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 August 2008

Right back where we started from

Sooooo, the book is out. And free to be trampled all over by critics (although there have been a few glowing reviews which gladden my heart). It's quite a massive feeling though, having a real live book in real live bookstores, it will be odd meeting people after this who say, "Oh, what do you do?" and I'll say, "I write books." Coooooool.

The Delhi launch was everything I wanted it to be. It was at Agni, and I was wearing a white Gauri and Nayanika wraparound dress, and I had my hair done (Hobo and I spent THREE HOURS at a parlour before, just being primped. I even got a pretty pink pedicure.) and then I waltzed around kissing people hello, signing books and being followed by cameras. It was AWESOME. They had a segment where I read and then where I had to go behind the bar and pour out drinks for people and the kind people at Agni had premixed a bunch of shots with names like Brazen and Topsy-Turvy (named after a character in the book who does awesome cocktails) and some other stuff, so I just stood and poured out shots and made myself a Cosmo till it got old and I got out and went back to circulating.

But everyone as far as I could tell, was having a wonderful time. And the best part for my hard mercenary soul--the books table was looking emptier and emptier.

After Agni switched on the lights and began to usher us out, a few of us decided to after party at Aqua next door. The original plan was to stay at Aqua till Agni reopened at 10.15, but there was a pool you could dangle your feet in and music like Time After Time so we stayed. And got drunker and drunker and drunker. Many "I lurrrrrrrrve you's" were said, squidgy faced hugs were given, beginnings of speeches made and abandoned and I was all teary and sentimental by the end of it.

The next day was the reading at Full Circle at the MGF Mall, which, frankly, was not an ideal space location because I was battling with a bunch of other sounds coming from nearby shops and the traffic was SO massive that evening, that a lot of people started out and never made it. But I got little Maya to read (I can't read, no really, if my kids ever ask me to read aloud, they probably won't ask me twice) and then I answered some questions and then everyone ate mini pizzas and then me, Fariha, Teleute and two other friends went off to Bennigans and drank some more (and ordered some chicken wings, which I gotta say, are not as good as they used to be). (Ooh, and I met the Mad Momma! Although, all too briefly, but next time, I have full plans of us hanging out more.)

People were missed though--Small in New York, Samit in Zurich, Urvashi in Washington, Sarnath in Sao Paolo (wow, I have really globe trotter-esque friends) and Shakti and Puja. I wish they had all been there, to share in my delight and pride of the evening and I thought of one or all of them the entire evening.

And now, I'm back in Bombay. Met at the airport by JC, which was lovely. It's so nice to have someone to meet you. We had our grand reunion and he cooked for me and Lali and it was excellent to be back. Tomorrow, Shark Tooth and Akshay arrive for the Bombay launch and I'm all yay! With friends like mine, I can afford to ignore the critics.


  1. Wonderful - all of it, your life right now. I'm almost envious. And I'm sure after I've thought about it a good deal, I will be totally there.

  2. Not relevant to the post. Just wanted to say, saw your pic in Business Standard this Saturday. You are not as thin as you claim to be. You have an ideal figure. And yeah, youhave somewhat generous boobs:-)

  3. Good lord, I have somewhat generous boobs too, does that give me an ideal figure?

  4. You have globe-trotteresque friends and shameless ones who harangue you about not getting invited to the launch. Where's my invitation, then? Considering I bought the book on the first day and read it through the night...grumble grumble, some people... :-D

  5. @perakath- I didnt mean generous boobs=ideal figure. EM had written about her being very thin (in more than one blog) and I said she aint thin or fat. And she had also written in an another blog that she has boobs that are quite big and I was agreeing. Both the comments are independent of each other, though, yeah I didnt not make it clear in my comment earlier.

  6. let me know if you have a bangalore opening! ur blog makes me smile!


  7. So you didn't actually mix the shots yourself? Wonder how that would've gone...

    But good going with the book. It is cool to say "I write books"!

  8. First, everyone did have a great time at Agni (and consequently, Aqua.) Secondly, Gauri and Nayanika - hmmm. I have to say I've changed my mid about designer clothes - that dress was lovely :-)
    Third, *grin* I had fun doing the reading. Thank you for asking me (if you recall, I'd said on this blog that I HAVE to do it.)

  9. Hey eM, congrats on the book, ill be picking up a copy today :)
    And gauri and nainika! It dosent get better than that!

  10. Please point us to the glowing reviews! URL them. I've read only stinkers everywhere--India Today, Mint, Indian Express ...! I'm dying to read someone say something nice about my favourite blogger. :(

  11. Good Lord, you're everywhere!
    And with quite a varied audience too, I must say!
    I googled you and came up with such a delightfully innocent post about you on some girl's blog!
    Quite an insightful post! It's descibes you quite aptly!

  12. The link didn't show up properly, sorry!
    You should really see it, though!

    I came to compliment you on the reading and I saw someone has linked to MY post!
    I IS FAMOUSSSSSSS!!!! (Well, fame is relative.So in front of you, not so much, but for someone as little as me, it's a big deal, okay?)

    Anyhoo, kudos to you.
    You is famous too.
    Slighly more than me, though :-P

  14. Thats great! Congrats on the book!
    I will pick it up from Crossword and let you know it is.. :)

  15. hey eM...
    u gonna have a launch in Dubai???

  16. jus went out and picked it up! can't wait to crack it open!

    u planning on a book signing in madras?

  17. glad to have your book out... i am going to pick up a copy tomorrow! still no plans of a launch in Chennai??

  18. Hmm i was at mumbai airport, with 20 minutes to go for my flight to raipur and guys at the deccan counter says "gate is closed". I cancel that and catch the next flight to nagpur. The pouch in front of the seat has a complimentary magazine in it. i flip through it a see a review of "you are here". reading it makes me interested in knowing more about you and the book.

    later at nagpur railway station, i have lot of time to kill. my train is at 11 30 pm. It just 8pm now. i hook up my laptop to internet and search "you are here" in google.

    i land on one post made last diwali and hilarious comments underneath it. i had read half way through and realized that it was an old post. something told me that it aint diwali yet.

    anyways congrats on the book and the launch. Also read in the diwali post about books in trivandrum public library. i am from trivandrum too.

    planning to read your book. dont know if i will get it in korba (now go figure where korba is). i always wanted to write a book. too busy. its writers like you who re kindle the dream. Thanks

    you must be getting lot of fan mail. not a fan yet. But you definitely got me interested

  19. I bought your book on the weekend, and read it too. And liked it quite well.

    Congratulations on the book being out, and I hope lots of copies sell.

  20. me and two other friends got a copy each of your book. " we were right there" and we lurveed it. i finished it in 2 hours flat on the train. :D!
    m gonna recommend it to other friends too.

  21. hey congrats on the book... its lyk a dream come true (a least thts wat my dream is)...
    read the book, enjoyed it too, finished in a few hrs; but keep blogging- love ur blog and the way it traces ur lyf..

  22. when will you book hit the shelves in bangalore?

  23. read your book in one go. do you have a launch in chennai?
    your reviewers, especially the one in india today, took extra pains to be vicious. actually he or she reminded me of muttachi amyar characters in old tamil movies. muttachi amyars or child tamil brahmin widows with tonsured heads, were shown in those movies as taking out their frustration, as they get older, by spitting venom on younger women.
    forget muttachi amyars you got gr8 friends and fans. don't forget to post the chennai dates.

  24. good eM..!!!!!!!!!
    when r u going to launch in Hyderabad...?

  25. One day i read a book review by Khushwant Singh in one of the newspapers.

    Days later it came as a nice surprise that I have often visited the writer on blogosphere. Lots of luck for your book, and yes you have landed in an ideal profession :)

  26. it was lovely meeting you and your new pen..! you go girl!

  27. Just finished reading your book. I loved the conversational style, or whatever it is called in journo-writer lingo(or whatever you want to call it), like you are actually telling your story, the chapter titles giving a hint about what to expect, Topsy's bold decision, Dee's predictable marriage, Esha's absurd obsession, and Arshi's final realization of being 'the victim.' I hated Kabir, Gagan, and Michael, almost from the very moment they arrived in the story (Misandrist I am not!). The book is great and timed right for our metros. Wish I could meet you and get your autograph on my copy, but now you are famous, so no chance I guess, eh?

  28. Ohhhhhhh! sounds so lovely.. wish you many more lovely moments like these..

  29. Oh boy...... just spent time for last few days readin ur blog.....
    I dnt like to blog but do like to write
    but one thing for sure that I have 2 meet u ..... lets see if I can make it 2 Blue Frog.... knowin it is just next door to my house
    u drink (daaru) like a swine.... I hv a gud competitor in Mumbai
    secondly will tell u when v r able 2 meet

  30. Hi eM,
    I have been reading your blog for over a year now (possibly more). Yeah, am one of those who lurk around but never comment :-P

    Anyhow, I was looking forward to the book launch and even bought a copy this Sunday (am in Mumbai). I won't lie and say it was brilliantly written; it was enjoyable nonetheless. My only problem was -- most of it felt like I've already read this before in your blog.

    Having said that, I do wish you all the success and hope that there will be many more books to your name. Goodluck :-)


  31. you also forgot to mention that Hobo spent 3 hours reading the book the day before the launch as well unlike the rest of your friends. hmph!


  32. Congratulations on ur book being published..... read a few chapters on rediff...quite liked it...will definitely buy the book this saturday.....newaz all the best and keep writing :)

  33. You are published! Congrats! I'm so jealous. lol. gud luck :)

  34. congrats eM, its good to finally see one of us cross that first big hurdle!
    Youre now a published author, feel proud (and I know theres no trouble being loud!) :D
    I kid, but seriously, congratulations and I wish you all the best for the success of your literary efforts, hopefully we will see much more down the road!
    Take care.

  35. Well done, eM! Chin up to the bad reviews, in the unlikely event that there are. Will pick it up this weekend. Am reading Zadie Smith right now but hey, will not make odious comparisons :-)

    Congratulations once again!

  36. Hey, followed you here from the Mad Momma's blog. Now I can say I know somebody famous, even if its on the blogosphere. Cant wait to read your book, sounds very exciting!!! Congrats

  37. Hey eM, congrats on the book! Can't wait to get a copy myself. I've been reading your blog only for about 2 months now and have been loving!

    P.S Congrats for the very happening life too! This is your time!:)

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

  39. Congrats! Is the book coming out in Singapore? Want to read it!

  40. em, its like everything coming together finally. right?
    well, all the best.
    book was good!

  41. Congrats, eM. All of a sudden I am reading a celebrity's blog. :p

  42. Saw you on rediff. Tantalizing top you have worn. You talk about your boobies so much. Wouldnt hurt to show em a bit for us you know. After all if your writings have literary value, then your boobs must have aesthetic/artistic value right???

  43. very impressive blog! still have loads to explore :) first time n all for me.
    might be late for this question - but wats ur book called? ur posts seem so interesting, want to keep my eye out for ur book.

  44. Hey,
    I read abt ur book and they had mentioned abt ur blog. so one reader for d blog thru d book:-

  45. Hello! Just popping by to say I grabbed a copy of The Book at Crossword this morning... looking forward to reading it! Congratulations, Miz Authoress! :0) Are you still working with the kiddos now?

  46. "Oh, what do you do?" and I'll say, "I write books." Coooooool. "

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


    I did a blog-review of your book.

  48. Watch eM's 'You Are Here' Delhi book launch at Agni!

    Featuring many shots of the author and her friends, three extracts from 'You Are Here' read by Meenashi herself (sitting on the bar no less!) and highlights of a great night, catch the Compulsive Confessor live in action!

    Make sure You Are Here!

  49. Be careful. The dizzy delights will wear off. Writing is tough business, a contract with your conscience!


  50. A bit disappointed after reading this book of yours.

    I think you can write on better things and this shall pass off as the first attempt.

    Hope to see something more meaningful from calibre like yours.

    PS: You might not post this ??

  51. Oh dear god. Are the people at Penguin on acid? Usually, I'd agree most critics worldwide take great pains to be assholes. However, critics in the indian media industry are, for the most part, pompous idiots who suck at stringing a sentence together capably much less reviewing someone else's ability to do so. Their need to cultivate snobbery as a form of legitimacy is also sadly transparent. But sinc even those monkeys have reason to slam your book, I take satisfaction in continuing to scream at your vapid representations of our generation of women. As if confronting the sick sexual politics of this country isn't bad enough. Yeah yeah, I know, you don't give a shit, you're awesome because you sponge off wealth, can gatecrash parties, and engage in other such worthwhile daily pursuits.


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