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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14 September 2012

Sometimes, I read the newspaper and think things

I'm not a huge fan of Salman Khan. I'm actually not a fan at all--I believe he should have been held more responsible for running over someone when he was drunk (and no sign of compensation for that family yet). Or responsible for harrassing his ex (and rumours, unsubstantiated, but still, abound in Bollywood of his general mistreatment of women who happen to be involved with him. Put it this way: he's not the kind of guy I'd like to encounter walking up my steps at night.) Then, there's the killing an endangered animal, I mean, what has this guy got to do to get the country to hate him? Burn puppies?

Because no one hates him. And he has two million likes on Facebook.

The page has pictures of him flexing his back muscles. And his front muscles. And with his dogs (WHICH ARE CALLED MYSON AND MYJAAN AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CRINGES AT THIS?)

But, y'know, after a while of going through this page, I kinda started to get drawn into it. ETHICALLY, I think he's awful. But there's so much Salmon love going on on that page, you get swept in. Like the feeling you get when you visit a holy baba. (Not that I have, but I live vicariously sometimes.)

Which reminds me of this story I read in Rolling Stone the other day. Amma, has, for some reason, always intersected with my life. I have family in Kerela who swears by her. I had an ex boyfriend who swore by her, and whose ex, in turn, was an Amma-ite. Therefore, anything she does is of great interest to me (although hugging people all day sounds like a terrible way to make a living.) I don't know, the whole atmosphere of the ashram sounds kind of claustrophobic to me. It's like being in school, except with a different set of rules, and everyone's drunk the Kool Aid so there aren't any handsome rebels sitting at the back of the class waiting to sing to you.

And then it struck me. Salman = Amma. For a lot of men who lurk underneath his Bandra apartment, his darshan is just as important as any they'd get from a holy man/woman. His shaking your hand in a crowd makes you feel blessed. His presence in the world makes you want to believe in something, that anyone can make it, so to speak. And his buff bachelor style is very appealing to millions of Indian men.

Also, they get super upset when denied access to him. Amma followers are a little less mobby (spiritual etc), so they started a Yahoo group instead, but hey, same principle, right? (You know I totally tried to join, but they have some moderator rules so it doesn't fill up with trolls, but once I have access, this post will be updated.)

UPDATE: Hurrah, I've been made a member of the Yahoo group!

Some forum thoughts:

"Yet, the hugs themselves were a let down. All that build-up and then pffft, nothing much when in contact with the woman herself."

"It later was revealed to me after I surrendered my emotions and romanticism about her, that Amma seduces you and then becomes like a bait and switch dark entity, that plays on people's fantasies and spiritual romanticism,gets into their hearts and minds, while putting them into its spell and enslaving them."  

There's more, but it takes some wading through. But you get the picture.

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  1. 1. Can't believe you dated somebody who was an Amma fan. Ew! Total no-no for me.
    2. KerAla. (Yes, I do remember you writing a rant post about somebody who corrected you on this, but - can't help it! :) )

  2. I feel exactly the same way about Salman.


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