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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16 March 2005

Of Chicklit, LitCrit and DipShit

Something I've been getting a lot of recently is people assuming I write or am going to write chicklit thanks to this blog. (That's right, bow your heads with shame, you know who you all are!) In my defense, when I finally do finish my magnum opus, it will be a work of art and literary genius. Definitely NOT chicklit.

It's not that I have anything against chicklit, per se. I mean, hell, it's lots of fun to read, and pretty easy to write as well, if you get the tone right. It's just... forgettable. Like Cosmopolitan. Of course, Cosmo's probably a pretty bad example considering it's pretty much all soft porn these days (no, no, don't sue me! I'll be good!) and good chicklit, like of course, the infamous Bridget Jones, makes for very good reading and a couple of laughs.

But, while all of this is well and good, again: I DO NOT WRITE CHICKLIT!!!!! Can I seriously help it if my life just sometimes reads that way? Because it does, you know. My life is chicklit and my life is also, unfortunately, a sitcom. The really bad kind with the cheap laugh track. It's sad, but hey, that's the way the cookie crumbles, no?

And, I went for the Tarun Tejpal launch yesterday, very excited because it was my first booklaunch in what seemed like ages and I'm sick of fashion dos and if I'm going to make superficial inane conversation, let it at least be about things I'm interested in, rather than , "Darling, I love your new line!" The British Council was packed, so packed that despite murmuring "I'm from the press" in many sundry ears, I was still sent to the Video Conferencing Room upstairs, which actually wasn't so bad, because I got a bird's eye view of everything. Tarun Tejpal is definitely one of the better looking media guys. Definitely. Except he has a funny dehat accent, which clashed horribly with another posher one he was trying to put on.

Anyway, enough about that--I'm sure fellow bloggers who were there at the launch will probably give step-by-step breakdown and I don't feel like it. Ooh, also little brush with diplomatic circles yesterday for an art exhibition hosted by a certain Scandinavian country. Anyway, so I was wandering around, looking at the sketches when I bump into Santa Claus type man who smiles and asks me if I'm an artist. Obviously, I'm immensely chuffed (I've decided Brit slang is very cool and I'm going to liberally sprinkle my posts with it) because no one's ever asked me if I was an artist before! So I smile, simper really, and say, "No, I'm a journalist." Then I ask him where I can get a catalogue, because he's holding one and he hands me his. "Oh thank you," I said, "But are you sure you'll be able to get another?" Now, this is the bizarre part, he looks me up and down and goes, "I always get what I want." So, now it seems my life is not only chicklit and bad sitcom but also a Sidney Sheldon novel. Humph. I should've probably made an escape right there, but he gave me his card and it turned out he was an Ambassador of the previously mentioned Scandinavian country and since I'm supposed to keep an eye on Embassy activities, I thought this was as good time as any to network. So casually I moved the catalogue in front on my chest, and we made polite conversation until he asked if he could take my picture. Um... yeah. So I let him and then thought to make an exit, because even he wasn't hitting on me, it was getting kind of wierd. Then he says, "You are very beautiful." I think I opened and closed my mouth a few times before I squeaked "Thanks." "No, no," he said gallantly, "Don't thank me, thank your parents for creating you."
I fled.

Devyani is finally in town, but what with my crazy schedule and her cousin's wedding, I don't when we'll see each other. Still, since she lives next door and all, I'll probably just drop by on my way to work or something.

I really don't have much to say today. So I'm going to go now. Goodbye.


  1. Immensely readable. Yay.
    By the way.
    Don't turn into Shobha De.

    (It rhymed, it rhymed.)

    PS: No offense intended. Y'know I'm a fan.

  2. Shobhaa De??? Puh-leeeeze!! C'mon Manish, seriously, you wound me :)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Oh horror, you even spell Shobhaa with a double a, like she herself does (after bumping into a celebrity numerologist like that Menon babe, I presume).

    But *hug* you are much better. Much much much.

  5. Well, you certainly write very well. You have a smooth style, good choice of words and a nice perspective of things. I am sure you can write anything well -- chicklit or otherwise.

    So how do these parties work? You get invited formally? Or is it just a phone call from a publicist? Do you have to show your ID at the entrance? I've never been to such a party. In fact, I have not been to a party in a long time. Hmmmmmmm.

    The ambassador, huh? If you consider the fact that he represents a whole country, you have a huge fan following. :))


  6. That was the bloody aces, mother of pearl. Really the mutts nuts, aye. Quite a wanker these ambassadors can be. Strategically covering up your Georgie Bests, takes the biscuit though ! Bloody hilarious !

    There, enough Brit slang to last you a whole week figuring out what I said ;)

  7. chicklit slot is rather unfortunate - do you think if Austen wrote today, she would be considered to be writing chick lit? he he

    but i totally empathised with the sit com comment; was in this arbit mood y'day thinking of all previous relationships - wanted to be a tragi - comic heroine; but only had a bit part!!

  8. Manish: A long time in the newspaper business has taught me one thing if nothing else--ALWAYS get the names right! :)

    Anurag: It's pretty simple. You get an invite from the publicist or whoever telling you about the launch and once you have one of those you don't usually have to worry because the magical "press" word gets you through any doorway. Besides if you look authoritative enough no one stops you--journo or not!

    Vignesh: I understood every word my friend!! Now if you had used Aussie slang, that might have been a different thing--but I realise I'm a terrible Anglophile. *goes to hide in shame*

    RS: I'm actually convinced that if Austen wrote today she'd be Mills and Boon-ish! BTW, who ARE you? Your initials have been driving me insane!

  9. hi em,

    My name's ramya and I am presently based in New York. I was in Bombay earlier. didn't mean to drive you out of your wits becz of curiousity.

    keep writing.


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