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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16 July 2013

Lines To An Old Dog And To Cookie, Who Is Dying As I Write This

Hail Cookie, family pet and lover
of ice cream and stewed soup tomatoes
You liked cheese and licked obligingly
At the head of a foaming beer when it was offered to you.

Hail Cookie, you liked sex so much
You had two litters of puppies, but
Motherhood was not your thing
And you were happiest when they were gone.

Hail Cookie, you were the powderpuff puppy
Snarling and biting and it was cute
Because you were so little, but then
You grew up to be a grumpy dog even as you loved us.

Hail Cookie, even as you die
You have to do it your way, nothing else
Will suit but being at home,  people
You love stroking you around the clock.

It's a good way for a dog to die,
This deathbed gathering, this praising of your skills,
Such a good dog, who's a good dog,
Your tired tail thumps, you search out my mother's face.

Here with the person you love the most,
I hear of you holding on, you refuse to succumb.
Dear dog, old dog, good dog, bad dog,
Giver away of my breaking curfews and
Teller of good character in boys I dated.

We will scatter, the family, after you die,
And you hold the dubious honour,
Of being our last Family Pet,
Go where the good dogs go, rumble on
To your reward, with other beloved pets.

Dog, you great and noble beast.

Update: Cookie is gone, she had great pain in her last moments, so we had to put her out of her misery. She was buried in her favourite spot in the park, and was surrounded, till the very last minute, by familiar faces and people she loved.


  1. Love to your Cookie. May she move on in peace to a happier world.

  2. Wow, that was really beautiful and touching.
    It can be so heartbreaking to lose a pet. May she go peacefully.

  3. so sorry to hear of her end. much love to you and the family she leaves behind

  4. R.I.P Cookie. While this piece dredged up feelings of grief - I am still coming to terms with the recent loss of my family pet of 13+ years - it was vaguely comforting. A fitting tribute to a beautiful soul.


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