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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15 June 2005
The Party (part two)
"I'm not going to ask you now," he replied, looking up at me, one eyebrow raised, "I think I need to have another couple of drinks before." By then we noticed that the room had quieted down, somewhat and people were looking at us with amusement and curiousity.
Nandini had already falled asleep around 11 pm, and I think, at about 1.30ish, everybody else left too. Leaving Ragini and Saif, who murmured to each other, and me and Luke and Daman. I really don't know what to say about Daman. He was just there you know? He oscillated miserably between Ragini and Saif and Luke and I and when he said, "I should go" we only made medium-sized protests.
And then, there was Luke and I, standing near the bar and I laughed and said, "So, dude, what did you want to ask me?" And he inhaled sharply and busied himself with making a drink and said, "I wanted to ask you whether you would be willing to wait."
"Yes, because, you know my situation, my girlfriend leaves in a month and my hands are tied till then."
Somewhere at the back of my head, people were letting out loud war-whoops.
"I thought Ragini said you weren't interested?" I looked at him, teasing. It's true, Ragini did say something along those lines, a friend thing, "eM, be careful."
"Well, she was wrong," he was looking at me now and in control, you could totally tell.
Later, we drifted into my room. The original plan was that the boys would spend the night also. I assumed Ragini would crash in my room with me, since I have a futon that rolls into a bed and that the two of them would fend for themselves. But she appeared breezily, said, "I'm just getting my nightsuit!" and vanished. Hmph.
And there was Luke lying across my bed, his eyes dancing with amusement at my obvious discomfort, and there was I, sitting up, arms crossed. "Come here," he said, stretching out an arm.
We spoke about his girlfriend at length. How "innocent" she was, how she had never been with a guy before, how he didn't want to be the one to break her spirit. And all the while, I'm nodding and going, "Mmm hmm." and inside my head I'm thinking, "But what about ME???" He took it for granted that since I was older, I was more experienced, hardened in a way that his innocent soft girlfriend clearly wasn't and I played up to this image. I blew streams of grey smoke across the room, I gave him advice in a voice hoarse with tiredness and I didn't kiss him or touch him or anything.
"Look," I said, switching off the light, "It's sunrise. The birds are chirping. And I'm tired. So, yeah, I'm not going to make a move, because that would be wrong, but I'm going to count down. And if you don't do anything by the time I reach 10, we will go to sleep like normal human beings."
I'm sorry if that sounds like hypocrisy. I'm sorry if that was even a blatant move couched in passive terms. But I don't care. YOU try not hitting on hottie lying with only an inch of space between you, when you have nothing to lose. Try it. Go on. Then give me a lecture.
"T minus 10," I said out loud. He was quiet.
By the time I got to four, I figured he was asleep, but just to finish, I went to "2" in my head.
"3?" he asked.
"No, two," I answered.
And when I got to one, I said nothing.
And then he kissed me.