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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14 May 2007


I's ill.

I'm not fun ill. I'm not all oh-chin-up-old-girl, or even gently ignoring my sorrows, knitting bravely.

When I'm ill, I want the WORLD to know about it and sympathise. I am grouchy. I blow my nose with defiance. I droop melodramatically over any surface I might be occupying. My voice goes all grainy so I have to repeat everything I say about six times, my expression going more and more martyred. "I said I'd like some soup."

But still. You should feel sorry for me. My nose is sore, my throat hurts, and I feel like I might be getting a fever constantly, which I can assure you, is far more annoying than actually having a fever.

Being sick sucks. It sucks even more this weekend because waaah Hobo is in town! And I can't be all rah-rah-Hobo with the level of enthusiasm that the situation deserves, because I'm all sick and coughy. So now I'm going rah-cough-rah-Hobo! So awesome to have her here though. I went to go get her from the airport, her flight being four hours late. (NEVER EVER fly Indian. EVER. It's the crappest airline in the world, and I've even flown Uzbekistan). The nice thing about this city is that it's okay for a woman to be hanging around the airport in the middle of the night, chilling, smoking a cigarette, drinking Coke and no one will bother her. Well, no one bothered me. I was left comfortably alone. At one something, she finally came out of the airport, looking like a model or something. She's recently had laser surgery, so there were no spectacles, her hair was blowdried straight and shampoo-ad inspiring, and I felt most grubby and sweaty.

We drove to Pieces' friend's house, closer than Pieces' actual home, where they had decided they would stay for the duration of her visit. And then I went home, only to meet with Hobo the next afternoon, when I took her out to lunch to The Bagel Shop, which I love, even if it is rather pricey. Salmon and cream cheese filled, we went back to mine and napped. (In separate beds, oh ye of lesbian porn minds) and then went to meet some of her friends at a restaurant that serves really cheap alcohol, and an excellent Bloody Mary. My cold had returned with full force, and I was sitting on the other side of a fairly crowded table, and since I couldn't make myself heard, I ate my french fries and sniffled loudly. We were all for going somewhere exciting at night, but wound up trudging to Toto's instead, where we spent a couple of hours. Around eleven thirty Hobo wanted to go elsewhere, and not knowing where we could take her, we went to one of the shadiest places I have seen, a place called Boat Club, which was sadly packed to the brim, and full of smoke, which killed her eyes. By this time, I was ready to fade away and die quietly somewhere, so when we went back to Pieces' friend's house, I snuck away into one of the bedrooms and napped till my ride home was ready to leave.

This morning, I still feel all stuffy faced, but having just got a text from Hobo going: "Let's go get early dinner tonight, I'm heading out, so will meet in town ie Marine Drive and Colaba." I feel once more ready to take on the day. When Beloved Friend From Over The Seas is in town, my immune system can handle itself on its own, because I'm not pandering to it. I'll be ill tomorrow. Oh wait, I have work to do. Fine, I'll be ill next weekend, where as far as I know, no one is expected. Today, I will be excited and rah-rah and energetic. So help me God. Yeah.


  1. Oh yes, there's nothing like well timed illness!

  2. hey do you know you just said go away influenza in marathi? it creeps up on you, this city:)

  3. Hobo Hobo rah rah rah... shes from my current city to my home city... hope she has a great time ... pass my regards to her.
    ... and get well soon

  4. em,

    this illness..all this coughing..the sore throat - these are all symptons of your body telling you to quit smoking. i hope you are not smoking while you are unwell.

    gargle with some hot water and do some steam inhalation. please do not smoke. take care of yourself.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. you said cheap alcohol.. please please oh mighty eM... give us the name of that place... and do all of the good things to cure yourself that others may say... but smoking ain't that bad during sickness or health.. maybe reduce to half your normal intake.. that should be fine..

  7. will the real shubh chintak please sit down?

  8. Pls be looking aftr yurself and recovering soon :)

  9. get well soon lil eM... and lead a healthier life.

  10. hope you're feeling better bebe. i must confess i was feeling rather blah last night at leopold's. it was a bit too hot, a bit too hip-hop and a bit too....something was amiss. save for the vodka. o smirnoff what would i do without you?

    but thank ye o brave martyr for braving the flu and showing me such a good time around town. for picking me up at that infernal hour, chez nous, bookshopping, mondy's and the compliments. no thank you for the boat club.

    and shubh chintak, she is smoking despite her flu. tsk! tsk!


  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. hey, I like Indian (nee Airlines)...but most people give me strange looks when I say that...It's my favourite domestic airline...and yes I have flown Jet and Kingfisher...mostly for the legroom and the food...

  13. em,I'm just quite stunned by the amazing writing/observing/feeling skills you and hobo need to stay up and about.

    for health & awesome shape just take up distance running..i was dying in this city of poor lifestyle/food/drink/air and then got kicking w/o giving any excesses up.
    am touching seventy now ;)


  14. this IS the illness season, dearie. almost every blog i stop by has posts written by an ill author :D even I was down with fever (still have cough, though) some time back. but, well, it makes me feel so much better that everyone is falling ill now. *shrug* and that we'll all recover at the same time and all those nice-nice things. this doesn't make sense, does it?

  15. Since you already have a ton of witty(ish) comments, will write a boring (but truthful) one - Get well soon hon. We need to catch up & have a drink :)

    PS: Have linked to you! Scratching my head to figure out why I didn't earlier. Hope this makes you smile & a little less illish!

  16. Oh you poor girl, hope you get well soon! Sympathies apart, I must say though, you continue to write well, sickness, cigarettes(!) and booze not withstanding... I can see that the number of deleted comments and bhaashan's on your blog have gone up exponentially in the recent past. :)

  17. cheap alcohol - where? where?
    boat club - WHYY?
    indian - sigh!
    influenza - bless youuu!

    recovery tip: a glass of warm water in the morning (before you brush) it's disgusting, but highly effective.

  18. Ew, three deleted comments so far. People are nasty to you even when you're sick! Cunts.


    Feel better soon, darling 'un.

  19. duh! drab post. repetitive.eM, time to give up while you are still ahead in the blogging game.

  20. I was at most of those places over the past few days and hoe come I didn't hear you sniff and sneeze and puff :-)?
    Do get well soon

  21. Whats this world coming to when we cant even fall ill in peace...?
    hope you feel better soon..

  22. Guess this was the bug that was bugging you the other day? Hope you're feeling better now.

  23. love bagel shop! try their lemon cheesecake next time


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