The Internet Personified: Happy anniversary to us!
Friends, it's been a whole year since I started this weird little newsletter project and thank you all for staying with me and not unsubscribing! (I bet as I type this, some of you will be all like, "A year of this? Quick, where's the unsubscribe button?" *sigh*) I started by signing up 25 of my friends (hi guys, I love you), and over the past year, that number has gone up to 153, where it seems to be currently staying static. Some people have written back to me saying how much they like this or that, and I would love to hear from you all: what do you want more of? Less of? Is once a week too much? Let me know, and I will attempt to work in all your requests. What I like about newsletter-ing is that it reminds me of the good old days of the blog. A friend described it as such in fact, "like the Compulsive Confessor grown up." Which I guess I am. Most days. Some days I'm only 19 in my head. (19 is the age I stay static at. In my BRAIN, ie. In my soul, I am about ten.)
This week in big announcements: My new book, The Girls Of The Mahabharata: The One Who Swam With The Fishes is now online for pre-orders! Here's the blurb: Retellings of the Mahabharata often succumb to the temptation of reversing the gaze and providing a noble patina to their protagonists. Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, though, bravely reimagines the story and the inner life of the fisher-maiden Satyavati before her arrival into the epic, before she changes the future of the Kuru dynasty. Madhavan humanizes Satyavati and reminds us that the passage through adolescence is in itself a heroic odyssey. -Karthika Naïr
Who is Satyavati? Truth-teller. Daughter of water. Child of apsara and king. Cursed from birth. Fish-smell girl.
Growing up as a girl in the Vedic age is anything but easy - and even harder for the future Queen of Hastinapur, the kingdom of all kingdoms. She must contend with magic islands, difficult sages, calculating foster parents, sexual awakening and loneliness. Even when she is at the threshold of the capital, King Shantanu, smitten though he is with her, already has a crown prince from his marriage with a goddess. Young Satyavati must walk on thorns to reach her destiny in a world ruled by men.
One of young India’s most feisty voices, Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, coaxes the lesser-known girls of the Mahabharata out of the shadows.
Sound good? Here's a link to pre-order. There will be a book party in Delhi sometime soon, so I'll keep you posted. I'm very pleased that Karthika Nair blurbed it, because I'm such a fan of her book Until The Lions, which is, yes, another retelling of the Mahabharata but in poetry. So good.
This week in stuff I wrote: As Aunty Feminist, on why rape jokes aren't funny. (The Facebook post Youth Ki Awaaz did is full of comments by angry men claiming the rape joke is "just a joke" and proving my point. My favourite: "Are you Youth Ki Awaaz or Feminist Ki Awaaz?") ** And talking about Thirteen Reasons Why on Scroll, and why the book isn't the teen suicide one we need. **
This week in Domestic Affairs: For a long time we've wanted to get our terrace garden to look like a green haven. We tried one maali from the downstairs house who never returned, Najma, our housekeeper, waters the plants and tosses in mango seeds (two baby mango saplings) but there's no method to her planting. Finally, two friends sent over their gardener, an old man named Ram Lal. ("Where are you from?" I asked him and he said, "Ram Jan Bhoomi." I must've looked blank, because he sighed and capitulated to my city slicker ways, "Ayodhya.") Anyway, at minimal expense, Ram Lal has taken to the garden and is systematically repotting, planting and turning things around. He's put some veggies in seed boxes (only boring lauki and baingan which will grow now), is tending to the grape and chameli vines that will eventually grow over our bamboo awning, and has repotted two baby tree plants that people have given us, with the assurance that they will grow to big trees once they're in new soil. We now have karipatta, lemongrass (the cats love grass and I can always toss it into soup or something), mint and coriander, plus he's repotted our lemon tree which has one baby lemon on it and will, he assures me, have many more. It feels very posh and Downtown Abbey to have a gardener, especially such a skilled one.
This week in games: Saturday night we trekked to friends in Gurgaon which always makes me moan. Gurgaon? More like Grrr-gaon, am I right? Anyhow, the long long drive was totally worth it because the purpose of our visit was to play a role playing game K discovered called Fiasco. The rules are slightly complicated, but at the end of it, I was a castrated serial killer (Blake Redwing) who owned a cupcake shop with a drug manufacturer (Mercedes) whose sister (Vicky Christina Barcelona) was the drug dealer. The local cop (Ram Patel) was trying to catch me for murder while meanwhile the paedophile (Suzanne Bartleby) was running about unchecked. In the end we all died except for Suzanne (played by K) and the nephew of the drug sisters, Jesus, who wasn't a real character but became one in the end. Lots of fun. You should try it.
This week in TV: On A Facebook recommendation, I got into The Fall on Netflix. Starring Gillian Anderson from The X Files, it's an Irish murder mystery and very good and creepy plus Gillian is everything. Also K got me into Firefly and we watched the whole season plus the movie and it's a SHAME they cancelled it, I say, like the rest of the Fireflyheads on the internet.
Monday afternoon reading list: Social media is built for addiction. (This article is scary as fuck.) ** Fighting the rise of meow meow in Mumbai. (A drug, not cats.) ** Some of those perfect Hindu children we've been reading about. ** Kerala's beef is not a holy cow. ** The best food of Delhi's state bhawans. ** Sanctuary Asia did a whole series on their Twitter feed about animal sex lives after the whole peacock thing which is great fun. ** Building a planned city in Andhra Pradesh. ** The lack of Dalits in Indian media. **
Have a great week!
Where am I? The Internet Personified! A mostly weekly collection of things I did/thought/read/saw that week.
Who are you? Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, writer of internet words (and other things) author of five books (suppport me by buying a book!) and general city-potter-er.
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