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

Sign up for my newsletter: The Internet Personified

17 April 2012

Things; and Bombay

The politics of farewells

So, like, when you're about to leave? After you've spent a considerable amount of time in a certain place? And then you say goodbye to everyone, like really heartfelt, "Goodbye. I'll see you the next time I'm here. Be well. God be with you." It's essential to emphasise the "good" bit of "goodbye", maybe not say "God be with you" because you don't know whether or not you believe in God, and you think saying "God be with you" is basically forcing someone to believe in something, even if they don't want you, but it serves the purpose in this paragraph which is to say "I'm hoping everything in your life is all right and stays all right till the next time I am able to see you and maybe even after that, because you're my friend."

But then, you rely on something as fickle as a railway waitlist? And even though you're reasonably sure that today, Tuesday, is the day you leave, it turns out it's not, because the chart's been prepared and you're not on it and so you're probably on your way out tomorrow. And now you have a whole extra day, except you already said bye to everyone you had to and you feel a bit stupid having to call them and say, "Hey, by the way, I take back that God be with you stuff, because I'm still here!" It's that awkwardness, you know that awkwardness, you say bye to someone, how we laughed and still with a smile on your face you go towards your form of transport and lo and behold, there they are again, going towards their form of transport and all the nice things have already been said and so you sort of nod.

Hello, I don't live here anymore

I did a bunch of Bombay touristy stuff in town last week. I went to the Jehangir art gallery.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

And they had some cool pictures up, and it was air conditioned. Plus, if you're ever stuck in the Kala Ghoda area and really, really have to pee, they have a nice loo and charge Rs 2 for a token, so you don't have to feel guilty about ONLY using the bathroom. Do other people feel guilty about this? I've once walked past three perfectly good coffee shop bathrooms just because I didn't feel right just ducking in and using their facilities.

The Jehangir Art Gallery also has a terrace section which is crazy hot right now in this weather and they didn't let me take any pictures, but it has a nice view. So, go there.

Then I went to Rhythm House which felt very retro, you know, having actual music CDs that aren't torrents and do people really still buy hard copy CDs? So weird. But I listened to some albums and then suddenly I was aware of a hat and a pair of eyes just staring at me over the world music section. I think it was a guard, but he looked at me for a while and then went away. That was funny.

Fashion Street has nothing on Sarojini Nagar.

The Prince Of Wales museum is really awesome and has a brilliant natural history section. I'm a sucker for natural history museums, I might be too old for them, maybe only children are supposed to get a kick out of taxidermied animals, but even though they were at the same time both too lifelike and too dead, it was awesome. And they had this one giant hornbill and they had some information  about it and in that information was the fact that this hornbill used to be a pet one at the Bombay natural history society and he was fed fruit which they tossed to him and he never missed a catch and I thought that was really cool that he did that and that they put it in his information sheet.

Taken on my SLR but then given
an Instragramm-y effect because
I'm a sucker for retro things.

Also, there's a miniature painting in one of the galleries that shows Shiva, Parvati and their two sons all enjoying a nice glass of bhang and it's quite awesome. Go look for that.

And Woodside Inn is a really nice place to get a glass of wine by yourself and they have a good selection of magazines and I felt very grown up and things, but then I met an old school friend and then I stopped being Mysterious and Alone.

I got a haircut.

And it's very curly, very Marilyn Monroe meets Whitney Houston but also a chrysanthemum, but I love it anyway. Delhi hairdressers don't get the curls, they're always urging me to straighten my hair so it can fall flat and sleek, but this young lady was so enthused about the curliness and the amount of hair that she got me enthused as well and it looks really good, I think.

We've been watching a lot of TV

It's too hot to do much else, but this Sunday, I had a party to go to, and it was filled with a lot of people I hadn't seen in some years and it felt very flashback. Also, there was an impromptu jam session of sorts with this Pilate's ball style drum and I jammed, and that was kind of awesome.


  1. Yes you did post something about comparing Bombay to Delhi once, but that never really explained just 'why' did you choose Delhi over Bombay? From your lifestyle, Delhi just does NOT seem to be a city for a single girl, let alone for a single girl who likes to travel alone, party and drink vodka. One of these days, can you post something about- which is the better (read safer) city to live in for an independent single girl? Thanks

  2. Where did you get the curls from?? Name please!
    And what about chemicals reacting with hair??
    Ok, really want the hairdresser's address/name/anything!
    Bdw, what didja do on the actual last day?

  3. Being bald(almost) Can not think about curly styles. And as far as feeling awkward after leaving and rejoining the group it just happens every now and then, we can not control or plan it. Can we???

  4. Thank you lady, I was apprehensive about shifting to Bombay but after reading a few of your pieces, I'm pretty confident!

  5. A lot of people compare Bombay and Delhi... But I love both of them.. They both are different and with different cultures...

    This is a good post to read and brings some old memories back...

  6. Read your blog after ages.. used to follow it quite closely but then drifted off.

    Its interesting watching your writing evolve, your newer posts are a far cry from your original ones.

    Question: Have you seen a demographic shift in the pool of people who follow your blog?


Thanks for your feedback! It'll be published once I approve it. Inflammatory/abusive comments will not be posted. Please play nice.