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 July 2005

But you can say baby, baby can I hold you tonight? Baby if I told you the right words, at the right time, you'd be mine

Just returned from night at Hookah with Samar, Priya's sweet ex-boyfriend and a good buddy of mine. We spent most of the evening leching at cute DJ (me) and drinking Budweiser (him) and talking about people we knew and how our love lives were just too boring for comfort. I also got my nails done, as in there was a nail art guy and so now two of my fingers have little red and blue flowers on them. They look quite bizarre, but two LITs later, I'm okay with them.

I was reading this article in Vogue the other day {no, I don't normally read Vogue, though I'd like to, it sounds so cool, doesn't it, the whole hey-so-in-this-month's-Vogue? I feel like one of those chickies with very thin eyebrows and Manolo Blahniks and little Hermes bags. I feel like one of those chickies who knows how to pronounce all those names. (this Vogue and a bunch of other magazines like Vanity Fair and Tatler, were actually a present from a friend of my mom's, the kind of person who actually buys all these sweet smelling foreign magazines from the Khan Market guy, but she's going to the US, the home of sweet smelling magazines so she gave them all to me. Yay)} Anyway so this article was by this woman who was talking about the first dress she ever bought and all the memories associated with that and I was thinking hmmm... what memories do I have with clothes? All that came to mind were my beloved 559 Levis which I practically lived in at that time, but then I always live in my jeans. Clothes are important to me, just not super important I guess.

There was also a blue FabIndia kurta that I bought for my first day at college which I still love. Now it's been washed so often the cotton is paper thin and clings delicately to my body every time I put it on. It's dark blue with a bold abstract blockprint in white all over it. There was the perfect tube skirt I bought in class 7 or 8, in black--a tiny little thing made of what seemed like entirely cotton and elastic. I lost that when I most wanted it, ie, when I was all grown up, but I managed to find a short back skirt at Benetton on sale about a year or two ago. It wasn't marked down very heavily but I still loved it so much that I bought it. And it was a sound investment, because I wear that skirt about once or twice a year and still look fabulous!

And then there are sadder memories, like the black and white striped Cotton World t-shirt that was the first thing in my cupboard I could find as I rushed for Puja's cremation. It's been washed since then, and once, once I used to love it and wear it all the time, but now it still looks and smells like death and a funny feeling in my stomach.

The first sari I ever owned is up there on my memory list too--a creation in lavender and silver, the lavender fading to icy white towards the inside. Bought for my cousin's wedding in the middle of my pre-board exams when I flew to Hyderbad for the weekend to rapidly partake of the festivities. And the dress I bought at GK once with Devyani, we were still in school and were window shopping idly when we saw it in one of the cheaper stores--blue, made of sweatshirt type material with red and white spaghetti straps, one of those sporty things you saw skinny models wearing. And I loved it and I tried it on and it seemed made for me, even Devyani agreed and she lent me the money I needed. I wore it for one of the popular boy's parties and it made me feel so much more like one of them thatI never wanted to take it off.

I could probably go on and on, but I'll stop. It is quite late and some of us have pages to bring out tomorrow. Does everyone have clothes memories I wonder, or is it just a girl thing?

By the way, that picture was taken at a traffic light. I haven't got it quite right I know, I don't know why, because I took at least seven shots of this old man trying to cross a busy intersection, but I like this picture. I like the way he's waiting patiently, his shopping at his side.


  1. The clothes that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside are mostly things I sleep in that I've been sleeping in for years and years... There's nothing quite like slipping into a freshly laundered slightly "holey" nightshirt... it just reminds me of my Mom... its not like she ever washed the clothes herself but she was at the helm, supervising it all... making sure I had freshly laundered sheets and towels and nightshirts... it sucks doing it all for yourself!

  2. I love FabIndia. They so rule.

    You lost a skirt ? I wonder how !! :)

    Yummy sari there !!

    The trick with that photography is to stabilize your hand, make sure you click when the primary subject isnt moving. Only the background is. So that way, you get a whole effect of movement, and in the middle of it all stillness. Nice shot though... imagine how much cooler it would have been if it was at night ? All the headlights would have been streaking around and all that ! Neatooo !!!

  3. Fashion/Lifestyle mags are so out these days.

    Nah, clothes are not just a girl thing, guys too have their own little idiosyncrasies when it comes to them, though most of it is related to superstition. Good clothes and I are normally seen running in opposite directions, I just buy what I like in bulk, pick a couple of favourites from them and wear them out till it becomes really unwearable, though I have also kept a new shirt or two in its packing forever because someone I like gifted it to me. That still does not prevent me from being the most painful holier-than-thou expert on what others wear.

    Trust me on this, the chaos in a newspaper office is nothing compared to the one in a telly shack. I even kind of miss the old craziness.

  4. Lovely picture, eM. Composition and shot selection are fab.

    I also love clothes from FabIndia. I have two shirts from there -- terrific cotton prints. :D

  5. Hey, I think the attraction of this picture is the feeling of motion that it evokes. I like.

  6. penny lane: I could probably do a whole post just on nightclothes and how evocative they are :)

    vignesh: Evidentally I'll never make a surgeon! I have very unstable hands :) And duh, the skirt was lost while we were shifting house :)

    forgetful hearer: Sometimes I'm listening to a song and I think how much it sums up my life at the moment so I use some lyrics as the head, other times I finish writing the post and I think ooh, this lyric would make a great headline and so I use that. In the case of this post, I happened to be singing this song to myself so I used it :)

    codey: Why superstition? :)

    anurag: Thank you for liking my picture! *glares defiantly at Vignesh* And yeah, Fabindia mens' stuff is fantastic :)

    vibhu: Well, I'm looking forward to seeing your take! :)

    tama: Heh. Nope, no SLR. But yeah, I should have probably kept my hands steady. But for an amateur pic I thought it wasn't bad :)

  7. I like those tiny Fabindia tops - the one's with straps that are not-quite-spaghetti, you know.. they have these tiny jingly-jangly things at the bottom.

  8. The only Fabindia stuff I have is this khadi type Nehru jacket. Originally from the GK Fabindia, it is, for some inexplicable reason, lying in the bottom drawer in my office. Drunken memories of some fancy desi party aside, i can't quite recall how it came *here*

  9. Now I wanna do a clothes post too! But then people will recognise me on the street -well in London anyway- and I will lose my almost-mythical demi-God status!

    BTW I can't stand Vogue. Gimme the juicy mags like Cosmo anytime.

  10. Hey !! I never said it was bad !! I was just telling you what would have made it ultre cool !!! I am as appreciative of your amateur photography skillzzzz as the next person, alright !!! Really, I am !!

  11. em: something like good things having happened to you when you wore a certain brand, certain type of shirt etc.

  12. I like the picture too.

    Visit FabIndia is on my To Do List for our India trip in December. Thanks!

  13. My first day Kurta to college was also from Fab, and blue too! :)

    I have sort of been pretty partial to Fab and have visited in all the places. Thought that the Delhi one was quite the best! :) My mom thinks that they ought to be sued for ripping off consumers with their prices...

    Nail art and Vogue sounds like much hepness!

    Very nice post.

  14. Just reaffirms your celeb status:


  15. jasmine: Hey, I used to have one of those in green!! :)

    fingeek: Drunken desi party sounds fun actually. More details, buddy.

    raxterize: Wow, incredible story. But how did the kid get the hat after the white man was eaten by crocodiles?

    jay: Ummm... unless you wear one-of-a-kind designer originals, I doubt anyone's going to recognize you by your clothes!! Do a clothes post, do. :)

    vignesh, tama.. I know, I know. I was joking. Promise.

    mint: Oh you have to! Actually just drop me a line when you're in Delhi and I'll take you to the truly cheap places, which FabIndia lovely as it is, isn't.

    primal: I think everyone's first college kurta was Fab! My college used to get ragged for practically being SPONSORED by FabIndia there was so much of that stuff.

    zg: Oh dear. Jeans on fire doesn't sound very nice. And yes, I know what you mean about the "perfect" jeans and how nothing else ever matches up.

  16. Simple post, well written. I'm here from Saltwater Blues' blog. Keep writing.

  17. To me the pic looks like it says "See how fast life goes by when you just stand and watch?"

    Yes, I have memories of clothes too. Not of the ones I bought, but of those select few that I sewed myself. A navy blue skirt, a white-with-floral-pattern salwar-kameez and an apron I fashioned out of an old, "like-new" skirt!

    Gotta go!! Can't stay for long today!

  18. Faster shutter speed needed- otherwise picture is ok. If the man was not as blurry, it would be perfect but a great photo nevertheless!

  19. Hey, you have such a nice site, couldn't help commenting on this one! And I got a question for you. Is that a paid blog theme that you can buy or a regular one?


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