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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12 October 2005
A Brief Intermission While I Turn Into Fanny FanGirl
I lurve Vikram Seth. I want to marry him and have his babies. I met him, some eight years ago, a cranky 16-year-old (or was I older? Eighteen? I forget). Anyhoo, so my mum calls me from the living room one evening and says, "Look who's here!" And I'm in an old nightshirt, my hair standing on end and I growl from my room and whine about how I was sleeping and on the phone and I don't want to meet anyone. But finally I emerge and ohmygod, it's Vikram Seth. In my living room. Looking at my bookshelf. Oh my god. And he's very sweet and fully prepared to have an intellegent conversation and all I can say (oh forsaken rehearsed conversation on Kafka and Camus!) is, "But I'm in my nightie!" Over and over again. Finally, he gave up on me and left and I just wanted an earthquake, right then and there to swallow up my sorry soul.
I met him today also and had a really hard time sticking to being professional. There were long gaps in my interviewing process as I gasped for air while he talked to me. Then as we wrapped up he said, "Haven't I met you before?" "Yunh," I said, blushing madly. He smiled. "Weren't you.. um.. dressed rather unconventionally?" Professional resolve dropped and I gasped at him, "Oh my god, I can't believe you remember that!" (Oh, eM, eM, was that a squeal? Did you squeal in front of Vikram Seth? Don't squeal, no, no.) "I thought it was very endearing," he told me then and I wanted to kiss him. But you will be happy to know, I held on to my baser instincts and simpered like a 14-year-old meeting Nick Carter. "You must've been all of 16," he said and, "How old are you now?" "I'm 24," I said, rapidly adding the two months left. "Wow, it's been eight years, huh?" and he looked so wise and beautiful I nearly kissed him again (Okay, any excuse to kiss him, I admit. And yes, I do know he's gay. Oooh, I just said I do. Ooh. *gets a grip*) I finally came up with something to say that wasn't MarrymeIpromiseI'llmakeyouhappyandI'llevensharpenyourpencilsandmakeyoucoffee. "Goodness I feel old." "Not as old as I do," he laughed and oh, he has a lovely laugh.
He signed my book even, saying Well met again in his scrawly handwriting and yeah, well, there was kissing in my head happening. What is one to do when one has big crush on one's professional relationship-type people? See, unlike Salman Rushdie (who I have not met, but wouldn't it be cool if I had?) Vikram Seth is eminently kissable. He's so down-to-earth, a Dilli-wallah like me. No reporter would ever feel like kissing Salman Rushdie, I mean, unless she looked like a supermodel but then he already has his supermodel wife so technically he's already probably judging you in his head as you walk in and technically, technically you have already failed the test.
Anyhoo, so as we left, me still walking on air (Endearing! Dude!) the photographer looking most amused at my early entrance and consequent conversation, he says to me (the photog, ie, not Vikram Seth), "I've never seen anyone both gushing and drooling at the same time." "Hmph," was my witty retort. "You should've asked me to take a picture of the two of you," he said then, teasing, but I didn't care, coz ha-ha, Vikram Seth thought I was endearing and not him, so what did he know.
So that's my Famous Person story. For the love of God, if you know me in real life DO NOT bring this up. I like to think of myself as a calm, rational journalist, not usually prone to gushing, but oh. Oh.