick and so on, but my flaw is plotting. I usually have a general wide story arc I try to fill in, which is easy and it works too, but for Book Three, I had imagined a more intricate back-and-forth, it was all RIGHT THERE, and that meant I had to make actual notes and a flow chart and work backwards and forwards and all sorts of complicated things, but I've got the hang of it now, things are in place and I hope that a final edit will remove any glaring holes I might have left. So, phew. That's what I've been up to, and that's why the month long silence on this blog.

Sri Lanka was absolutely magic. I travelled with a boy and two friends, and everyone got along and there was much drinking, and one night we walked on the beach and there were fireflies everywhere and it was like something out of a movie. I'm going AGAIN, this time for a family wedding, in a couple of days. I don't think this second trip will be Beach-Firefly-esque, but hey, Sri Lanka is Sri Lanka, right?

And, I've just returned from a long stint in Bombay, two weeks, partly to give the book its right setting, being as most of it is set in Bandra, partly because Delhi was very cold and depressing and partly because of the aforementioned Good Thing. By which, I'm sure you've realised I mean romance has pirouetted its way into my life once more, but it's early days yet. Still, it requires a certain  amount of travel, my most favourite thing in the WHOLE WORLD, so I'm happy. I'm not so happy when travel means spending part of the time in a long distance thing, but long distance has a certain hazy charm to it, very romantic and I can pretend we're both in a war or something and I'm being very brave and waving my hanky from the balcony window while he sails off into the sea. Or, since I'm a feminist, I'm the one fighting the war, or going off into space on a dangerous asteroid exploding mission. Yeah. That sounds appropriately bad ass.

There aren't that many new places in Bombay, or maybe I just haven't checked out the right new places yet. We did do this music night thing at Mehboob Studios, which is a gorgeous setting, I think it happens every couple of weeks? Anyway, the music is a bit hit or miss, there was this harpist-singer who was trying to do rock and roll lyrics with a harp which was a bit... odd, but mostly fun, and they have food and drink. Plus being inside Mehboob Studios feels very retro and Bollywood, down to their red tiger striped couch and the soundproofed room the nights take place in. Also, there's this place in Worli called the Cool Chef Cafe which has regular events, and I bumped into a bunch of people there, so it appears that's the cool new thing to do. Otherwise, more of the same. WTF, twice, and the last night I went there they had just reopened so all our drinks were on the house so it was like Bombay was throwing me a party. Elbo Room which I'm still not crazy about but since other friends were there, we went too, and Ivy, which has just opened in Bandra and it is LOVELY. My new favourite place, I think.

Back home in Delhi, I've been pottering around a bit too. Just last night, we revisited TC, which is the source of my raging hangover today. But Delhi for me has always been more of a house party place, especially as I get older and my tolerance for loud music and crowded bars goes down. I do the odd event here or there, 4S, always, but really, I like having people round or popping by to their house most.

I have to tell you guys about the horrible train I took from Delhi to Bombay. It was called the Garib Rath, Laloo Prasad Yadav's idea for the poor people to have a Rajdhani style travel, but oh my god. TERRIBLE. It's chair cars for one thing, they have sleepers also, but not so many, and the chair cars are packed and the seats don't recline and they leave the horrible bright lights on all night so it's impossible to get to sleep. It took me two days to recover from that and I took a Rajdhani home. But, it was funny. I'm taking the train a lot because I'm so broke, but there was a guy on the train home, talking about he wasn't educated and he played a lot of hockey so his name was in the papers when he was younger and he said, "Look at me now! I'm in a Rajdhani! A Rajdhani!" and that made me awww. Funny how the concepts of luxury travel are so relative. I like to fly because I like getting there more than the process of getting there if you know what I mean, but there's a certain something about the train. I'm glad I'm broke and don't have a flying option so I get to experience it more. Silver lining!

Okay, that's pretty much my month so far. Slow moving, but not uneventful. Good start to the year, all in all, I'd say.


  1. :)
    I have been missing 4S since I moved to Bombay. I am still looking for a place here that makes me feel the same way 4S did.
    But then again I think it was just the phase I was in when 4S was my haunt, that made the place so unique to me.

    fun post :) good luck for the book!

  2. train journeys, long distance romances, house parties, traveling, writing: ahhh... my perfect life! good luck with everything and write more often!

  3. I've travelled in the same - garib rath - the same chair car - when I was off to see some one midway between Delhi and Mumbai (at Ahmedabad, secretly) not because I was garib or something ( which I am now :(, wow ) but because of the name of the trin (OMG, I confessed it, finally)... It's sure the one which gives you a feel, once in a every 30 seconds - why am I so tall that I feel the need of extending my legs and sit properly in the seat that was improper"... The end of journey to start with the 3rd book...

    All the best of luck... Sadda huck aethe rakh... The thing with book is, once published, there's no means you can change things... so do that now and make it a wow; and do tell us how you write books 'coz it makes me bow(in respect)...

  4. The Sri Lanka trip sounded like fun! Good luck with your book...

  5. seems like you have a lot going on. nice to see a post from you..after a hiatus!

  6. I admire you for doing a Delhi Bombay on a Garib Rath. I travelled on it from Delhi to Agra (thankfully) and that was painful enough. Little to no legroom and wailing children made it almost hell!

  7. Congrats on new guy, hope he is fun and all that you want.

    Sri Lanka must have been different but glad you enjoyed

  8. None of us will remain young but we will remain restless. A sad fate awaits us all. Hey but then we must make the most of it. Do not stress too much. Love from Bihar.


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