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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9 September 2012

Move it, move it

Skies of blue
 So, I've moved again. You might recall my love for my old house was great and incomparable, but then, something weird happened. They broke down the house next to mine ("bhai-behen ghar," said the caretaker who lived downstairs) and it turned out that my cupboards, the cupboards that constituted most of my wall space had no wall behind them. It's a bit disconcerting to reach and pull out your clothes and see sunlight streaming through what is essentially the inside of your house. A place where sunlight has no business being. Plus, all said and done, I was getting a little tired of having a bathroom on the landing, and with last winter being so cold and shivery, I decided it was high time I got an attached loo. Move up in the world etc.
Office space
 I do love my neighbourhood though. Nizamuddin has history for me--personally, and city-wise. I was three, four, five, in a little house down the road, which has now been replaced by a massive birthday cake structure. One of the oldest mosques in the country is three lanes down. In the thirteenth century, poets sang and a river ran through the crowded basti area. The whole place resonates with writing and writers who have been here before me, and all sorts of creative people. It's conducive to creativity, having just the right amount of chaos to inspire you and times like this, late on a Sunday morning, very quiet except for some birds and the calls of the vendors. It's retro-Delhi.

So,  I asked the broker to look in this area and he found me three places, which were like Goldilocks' choices. The first one was too big. The second one was too small. And the third one, dear reader, was just right. Well, or so I thought. I was kind of hustled into moving quickly, it was the end of the month and in order to avoid paying two rents, the broker insisted I move ASAP, tomorrow, please. And amidst furniture and boxes and an absentee maid who I since had to let go, I found the flaws. The showers didn't have taps, the plumbing was iffy, a lot of lights had to be fixed again. Plus, there was all this cleaning to do, and no cupboards at all. PLUS, I was engaged in parking wars with my neighbours, a lot of very shouty men marched up the three floors to yell at me and my mum. You guys, I see why moving is so stressful.

Bedroom mornings
But things settled down as they have a tendency to do. Week one, I set up my office, hired a very sweet cleaning lady (who has since taken over the cooking as well, and isn't bad, except for needing a little supervision). I haven't gotten around to ALL the errands I need to do (where does the weekend go, eh?) but I'm trying. I spent Saturday alone by myself in my house, the first day I was able to just be, and I like it. It likes me. I have a lovely little balcony which keeps the wind blowing through the place and dapples morning sunlight over the dining table. It's TC's favourite place, as soon as I open the doors in the morning, he's on it. He's never had a balcony before, and I think the combination of inside and outside is just blowing his mind. Upstairs, the functional, cement lined terrace has an unobstructed view of the dome of the Humayun's tomb, and at night it shines, just for me.

I only moved two lanes but it feels like I shifted neighbourhoods. I was in the Punjabi section of Nizamuddin West and now I'm in the midst of the Muslim lanes, a mosque behind my house calls out the azaan regularly, filling the house with its melancholy sounds ("are you outside?" ask my friends). The names of people I meet have changed. Downstairs, the 29 year old girl with three children helps me with putting in the pipe for my gas stove, all the while in head-to-toe black, her headscarf never slipping, while her small son picks up each fridge magnet and replaces it, then inspects the house with a grave look upon his face. It's a smaller house but it's a solid house, I can't hear their sounds and they can't hear mine. We smile when we pass each other on the stairwell. I have neighbours now, but even better, I have one, two, THREE attached bathrooms and that makes everything worth it.
Plus, these blue and gold arches. Aren't they pretty? Hi, new house.
Messy drawing and dining room

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  1. oops......ur new blogger template is little clumsy

  2. Lovely! Also I love the new look of the blog :)

  3. Moving makes me think of all the places I've been before this. But the fresh start is always refreshing, no?

  4. Love what you have done with your place! So ethnic.. i dont even know what exactly ethnic means but that's the word that popped in my head the minute i saw the pics that u ve posted.


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