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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28 January 2009

Two really good stories--well, I thought so anyway

My new all-time favourite song is The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson. At the risk of sounding impossibly mushy I think this is THE song to sum up my relationship. (Okay, okay, so it's generic enough to sum up any relationship but I feel particularly fond of it so I book it first!)


I'm in Delhi right now curling my sock feet in the winter sunshine. Life is (mostly) good. I went to the Jaipur lit fest, standing down on my ego and going uninvited, but I'm glad I did. Going to a lit fest as a random schmoozer as opposed to having to sing for your supper is so much better. And, boy, did I schmooze. I met people I should've normally been all awe-ful around, as a backslapping equal, drunk some vodka, listened to some interesting sessions and (dun dun dun dun) found out that ASHIS NANDY reads my blog! Yup, the little ol' frivolous Compulsive Confessor appears to have some not so frivolous fans. He said, "It's the sort of blog people can't help reading over and over again, even if they don't want to." Dudes, I died. (Of course, the first thing eM said upon recovering her breath was, "I'm SO going to blog about this." Heh. I liked that man.)


So, a couple of weeks ago, Akshay and I go to this gay party at Pause. It was excellent fun--1200 bucks all you can drink--and I walked around feeling as though I could've taken my top off and have no one even react. Very liberating. Anyway, so we're holding up the walls and watching people dance and suddenly this very pretty girl comes over to us and is all over Akshay. I figure she's one of the hot fag hags I've noticed everywhere and smile slyly into my drink as I watch them flirt. Akshay doesn't seem to be responding to my nudging, he throws me a helpless look and goes off to get drinks while Hot Chick and I chat and I am the perfect wingman. "He is SO cute," says the Hot Chick. "He's single," I say, grinning even more broadly and she laughs and sort of teeters (she's very drunk and leaning on me quite heavily at this point) and says, "That's my boyfriend," pointing to a guy in a sleeveless shirt, with thick mascara and glittery armbands.

"Oh, I thought he was gay," I say, feeling a little bit puzzled. She looks puzzled too. "So am I," she says and I'm thinking, "Okay, she's lesbian, they're having a relationship of convenience so their parents don't find out." And THEN she pulls her top down and flashes me with... her perfectly flat nipple pierced chest. And I'm still going, "Huh?" and then my brain and my mouth together go, "Ohhhhhhh... you're a MAN." And then I start laughing because I think of how fooled Akshay will be but then he comes back and I whisper it to him and he looks at me as if I'm an idiot and goes, "Yes, I know, now will you please stop playing wingman?" The Hot Chick--well, you know, whatever--appears in the now switched on lights and I can now make out the stubble and the Adam's apple and I am amazed and feeling kinda stupid. Never mind, one needs a first encounter to properly handle the second.


I'm doing a reading on the 1st, that's Sunday, at Causarina Hall at the Habitat Centre from 6.30 to 8.30. I'll read from the book, there'll be a sort of discussion and then tea. Come if you can, it's open to all. It's being organised by the awesome FriendsOfBooks which is such a fantastic idea for a website.

And that's all.

Coz I.. I.. love the way you say good morning

And you take me the way I am


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. WELL the story two was quite funny and cant stop laughing still.... and keep blogging, have fun !!

  3. oh yayyy.. ashis nandy! damn cool :) i think the winter was too short this time :-/ but oh well!!

  4. Well, make that one really good story. The 2nd one was hilarious. The 1st one was maybe interesting coz it happened to u!

  5. Yeah story 2 was quite funny. I wonder how you happen to find your way into such situations. Regarding being in Delhi, I feel sad coz I can feel the winters slipping by..sigghhh!!! I wanted to go to Jaipur to for the Lit fest..but couldn't make it :( But will be going to Jaipur anyways soon :) And yeahh all the best for you book never know I might just be there :))

  6. I once played that song on a loop for two whole weeks!!

    love it too!

  7. Okee! A totally irrelevant comment here but was compelled to do it anyway, after reading story 2! I live in Sweden where, ofcourse, being gay is totally acceptable. Since social stigma is totally non-existant, guys are quite open about their sexuality. And guess what? Gays don't have to be feminine at all. I've seen and known some really, really hot guys, totally manly, muscles and all kissing their boyfriends. Grr!!!
    Btw, I almost thot story 2 would end up with you being hit on by the hot 'girl', but hmmm.. it did'nt! I wud have been super jealous if you had been tho. Imagine getting both guys and gals!

  8. "one needs a first encounter to properly handle the second" - nice one

  9. Thanks for mentioning looking forward to seeing you on feb 1st...Yea!

  10. The second one, Hilarious!!! Keep Blogging!!!

  11. Friendsofbooks is an incredible idea.. with business potential! If you come up with something as interesting as could win a big deal from The Economic Times!.. I just sent one of my ideas too..

  12. Story No 2 was great. Reminded me of when I went to a sinilar party with a homosexual friend a couple of years back, and man was that a diferent experience! It was exicting. And yes, some are really atractive. I was asked out by two different guys/girls (don't know for sure. Dim lighting, you see). That's a story I'll tell my grandkids :)

  13. Well found ur blog just recently...
    Was going through it....
    most of things ...over my head.... :-(
    I think this is because of society i am living in...No Drinks(Except Cold Drinks ), NO PUB-Shub, No Sex(Girls are shy or me?Don't Know), In short-Boring Unlimited....But thoughts can change a reading ur posts...Do u have any copy Right Panga? coz I am goin to Publsh some of your Thoughts(Post) On my blog...Don't worry I will Give the link to ur blog..

  14. story 2 was funny... she was a hot chick 'MAN'...

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  16. Your Blog is worth digging......I am amazed that no one has digged it...

    Here is link to digg Digg Here

  17. Ok,story no 1, really happy for you.

    story no 2. HILARIOUS. and one could visualize the whole episode so perfectly.

    :) fun fun.

  18. it was good seeing you again after all this time. will be at the reading for sure.
    oh and about the second story, well there will be those who may disagree with me on this, but in general guys are better at knowing who's gay and who's not then women. period.
    (and by guy i mean decided hetero's who have no identity or mummy issues! :D)
    I think the technical word for it is "gaydar" I believe.
    No hostility, I think it's nature's way of guys being aware of who they can and cant get with, logical given the amount of credit we give to 'jewels' when it comes to male behaviour!

  19. Mam,

    I want to meet you. Pls give me an appointment.

  20. has become highly monotonous...won't you try some other mode of expression...

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  22. @ zenana
    agree wid u!

    ageen @ eM
    but still good going!
    Keep bloggin!

  23. I somehow managed to muffle ny laughter at the second one... :)

    Just completed reading your book. Loved it and loved reading you here as well...

    Still giggling @ "Ohhhhhhh... you're a MAN.",

  24. hey.
    i've met you about ten months back. and you told me you had a blog. but i never got around to going there. however, last week three other people told me about it. so well, i liked it. something addictive about it. maybe the honesty. i don't know, can't put my finger to it. but i will be back. : )

  25. I've recently been bitten by the chick-lit bug [I know, I know, you prefer the term cliterature ;)]. Read 'Almost Single' (Advaita Kala), Peace of Cake' (Swati Kaushal) and 'You are Here' (of course!), back-to-back. Only thing is, I can't decide which one I like best!

  26. Ah..I must confess,I had left these shores a while back out of the sheer disappointment from reading The Book..and decided to check back in to see how things are going.

    To someone who was one of my fav bloggers till a while back..I am sorry to say that I have had baths which are deeper that your recent writing( ok..So I copied that from some movie..but you get the drift)

    Where's the stud Lit of yonder? where's the fire? where is the Vocab?

    I've been pondering awhile now...Does being in a steady relationship mean one gets a lil...umm soggy? Like..the need to be all sharp and cutting edge aint there anymore? Like, Its ok to be mediocre otherwise as long as you remain the apple of the significant other's eye? I distinctly rem'ber all that happening to me the last time I was in one...What do ya think ppl?

    Here's to eM getting her Mojo back..& Soon.

  27. @ Pinochyo:
    I would agree partly with you. I think the blog isn;t as exciting as it used to be when eM was single, btu then thats just because a 'committed' life is a little less exciting for outsiders. But i don;t think she has lost her writing skill.

    @ eM: Forget the debate on whether or not you still have it.... I'm wondering why you have stopped writing altogether... Any new posts anytime soon??

  28. eM

    check this out.
    i think you will appreciate it.

    updates more often please!!

  29. your blog has serious addiction-value (if there is such a thing!), because im addicted, i cant get enough and i keep coming back for more :)

  30. hi
    i wanted to discuss some thing

    you know what is happening in karnataka
    .. the sri ram sena stuff.
    a group is openly turning violent against not only the modern girls but in an attempt to down power girls.

    as a representative of the modern time and as a girl what do you feel.
    hope you will include this in your post.

    Devil's Advocate

  31. A Confession:

    I am a regular reader of your article s in "HT Cafe" and want to acknowledge your posts on this blog. I particularly like the twitter from mobile.

    Keep sharing and keep writing. god bless


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