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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30 March 2005

Dating life episode one: No means no.

Gah. I leave off blogging for a couple of days and then stories happen which I just have to blog about. It's strange really, how these things just happen. It's like I attract wierd stories or doings more than other people. Or maybe they happen to other people too, and I'm just the only one to write about them?

Anyway, I've recieved quite a few emails, NOT with confessions, like I had hoped, but from people who claimed to know who I "really" was. And to you guys, it's very nice and all, that you have figured out the woman behind eM, but please, please, I stay anonymous for a reason. If I truly wanted the world to know who I was, I would blog under a real name, but since I don't (because whatever little anonymity I have allows me to blog as freely as I want to) I would appreciate it, if you kept all Sherlock Holmes-ing to yourselves. Tell me about it, sure, but isn't it more fun to keep guessing who I *might* be?

Enough of that, on to my story. I went out with this guy I met recently--Dody-- yesterday, to a noisy little pub. We were just meeting up for a drink, I thought it might be fun to expand my social circle a little, and since he seemed to want to spend time with me, I naturally felt a little flattered.

Dody had just returned from out of town and so, to make polite conversation, I asked him how come he went. "To help my girlfriend..I mean, fiance, move house," he replied, seemingly oblivious to the look of shock on my face. Okay, so maybe I had read too much into the situation. He evidentally wasn't hitting on me. Good going, eM, I thought grimly, when did you become so egotistical that you thought every boy who asked you out for a drink was interested. But something still didn't feel right. I mean, I don't know whether it's okay in some circles to go out alone with a woman you've met maybe once before for a drink and still be only interested in a platonic relationship. I always thought that the simple act of asking someone out ALONE meant you wanted to explore the romantic possibilities. Anyway, I was rather relieved, when the bruises on my ego began to fade, because this meant I could relax and not bother about whether to impress or not, because hell, he had a fiance for fucks sake.

So we discussed K, who apparently was a friend of Dody's, and a couple of other common friends and professional acquaintances. And we discussed movies (his favourite: Fight Club. My favourite: Reality Bites with Magnolia a close second) and books (his most recent: Eats, Shoots and Leaves. My most recent: Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close) and music (his preferred genre: hip-hop. My preferred genre: Alternative). And the evening seemed to be going pretty well. He showed me a new tattoo on his forearm, we talked about the difference between champagne and sparkling wine and it was all going swimmingly well.

Then, regretfully, because I was having a nice time, I decided to leave. It was getting rather late, I had had two drinks and the place was empty. I didn't see anything amiss when he asked me whether I could give him a lift home, I mean, he lived right there, right?

So I dropped him and we did the whole socialite two-cheek-kiss thing when suddenly I realised that two cheek kiss was turning into a full-on mouth kiss, with tongue. "Um.." I said, smiling nervously, "I don't think this is such a good idea, I mean, you're engaged and all." "Live in the moment," he breathed, trying to cop a feel. Instantly Robot Woman emerged and I clamped my hands on his, prying them away finger by finger. "I DON'T feel comfortable with this," I barked. "Oh, c'mon, you know you do," he said grinning at me. "Um... not so much. And I have to go home now, goodbye." He refused to listen to me, until, like manna from heaven, my phone rang and I have never been so happy to hear from my mother. "I gotta go," I said, shaking a little, because it truly sucks, sucks, SUCKS to feel physically weaker than someone. For the first time in my life, I hated being tiny and skinny. I wanted to be huge, to be overpowering, to be like Lara Croft. (Actually, no, I've always wanted to be like Lara Croft. Now that woman is hot!)

Anyway, so I left him there and went home and felt a little sad, because if this was what dating life was going to be like, I'd much rather be single. And every other guy I've been with has known to stop when I say stop. Why do guys do this? And he probably thinks nothing's amiss, that I'm just being a little flirty, not realising the extent to which he's freaked me out.

There's this myth about women, that when they say "no", they really mean "yes". Well, guys, I'm sorry, that's not true. No means very simply, no.


  1. The guy had some cheek!!! You should have hit him in the cojones. Any guy whose favourite movie is Fight Club is bound to be bad news.

    If you ever feel overpowered physically, hit the guy with an upturned palm (with the base of the palm) under his nose (where the nose cartilage joins the top of the lip). It's a very sensitive spot with many nerve endings, and you can even knock a person unconscious. Works very well with very little force.

    BTW, Magnolia is a fabulous movie. I watched it recently. Have you seen The royal Tannenbaums? It is a very dreamy movie... watch it sometime, if you haven't.

  2. Thanks for the tip! Only, how much force is enough? And how do I do this when my hands are occupied with trying to prise him off my body?
    I loved the Royal Tennenbaums too, though I haven't seen Fight Club, so didn't see the warning bells there!

  3. eM, the littlest strike in that region is sufficient. Try pressing your own nose there and see.

    If someone has you in a bear hug, the best thing to do is to twist and slide down from the grip. It is very difficult to prevent someone from twisting.

    Fight club is a typical guy movie. It is about a club where people go and fight!!! I liked the movie for it's pace, but it would never be my favourite.

  4. Hi!
    I did not want to be the one to tell you this but can hold back no more. You should guard against spelling errors. They are a big turn-off.

  5. Anurag, good going - I second your suggestion.

    Yes, the guy is a creep. One saving grace - he likes Bill Bryson. My tip would be to try and forget about him, but check out his reading. Oh, and next time you're not sure about where the evening is headed, call a friend over. Preferrably a large male friend.


  6. You are unbelievable. And so was that creep. I can't beleive there are idiots who still try that kinda shit.

    I third that idea from Anurag. It is painful as all hell, I can assure you.

    Glad you safe and all ...

  7. Creepy creepy creepy, uggh.

    And hey, Fight Club IS a great movie. Liking it is not a sign of certified creepiness.

    Go watch it, eM. And hex that guy with an evil evil spell that makes his family jewels shrivel.

  8. Eww...what an ass, you should have just punched him in the face eM! Be careful next time and take some mace with you just in case :)

  9. Anurag: Hmmm..twisting is something I should remember! Thanks for great self-defence techniques though!

    Anon1: I usually try and avoid them, but sometimes when you're typing in a hurry, it's hard to keep going back and correcting yourself.. it's like having a fast conversation and when you mispronounce something, y'know?

    J.A.P: Um...Bill Bryson? Eats, Shoots and Leaves is Lynn Truss, no?

    Vignesh: Thanks! But, why pray tell, am I unbelievable? I can understand him being so...

    Manish: I do plan on watching Fight Club sometime soon! But I wish I had a hex powerful enough *sigh* where is witchcraft when you need it?

    Anon2: Mace is a good plan. I keep meaning to buy some pepper spray, but somehow it always slips my mind. After last night, I definitely will! :)

  10. WIhat a jerk, em... self defence suggestions in the comments are good!

    That apart, I don't know if asking someone out ALONE meant you wanted to explore romantic possibilities. I met this guy from Delhi some months ago. We had a lot of alone time - movies, dinners, walks in the park, etc. But, at the same time, it was so ambiguous - at points, he would act like it was a date, and other times not. Then, I figured out that the 'friend' he used to occasionally refer to was his girl friend of many years who lived a few hours away. sheesh.... narrow escape, that!!

  11. Guys like him give men a bad name (as though we dont have enough of it already :-) ). About what a 'no' means EM, I tend to take things literally most of the certain other situations , not THIS one, i have realised that 'no' could also mean 'yes'..

  12. i have the Fight Club DVD if youre interested :)
    let me know when you want to start the in-media hate campaign against mr. copafeel (hey, david copafeel :D), and i will round up the usual suspects.

  13. eM......just to refresh my memory...wasn't this Wine Guy a family friend of yours.....someone who is known to your parents???????
    And ....why all the physical violence...just screw the guy mentally....ruin his reputation in your family circle or his .....then squash him like a cockroach...( OMG..i have so much violence in me...! I am surprised!!!!)We shouldnt act like admirers of "Fight Club..just indulge in Psychological Pressure!
    One serious thought ...didnt you ever think of lodging an FIR at R.K.Puram women cell....since you were so nearby...the incident could get Wino under
    Chapter:354. {Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.
    Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.}
    ......WOW! two years in the chiller.
    eM one small piece of time take hint when goodbye peck turns into a oral probe!
    i love Lara Croft....

  14. RS: I'm pretty sure the guy you were going out with was indulging in his own form of fuckwittage. I'm also pretty sure his girlfriend was either unaware or not very happy with the frequency of your meetings.

    Shain: I want to know the "situations" where no means yes.. please? I'm very cuirous! :)

    Samit: Fight Club? Not so much. Eternal Sunshine, pretty soon though. And forget in-media hate campaign, a couple of my friends have decided to "avenge my honour" this Friday! :)

  15. whats with this thing against fight club....its an awesome movie....extremely well made and very clever

    and yeah that incident did have a filmy feel to it em....but i have to stand up for my co fight club admirers

  16. Well..eM, a loong time ago(thats about 2 years), I was moving away from the city where my girl was and she specifically told me not to send any mails but to write a letter..i took her for her word and I didnt mail her to tell her that i had reached the place in one piece (it was a time when cell phones had not really usurped my universe and neither of us had one) ..but i did mail a friend of mine and she told my girl that I had reached safely..and then my girl mails me asking why I didnt send a mail to HER instead!!! And i replied telling that she was the one who told me not to send any mails!! Sounds silly now that everything is dead and gone..but no dint exactly mean not at all!


  17. em, I am sure she is blissfully unaware. I am tempted to be a Bitch and when I meet her say "oh X was so secretive about you, I always wondered" and laugh. Then I think why spoil her peace of mind. right?

  18. Yeah, scratch that... I kinda had a reason for saying that, but I rationalized it to myself and arrived at what you would reply with, had I actually provided you with the reason. So in all, I lost an argument with you, even though I had the argument with only myself, representing what I thought you would say.

    Neat huh ;)

  19. I don't ask gals out with the expectation of a romantic thing happening. Sometimes its simply just to have a nice conversation and enjoy her company.

  20. Yeah right. With a label like Indian Stallion, I can see what you think with. The conversations must be awesome.


  21. lol..was going to write somethng before i saw the Hindustani Ghoda and lost it:)

    neways, hope all the suggestions made above shall be put to good use next time, if there is one..meanwhile lemme go check out the Stud

  22. With a name like prufrock I can safely assume that you don't get laid very often. Hang in there dude, some chick has to give in to you sometime. Just stay persistent alright.

    Isn't it cool how you can figure someone out solely on what they call themselves?


  23. *whistles* Okay, time out! There will be no more namecalling and no more insults about sex--plenty of it or none at all. Enough already.

  24. He started it ! *looks at eM with cute big stallion eyes*

  25. some body told me that for a she writer there are two shot cuts to easy fame.
    1)Write ***y stuff.
    2)Pelt stone at muslims (instant world wide fame guarantee)
    and you followed the first path.
    best of luck.
    regards poor-me


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