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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28 March 2013

Live blogging: a day in the life of a Coup

As promised yesterday, I'm going to be live blogging our entire work day. Some of you (and I hate you) are away for the long weekend, but others, like me, if traffic is anything to go by, are on their way to or at work today, and so, this is basically for you.

9.35 am: Cast of characters. Mansi (on the left) is the co-founder of Brown Paper Bag, here from Bombay for the launch of this thing. She's very small with a very big personality. Kakul is a recent hire here in Delhi, fresh from advertising, and she is very hipster, adding to my movie collection each week with indie films. Note: we all have Macbooks. I don't know what this says about us.

9.38 am: I've just finished my second mango of the season. We're tossing about things like 'One Coup Card to rule them all'. Not it for the role of a Hobbit. Or Gollum for that matter.

9.43 am: Picasa is proving problematic. It's still one of my favourite photo editors, specially for adding text to images, but the save-a-version doesn't automatically come up in your photo album. On the other hand, the nice thing about everyone having the same laptop is that it makes troubleshooting quite easy.

9.46 am: Mansi made these little promotional banners:


9.48 am: Text by Kanika Parab, the other founder, who is sitting in Bombay far away from all the fun. Her Twitter feed is great though, teeny tiny short stories.

9.53 am: Testing the landing page. Look how pretty!

9.56 am: We're in Mansi's cousin's room. It's full of photo collages and stuffed animals. I feel about 80 years old now.

10.03 am: Do you know how hard it is to read and write about food constantly when you haven't had breakfast yet?  POOR OLD ME.

10.09 am: I've just been offered breakfast, thanks to that last update. Wow. Effective.

10.14 am: Kakul tells me sadly that she's from marketing, not advertising. "There's a WORLD of difference," she claims.

10.17 am: I had to Google 'how to calculate a discount'. I KNEW maths classes torturing me all through school were a complete mistake.


10.30 am: So, one of the spaces we picked is this awesome underground bar (I know you know where I mean, and if you don't, well, the easiest solution is really to get on board with the card) (Not-so-subtle plug) and it's BEAUTIFUL, always smells like cinnamon and with a very cool way of getting in. But, they had a problem with being mentioned anywhere on the Coup Card literature because, well, they wanted to be a little bit secret still, despite all the reviews everywhere. That was tricky. We're just adding them as a "secret spot".  (I'm pretty much there at least twice a month, and it would be more, except the red wine is all imported and so my bill turns out quite large, and ta-dah, here's another Plug.) (But if anything gets me to drive 15 km from Nizamuddin just for a drink, you know it's good.)

10.43 am: Another place we decided on was Carnatic Cafe. Have you been? They have pretty much the best dosas I've had in the city. Turns out the owner is an anthropologist, who did some work in villages before moving to Delhi. That doesn't have much to do with the dosas, but they play jazz music.

11.16 am: OH. MY. GOD we're almost ready to launch. This is thrilling. We're all on the edge of our chairs. If you want early bird access email coupATbpbweekendDOTcom

11.28 am: So excited I can't even eat my sandwich.

11.35 am: Another photo: This is my version.
 And Kakul's version:

11.37 am: ANDDDDD... WE'RE LIVE. From our Twitter feed:
15% off Delhi’s 20 top restaurants. Rs 1,200 for 6 months. 4 family members on a one card. Use in Mumbai for free: .

11.44 am: If you've bought one, say hi! 

12.22 pm: Hot debate on Twitter about our T&C regarding family members. You can add four people to a card, but to make sure you're not handing it out to pals, we decided to make the last name common. OBVS, this means some people, like my parents, will have to make a way around it, but ultimately, if you have any piece of paper proving you're related to these people (even a marriage license!) you can use the same card.

12.41 pm: The card is priced at Rs 1,200. You can use it on any size table. We're not letting you use it for your boyfriend/girlfriend, because we want to be able to afford it. Obviously anyone can exploit this with a common surname, but we're hoping you won't.


12.51 pm: GAH TECHNICAL THINGS. How I wish I could code a website.

1.09 pm: Holy jesus, how people are up in arms about last name thing. Scan a copy of your marriage license if you don't have the same last name, and we'll add your spouse. Scan a copy of your birth certificate and we'll add your parents. This is just the best way we could get around making it fool proof. And that's the last I'm saying on the subject.

1.17 pm: Goodness, one hundred sold already.

1.35 pm: DRA-HA-MA!! A competing Delhi website has launched their membership card today as well. We took a screen shot of the prices, you know, coz we're corporate espionage-y like that. (Click to see a bigger image.)

12.08 pm: We just ordered lunch from Asian Haus, which I l-o-v-e. (Also on the card.) My favourite things so far are the Hawker noodles and Cantonese chilli chicken, but the girls are vegetarian and so I try to quench my cravings with eggplant.

2.27 pm: Obviously so hungry that I made 2.08, 12.08, and then experienced a little moment of confusion where I looked at my post and thought, "Huh, they're taking a while."

3.34 pm: Post-lunch lull. We're all tired and sleepy but still super wired.

4.32 pm: Phone call! Heard from someone wanting to buy it. It reminds me of when I used to volunteer with this board exam middle-of-the-night helpline, telling students not to stress, except, um, not suicidal. And more exciting questions. Still, it's nice when your phone rings with a strange number and it's not Airtel.

4.58 pm: If you bring me coffee, I will love you forever. Promise.

4.59 pm: Places that serve awesome coffee on the card: Elma's & Cafe Turtle. I have most of my meetings and Sunday evening dessert cravings met at the Cafe Turtle in Nizamuddin East. AND Full Circle is giving us 10 per cent off books, which means you might not have to wait a day for Flipkart to deliver.


6.01 pm from Twitter: My live blog ends here, on twitter, with a hailstorm & black coffee. Can't get on blogger with my phone so here's where I say goodbye.

We had a good day. The live-blog was fun. Here's the website I've been talking about:

And now back to our regular programming.



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