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 May 2015

Mingling Singles: Attending A World Alike Party

A few weekends ago, I went to a singles mixer.

Not because I'm single--I am eternally grateful in the words of When Harry Met Sally to "never be out there again" but because it was run by a friend, and because I was curious and they were like, "Hey, can you come and write about it?" I live for new experiences.

A World Alike is an upmarket event company a "curated network of well-educated singles" that puts together like-minded singles across Delhi (and coming soon to Bombay!) in fun situations. The event I attended was at Pan Asian, and they had a psychic tarot reader and drinks and music.
Pretty Pan Asian party room

To be honest, given my allergy to a certain kind of Delhi person, I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it. {You know the kind of Dallyite I mean. They're entitled, they live off Daddy's bucks, in Daddy's house and they don't seem to have any ambition beyond their next good time. People like that make me seriously itchy.} But, thanks to the vetting system they had in place here, I actually met a bunch of really interesting people. (My friend does intense interviews to make sure each member is a proper fit.) 

"The point is not to meet the love of your life," my friend and co-runner, Devina Badhwar assured me, but I did a very unscientific poll, where I spoke to some of the people standing next to me and asked if they were hoping to meet their person. "YES" said the ladies, "NO" said the gentlemen. So there's that. (Later my data got a bit mixed when the ladies said no and the gents said yes, but hey!) From which I surmised that there are always people looking for their next big date, and there are always people looking for a good time. Neither of which is a bad thing. I like dates. I like good times.

But what struck me most was the atmosphere. It felt like an upgraded house party. People shifted from group to group chatting, and if I were ever alone in a corner (as I get sometimes when I get the Shys) someone would wander over to me and ask me about myself. It was nice. It's definitely something this city needs. Imagine if AWA had existed when I moved back to Delhi four years ago, looking for new friends. It would've been awesome.


Listen, it's really hard to make new friends--especially in a city like Delhi, especially when you're in your 30s and everyone around you seems to be all about marriage and babies--sometimes you'd just like to kick back with a few people who are in the same place as you, thinking about your career, hoping to meet someone, yes, but not making that the entire focus of your life.

It's a really good thing they're doing--and if I were single myself, I'd join and go to a bunch of their parties. Sometimes you've gotta do things for yourself. That's the biggest lesson I learned when I was single: doing new things opens up the door for others.

As for the tarot reader? She predicted I will never be rich, but I will hit Big Fame by the end of next year, so, um, watch this space?
Terrible photo of me and the lovely Devina


  1. In the wake of globalization there have been many attempts at commercializing every possible aspect of life and turning everything into marketable commodities. This enterprise of bringing interesting people together that this 'upmarket' event company undertakes for money seems to be driven by such similar impulses. How can you be so uncritical of such kind of blatant commodification? You may say that you dont care a bit about these things. But you know this world is becoming such a cruel place to live in for a lot of people. Have you heard of those farmers in UP and Maharashtra ? The ones who committed suicide being unable to cope with the pressures of being poor in a third world country. Am sure you will agree that this world was not such a nice place for them. Do we really need to contribute towards making it even worse? How are people like us are making it worse for them? By being uncritical and passive consumers of things, ideas and discourses. By contributing towards the growth of this vicious monster called market. We need to be more critical.

  2. Hey Meenakshi, thanks for this write-up. Do you know of such mixers in Bangalore? The underlying philosophy should definitely be the same as you have written and not be a prospective bride-hunting or groom-hunting experience.


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