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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5 June 2005

The One With The Meme

I am thrilled and delighted that the Duck Of Destiny should think I was intellectual enough to qualify for the little book meme that's been travelling the world of most of the bloggers I read. I had been watching it jump from person to person, certain that it would never land at my doorstep, coz dude, the Compulsive Confessor just isn't that kind of blog. (Or so I would have you think.)

Anyway, here goes my set of answers for posterity.

How many books do I own? Ooh, that's a toughie. I'm presuming we're not counting the books that are owned collectively by my family, though I have inherited all my mother's old gray paperback Salingers. Okay, so just in my room, not counting books that I've had to review--say, um.. 2,000? My maths is terrible, so I see many many books on shelves and in cupboards and give you a rough estimate. There is no table space in my room anymore.

The last book I bought? Damascus by Richard Beard. I don't buy very many books, unless they're secondhand, because thanks to the fact that both my mum and I are in the literary journalism business, we get a lot of free stuff. So one day, when I was in Khan Market, waiting for a friend, I pottered into Full Circle and decided I would buy a book I hadn't heard of, based on the blurb at the back. Like Russian Roulette or something. I wanted to make a judgement totally and completely on my own, without reviews and friends telling me about this "new great author I had to read." I took a chance on Damascus and it's really very good.

The last book I read? I've been so zoned these days, I head straight for my children's literature shelf for some really easy reading. Re-read an E. Nesbit trilogy--Five Children And It, The Phoenix And The Carpet and The Story Of The Amulet. I love E. Nesbit. She makes me feel all warm and safe.

Five books that mean a lot to me? Hmmm, okay, I'm a pro at this, because I often do "If-you-were-stuck-on-a-desert-island' type questions.

>Totally The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Like discovering Holden Caulfield was a woman. I mean, come on, how can you not love this book?

> And while we're on the subject of good ol' Holden, would it be terribly cliche to say The Catcher In The Rye? Because I loved that book. I didn't know people could write like that. At the time I was just out of Little Women and so on and seeing people saying "Fuck" and all on the printed page was like discovering your most respected teacher didn't wear panties.

> Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. Oh, Judy, Judy. How I loved Judy. How Judy could just about crawl into my mind and sorta rinse out my thoughts and then use them in her books. My copy of this book is in tatters--dog eared, pages falling out and my name in tipsy cursive on the title page.

> Um.. um, Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. Yes, yes, laugh away. Make comments about chick lit. But I'll have you know, this book was very cool and very funny when it first came out, way before the term 'chick-lit' was ever invented. It still is very funny and I still read it, so hah! And watching the movie so does not count as reading the book, by the way, if that's your parameter for judging it.

> And finally, glorious Swami And Friends by RK Narayan. Brilliant and the first bit of Indian-writing-in-English I read. And loved the fact that they ate lime pickle by the river, instead of kippers and scones in the meadow.

Five more people to tag.
Jeez. Is there even anyone left who hasn't already been tagged? In an attempt to push circles outwards, here goes: (And yes, I can count to five, but I don't feel like it and you can't make me)

Mint Chutney
The Box

and writer in exile

There. Now no one should feel left out. And 'confessor' type blogs can be brought into literary circles. Yay!

UPDATE, Sunday, 5 pm: I beg for your sympathy, kind readers, having just returned from the hospital with my entire foot in a toxic-green plaster cast. "Fibre-glass," the doctor tells me, "Easy for walking and you can drive with it too." Only it makes me look like someone with clubfoot, because the weight on my left foot drags it downwards and I limp slowly everywhere. "Only essential walking," he tells me later as I glare at him, dragging my leg behind me like the fucking Hunchback of Notre Dame.

It's a broken toe--actually a toe with a hairline fracture. Fucking painful. How did I hurt it? I'll blog about the whole story later, but it involved a barrel and a mechanical bull.

Oh, ow. My body is unused to having something attached to it and now my back hurts, my toe throbs and my chest where I fell off the bull has a nasty bruise.

Things I cannot do now include running away from prospective rapists/mass murderers/people out to get me; wear high heels; wear a salwar kameez; take a shower and get any action, unless I sit down and elevate my foot. Gah. Not a pretty picture.

So won't you please feel a little sorry for me? :(


  1. You might have noticed I used to have book links on my sidebar. After a much lower response rate than I had expected (i.e. none), I took it off. Over the next week or so, I'll try and post a book review or two. At the very least, they'll be able to keep the movie reviews company. They can go on road trips together.

    And it is a heady experience being mentioned your meme. Most flattered, milady.

  2. No one feel left out? I certainly do...but, what are ya gonna do? ;)

    Btw, I enjoyed reading your answers immensely.

  3. the box: Aww.. but I love your stories about books in secondhand shops!

    fuego: I didn't even know you still READ my blog! But now, of course, slight edit has been made :) Please meme.

  4. Mechanical Bull?

    Girl, I swear you are into some different shit :-)

    Get better kay?

    BTW, they use a similar material for animal casts. Only theirs break off after a while (it's bio-degradable) so the animal can be rid of it when it's strong enough for a full range of movement. Or is this the wrong time for Animal Planet trivia?

  5. Hmm... let's see, I picture eM climbing onto a mechanical bull, then being violently flung off, ending up face first against a brick wall. She's bruised, mostly unhurt but terribly embarrassed.

    Then a barrel falls of a high shelf and lands on her toe.


    Anyway, condolences -sympathetic pat- At least you'll get a couple of post out of it - not to mention the time to blog more as you're (presumably) bedridden.

    And thanks for the meme tag. What a great opportunity to show off just how shallow I am!

  6. I know I should be saying i hope you're better, because I do... but Judy Blume!!! We had a new girl in sixth standard from Canada who introduced to them very importantly. How could I forget! (Tiger Eyes?!) and Phoenix and the Carpet I love too. And now I suddenly remember all the old library books I used to read and re-read and now im feeling all nostalgic. Sigh.

  7. Aww...hope you get better soon :)

  8. satya: Thank you! I don't think much introspection time is going to happen though--mostly I'm just feeling sorry for myself!

    pleo: Oh, B&H! My favourite too! Before I got too poor to afford them though! :)

    box: I love Animal Planet trivia at ALL times :) So bring it on, dude. And I swear, mechanical bull is not what it sounds like.

    Jay: Not even close. Sorry. And my cast is a "walkable" one, which means I got to work as usual bright and early Monday morning :(

    Mangs: Tiger Eyes I loved. And Superfudge. I miss the children's library too :(

    AD: Thanks! Any relation to AB, btw?

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  11. Mechanical bull.. umm, so hot!
    sorry about the broken toe, though. here's a song to cheer you up. enjoy. :)

  12. Wish you a speedy recovery :) and hoping, during this period, the frequency of your posts increase. Have a good one.

  13. broken toe, and work. yikes.
    and so get what you say about Caulfield's irreverently told stuff- "hmm, now there's a way of writing"

  14. fingeek: Mechanical bull is NOT hot, I can assure you :)

    saurabh: Unless I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself!

    vAgue: I know--but bunking work today! And Salinger ROCKS, no?

  15. Poor you !! I don't know if I should be picturing a woman on a rodeo-esque bull, hee-haaww !! ;)

    Anyways, take care dearie... and thanks for the meme. I guess I can't ignore it now, having got it from like 5 different people :( My embrassingly juvenille literary tastes will now have to become public knowledge :((

  16. yup salinger rocks
    You know some the best moments while readin your posts have been readin "TC' in them. It has beena while, and will remain so, but it's one heck of place:)

  17. ok please stop trying to tame wild bucking bulls!?!?!?!

    *goes and stamps on the dratted bull's toe*


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