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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17 August 2009

It SOMETIMES is rainbows and butterflies

(this picture courtesy BB, the others are off my cellphone)

So.. any guesses about how I spent my weekend?

Went to the Queer Azadi Parade on Sunday, right after a brilliant lunch at Jimmy Boy's. (Haven't yet tried Brittania, but it's right up there on my Places To Eat That I Have Been Too Lazy To Check Out Yet.) Every time my friends and I go to town, we start looking around at Haji Ali, going, "This is nice, we should do it more often." And then, of course, we get lazy and stay in Bandra forever.

We were going oestensibly to support Vik, who is awesome, but then we got into the spirit of things and BB, Ira and I wound up being photographed by many people.

We didn't really claim our sexuality, one person asked what cause we were supporting and after a lot of erm-ing and uh-ing, I finally managed to say brightly, "Human rights!" And then we all grinned at each other, very pleased with ourselves.

BB and I somehow found ourselves marching together, after charging ahead to get more photographs and we felt all part of the spirit and oh look here I am with my girl friend, and all the women independent, throw your hands up at me etc. I ran into some people I know and said hello, very happily, only to get very politely put aside and I retreated, feeling like a sham.

"I'm going to have a straight parade," I said to BB, grumpily, "And our slogan will be "We're straight, it's great!" But then our lovely Vik rejoined us and I felt less like I was faking it and more like what we had come to do, offer support to friends and all that and my bruised ego was assauged. Because, clearly, this was all about me.

The parade was AWESOME though. I never knew marching in the hot sun could be so much fun. There were colours everywhere, and people dressed up and we all got feathery masks, and I scored a rainbow flag which I waved to the time of the drums. Because there were drums and dancers and it was so, so cool. Everyone should march at least once in their lives and this had a carnival feel to it. There were people handing out water bottles too, and a rainbow flag which many people helped hold up and whirling dervish type dancers and Celina Jaitley with butterfly wings, bouncers and a parasol over her head. (Why Celina Jaitley? I have no clue.)

The eunuchs were totally rocking it, in very bright saris and loud voices as they marched with their banner. A lot of people had really cool banners, but everything moved too fast for me to take pictures.

We marched from August Kranti Maidan on Grant Road to the Chowpatty beach and then everyone dispersed. Our little group decided to go to Sports Bar in Phoenix Mills, where the whole world was forming a triple lined queue to get into Big Bazaar that was having a rather large sale.

I drank a margarita and a vanilla vodka with Coke and then my energy just all of a sudden ran out. So, we returned to Bandra, complete with paraphenalia.

It was a really good weekend--on Friday, Ira, BB, Bulbul and I went to Global Fusion for lunch and then Bonobo for drinks with shopping in the middle. I got one Zara kurta/smock thing from Cotton On (right next to the Reclaimation Barista, designer labels, GREAT prices, only you can't try anything on or return, except for sizes. They do have a great collection though, in their tiny shop.), one back tie up sleeveless kurta from Cottons, next door (BB and I rushed straight for the bargain bin and wound up with matching clothes), three t-shirts from this great little stall I know on Hill Road and one t-shirt for JC (because I like buying him presents when I'm shopping, mostly.)

Bonobo was crowded and noisy, but lots of fun. Then one house party and one adjourning to my house later, we called it quits at 4 am.

Tonight, I'm planning on going for the Bombay Elektrik Project thing at Cafe Goa. They have slam nights every Monday and today's event is called Wince, where people read from old journals. It sounds suspiciously familiar, but hey, it should still be a laugh. Reviews of everywhere I've been will, of course, be on the other blog.

But, fun weekend, no? Some weeks I really love this city.


  1. I love that you came...even if you claim to have come to support me ;-)

    It wss like the one time this whole year when I felt like it was fun to be gay...and am glad you guys were all there to hang with me.

  2. To truly enjoy a gay parade u need to qualify by at least making out with someone of ur sex once.. Have u?

  3. Oh you HAVE to try britannia! chicken berry puloa, mutton saali boti, and caramel custard for dessert...mmmm

    damn, i miss living in b'bay

  4. Celina Jaitley supports LGBT rights-- so I read. It seems she has a blog and all.

    Cunning query by Girigori, there.

  5. berry pulao....hmmmm (a la homer simpson!)

  6. Shopping and colourful parades... Sounds like a fun weekend... I agree with everyone here, you have to try britannia!

  7. Thank thee for the pictures eM,makes your blog all the more interesting!And well,adds an awesome visual appeal too.

    You are the one in the middle no in the first picture?
    By the way I totally appreciate your thoughtfulness when you say you are supporting "Human rights".Being a homosexual makes you no less of a human being.And Celina Jaitley is all for Gay rights,that's why perhaps she was there.
    Hey,I have marched too,albeit in the parade at school and darn!That had NO carnival feeling to it.Your idea about the Straight March is superb!Yay for the SM :D

  8. Mumbai can be fun, but can also be a pain

    I agree it can be fun if one is in a gay parade that too with hot Celina around

  9. I completely agree that last weekend was the funnest in a long, long time.

    I love parades and I love Vik, so can't think of a better way to spend Sunday afternoon.

    PS: Got a really worried call from my aunt yesterday about my 'presence' at the parade.

    She asked my sister in a hushed, bewildered tone, "does your mom know?!"


  10. I m kind of feeling out of place to comment on the form than the content but after noticing its difficult not to point out. There is a transposition error in assuage and ‘r’ missing in paraphernalia.

  11. Saw you on CNN IBN..u look quite different from earlier times

  12. fun - will check out all this stuff when i am mumbai, although zara is not designer at all, it's just a high street brand

  13. rock on..!! the success of these parades show that indian culture has developed from ancient times and is ready to accept something new.. kudos..!!

  14. Dude... vanilla vodka with coke... I like!! ;)
    As for the straight parade... Count me in!!

  15. I found this blog through a random google search.

    It's amazing, just btw.

    Hey :)

  16. I went to Brittania too... Did you see the woman with the " So what if the Pope is gay?" poster posing. :-D


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