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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23 March 2005

In the good old days when I had a journal...

... made out of real paper and you had to use a pen to write in it! And I had all sorts of notebooks from the time I was about 7 till about 21 and a half, I think. I like re-reading these journals. I like seeing the way my handwriting changed--from print, to messy practicing cursive, from elaborate loopy l's and j's and s's to plain and simple up and down writing and finally to the writing I have today--slanting slightly to the left, i's high dotted, m's in Walt Disney style and first letters of each word disconnected with the rest of it. I'm sure that a handwriting expert would probably be able to tell me something about myself based on the way I write, some of the online tests I've taken tell me I'm an optimist with unrealistic goals. Please.

Anyhoo, the reason I'm talking about my journals and all, is because I have this massive case of writer's block. I'm actually working on a manuscript right now and not very much has been accomplished--only about 8,000 words so I'm feeling all snarly and oh-I'll-never-amount-to-being-a-writer-so-I-should-just-stop-trying or even, If-I-do-become-a-writer-I'm-never-going-to-be-a-successful-one-so-I-should-just-stop-trying. Very negative thoughts, but somedays you just have to let that sort of thought process happen. Grah.

The truth is, I'm pissed off. I'm pissed off that I'm not holding the remote control for my life, I'm pissed off that the power of pressing 'Pause' and 'Fastforward' isn't mine. I don't know who's holding the damn remote control but it sure as hell isn't me. I'm pissed off that I don't work for myself. I'm pissed off because I'm not right now in a one bedroom apartment in Paris buying baguettes and having nudist artist friends. I'm pissed off at the superficialities that go with being reasonably well-off in this country. I'm pissed off that I just said "in this country" like any damn NRI who returns after making potloads of money and proceeds to diss all the things he/she grew up with. I'm pissed off that I haven't done as much as I was supposed to by the time I was 23, that I'm turning 24 at the end of this year and will probably still not have come halfway close to achieving my goals. I'm pissed off that Indian media doesn't pay as much as media abroad. I'm pissed off that people don't take me seriously just because I look very young, or because I'm female and they think flirting with me is the only way to get a reaction and I hate the male PR types who direct all information towards the photographer because oh, he must be more compotent because he can pee standing up!

Like I said before: grah.

Y'know, I love this blog. It's become my daily addiction, what I have to do before I go to bed. But I think way back, when I had just maybe two or three readers, I was more of the "Compulsive Confessor" than I can allow myself to be now. Now it's not so much confessions as observations, my life sounds frivolous, even to me. And that's not good. But I don't know whether I can give up on it, especially when I'm having so much fun. I know I should, but I don't want to just yet. So now what to do?

Relax, I'm not going to go all AWOL on you, and I will keep you posted, okay?


  1. Hey eM,

    Is it difficult getting scholarships for higher studies abroad for journalism (or any other field you are interested in)? That would solve the following problems:

    i) You can make interesting friends -- US univs have truckloads of interesting people to choose from.

    ii) You can come back to India and say this country in a more genuine fashion.

    In any case, please don't stop writing. You are too witty to just stop.

    BTW, everyone goes through the phase when they wonder who holds the remote to their lives. The answer is, nobody. There is no remote. Life is a bitch sometimes, and that's all there is to it.

    And it is spelled argh, not grah. It is pronounced - our-gh - as in our gherkin is green in colour.


  2. i got my handwriting looked at by an amateur analyst once. and actually, a lot of the stuff he told me made sense....
    though i hate looking at my old diaries. reminds me of just how stupid and immature i was. and what a bad writer. gaah!
    and don't listen to anurag. have yet to meet an interesting american.... of course, depends on how you define 'interesting'... or maybe US univs are full of non-americans. that would explain it.

  3. eM.
    Your hold on grammar and spelling is slipping. Poofread carefully :)
    Go on, scroll up and reread the first line. Really, sometimes I wonder if you are secretly not as neurotic about grammar as I am. Compotent? Peh.
    The English Police.

  4. ITs fantastic that you are only 23 and already in the middle of a manuscript...Rest of things ( Paris, artists...)will work out soon... and I am addicted to your blog too:))
    rr (don't go insane...m just another blogger...)

  5. As a woman 8 years your senior (grah! argh!) my best advice to you would be "Try and enjoy the here and now, the future will take care of itself somehow." Some of the best things that have happened in my life came up totally unexpected and were beyond my control. To make you feel better, I'm going to scan and e-mail you a page of my childhood journal. I can't believe how over-the-top dramatic I was at such a young age.

  6. 8000 words???? And writer's block! :O

    And on giving up, cross the bridge when you come to it. Though am sure the semi-celebrity that you are, u sure will be missed! :)

  7. Anurag: I KNOW it's argh, but taking on the creative license that is allowed to me, I choose to say Grah. Say it with me: Graa-ah.

    Tablemannered: I'm surprised you hate looking at your old journals. Mine always remind me of a younger, unjaded age--makes me feel both happy and a little sad.

    Dee: I've mentioned before, I think: It's MY blog, so stoppit. NOW. :) No, no, I lurve you dropping by, and ya, grammars failing. So is grampa.

    RR: You made my day :) Thanks for reading my blog...and I hope you will be one of the few people who read my book too. If you're a blogger, btw, can I have your URL?

    Mint Chutney: Ooh, yes please, send old journal! I always love to look at other people's lives--the voyeur in me I suspect. :)

    Primalsoup: Hello, welcome back! Ya, but 8,000 words is NOTHING. I need 100,000 to make a "real" book.

  8. I found my old journal this morning and I've decided that there is no way that I'm sharing itwith anyone (except perhaps a therapist). Even I rolled my eyes while reading the entries. Sorry eM!

  9. My old journal, the one with all the details of the summer of 96, is locked away in some cupboard in my old house in Chennai. I just hope I didn't hand it over to the ex at some point... I have a sinking feeling that I did... and am probably never going to see it again... dammit...

  10. Mint: Aww.. oh well, s'alright. Don't worry about it, I don't think I'd share mine with many people either--except the sheer hilariousness of it all! :)

    Mia: Thanks for the support... I certainly hope you're right!

    Vignesh: Golden rule. Never but NEVER give away journals to exes!


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