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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2 January 2011

You put the one-one in two oh one one

So Jezebel had a post up that pretty much succinctly described my previous year. Fuck you, 2010. Yeah. It was a shitty, shitty, shitty year and if my Facebook feed is to be believed, I’m not the only one who felt that way. My friends’ and random old classmates’ statuses read from, “Thank god, 2010 is over” to “2011, prepare to be owned.” For me, it says something that my two biggest life lessons from the year gone by are also pretty unhappy ones: 1) Lying awake in our bedroom in the UK, staring at the ceiling, wondering if I was ever going to be happy again and promising myself that I would NEVER EVER EVER let someone make me feel that low and 2) having really, really, really low expectations of people and things so that now I’m all, “wow, that turned out better than I thought.”


I used to be an optimist, 2010, but now I’m really not. Now, no matter how sunshine-y I try to think, little cynical thoughts keep invading my mind. I’m no longer pure optimist like I was, nowadays my optimism is as about as real as a fake orgasm, and about that satisfactory too. Have you ever read that poem by Elizabeth Bishop? The Art Of Losing? Well, it describes my present status to a t, especially the lines:


“I lost two cities, lovely ones. And vaster,

Some realms I owned,two rivers, a continent,

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.”


I was in Delhi for New Year’s Eve, my first time Not In Goa in like, four years. Ah, Goa. I found myself searching for the smell of sea and unwashed hippy and hashish. And Bloody Marys. The winter somehow doesn’t make Bloody Marys as satisfying as they are on a nice summer’s day for lunch. Now I’m also idealising summer. Having not seen the sun in over a week and a half, I’m having pangs of what I suspect is Seasonal Affective Disorder (with its very cute acronym: SAD. Awww.) and yearning for sun, bare brown shoulders, even sweat sounds good to me right now.


But, let me tell you about my New Year’s Eve. You know I’m all like “what you do on New Year’s Eve is like a PORTENT for the rest of your year”? In that case, this is going to be an excellent, excellent year. A couple of friends and I, all with no plans, decided to call everyone else who had no plans and drink a lot. Previously mentioned Low Expectation Life Lesson From 2010 made me delighted that a couple of lovely people showed up, we cranked up the party mix on my iPod and danced like crazy people. Then around one, everyone prepared to go to other parties and I too, was whisked away to some fancy government bungalow for party number 2. This year clearly is going to be my year with old and new friends, making my own parties wherever I go. The year of not depending on other people. The year of being free.


Maybe there’s some hope of finding my lost optimism and in the process, my lost mojo along the way? I hope all your years are filled with success (because we all need money) and fulfilment (because money isn’t everything) and love (even if, like me, one of your main sources of love is a pretty awesome tabby cat). And because we don’t want to be all OLD! and BORING! before our time, dahlinks, I hope this is also a year of great stories and interesting times. Whaddaya know? The optimism is seeping back after all.


  1. Ditto. I had great expectations of 2010 and it was sh*t.

    Now your tweet made me laugh: Eight years and people are still coming to my blog searching for "compulsive confessor blow job" sigh. some things will never change.

    ... because every time I check, I find out that a large chunk of the traffic to my blog comes from people searching for "london bar with hookers". :o)

    Just goes to show that no matter what is happening in the world, humanity will always remain preoccupied with sex. :o)

  2. having a cat is not too bad to start with, cats set good expectations :) besides there's no harm in being the optimist. In any case the cynic within won't believe it all well, that helps being grounded. And then if something good comes along, well, surprise! :) Perhaps though, since it's only the beginning of '11 measurements could be pushed for another year. Taking days as they come in easier like that...

  3. eM, Hope your 2011 is a LOT better than 2010. :) xx

    @ Lucie and eM: How do you know exactly what people are looking for through the blog traffic thing?

  4. Carpe Diem: I use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.

  5. @Lucie Hah. I guess it's true what Avenue Q says: the internet is for porn. :)

  6. @Upasna cats are all about no expectations at all. they're cool like that.

  7. @Carpe Diem! look to the left, there's a little set of things under the label "how you got here". the trackers i use also show what search terms people used to get here.

  8. same here...had a shitty year!!
    hoping 2011 to be different for better!!
    have a great year!

  9. hey!
    i came across your blog and fell in love with it... i have read almost all the posts in one go...
    made my own:)

  10. I am surprised the year which was path breaking for me has turned out to be so horrible for so many in blog world!

    For Meenakshi I can only say a break-up, howsoever heart-breaking, is not end of the world

  11. Happy New Year!
    Hope it turns out to be better than the previous one for both of us.

    I am new to you blog and that "blow job" thing makes me curious!

    Jatin Shridhar

  12. i know! You know how, when a person dies, there's this unwritten rule that you can't say anything bad about them? I don't know who's idea it was to apply that rule to years..! 2010 was bad!

  13. ah for me , 2010 has been bad but 2011 is yurning out even worse... sigh sigh...damn damn.... bangs head in the wall.

  14. Wow thats quite a bit...I'd say 2010 was a decent year for me. Happy New year and may your year ahead be really really awesome!

    Hugs to your Tabby cat!

  15. Amazing blog entry. First of all, happy new year. When we can move from Jan to Dec in a year, so can we move from shame to fame! Have lots of fun and frolic throughout 2011.

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