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 August 2005

eM's Quick Guide To Delhi Nightlife

It's Sunday, late afternoon and unlike the rest of you lucky sods I have work tomorrow morning. (Actually, I'm guessing whoever's abroad has to work too, but still). This sucks. This is totally UNFAIR. The world's not going to stop because the paper didn't come in Tuesday morning. Hmph.

A lot of people call/email/sms me to ask where a good place to go that night is. Trust me, I get that a lot. Work people will casually stop or ask me on the balcony, other people will say, "Ooh I have a friend in from out of town, where shall we go?" and people even call and say, "Hey I'm in Saket, what's a good place to go for dinner?" Therefore I thought to make it easier for people who don't have access to my phone number, or do and don't feel like calling, a general look at all the places in this city that I enjoy.

Now, in order to fully recommend a place, I ask people a) what sort of music they like b) what their budget is c) are they planning on doing hardcore clubbing or just sitting and chilling with a drink. And yeah, everyone knows I like Turquiose Cottage, so we won't even go there.

Cheap Booze Places

Even though Delhi's like one of the most expensive places in the world practically (It's true, I read it in one of those survey type magazines which also shows you the world's poshest loos and who the richest men are) there are still several places that give you reasonable rates on their alcohol. Also practically every restaurant has happy hours, which is very cool. We personally like the places in Defence Colony best, but we're willing to experiment.

> MB's which I've mentioned before for its awesome Dyna Bites is where I go a lot, but usually with just one other friend. It's not a crowd kind of place.

> 4 S (and that's not fours, that's Four. Ess.) is a Chinese/Thai place K and I discovered, also in the Def. Col. Market. We were poverty stricken college students then, K didn't have the car that day so we couldn't go to the Supper Factory like we always did and so we sauntered into 4 S and made it our own. Pretty soon, we started bringing other people there and they claimed it too and for a while back there, we could find people tanking up at 4 S all the time. In fact, I even went two Sundays ago and bumped into an old school friend and her (very cute) brother. Anyway. It's damn cheap and they have this thing called chilli potatos which is bloody excellent.

> Flames, also I've mentioned before, in GKII M-Block Market, which incidentally is where I might be going tonight. Cheap alcohol, music in the background and non-shady. In fact, all of these places are certified Non-Shady by me, because I know how wierd it is to be the only women in a bar and have all these lechy guys looking at you. Stay clear of Bacchus in Priya Complex for precisely that reason.

For The Music
And then there are the places you visit when you have a little money in your pocket, for the ambience and the music and the dressing up beforehand. It depends on your mood I agree, and since I love rock and roll (so put another dime in the jukebox, baby) I love TC. But there are times I want to shake my booty a little, get a little more dressed up and all that.
> So yeah, nothing, and I mean underlined, bold, itals nothing in this city beats Elevate. It's in Noida, in the Centre Stage Mall, it's massive and I love it. The cover can be a little steep, 500 a couple on Fridays and 1,000 on Saturdays, but worth. every. single. rupee. Saturday is Bollywood/hip-hop night which is when we usually go, coz c'mon grinding to Kajra Re is such fun. And we can get all dressed up, or not, depending on our moods and the best part is that it stays open till sunrise unlike the rest of this town so we leave for there around 11.30, 12 and come back, on aching feet, yawning at four or five.
> There's a bunch of other places that I club together when we're not in an Elevate mood. Agni at the Park has killer Christmas parties. We went there last Christmas Eve, straight from TC, Iggy and I both wearing Santa hats. She got to dance on the bar though and I was left babysitting her sister and her friends. Oh well. Then there's Nasha, where you should go only if the very hot DJ Iggy is playing. Oh, he's hot. Let's take a moment to appreciate his hotness. And then there's Fabric, but I think that's pretty sad now. They play hip-hop and trance and we went for their launch party and there was such a gignormous crowd that we waited in our finery in a line in the heat for like an hour before they let us in. But then we consumed many free vodka shots and each of us got lost and it was drunken. Ooh and there's Aura, which also I've spoken of before, the vodka bar at the Claridges? It plays great house music and has good drinks except they're letting it flood with teeny boppers and I'm talking fifteen year olds. The party crowd in this city gets younger and younger, I tell you.
> I also really like Buzz in Saket. DJ Keri who plays there is the only woman DJ in town and she spins some excellent hip-hop and oldies and Bollywood. This American intern I once worked with claimed to have a scene with her, so I'm reminded of that every time I go there. Their cocktails are great, by the way and they have happy hours till 7.30, so get a Bloody Mary, coz you get two and they're soooooooooo good. And they give you free peanuts!
> There's this one place I've been meaning to check out called Cafe Morrison in South Ex. Does anyone have any views on that?
Phew. This is quite a list. I'll update if I can think of more. Feel free to suggest whatever, and I'll add that to the list!
ps. Have you been to Overheard In New York? It's such fun and people are always saying stuff that I wish I had thought of first. Like this conversation:
Girl: You staring at me?
Guy: Yeah, but only 'cause you look so fine.
Girl: True. But you can stop checking me out now. These aren't public titties, they're private titties. For select audiences only, and you're not a member.
--A train
We should totally design a Members Only t-shirt. White, tight with red letters. And I'm totally going to track down this girl and make her my new best friend.
ps2: Found this lying on the floor of my office the other day. It's a press release which someone had obviously recieved and thrown away. It announces a solo singing competition held at St. Mark's Senior Secondary Public School.
Inter Section Solo singing Competition for classes V and VI was held on 9th May 2005.
The students filled the atmosphere with their soulful scintillating numbers such as "All That She Wants", "Omit Playing Games", "O Blady O Blada." The judges on this ocassion were Ms. Seema and Mr. Berganza, who gave away prizes and certificates to the students.
The students talent was well nurtured and everybody appreciated the efforts made by tiny ones under the guidance of their music - teacher.
I ask you, how, how could someone throw this away?


  1. Is potatoes no ? Either way, had chilli potatoes and something like your dyna bites yesterday. Much fun. Much free booze too. Yay !

    There are quite a few conversations like that I overheard. I even have one recorded on my celly. Will send you sometime... its bloody hilarious.

    You have not idea what these 'tiny tots' are capable of... kids these days... :)

  2. yes indeedy, its been so long since I heard o blady, o blada!Party to remember! How many kid crushes blossomed right then do you think? And yes can someone tell me why being on top of the comments page makes me happy? It makes me feel less like a groupie. I know, I am a sad case!

  3. SIM,
    My dear fellow, what in the world gives you the impression that all of us here have no nobler aims in life than to be your governess? In other words, if you do not want to "undertake an incorrect usage" in future, go buy yourself decent textbooks on English vocabulary and usage, and invest your own time and effort. In other words, stop irritating the hell out of everyone here.

  4. Over here in London, we have a magazine called Time Out, which gives listings of all the hottest party spots and entertainment venues in town.

    Apparently in Delhi, they have you.

  5. I visit a blog called The Darth Side. He's made all his previous posts downloadable as PDF collection. I reckon you've got more than enough misadventure and Indian culture guide stuff to rival Lonely Planet. So, how about it? "Download the Compulsive Confessor(TM) for your PDA!"

  6. vignesh: I love listening to random conversation too. Great fun, and great raw material for blogs!

    gypsynan: You really think there were kid crushes and stuff because of OMIT playing games with my heart??? :)

    s.i.m: I think that a comment, like a blog post, serves as a public forum, so people often respond to other comments--sometimes even to disagree with them. :)

    kaashyapeya: Little harsh, no? I'm just SAYING :) While comment fights are great fun and all, I do wish someone would respond to my POST, that took me an HOUR to write :P

    jay: Awww, thanks! They have a Time Out Bombay as well, but no suitable Delhi party listing. The listings there are are all biased, and no one does onjective reviews. So I thought I'd give it a shot!

    the box: I'm sure the words PDF and PDA are making sense to everyone slese but I'm just looking at the screen going, "Huh?" Hehehehe.. I'm very technologically challenged, explain please! :)

  7. Oh great eM,
    Thou hast deigned to respond to my comment. yippeee..I'm blushing turquise :-D
    A bit harsh, I suppose, but don't you think the squeaky clean, goody two shoes act is irritating enough to give one an angina? Then again, there is help at hand, that too.
    Apologies, O great one, for not responding to post which took up an HOUR of the great one's life, but the fact eej beeing I habh been to delhi tha last time at the ej of two and a haph only. which eej being marginally under the leegal drinking ej.

  8. See eM, I'm working too. Poo.
    And atleast in YOUR part of the country you may hop over to nearly anywhere for your choice of music/alcohol/eye candy.
    Oooh, but Dyna bites? I think I remember those. They're awesome- too mucking fuch! (Also, like two million calories for every bite.)

  9. Hi there! Hope at least the work is not too very much on a holiday. I have moved to

  10. em: They have a Time Out Bombay as well, but no suitable Delhi party listing.

    Well, not quite true. It has its flaws, but WB has been doing it for a while now.

  11. I'm going to take a printout of this post for my Delhi trip this year. Thanks :)

  12. ah, I was wondering where Buzz would figure in that list. Last I heard the DJ was in Chennai post marriage doing a course in audio work....its her thats back or is it a new girl DJ?
    ' # ' in VV used to be good, though I think it lost it. Actually, I think it was good only cause at the time they had a drink all you want scheme- much used and abused.
    but basically Buzz & TC are it.

  13. whoa! thats wholesome information for any newbie to delhi!

  14. kaashyapeya: Two and a half, huh? Well, I suppose then you're excused. :)

    chamique: You too! Yay, I thought we were the only paper open. Then I looked at the morning papers today and all of them had come in, so I guess I shouldn't have been depressed. (Side Note: To everyone who thinks I have the perfect most glamorous job... uh... I hope you had a great monday watching TV. Hmph)

    sunrayz: Hey, great to have you back! How come the url change?

    mint: Your question bothered me so much I called ALL my friends yesterday and asked them. No one had a clue. :)

    naturelle: I actually follow a comment policy, which means I answer civil questions related to the post. Rude comments are promptly deleted. But I have also been to S.I.M's blog and I'm not too happy with what I see there. I suggest you pay it a visit too, to see what I mean :)

    codey: I thought of Wanabuzz but then the clubs PAY them to be promoted. (I knew the website owner) which makes it a little biased, don't you think?

    satchi: Totally do a Cal post! In fact I think everyone should do one in their own cities and if we collect all that material, we'll have the perfect travel guide. We could call it... ooh... The Blogger's Guide To The World.

    rat: Awwww.. really? You just made my day :) But you know, you can just ASK me and I'll be happy to recommend stuff when you're here :)

    vague: I went to # way back in its heyday but it was a little sleazy. I find that about most places in V V except Haze which plays awesome live music :)

  15. Mandar, just saw your comment after I had posted mine... Wholesome? That's not quite the word I'd use :) :)

  16. woman, you're bloody awesome! i read the last post, and was totally ROTFLMGO! er, dunno why. i mean, it was rivetting, as far as wednesday nights' tales go, but it wasn't ha ha stuff. so it must be you! woman, you're bloody awesome! (uh, i think i'm repeating myself here. overdid the irish bit of the coffee, probably... ;D)

    i'm so totally mailing you before i go to delhi!

  17. em: well, my dear friend, there is hardly anything in the lifestyle industry that is not biased or paid for, be it the times food guide or anything else.

    Agreed, WB listings are paid for, but at least the comments they get are quite genuine and I've done my fair bit of bitching there.

    If all lifestyle journos were to write honestly about the places they go to with the fotugrapher in tow (look! three skimpily clad chicks, click them from all angles and with different men and make it look like a happening party), there would be nothing left of the beat, really.

    Oh, btw, just saw what is the 'mysterious' place that has been coming up in the place of the old Iridium at PVR saket, apparently it is some Irish joint, which looks suspiciously a lot like TC.

  18. Good post, great idea, eM (but-why-did-you-suddenly -stop-using-paragraphs, he ground out between his gritted teeth ...)

    And ... eerrmmm ... (now THIS is totally regressive, as in making like a FIVE year old, but) you got to the Overheard link off MY page admit it ADMIT IT!

    Cal guide coming up soon, starting with rolls at Kusum *looks round for eggatarian Orc ... I mean Nazgul*

    And eM, why don't you start a guided tour? Last one to pass out needn't pay types?


  19. Um wow! Great page, not sure if ill ever see that nightlife, but if so, ill be ready!

    Keep it going...

  20. I went to TGIF and ordered Dynabites.

    They charged me INR 170 for 7 of them.

    Assholes. And they had watered down tobasco sause. Who the fuck waters down tobasco sauce !!

  21. I loved that link! I spent loads of time wading through it!
    And I am the,‘Queen of Satire'? Thank you! You have just made my day! :D

  22. Oh and nice post eM, lest you think I didn't read something you spent an HOUR on! :)

  23. Tequila shot and a half as I write this, people, so forgive any gaffes

    rimi: You should so totally email me when you get to Delhi. Really, really. And we'll do TC on Wednesday also. :)

    codey: Looked out for you tonight at TC but couldn't spot anyone who met your description. Thanks for the heads up on the new place though, will most certainly check it out.

    naturelle, tama: While I agree with BOTH of you, I'd still prefer to go to a not-so-exciting blog which was well written than a really exciting one which wasn't. But that's just me. :)

    J.A.P: But I used paragraphs, she said plaitively. And I MIGHT have stolen Overheard from you. Or BridalBeer, I forget which. But you so totally stole my neocounter and never gave me any credit :)

    alex: Thanks! I hoep I see more of you!

    vignesh: Clearly you have to come to Delhi. And fast, buddy :)

    primal: You're like the ONLY person who noticed!!! Thank you, thank you :)

    tretetteinin: He posts whem he has to, and I guess nothing has happened to him so far :)

  24. nice blog. somehow i've been to these places but they never were as happening as they sound in your blog..... but i guess it depends from person to person. but somehow i always loved the D School canteen in DU for all the weird ans bizzare things. anyways awsome blog keep it up.


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