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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26 March 2012

Reading instructions: With pinch of salt to taste

Do you know how you're always better at giving people relationship advice and you feel all super wise and like this Zen Monk type person, but when it comes to actually taking the advice you're doling out with such a liberal hand, you sort of suck? Yes, of course you do. I've complained about this on numerous occasions to friends, we're all so perfect at fixing each other, but when it comes to ourselves, we're not very good. (Well, with a few notable exceptions, but those ladies are just Wonder Women anyway, and it's best not to mention them at all, since none of these rules apply to them.) Anyway, so I've gotten really good at the advice thing recently, and so I thought I'd share my top four Moments Of Wisdom with you guys. (Let's face it, the friends I give this advice to are going to nod very wisely, say, "No, no, dude, you're right" and then fuck off and do what they want anyway.) And, I find that sometimes when I see something written down, I'm more likely to take it seriously than when someone's just telling me something over a glass of wine and a full ashtray.

Right. On to my Super Special You Didn't Ask For My Opinion But I'm Giving It To You Anyway session:

* Oh my god. What does it matter what he wants? Do you want a relationship with this guy? This is my all new stance when my girlfriends grumble to me about how the guy they're with is being all hot and cold. I've been there, totally. But nine times out of ten, you're not sure if you want the guy because he's being hot and cold and it's getting really annoying and frustrating or whether you actually want the guy because he's that guy. You know? Obviously, we all want to be liked, and PROBABLY, this dude is someone you could potentially see yourself liking. But having gotten him there, say, if tomorrow, he's like, "Okay, I'm done treating you like a yo yo. Do you want to have a really serious relationship?" then you should have an answer. Do you want a really serious relationship? Are you wasting time and energy on a lost cause? And if the answer to the former question is 'yes' then my question number two to you is do you want a really serious relationship with this guy? Hmmm? HMMMMMMM? Thought not, he's already being a bit of a dick. Dump him, move on.

* How long has it been? What, only two days? Sure, totally, go ahead and send him a text message. Okay, opinions amongst you guys might be divided on this point, but I feel like it's cool to indicate some amount of interest. I mean, why lose someone just because you stood on your ego, right? That being said, you also should be aware that the person who's wondering why there hasn't been any contact (ie, you) probably already cares about this more than the person who hasn't made any contact (ie, him). But that's okay. All relationships have a certain level of power balances, sometimes you do more, sometimes they do more, but if it's driving you KUH-RAAAZY that he hasn't called you, then for God's sake, pick up your phone and send him a text.

(I include a sample text, because the next question is usually, "But what will I saaaa-haaay?"

"Hey, so nice to see you the other night. I was just BLAHBLAH (insert something specific but casual here that makes a reference to something you might have talked about) and thought of you. *smiley face*"

And, there's no question mark in this template, which means the ball is totally in his court, and if he likes you, he'll reply to your text. Ta-dah!)

(I love smiley faces. You can convey SO MUCH in a text message without saying a thing.)

* Yeaaah.. I don't think she's going to sleep with you. This is for the gentlemen. Never say I'm not equal opportunist here. I know the situation, it's a chick-flick favourite. You like a girl, you befriend a girl, girl becomes your BFF, you still harbour a secret passion for the girl, girl in the meanwhile has relegated you to the status where she might possibly fall asleep on your shoulder, or wrap her arm around you or something, but will justify this to her girlfriends as being in a "non sexual way." Your secret passion builds up, you get a bit grumpy, you want to declare your emotions to the girl and you think by declaring these emotions you're going to get the girl, but sadly, TRAGICALLY, you're probably not. I'm sorry, but that ship has sailed. Now, I'm not saying that there aren't these rare instances when a girl suddenly thinks, "Oh my god, yes, I like him too!" and you live happily ever after, but normally, in my experience, if you're not attracted to someone within the first hour of you guys hanging out, the chances of you being attracted to them in the future grow slimmer and slimmer. On the other hand, a lot of people I know thought this, and then the guy kissed them and then they thought, "Huh. I could be into this."

(But please, don't just randomly grab someone and kiss them. Feel the room first.)

(Fine, fine, here's a template for that as well. BUT THIS IS VERY SUBJECTIVE, so don't like, try it and then come complaining to me that it didn't work. People are different.

There's a very high chance that you're in when she doesn't really seem to be concentrating much on what you're saying and is using excuses to touch: legs, arms, whatever. That hair touching thing is usually bullshit though. Look for cues, how she was in the beginning of the evening versus now. A vivacious person might get quieter, an already quiet person might begin to suddenly open up, defences will generally be down, offer an out, "oh, are you tired?" for example, and then, see what happens. Never, under any circumstances ask someone if you "can" kiss them. It kills the mood like nothing else.)

* Better now than later. Oh boy, this has become one of my all time favourite things to say to people. (Usually, when I'm giving them shit advice, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.) It's my catch-all about revealing yourself, your expectations, even your little kinky quirks to the person you're considering dating right from the get go. Okay, maybe not on the first date, but you've been out a couple of times, you've maybe spent the night once or twice, he's familiar-ish with your friends and you with his, as in, you could say hi, if you saw them in the market, and are now shyly replying to comments left on his Facebook wall. Now you want to say, "Um, Sweetiebeans. Where is this going? Coz, I kinda want to be married in two years and so it'd be nice if you ALSO wanted to get married in two years, because then we're essentially not wasting each other's time." Sweetiebeans will either a) run for the hills or b) say, "Yes, Schmugglypoopoo. I'm all for getting married! Marriages rock!" Obviously, you don't want a), but it's better to KNOW a) now than later. See? Yay, I'm so wise!

(I haven't actually said the boy advice bit out loud to any boy I actually know, because my male friends are either handling their love lives really well, or just don't want me to butt in, but I HAVE yelled it at a couple of movie characters once, and I've also ranted about it to other people, and so it totally counts.)

(Go ahead and add your own Advice-You-Give-Other-People-But-Probably-Wouldn't-Listen-To-Yourself in the comments. It'll be fun.)


  1. Ha. Relationship advice. Interesting. I would have one relationship advice to the whole world, "Let's stop all the bullshit, people." I'm sooo tired of it all! I'm soo tired of the games and the expectations and the playing-hard-to-get and the commitment phobias and eeeeeverything. Whyyyyyy do we put ourselves through all this drama.

  2. what about the "lets-watch-a-movie-ok-sure-my-place-done"

    followed up by


    and then


    and finally


    - anon showing a girl some love

  3. hehehehe some of the advice gave me a dejavu feeling :P

  4. Loved the pinch of salt. I think if we all start looking for the pinch, someday we may discover that is the pinch of salt in a situation, relationship, moment, evening, dinner dates, hugs, cries, love, pain, happily ever after, tragedy and agony is the point after all.

    Every moment we live is perfect

    and who cares if it is not.

    Life is not

    :-) Now you do your magic

  5. "Yes, Schmugglypoopoo." hahah. Great post :)

  6. cool post..something which affect us all, Meenakshi. No wonder u soo addictive:)

  7. Something that I have learnt in past few years, is to trust your intuition in relationships.. Better to give a chance and be prepared for any outcome.. rather than always wondering what if I have taken a Chance !!:)

  8. You know i have been reading your blogs for past 5 years but posting a comment for the first time.I actually like yur advices and i could use some of it :)


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