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

Sign up for my newsletter: The Internet Personified

24 September 2005

Dating Life Episode Two: You've Got Mail

(The first episode here)

We were meeting the "old fashioned way". That meant no cellphone number exchanges and just a short email to say when and where. I was busy finalising the house (which is beautiful by the way, even if it is four floors up and I'm wheezing like a bitch by the time I get there. We move in on October 2, if the moving guys haven't taken a holiday for Gandhi's birthday) so I was very, very late. Almost fifty minutes after our stipulated 9 pm time. So I go to Flame's and look around and I do see two guys sitting alone, only they look very strange--with mustaches and kinda old looking (Not a discrimination here, I'm sure guys with mustaches are very nice and all, but I can't see myself with one). So I go downstairs to the Cafe Coffee Day right next door and there's a guy with curly hair, kinda tall and yay, no mustache, only he's waiting outside and doesn't look like he's waiting for someone he's never met.

I go into CCD and look around. Nope, no guy waiting there, there's a couple of girls chattering over cappuccino, there's another boy with a girl, gazing into each others' eyes. I call Priya. "Dude, he hasn't showed." "Awwww," she says, "But I can't come meet you, coz I'm having dinner with my mom." So I go back outside and the guy there is looking up and looking quizzical. I grow balls rapidly and march up to him and say, "Um... Zayed?" "eM?" he asks, looking delighted, and I'm really happy he's pronounced it "M" like the letter and not the separate "e" "M" that some people do.

Zayed has mailed me off of the blog id a couple of weeks ago and we have struck up an interesting email conversation. I've already Googled him, so I know the basics--where he went to college and what he does now. He, on the other hand, has no clue about me. We talk about Bob Dylan and J.D Salinger and the weather these days and where we like to go out and memories from our childhood and pretty soon, we decide to move the conversation to real time. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also a little apprehensive. This is so not me, meeting someone I've met online? I haven't done that since I was in school or something. We depend on our friends to introduce us to people, to say, "Oh this guy's okay." Net rendezvous is for the lonely people and my friends look at me with barely contained laughter when I tell them about my "blind date."

As it turns out, we have a fabulous time. We share stories and I like the way he digresses rapidly from one story to another and we're having real animated discussions and a real conversation. "I'd rather not read your blog now that I know you," he says and I smile and nod. We talk about cricket (yechh) and the Beatles Anthology (mmmm) and the movies and how we grew up and past lives and past loves. It's a little surreal, to be having this intimate discussion with someone you've only known for a couple of hours, but it's also a little liberating.

And so then we run out of smokes and by the time we get back into the market the cigarette stalls are all shut. So he takes me to this place called Twentyfourseven in Lajpat Nagar. "It's like a whole new world!" he says. And we go in and it really is like a whole new world. It's midnight and the place is bustling and there's frozen pizza and slush machines and medicine and DVDs and racks and racks of blessed smokes. I'm enchanted already.

And then I drop him off and we're listening to Bittersweet Symphony and singing along at the top of our voices. And we agree that we're going to be friends. And it was nice--taking that chance on a random email id. And while I'm still not an advocate of or anything, I do know now, that you never know. When connecting over cable wires is going to lead to connecting in real life.

And that's the beginning, I suspect, of a longer story.


  1. You do realise that you're now going to be bombarded with emails from random guys hoping to score a date with the famous eM (pronounced 'M', now I know).

    BTW, if exchanging emails is considered the 'old fashioned way' then congratulations, you've just made me feel very, very old.

  2. jay, you nailed it.

    eM, beware, it is going to rain emails.

    Dylan & Beatles (hmmmm). i like that.

  3. nice.
    very nice. almost salingerish, no? (i guess cause you mentioned him)

    ditto on the email onslaught, though!

    and a 24x7 place in Lajpat. my my whats delhi coming to? now AIIMS smoke-wallahs will wither and die or, what?

  4. Since you have mentioned Dylan & The Beatles together. A little piece of trivia:

    Bob Dylan and The Beatles first met in 1964. In 1966, "Revolver" was released. The album has a song called "Tomorrow Never Knows". Everyone knows what it is all about.

    Guess what conspired between these two giants of rock n roll.

    Read on:

    In late August, the Beatles had five singles on the American charts and were winding up a triumphal coast-to-coast concert tour of the United States. Now, as they rested from their performance at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium the night before, they talked to their guest, Bob Dylan, who had driven down from Woodstock to see them. Without fanfare, Dylan pulled a couple of joints from his pocket, put a match to the twisted end of one, and passed it over. For the first time ever, the Beatles were about to get high.

    "But listen to the colour of your dreams
    It is not leaving, it is not leaving"

  5. Heh. I told you how my last such venture turned out.

    Good fer ya, eM ! This promises to be interesting !

  6. I'm not trying to score a date, simply enjoying lurking in your virtual life.

    Enjoy your new romance.

    Take Care

  7. i'll eat my shoe if he stops reading your blog.

  8. jay: Heh. I thought of that. Alas, the days of handwritten notes have long gone :) And no emails yet *crosses fingers*

    whitelight: Oooh, thanks for the trivia! :)

    vague: Well, thanks to the cops most AIIMS smoke guys have already shut down.

    tama: Hardly KBC. Just one email conversation that appealed to me.

    vignesh: I know! :)

    michael: I don't think it's a romance... just a friendship as of now :)

    kots: Heh. I'll take you up on that! :)

  9. Reassurance for a near-senile old man - people can find digressions interesting. Bless you, child.

    "Friend" is nice. Best possible basis for a romance. ("He", I KNOW you'll read this and smile)


  10. Very very true.
    You never know, where, when, who, how...
    Just... happens.

  11. What a great story! That's awesome that it worked out so well. The Twentyfourseven place sounds really cool!

  12. you might also be deluged with hate mail from people like me.

    woman! no fair!!! you cannot have found a date--a 'fabulous' one at that--from blogging! not on top of the active social life thing that you already have.

  13. Ahem. Did you know that your blog links to a porn site? In case you didn't, please note that my blog is no longer at beer-quiche, but has moved to

    (Trust me, you don't want to know)

  14. Ahem I wonder why Gamesmaster has left the same comment on both our blogs...

    And I happen to know your friend:)

  15. Because the Games Master has posted similar comments on 20 other blogs and is now too braindead to think of new ones.

  16. can i join with ab and say "i too know him!"

  17. Dear all, as sweet as it is to see everyone getting so excited, really, truly we are "just friends" :) As unbelievable as that may seem. No undercurrents, no pressure, just... hanging out. Comfortable but NOT romantic. Sorry to burst all your bubbles :)

    j.a.p: Digressions? Always. I was in love with Holden Caulfield :)

    conman: :)

    amandarama: Oh it is! And they have like slushies and all. In the middle of the night! :)

    rimi: Awww. Well, if it makes you feel any better most of my "happening social life" is with my gal pals. No boys at all :)

    kaashyapeya:Hey, I happen to know many GUYS who are chronically late :P

    gamesmaster: Darn. Was just beginning to enjoy the porn too. Oh well :)

    ab: I know. P. told me ;)

    codey: Yes yes, Mr. Nancy Drew. We all know him, but we're protecting his identity, see? :)

  18. Um, okay, i'll use the fancy red pen thingummy from MIB on meself and wipe that slate clean.

    Who am I again?

  19. Poor boy, he was a reader, and now I suspect he will become future content. If he's smart he'll make you sign some sort of non-disclosure agreement ;)

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Thanks for your feedback! It'll be published once I approve it. Inflammatory/abusive comments will not be posted. Please play nice.