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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23 September 2012


I was at Neemrana for a wedding--my first time there! It was gorgeous.
Even Instagram couldn't ruin this view
My whole solution to getting around wearing a sari at weddings is now to carry a reasonably fancy lehenga. Because, reader, I have a confession to make. As a nearly 31-year-old Indian woman, who has worn her fair share of saris over the years, I still don't know how to put one on. I've tried YouTube videos, I've made my mother rehearse with me till she's sick of it, the learning just doesn't stick. It's totally shameful.

And because this was a wedding of an Australian-Indian friend to her American fiance, the venue was packed with their overseas guests, and so I figured a) no one would have the time to tend to me and my sari and b) really letting my country down by being "that" Indian girl, the one who doesn't know how to put on a sari. (As you can see, it's a matter of deep insecurity.)

But my lehengas were quite gorgeous. One is one I've had since I was seventeen and have been trotting out to every single wedding since. My grandmother in Hyderabad bought it for me, it's white with a silver zardosi and sequinned embroidered top, cut away at the navel in a slit, so quite modest, but also quite sexy. The other was a gold and cream cotton skirt with a red embroidered blouse that I also use for a red sari, when there's someone around to help me with it. The only thing I regretted was wearing heels, my feet kept sinking into the grass and at the end of it, I had to go back to my room and  change into my grubby daily wear chappals. VANITY.

Almost private upstairs swimming pool.
Then too, it was nice going to a wedding with someone. My Good Thing has been going on for a while now, but with long distance being a factor, it's never actually been a Good Thing at a wedding. And Neemrana is almost too romantic, you can't even turn a corner without stumbling upon something.

Although, one of my most exciting moments from this weekend was when we stopped to watch a hornet carry off a grasshopper, which it had killed and it was zooming about, but the weight was too heavy and it kept getting detracted from its path. And then, suddenly from the sky, down swooped a swallowtail and ate them both up. Very Discovery-Channel-in-real-life.

Another exciting moment was the post-sangeet unofficial after party when we all ran to our rooms (well, some of us), stripped out of our finery into our bathing suits and got into that pool for a midnight swim. It would have been far cooler if the water wasn't so DAMN COLD. I could barely do one lap (with a Bacardi shot for sustenence) when I had to get out again. Brrr. But still, quite an awesome thing to do.

I met some old Bombay friends, drank lots of wine and danced to old school Hindi songs from movies that were popular in my early 20s. It was a lovely wedding, a really good way to kick off this season (and officially break out the 13th Year Of The White Lehenga.)

And here's another Instagram picture of a mural. You guys should all totally go for a weekend. But, plan to go on Friday, because with the long ride, a 24 hour trip just winds up wearing you out. And the zip line looks boring, so really, just for a drinking/swimming/eating (REALLY good laal maas) weekend.

It was there and so I took a picture of it.



  1. That was an engaging post with nice pictures. You live an exciting life! :)

  2. Whoa, that sounds like one beautiful wedding followed by numerous beautiful happenings! ;)

    // I've made my mother rehearse with me till she's sick of it, the learning just doesn't stick. It's totally shameful.//

    mwhahah love this bit!

    Do stop by my blog! I'd love your comments & visits!!


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