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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27 January 2006

Love is so short, forgetting is so long

It's all about the past these days.

I think about you.

I think about you as-you-were, not as-you-are, which seem to be two different people.

I think about being met at the airport.

I think about a train to Goa, twelve hours late, and I was so sure you wouldn't be there. And my eyes already started to tear, as I looked around in panic for a PCO so I could call you and as I turned, I collided with your chest and you smelt familiar and you wrapped your arms around me and we just stood. And we rocked back and forth for a bit, while co-paasengers watched us, amused. And in the taxi, on the way back, at 3 am, you gave me a pad of stationary, with letters to me written on it.

I think about before we were dating, when we teetered close to dating. When we sat at Flavours, on the lawn, your knees behind my back, my fingers looking like they were running through the grass, but really caressing your ankles, thinking innocently, that no one noticed.

I think about checking my phone during my 2.40 to 3.30 class, and seeing daily smses, saying, "Hanging out at bus stop." And I'd run as soon as we were released, spray quick deodarant on my body, and you'd be at the college gate, waiting with crossword and lit cigarette and you'd take my backpack and my car keys and drive us to your house to eat cheese toast.

I think about how you used to run my back when I coughed, looking at me anxiously, murmuring, "Bas, bas" till I stopped, soothed.

I think about how we read together, in your room, with the A/C high. Or at my house, how our legs always tangled on the couch, and how after we fought for the remote, you always let me have it eventually.

I think about going to Dharamsala, and meeting a couple of your friends there and sleeping on the way back to Delhi, with my head on your lap, and how you carefully spread a shawl over my head and carefully rolled a joint, even though the bus was shaky you never spilt.

I think about that first office party you came to, and how you dropped a drunk colleague home, and how you spoke with everyone and made them love you and my heart swelled because I was with you.

I think about you, propped up on one elbow, watching me sleep and when I woke up and asked, "What?" you said you loved me.

And now, how dare I settle for anything less than what you gave me?


  1. And now, how dare I settle for anything less than what you gave me?

    That is a really tough and often loney route to take. If you find it, nothing like it, if you don't, it can suck really bad.

    Comparisons can be very tricky.

  2. sad sad post on a holiday? Now im feeling all heavy and sombre!

  3. "The past always looks better than it was. It's only pleasant because it isn't here" (Finley Peter Dunne)

    sigh *hands you a tissue and a bar of chocolate*

  4. such a beautiful post..

    someone will come by who will do all this and more...

  5. Re: the last line - don't.

    But be thankful that you had something so good. Most people go through life without ever finding it.


  6. Sweet. Hey, how about putting out full feeds instead of the teasers? I usually read posts on the move, so it'd make a really big difference.

  7. Time wound all heals.. one of those days huh? This too shall pass.. I think the key would be.. I think of u as u were.. not as u are.. which seem like two different pple.. but tellin yourself tt is painful..

  8. aww!

    at least you have 'em memories!
    Sometimes, i guess things just have to happen y'know?

    but i can't imagine what you might be going through, so i won't preach.


  9. "But since you been gone
    I can breath for the first time
    I'm so movin' on, yeah yeah
    Thanks to you now I get what I want...Since you been gone."

  10. i wonder if ex boyfriends of us nice girls ever feel like this post?

  11. At Simon Armitage says what he thinks. Faiz, at, has a variation on the theme.


  12. i don't know you but *big hug*

  13. another thing,
    I just assumed that you were sad bout it all. On second thought, you don't sound sad.

    So, yay! for love and all the travailing

  14. yeah. so where do you go from here? and when will you find again what you thought you had?

  15. @Wendigo: Yes we do. A lot. Then we bury ourselves in mountains of work and kill insects in acute frustration.

    Guys have hearts too.

    PS: Passing through nearly the same phase... :(

  16. wendigo-yes, ex-boyfriends feel like this too.I think.I know I have.
    The last bit too.....

    Dear Compulsive Confessor,
    Thanks for the memories, which,strangely enough it seems sometimes, are still good ones...

  17. "I think about you as-you-were, not as-you-are"
    or maybe it's because YOU aren't as you were. people seem to change when you yourself do, so if you're happier with what you are now, then maybe it's best that it ended.

  18. When the mind wonders about the past it symbolizes regret. When one starts thinking about pain, it grows. When one denies it, it grows. It grows till it assumes chaotic proportions and then it loops out of the boundaries of control.When one stops thinking and starts emptying the mind everything settles down and one starts feeling the love that made sense in the whole ordeal.
    Rock n roll Sistah.

    Peace out,
    The beatnik baba

  19. @wendigo: Hell yeah!

    And kick ass post, eM! I feel you! (ok now that doesn't sound right, but you know what 'm sayin'!! :))

  20. very touching..
    i can easily relate to that.. in a different way though.

  21. That was scary...somebody gave me a very similar speech once..

    Almost made me feel like a sinner for loving so!


  22. Forgetting is really a simple procedure,
    A skilled surgeon is all you require.

    Just explain to him nicely that,
    Doc I need a brain transplant.

  23. @primalsoup... Why would you want to forget?

    To forget thebad things, you have to forget the good stuff too, so what's the point?

    Eventually, all that is there to remember will be these memories.

    And no, settling for less is not an option. But think about it this way, you may not get the exact same things with someone else, but you may get something different, something that makes up for what you had in the past. Would that be settling? I don't think so.

  24. `Well, it's no use your talking about waking him,' said Tweedledum, `when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real.'
    `I am real!' said Alice, and began to cry.
    `You won't make yourself a bit realer by crying,' Tweedledee remarked: `there's nothing to cry about.'
    `If I wasn't real,' Alice said--half laughing through her tears, it all seemed so ridiculous--`I shouldn't be able to cry.'
    `I hope you don't suppose those are real tears?' Tweedledum interrupted in a tone of great contempt

  25. This is my first visit here...
    M deeply touched with this post, it reminded me of someone *sigh*
    U hv used simple words but handled them with lots of emotions n that is what I like.
    I prefer to read abt the emotions than the words, the grammar or whatever!


  26. For every sweet/wonderful/magical memory that you have, there's usually a less sweet/not so wonderful/unmagical moment to match. These are also worth remembering, just so you don't over-idealise the past.

    Hmm. Am I a cynical old bastard or what.

  27. Oh, this is like bitter chocolate. It ought not to be so good to read, but somehow - it is.

    Still. Surely one always has recourse to rum and raisin ice-cream?

  28. Oh c'mon, we expect better than Mills & Boon stuff from you! (to give you credit though....we never would have read about rolling joints on M&B).

  29. *sigh*


    I've finally stopped taking those walks into the past. But it is nice t go there occassionaly.

  30. Jay, I'm with you. Nostalgia is beautiful as long as we recognise it as such, some things are hard to let go of, but they ended/are ending because they no longer fit us. Good luck, I empathise ;-)

  31. very me,
    all i cud see was a reflection of me...
    and i am still waitin for something like him...

  32. That was the only post of yours that I totally like.And I am very sad right now.

  33. i do relate to this..
    somehow college days were innocent. and these things are forgotten over time
    its worse when you are older and then breakups become circumstantial. love becomes convenience and tends to make you a cynic or a non believer.

    But i hope you always have stars in your eyes.

  34. hummm...we all go thro this hai naa ? the picture which is gone always looks prettier than today !!

    Lovely post ..more ever Direct dil se !!

  35. First visit to your blog.
    I know you must have (who am I kidding, I'm just like you! you HAVE) been told about a million times that 'you're such a good writer'. So I'll just say that you connected with me. Made me feel like I was reading my own blog. Now THAT'S some good writing. This particular post had me crying though, cuz it's exactly how I feel.
    Anyhoo, awesome blog, makes for excellent reading when all the books are finished!

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

  37. I literally have tears in my eyes and strangely enough I am feeling happy inside. I am not going to say anything else coz that’ll just mess up my present state of mind and right now all I want to do is to savour it.


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