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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8 November 2004

Assorted Memories From The Grab Bag

Well, Manav finally mailed a couple of days ago. And what a pleasant surprise---here I was expecting, based on his text messages, that his emails would be the same, y'know full of "ppl" and "howz it goings", but not only did he avoid that, he also used capital letters at the beginning of each sentence. Ooh and apostrophes!

He didn't break the mail into paragraphs though, which was sad, but he more than atoned for that by using a bracket properly. Older readers of mine will know how fond I am of the parentheses (A Parentheses Post- August 18) and I do love a guy who knows where to put his brackets! (Mmm... there are so many things you can read into that!)

But besides the incredibly romantic statement: "Maybe we'll spend next Halloween together" (insert sarcasm here), he didn't say anything unusual. Oh, but he might return in a couple of months but to paraphrase my friend Meg, "A couple of months is a long time".

So, let's see, a couple of months would be---January? Aargh. Still no knight in shining armour in sight, though the only thing I need rescuing from is myself.

My good friend Little P (or Peices, or Sweet P or Pen) returns to Delhi next month, just in time for Iggy and my birthday (on December 13---ring your calendar now!) While I am looking forward to seeing her, every time I do it's a reminder of how much things have changed. We are so different now--Iggy and Peices and I---so different from the snapshot I have of us outside college.

That's always been my favourite picture of all of us, minus Puja. I think I've spoken of it before, the one where our eyes are shining, the sunlight dances off hair ranging from shades of brown to jet black. That was when our biggest problems were attendance and getting away with doing none of our required social service hours. Once Iggy snuck vodka into college in a hip flask and giddily we bought coke from the cafe and drank it behind the basketball court. It couldn't have been very much vodka, but I'll always remember her face, gleefull like some goblin on acid and me sputtering laughs all over my jacket.

I had become very heavily into the college dramatic society--after figuring out acting wasn't for me, I started writing scripts for them, which they used. So, one day when Little P idly remarked that she's like to try her hand at acting, I told her to go for it, even writing a "character part" in my latest play for her. She did audition, and was so good that before long she went from being known as my friend to me being known as hers. She even became the president of the college dramatic society, while I thumped myself and her vigorously on the back, saying proudly, "If it weren't for me, you'd never be an actress."

Now P is in Mumbai, home of the stars, being an actress. She wants very much to be a "good actress" but with an industry that's based so much on looks I fear it will be a while before her talents are recognised. She's very pretty in a petite kind of way, definitely not the "in your face" kinds that Bollywood directors prefer. *cough..Mallika Sherawat..cough*

Last time P was here she did something totally unexpected. She was sitting in my flat (the one I shared with Dee) and drinking and she looked at me and said, "You know Myn, I'll never forget how strong you were when Puji died. You didn't cry but you let me cry and you weren't falling apart like everyone else. I'll always remember that." Peices and Puja were best friends for 10 years, a whole decade of growing up with each other and sometimes hating and mostly loving. The kind of bonding that makes you so much more than friends---best friends doesn't even begin to cover it. But she rarely talks about Puja, reserving that for some locked-away part of her inner being. That night she talked, telling me how angry she was at Puja and how no day passed when she didn't feel the incredible hurt of being without someone she so needed.

And just as soon as she started, she stopped. The moment was over. As is this one.

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