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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7 March 2005
Ex marks the spot
How can I be "friends" with K, when even now, when I'm not in love with him anymore, some part of me flinches to see him looking so good and taking this whole thing better than I ever could? How can I be friends with K, when he has succesfully ruined my last three flings, because all of those guys looked at me and said, "Um..are you still into your ex?" How do I explain to people, that it's not that I'm "into" him per se, it's just that for a year and a half, he was the most important person in my life. He was my best friend, with benefits. We shut out everyone else, just being with each other. And I hate that he's able to be all "Oh, I'm so over you" around me, and I turn into this completely different, put-on person, who's being snarky and bitchy and picking fights for no reason at all. I might as well just paint myself blue and dance around waving a sign, sayng"Remember me? I used to be your girlfriend. We used to date."
My friends, who are his friends, want us to be friends. No, they expect us to be friends. "You can't not be friends with K," one of them told me, "Don't be so childish." I can't be around him, I told them, I don't like who I am, around him, I don't want to get drunk and snog him and have him push me away, the way he did the one time that happened. Now he looks at me like I'm going to jump him every time I see him and this makes me say bitchier things, in a tone that sounds casual in my head, but which just comes out all wrong.
It's not like he's so perfect either. He gets all shady around me, taunting me, but not quite, expecting me almost, to pick a fight with him and then in front of our friends' disapproving eyes, he will stand back, innocent, with a halo around his head.
On the phone, I'm fine. On the phone, I'm perfect--professional, to-the-point, friendly, but not overly so. We have nothing in common anymore, and while that makes me a little sad, because at one point we even breathed together--our inhalations were synchronised--it's also good, because I don't feel all pang-y and all "Oh I wish we were still together." But the ghost of K looms over my relationships, makes me want people only when they reject me, no matter how sad and pathetic that sounds. And, oh, when I see him. When I see him with my friends, who have taken him to their hearts and who he keeps supplied with hash, then I feel a little surreal. It's as if everyone's pretending nothing ever happened, that we never had a history, that we're just nodding acquaintances who had a falling out, which should just get over already because it's so damn inconvenient for everyone else.
What shall I do? I could follow my impulse and reverse over his face, but then since he's six foot something and I'm not, that would take some doing. I could try to avoid him, for the largest extent, but then how long can I avoid him? I could do what he's doing and forget that we ever had a relationship. I could stop the mindfuck.