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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9 May 2005

Supposed former infatuation junkie, I sink three-pointers, you wax poetically

I've just finished watching I Am Sam on HBO. And I'm not ashamed to add that I discreetly brushed away the wetness in my eyes more than once. Normally, movies don't make me cry. There are movies which will have everyone else crying by the bucketfull and I'm all like, "Yeah, so?" Which probably means I'm going to get my period, because this one PMSy time I started crying at advertisements, for gods sake. Seriously.

Or maybe it's just because I've been feeling unusually sentimental these days. Some days I'm all about the peace and the love and the flowers and go around my day with luminous eyes, others I'm all about the gloom and doom and how perfect the rain is, just like one of those old angst-filled movies, where the lonely sound of rain acted like a backdrop. I swear, the other day when I was in this mood and it started to rain, began to look around for a solitary black raven. Couldn't find one though, but wouldn't that have been fitting?

Ooh, last night was brilliant. At least, if drunken memory serves, it was. First we had to stop by at Priya's college friends do, which was interesting, I suppose, just not the kind of people I would normally choose for company. Then Golfer Ex (Aha! Ahahahaha! You see how he's trying to get in on my weekends? But I'm on to him now!) invited us for a pool party at his friend's penthouse on the ninth floor. Unbelievable.

The weather was just right last night. Actually, because it had been raining, it was a little chilly, but the lacuzzi was on in the pool and so were the lights and it glimmered bluely and wetly and so Priya and I borrowed shorts from the host and jumped right in. I was just sorta dabbling one toe into the water because it was really fucking cold, but then someone pushed me in and then, well, you know how pool parties are.

We played volleyball for a bit, drank much tequila, but since I hadn't really eaten anything since breakfast time, it was porcelain heaven for me. Which was startling, because I haven't been throwing-up-drunk since, oh, four years now? The last time I was that drunk, was right before K and I started dating and I called him, pissed to high heavens and yelled, "Stop playing fucking games with me! Either you stay with your goddamn girlfriend or you break up with her and start dating me, I refuse to be in the middle of this!" Sometimes I think my entire break up was some sort of bad karma thing, because I asked him to break up with her. But then, shouldn't he be getting his share of the bad karma too? Technically, he cheated on her, right? I was single, so I'm not totally to blame.

There have been many questions about why I choose to put lyrics as post titles. As long as I can remember, basically, as long as I have been musically aware, I use a soundtrack for my life. When I was younger, I used to act out videos to songs on the cassette player, now that I am all adult and not supposed to do stuff like that anymore, I use certain songs as backdrops. To make a moment even better. And there are lines in some songs that make you turn the volume up and sing with all your heart and all your lungs and those are the lines that define you at that moment. Like, for instance, in Losing My Religion my friends and I have very different favourite parts. Priya likes "I thought that I heard you laughing, I thought that I heard you sing, I think I thought I saw you try", Iggy likes, "That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight" and my favourite part is where he goes, "Consider this, consider this, the hint of the century". See?

Speaking of music, I've become very into cheap Bollywood songs these days. The Oh Sharabi, Kya Sharabi and Bheeghe Hont Tere types. Beeghe Hont Tere is incidentally the song you hear when you call the dhabha near my office. They make the most excellent chilly garlic chow mein ever! Along with cheap Bollywood songs, I'm also very into cheap Chai-nees food these days. Want to turn me on? Order a chilly chicken dry boneless.

Anyway, so it's six pm and for the first time in forever I don't feel like socialising. So I'm going to go, turn on the air conditioner, crawl under the comforter and channel surf for a bit, while pulling out all my old childhood books and re-reading them. I really should make a trip to the pavement stalls at Daryagunj soon.


  1. hey i do that too!, i wait for my favourite part of the song, and sing it out (very badly i'm told) when it comes. i love the waiting.

    losing my religion reminds me of the lines i wait for in REM's Man On The Moon, "Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey baby, are we losing touch?". that elvis impersonation totally gets me.

  2. Have you read 31 Songs by Nick Hornby? He writes about the soundtrack of his life..

  3. Was that the Sandra Bullock movie on today ? My aunt was weeping buckets... while I was busy eating a HUGE juicy mango ! Yippppeee !!! Mango season is here !!!

    Can't say much else, too much alcohol and mango juice in me right now...

  4. Ummmm... I have VERY bad karma then. Waiting for the sky to fall on my head now.
    @Vignesh: mango and alcohol combination brings back terrible memories of thick orange puke. Have successfully grossed myself out.

  5. Ashanka: Hey, I never noticed that about Man On The Moon. I'm going to listen closely to it now :) Thanks!

    Grainne: Yes and I blogged about it too.. way back in Jan. if you feel like reading that entry :)

    Vignesh: Yes, but that movie was in the morning. I only woke up at two. But I saw Parenthood AND Notting Hill, one after another.

    Motheater: You've now succesfully grossed ME out too. Ew.
    And why bad karma? I smell an interesting story, like any good journo would! :)

  6. ah..i like calling it "talking to God on the big white porcelain telephone". Its a religious experience. And talking about religion, the video for that song was based on a short story by Marquez called A very old man with enormous wings

  7. 'I am Sam' isn't our Sam's best work. I waited for it desperately, and was slightly disappointed when I did get to see it. But Penn, he's the finest of 'em all. If you ever lay your hands upon 'She's so Lovely', don't miss it.

    You, eM, live a charmed life with pool parties and penthouses.

    Been to Porcelain heaven and back, fade to black.

    The most definitive song on my life's OST is 'Worst comes to worst, I'd get along' (by Billy Joel from his 'Piano Man' album).

    And hey fingeek, I never knew that one. (although I knew this grammy winning video was directed by Tarsem Singh, the acclaimed directed of Indian orgin who also directed 'The Cell', a weird movie featuring Malkovich). Thanx man, I'm reading through your link right now.

  8. "Consider this...the hint of the century" is not just my favourite part of that song but possibly my favourite Michael Stipe moment too. You know the trademarks of his best vocals? The effete, insistent petulance - always seeming to be just one step away from becoming shrill or hysteric but never quite going over the top. And always so mannered. The man is very underrated as a singer.

    (I commented! I commented! Deserve pat on the head)

  9. Fingeek: Thanks for the link. However, I have to say, I haven't seen the video :( It just never makes it to the 'item girl' cut that Channel V insists on these days.

    manish: It wasn't MY penthouse, no? And after this, I'm a Sean Penn convert--so hot! I'll definitely check out the movie you recommended.

    Jabberwock: I am honoured. Deeply, deeply honoured. And I totally agree with you about his voice--that line is the kind of line that if you listen with enough going on in your own life, it actually brings tears to your eyes. Or maybe that's just me!

  10. and then i must be... forever reigning QUEEN of bad karma. haha. But then well behaved women rarely make history.
    ps: When will you stop replying comments? After the 40-mark? Idle wondering.

  11. Hey, the 'chai-nees' bit reminds me of a roadside vendor back near college. Finger-lickin' good - but the noodles/manchurian would be topped off with chopped dhaniya and the soup would have a dollop of butter floating atop it a la Dal Makhni. Peak of Punjabification I tell you!!

  12. I want to HEAR all of these bad karma stories *pouts*

    Mangs: I will stop replying when, like the last few posts, people start chatting to each other instead of to me :) And I don't think the comment count is EVER going to hit the 40s!

    Gems: You've heard REM in concert???????? I am now resigning from my life and taking yours!

    N.A: Hey nothing says "chai nees" better than some carefully sprinkled coriander garnish. On another tangent, isn't Coriander the nicest name? I think I shall call my kid Coriander. It's sorta unisex too, dontcha think? :)

  13. Hey, beats me, I don't know how I landed on your blog. I pressed next or back or something and next I know there is this black screen in front of me. I almost chocked, but then read your stuff. As far as filling buckets during movies is concerned - Paying it forward, did it for me. Yes, on good old HBO. So did Stepmother. Have a nice week. I am in your city from tomorrow..... but sigh... will be buried in work. No time to party.

  14. Hieee.. I slipped on to your blog donno how,, but ya.. songs keep running in the b/g always. Why does this happen? Why don't poems or movie dialogues or something you read in the book run in the mind along with a certain situation? My favourite from LMR is- Ohh... Life is bigger
    It's bigger than you
    And you are not me.. NEways- Pretty blog! :)

  15. My absolutely favourite REM song is Nightswimming... deserves a quiet night.

  16. I love Nightswimming!!!!

    You, I thought I knew you.
    You I cannot judge.
    You, I thought you knew me,
    this one laughing quietly underneath my breath.

    eM...e-mail me if you haven't heard it and I'll send you the CD.

  17. Volleyball in the pool and drinks!!! I'm gatecrashing next time.

    I LOVE Losing my religion. Also Drive.

    Mint C: I will never pass up an opportunity to get freebies. Why don't you assume eM hasn't heard the song and send me the CD which I will pass on to her? Another song by REM which I really like is What's the frequency, Kenneth? I love songs titles with names of people in them, as in Careful with that axe, Eugene.

  18. When it comes to REM songs, I love love love 'I have got to find the river'. It was my cellphone's welcome message for over 2 years.

    And Bhavv, I suppose you came here via my blog, cos there lies eM's link, and you are a regular on mine.

  19. Ooh, everyone has a favourite R.E.M song it seems. I'm quite illiterate that way, I know the basics--Everybody Hurts, Losing My Religion and Shiny Happy People.

    Lubu: Awww.. no partying? That's very, very sad. And hell, yeah, Stepmother STILL makes me weep!

    Bhavv: I was JUST thinking that yesterday when I was playing Losing My Religion in my car. Oh well, consider this... still stays my personal favourite.

    motheater: Even more than Losing My Religion?

    mint: Using Kazaa to see if I can get it, but if this doesn't work... I want a CD please!! *hopeful face*

    Anurag: Oi! Stick to getting CDs on your own blog--anything offered here is MINE, all MINE muahahahaha

    Manish: Okay, now I'm feeling very illiterate. Next time I'll write about the Backstreet Boys or something :)

  20. I so totally agree with you, that Sean Penn was unbeatable in I am Sam. It was a day full of movies on Tv for me. Maid in Manhattan and then Notting Hill.

    And I have to take back the comment on motheater's post. You can't crib now, if you know what I mean.

  21. A name like Coriander has the potential of making life miserable for your kid - esp if he/she lands up in a boarding school :)

    And on unisex names - all Sikh names are unisex. I once had a sibling pair in my school called Rajwinder (Kaur) and Rajwinder (Singh). Insane!!


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