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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27 March 2013
Something Other Than Writing
There I was all "Lalalalala, how hard can this be?" and there was the Universe, determined to prove exactly how hard it could be.
The Universe is quite a chutiya sometimes.
Most restaurants listened to our whole entire spiel and were So. Excited. To. Be.On. Board. But...
- "We can give you free bread instead of a discount."
- "Yeah, maybe not this financial year."
I mean, honestly. Who wants free bread, except starving Parisiennes in the 1700s? A polite refusal would've been okay, it's just that a couple of people were really rude, switching me from holier-than-thou journalist/writer to shown-the-door encyclopedia salesman quite fast. (Let's just say there's a particular French restaurant in GK 2 that's not getting my business ever again.) I guess I've been sort of spoiled by my profession of choice, I've never had to ask for anything except quotes, and while people were rude refusing interviews, I still had the whole I'm Better Than You bit on my side. (Yes, yes, a hack is a hack is a hack, but I was a noble hack. Like Clark Kent.)
Here's what we did:
* Made a list of all the restaurants we loved
* Went through Facebook to see if we had common friends with any of the restaurant owners. If we did, we called the common friend to ask for the number, called the owner and set up an appointment. If we didn't, we called the restaurant and then through some persuasive powers ("I'm with the press, I'm calling about a media query.") we got the owner's number. This was easier than I anticipated, maybe restaurants are less picky about passing out phone numbers.
* Met about four or five restaurant owners a day, going through the same thing. By point five, we could see them begin to give in and actually think about letting us have our way with them.
Ever since I've had a career, in fact, even before, when I was deciding which career, it was always about the writing. Writing is my skillset. That's pretty much all I bring to the table. But it's always nice to discover new skills--has this ever happened to you?--specially when you feel like your personality is all set and your career is moulded and so on and so forth. Turns out I have an appetite for strategising. Maybe in another universe, a road not taken, I'm running a huge company, wearing suits every day and glued to my phone. (Well, still glued to my phone in this one, so there's that.)
Right now, we're sitting around my living room, with a haze of cigarette smoke, and a table littered with coffee mugs and Nina Simone singing in the background, and all of us typing at the same time. It's very Newsroom and exciting, and tomorrow I'm going to live-blog our whole day, so if you're curious about how this whole thing is going down, you should come watch.