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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25 January 2007

The Crazy Cat Lady

Last night, Pieces and I, and some of her friends went to this place called Squeeze to listen to DJs Nikhil and Pearl. We arrived shortly after Nikhil's set, and Pearl had taken over, and was wearing those big earphones and churning out the music and smiling at the crowd. I'm not really into house, which is what was being played, but something about the energy of the evening, the pulsating beats and the waving arms of the crowd--mainly young boys, not older than 20 I should think, which meant no (legal) eye candy--sort of made me do a little back and forth sway thing, that I do when I'm not dancing. Women DJs are so, so sexy, I think, something about conquering what essentially looks like a male domain, they look so feisty and ubercool and such an epitome of female independence. And then DJ Nikhil, her husband came up from behind her and put his arm around her waist. And that last epitome of Single Womanhood? Vanished.

A couple of months ago, a good friend of mine hesistantly told me she was in love. Well, not in love love, but she liked the dude a hell of a lot and well, they were going to take each day as it came and so on. I was happy for her, sure, but in all this, somewhere at the back of my brain, little voices started screaming, rock opera style:
You're going to wind up alone!
No, no no, how can this be, I sang back
Because you are now and have always been freeeeee-eeeeeeee.

Leela gets hitched this October. Dates have been set, outfits bought and I am somewhere in the glorious state of denial. I love her, sure, and I'm immensely happy for her and that everything's working out great, but oh dear, what's gonna become of meeeeee?

(Caveat: I do enjoy being single, this is not a post whining about lack of love etc. It's actually supposed to be a post dissecting relationships in your twenties. Right. Now that I've put you, and myself, back on track, moving on.)

Twenty, these days, appears to be the new thirty. The world is being run by twenty somethings, oh I'm not talking like CEO or editor type jobs, but those are what we're being groomed for eventually. We're being fed royal jelly and don't we know it. As a result, most twenty somethings are a) jaded; b) incredibly stressed out; c) usually burnt out with all the high living and d) unbearably smug.

Therefore, with this being older than we actually are, if you take each year of twenty as the equivalent thirty something age, you have about how old we feel. At 25, now, being single, is like being single at 35, especially when all around you, your peers are hooking up like there's no tomorrow. The free-for-all sex, which you thought you had INVENTED at 20 or 21, is now giving way to "something serious" which is what everyone--men included--seem to want.

Being committed at twenty something is almost like being married. Most people, thanks to the large number of us who move away from families and home towns, have their own houses. I know at least two couples who live together, in perfect domestic harmony. What's gone wrong? Where are our independent free lives? I think the problem is multitasking. We can do it all, and then some. Therefore, your average twentysomething can juggle a career, living alone and a relationship all with considerably panache. You have the same originally thirtysomething relationship problems--commitmentphobia, settling down, making a call between an awesome career shift or saving your relationship, long distance, blah blah blah. When did relationships become such hard work?

I, on the other hand, am contemplating getting a cat. And trying not to be worried by articles such as this one. Babies, peh, I have feline company. Oh, and five years.



    as a fellow cat lover - i commend your sensible decision

  2. Ironic that you should post this just as a friend got me to do this quizz...

    Basically tells you what age you act ...

    I am 26 but my age according to the quiz is 34 presumably because I'm married and because I said that I did not want to change my job but just get paid more...

    Go do the quizz... should be fun...

  3. If twenty is the new thirty...then what does that make thirty...

    Nice always... :)

  4. well, once you cross 20 being the new thirty, you get to 30 where you're told 30 is the new 40, so really that would put you at 40 now?

  5. you mentioned a book club in your last post...ive just moved to bombay as well, could you divulge how i can access this book club?

  6. I have been living in with a cat for the past few months - how is it... He (yes it's a he!) hasn't scratched me yet!

    The 20/30 conundrum is almost nearing 30/20 for me. But then I was always old.

  7. and someone was scolding me for being nineteen! hmph.

  8. hey - don't say 20 is the new 30!! i am turning 30 in a few months and telling myself almost the other way around. i am not ready to pack up just yet!

  9. I haven’t lived in India for past 8 years but whenever I go back, I can see it has definitely changed. Btw I am in the later half of twenties. The entire problem you mentioned juggling professional and personal life is pretty much valid, I guess almost everyone goes through. Like you, I was a lot inclined to singleton life after an incredible time with an ex when we lived together for quite a long period. However on hindsight, the singleton life I had led is probably the most cherished and experimentalist phase. My earlier relationship had taught a lot about me because it had offered me a chance to fall in love, enjoy the domestic bliss and yet a relationship uninfluenced by social pressures or norms (Mind you its lot more easy to get away from an incompatible or soured relationship when you in a live-in than the one based on legal matrimony). When I was single, I guess after the initial period of break up and all the hullabaloo of it, I guess I did a lot more than what I could have ever achieved but somewhere at the end of it I was in despair and really frustrated by the seemingly lack of “love” of my life. Friends, near and dear were getting hitched left, right and centre. A series of periods followed; self denial, social mortification and self doubt. Then two years ago, when I had almost given up, I met someone and am married now. It was brilliant really, but you know what, life just doesn’t stop being exciting. We now have a long distance marriage. Hence pal, don’t worry, things just have a way to sort out and when they do, surprisingly it’s never what you imagined.


  10. @A - that's so cool and encouraging. when i had read the blog all I could do was smile like trying to say 'welcome to the real world'... and thx for showing the other version of the real world.

  11. Aaah, but once you turn 40 you can do whatever the hell you want, for can say screw counting..I am woman hear me roar...

  12. You linked to An. Article. From. The. ToI?!
    Child, you've Finally Lost It. Or perhaps the article is coming true for you at 25. Yerrkkk.

    Btw, I turned 40 some time ago. Thanks for confirming my suspicions about my own senile decay.


  13. what's gunna become of you? why, you marry me, of course.

    psh. as if there was ANY need to adress that question.


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  15. hem hem, i think the cat idea rocks.. but just curious, why not a dog?

    and yes... am 23 *groan* and stressed out and burnt and allthat, and yes i am terrified that the world shall pass me by but you know what?? i think eventually it'll be ok again. i mean, its just one life.... na??

  16. lil eM. very sweet and stressed out post. you're very bright and very sweet with a great pool of experiences i'm sure. but you havent lived long enough yet little eM. you'll look back at this post 5 years from now, shake your head and laugh.

  17. nothing in the times of india should rankle you ever.

  18. Hey... 1) Sumeet and I are coming down to Mumbai from Feb. 16-18. Wanna meet up for a drink? 2) As soon as his green card comes through, we're moving to NY where I, a smug 20-something, can take over my editor job; this is me being obnoxious, but I promise, it actually has a consequence that might relate to you. If we can't find a way to bring our cat Pekoe with us, we're going to have to find a good home for her...she's really funny and likes to talk, and she wouldn't make you feel crazy at all. Or something.

  19. dear em, you have to absolutely stop posting about your quarter life crisis. it reminds me of mine.

  20. please, i have so mnay [cats] \i beg of you. take them.
    take them all

  21. I think the problem is not with multitasking but with the teeny twenty-somethings not being focussed enough on any one of the tasks and hence feeling like losers in the most important of them. after all they have to work hard, party harder right? so wheres the timeee!

    and yeah:)..I shared the same reactions from people whenever I wrote something about bombay or 'dare' to compare it to Delhi with my


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