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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11 September 2010

All the small things

*At a coffee shop, I wait, pretending busy, pretending I am a woman with a plan. Wondering at people, at noisy groups, feeling like a phantom limb, the taste of stale wine coating my gums, red wine lips, despite the scrubbing, new clothes sit in a white plastic bag atop a marble countertop—full of possibilities, and nights and days to come. When I am not That Girl. Alone. In. A. Coffeeshop.

* Things I find interesting:  People who live in other countries changing their accents when someone of the same country is present. People who use a word in a conversation that I have only read before. Angry comment threads on a blog. Particular lyrics of songs.
Today I heard: Some people think I’m the life of the party, because I tell a joke or two.

The idea of being in Tokyo. Other peoples lives when you’re no longer speaking to them.

*Things I could do without: Mould. White lighting in a room painted green or pink. The screech of tyres. Groups of boys just sitting together and staring when you pass them. The no smoking in public rule. Being somewhere without a book. Slow internet connections. Hostility when you are vulnerable.

* Things I have eaten recently:  The chipotle chicken pizza at California Pizza Kitchen. Bits of brain and kidney at Mohammed Ali Road. French fries with a garlic salt seasoning at WTF. A seekh kebab role from Khaan E Khaas.

* Sensations that I enjoy:  The feel of something heavy and metal in your palm. The beginning of a weekend when you have lots of plans. Finding out there are new episodes of a show you watch regularly. The satin underside of a quilt. Your own hair when it’s ironed. Finishing off all the work you had to do for the day—including replying to late emails—by early afternoon. The feel of the beginning of a holiday on the beach. A love story reaching a satisfactory conclusion. Meeting an old friend after a very long time.


  1. Really weekend-ish feel-good read.. and new stuff I'm sure many people do relate to.

    For instance, white light in rooms painted pink. Tell me about it.. it's unnerving!

  2. I've spent a lot of time on Mohammad Ali Road, I have relatives who live there. A childhood memory (and occasional craving) associated with the place is the green-chutney sandwich you get across the road from my mamu's house. That and the rugra (made in leaves) are an all-time favorite.

    Shit, now I'm craving it again! :P

  3. Tracks of my of my fav. songs....great post

  4. ' The feel of something heavy and metal in your palm.'
    I thought I was the only one to enjoy the cold touch of metal and sometimes even give my forehead a chance before the metal warms up :D
    Simple but effective post, haven't read one since a long time.

  5. Very nice post. Inspires me to write one like it myself.

  6. Umm, what is so wrong with being that girl in the coffee shop? It's rather fun to sit by yourself and chill after a day of shopping, just watching people and sipping (hopefully well-made) cold coffee, no?

  7. "A love story reaching a satisfying conclusion"
    dont we all?!

  8. That was an exact match with what I would have written if I wrote that list (except for the things you ate recently). :)

  9. many of yours remind me of my own...loved it...

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  11. My wife, who is a native of US midwest cracks up everytime she hears me speaking to my brother in English.


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