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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7 January 2007

The Exile Files (the truth is out there)

Well, Toto, I guess we're not in Delhi anymore. My crowning achievement of the day (besides getting out of bed, ie) has been the discovery of this cyber cafe right next to my house. That and a grocery store that delivers. I may never leave my neighbourhood again. This is so much better than what I was doing day before yesterday and wandering helplessly down Linking Road asking everyone who asked me to buy various things, where I could find somewhere to help my severe internet withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, help was at hand when a friend (did I say a friend? Yes, indeed I did, I have friends, y'all. New people!) called and took pity on me and directed me to a place near the station. But then, I had other people waiting for me (I'm soooooooooo proud of myself. My phone is actually ringing almost as much as it used to) so I couldn't blog like I wanted to.

Therefore, here we are. Day four or is it day five? I've lost all track of time because I've been doing this city in a way that would put Japanese tourists to shame. No, really. Between socialising and wait, more socialising, I've managed to go all over, have this one temple (with missile proof walls, apparently) pointed out to me thrice, seen a major chunk of the nightlife (but I still have to go like hardcore clubbing) and of tremendous excitement to me, because I had just finished reading Shantaram when I left Delhi, been to Leopold's and ordered a pint of wine. Did you know they made wine by the pint? I didn't and so I ordered it, but because my friends were sticking to beer, I had to drink the entire bottle on my own, and dude, a pint of wine can give you wings.

I've actually been quite fortituous in the timing of my move, because two friends of mine from back home (sigh) were in town and in meeting them, I met with their friends, and everyone's been uber-friendly and very nice, and okay, FINE, I'll give it to you, this city IS more friendly than Delhi. Hmph. Although it's not very nice to keep insulting someone's hometown, which is alo what has been happening. In the past four days, if duels were still fought defending someone's honour, I'd be bloodied and wounded by now trying to explain that not all Delhi people are the same. Oh well. Now Mumbai knows me. (Another crowning achievement is teaching a bunch of Bombay boys to say thekha and panwari. Coz really wine shop? How incredibly pseudo!!) Speaking of thekhas/wine shops, I discovered one also right next to my house. I like my neighbourhood, it's very nice and green, wide roads, and quiet. Only the crows in the tree touching my window keep waking me up. And the house is lovely too, not as small as I had imagined and freshly painted walls and everything. Of course, since I am not completely at home anywhere till I have a house party, the housewarming is scheduled for next week. Lalalala.

So far no real TC substitutes, the only two places that I have seen that come close are a place called the Ghetto, which is quite nice, TC prices only, but no happy hours for the media on Wednesday sadly and another place a college friend took me to last night called Club IX which was a little bit shady, but played the right music. (Oddly, while I was having TC homesickness pangs at the Ghetto, I met a TC acquaintance, standing right by the door. Cool, no?)

And the weather. I'm wondering when it's going to get old that I'm wearing shorts in January but right now, it's such fun. It's also fun to laugh at people walking around in MONKEY CAPS. No, really, I think the temperature is like 26 or 27 C and people are wearing jackets and monkey caps. Wusses. :)

Tonight I'm going for a parteh, thankyouverymuch, thrown by the kind Gaurav, who even took me for a drink the first night I was here. I love parties.

Mumbai is being very kind, and I like it so far, although I know this is like the honeymoon period when you hold hands and touch constantly and think all the annoying things are really cute also. I hope it lasts.


  1. toldyouso!!! yippiee she likes mumbai. and now u will never want to go any place else. :P
    great. nice to hear frm u again.
    any time is party time in mumbai.
    enjoy and take care (in tht order)

  2. Ghettos and Totos are the closest TC equivalents you'll find here. Rush to Hard Rock cafe and Shiro if you havent been already. You'll realise Delhi doesnt have mmuch of a nightlife at all :)
    And if you go to Leopolds often enough, you might even bump into the man himself - he now stays in Bombay (somewhere in Colaba, i think) and keeps visiting the place once in 2 weeks or so.
    And dont worry, the honeymoon period will last atleast a year or so!

  3. hahaha! club ix and ghettos and Toto....are really mallu places to hang out...every mallu I know in Bombay loves them...hahaha

  4. Oh! StupiD! It is not TC's and it is not Leopold's. And give it ten years in my town before it even begins to sink down on you. So let's hope you are not one more of those tourists through the town which we so haplessly

  5. Glad to know you are liking Mumbai...a great place to party at...and great food at really cool prices !!!

    Do try out Basilico at Colaba, their food is out of this world !

  6. it'll only get better!! yeay!!

  7. eeee leo's!! i love leo's! ooh,go to hard rock, the music there is amazing! and zenzi...ehhh, not so much for the music, but the scenery is muy fabuloso!

  8. Welcome to the city with the big heart eM. I'm sure you will fall in love with it soon. Btw (altho you might have been told by your many frnz by now) some pubs to goto: Toto's, Shack & Tavern.

  9. wow. i have never seen so much enthusiasm (and so many exclamation marks) in one place in all my life.

  10. wow, up here in calcutta it's around 12 degrees and at bombay it's 26 or 27? do they never have winter?

  11. Hey..babes "Welcome" to the Mumbai Blogging Gang. Was great to meet you last night.

    And Yes ! Delhi rocks.

  12. hehe. completely agree with leo there. that said, bombay does sound interesting - but i'd wait for the honeymoon period to end before forming really concrete opinions :)

  13. as you said, this is your hoenymoon period,so mumbai seems all rose water !

    what is with the "all people from delhi are not bad" as if "goodness" is the membership privelage that comes with living in a particular city

    delhi and delhiwallas are still BETTER

  14. It's difficult to have lukewarm feelings about Mumbai - guess yu will figure out soon enough whether you love or hate it.

    Club IX is really seedy isn't it? It was really hot and happening about 5 years ago but has gone dowhill since then.... check out Poison and Pollyesther

  15. Isnt it that we carry so many bitter and sweet memories of the past that it takes some time adjusting to new things? Be it new job, new apartment or a new city for that matter. May be its just how firmly you are attached to those memories will decide (to a LARGE extent) if you will like something new or not.

  16. oy, tell us when you're gunna do the bombay thing and come to pune for a imsickandtiredofbombayletsgetshitfacedinpunethisweekend type weekend, ya?

    you know l'email.

    love love

  17. I hope its okay that i blogrolled you. Although i might have to change your name now that you've moved and all.

  18. I knew you'd LOVE bombay! Everyone does!

  19. Try out Seijo N Soul Dish, Hawain Shack,Poison....all in the vicinity of Linking Rd....Njoy Mumbai.

  20. GO to Shiro, gorgeous and pretentious Japanese lounge thingie.

  21. The only problem with Leopold is lack of music (they too had a juke-box many decades ago). They have music upstairs but level one is not the real thing.

  22. wow wide roads and trees?!!! which part of the city are you living in?

  23. and u missed hundred of slums everywhere...i thought that is the first thing someone notices about Mumbai...oops they dont make happy reading

  24. bricks: hah! i think that might be taking it a little bit too far :) i'm still a delhi girl. but, thanks.

    anon1: i actually haven't been to shiro yet, though i've heard many mixed reviews. my next stop, i think :) but i don't know what the man LOOKS like, sadly enough. sigh. i could've been sitting right next to him.

    beks: ahhh, then perhaps the mallu in me is emerging, a little late in the day though, no?

    anon2: apologies. abject apologies. :) but it SHOULD have an apostrophe, right? i mean leopold's, would be belonging to leopold, unlike tc, which is just a short form of turquoise cottage.

    jay sun: i've heard of that also, although i was told it's pasta, gujju style :)

    jack: thank you! and have been to two out of three of those, which is not bad i think. :)

    leo: enthusiasm is good. exclaimation marks even better.

    tiny black cat: you know, i don't think so. :) it WAS slightly nippy two days ago, but now the a/c's on full blast at work and not a goosebump do i have.

    sneha: i hope so, dude, i really do. :)

    sakshi: thank you, thank you. it was lovely meeting you also. and salman khan is very nice, since you concede to my point. :)

    armchair philosopher: i know, but first opinions, a wise person once said to me, are the best opinions. coz that's when you're operating from your gut and all.

    ir: absolutely dude. everyone here that i meet will soon be of the same opinion.

    rohini: it WAS really seedy. pollyesther i went to a few years ago, (link, if anyone's interested, and because i feel like pimping my archives: sigh. i sound so young.

    anon3: i suppose so. but then there's also making the new memories, right?

    cale: you've been promising to visit me for ages now also. :P hmph.

    pri: thanks for the link! but yeah, adventures in delhi is a little bit redundant now. well, at least till i go home on holiday or something.

    whitelight: i know!! there wasn't any music, but the pint of wine made up for everything. and they're not exactly WIDE roads, as in not Delhi-wide, but wider, than some of the ones i've seen.

    iz: you sound just like all my friends. :)

    anon4: thanks! i've been to most of those already though, the busy tourist type person that i am. :)

    anon5: thank you, like i said earlier, it's a place i've been meaning to check out. :)

    sherriff: actually, no. i mean, maybe as someone who has grown up in a metropolitan urban Indian city, i'm terribly immune to these things, but i actually haven't noticed significantly more slums here than delhi has.

    (and just once, because i'm a little bit homesick: chirag delhi; iit; khan market; nehru place; mehrauli; hauz khas; safdurjung; def col. and tomorrow is wednesday also. oh dear.)

  25. Don't know about the pasta at Basilico (Colaba)... try the mashed potatoes ( is not on the menu, but they make it for you :) ), the sauteed mushrooms and the Tuna Salad...and then the desserts !!!

  26. Welcome to Amchi Mumbai! I dont live there anymore. I got exiled in the nineties, after the lease at my folks place expired, like it does for everyone who turns 18. But I do have tenure, which gives me rights to welcome folks to this crazy city. I do have a secret desire to have a few beers at Leo's (did you say Leopold's? Thats so .. err ... neveau-school!) and walk home. These days when I visit SoMu (SoMa and SoHo's distant cousin!), it's always something I do at the last hour, and then rush to make it to my flight or train. Ahh nostalgia, red in tooth and claw ...

  27. I love your blog!!!..I swear..its like the best blog tht ever existed! :D

  28. Mumabai (Bomb-bay if u will) needed another delhi sent a bombshell over.. more cumming!!! -UnSane

  29. as someone who grew up in a metropolitan urban setting i can assure you not everyone is immune to such things as the teeming human squalor that mumbai also is aside from being everything else that people have been gushing about in the comments section here. maybe the wide open spaces of delhi allow us to compress our human squalor in to servant alleys in never-go-there-nagars whereas in pichko'd up mumbai you just gotta cope with all kinds of existence.

    but glad you're enjoying it, it's new it's bound to thrill. it's mumbai, it promises to thrill. shorts in jan and thigh high gumboots in july.

    :) and oi monkey caps in mumbai.....hehehehe idiots.

  30. Hard Rock, is where u should be at.I read a scrap of your writings in a men's mag today...which are of course more fun then the cosmo/ elle/etc( although i flip thru those too)and then i read ur blog.
    Not only is your blog interesting but a JMC now in mumbai, just cinched the deal, and i finally created a blog after having thought about it for long enough.
    Well, i've been in mumbai nearly 3yrs. I still have this Love -hate thing with the city. ;-)
    Well, TC is a thing i did in the JMC days, din't know that it was still around. In all my visits to delhi which are as frequent as every month. No one ever mentioned TC, so i assumed it was a thing of the past era. Its nice to know they have the same music.
    Am neither a Toto's or a Leo's fan. But, i do like Hard Rock a lot.
    It's great that you are liking bbay already, i think i hated it in the beginning but the place grows on u. And yes, anytime is party time in bombay.

  31. club IX is what TC is like? that sounds hidous. hard rock is good once all the poeple leave and you can actually get a table or stand anywhere in peace. and no cute boys, but loads of cute girls

  32. Linking road and cyber-cafe... wasnt that hard to find your blog.. :)...had a fun time last evening...and yep this girl can sing....Welcome to Mumbai..Take care


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