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 February 2015

9 Reasons Why It's Awesome That Bombay Can Party All Night

So, Bombay—sorry, sorry, Mumbai—is getting an all-night nightlife. This means that once it’s implemented, if you’re drinking in Bombay, you won’t get kicked out at 12.30 am, also means that you can meet people for dinner/drinks whatever time you like (just finished a meeting at 2 am? No problem!). I think it’s a fantastic idea. I wish other cities would follow in its footsteps.

Granted, I can see some pitfalls, like the Delhi government is doing in a bid to stop the capital from following suit: “oh but what about the drunk driving? What about the rape?” Ugh. Please. People will drunk drive at midnight just as much as they’ll drunk drive at 4 am. People will rape at 5 pm, or at 3 am or whenever they please. Why must we pander to the lowest rungs of our society, why can’t this be a problem for the police to deal with instead of putting a barricade up on the whole city? Sometimes it feels like laziness drives a lot of decisions in this country.

Anyway. This week I wasn’t going to rant in this very rant-y column. Instead, I was going to list nine amazing things that will happen once Mumbai is a 24 hour city, in the hopes that this list will inspire everyone else to follow suit.

1)   The city will actually become safer. Don’t believe me? Think about it. A 24-hour-city means that there will be more people on the street all night long, and not just your creeps and your loners. Example: I was in Bombay recently, and got lost finding my way back to the guest house I was staying at. I got my taxi to stop next to a man parking his car outside his building and asked him for directions. “Are you okay?” he asked me, checking to see if I needed help and even offered to drop me to the guesthouse himself. I like to think of that as a nice gesture (I stayed in my cab though), and that more chivalrous people will be out in full force in the middle of the night.
2)   Not everyone is going to get raging drunk every night. Just like you know that one guy who will always be drunk and misbehaved no matter what night of the week you meet him, there will be those people in Bombay too. But the rest of us can enjoy our drinks in a civilized way, and even if we don’t drink out and eat out every night, it’s always nice to have an option. 
3)   It might mean the end of house parties, which is a good thing in Bombay because the flats are so small you’re always running the risk of annoying the neighbours. Plus, most people in Bombay have a rule of taking your shoes off at the door, which, like, totally ruins an outfit, darling. 
4)   It’s going to be fantastic for the economy. Much more employment all round. Much more spending. What’s not to love, other city governments?
5)   It’s a policy approved by the Shiv Sena so there won’t be any crazy fanatics from that side at least trying to beat people up for having a good time. Instead everyone will just mind their own business and live and let live, which is how this whole entire country should be run. 
6)   The nightlife will have to rise to this new challenge and keep reinventing itself. The tired old bars will have to come up with new ways to pull in customers. I think it’s a great way to keep things fresh and alive.
7)   Not just bars, it’s going to be a shot in the arm for the city’s culture scene as well. With 24 hour licenses, imagine going for a film at 2 am, or a dance performance, or a concert. People in corporate jobs needn’t worry about missing out anymore!

8)   Also, with everyone going out later in the evening, traffic will lessen considerably around rush hour, I hope. 
9)   And finally, when Bombay’s experiment is a success, the rest of the country can follow suit and India will be exciting and accessible. Win win!  

(A version of this column appeared in


  1. while it is nice if you are the rider, imagine if you are the horse?

    someone's on you, riding hard, and your arse is on fire.

  2. I ike your idea of Mumbai as a 24-hour city, but do you really think that practically it is possible? More chivalrous people will be seen at midnight or late?


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