Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, in an exclusive interview to rediff.com discusses candidly about casual sex and relationships as a single Indian metro woman. In one of her blog posts she candidly describes her experiences about giving and receiving oral sex, wherein she says while she would love to smoke while receiving oral sex, only 2 out of 5 guys she has sex with receives a ‘royal treatment’ (of getting fellated by her).
Do you think young people in India know how to manage live-in relationships and casual sex, like Arshi from the book? Do you think Indian men are as mature as their women would like them to be?
I hope so! I mean, I think that it all depends on how you’ve been brought up. If you’re surrounded by a culture — I don’t mean societal culture, I mean a family culture — of people accepting who you are and who you want to be, then I think it should be a lot easier to manage relationships and sex wherever you are in the world. I know of a lot of conservative families in the West as well, so I really think it depends on how much importance you put in what you believe, as opposed to the beliefs of others.
As for Indian men and maturity, if you’re asking me on the whole, in general, no — I don’t think they are! But all my very dear male friends, they’re pretty mature.
You’re very upfront when talking about sex and relationships in the book — what has been the reaction of your friends and family to that?
My friends who have read the book go haan, this is us. Okay! And my family has actually been like, ‘Wow, so this is what you guys do, it’s opening a whole new window into your lives’! So it’s been quite interesting. My parents are pretty liberal people and they’ve brought me up to speak my mind, but I was pretty surprised by my extended family’s reaction, my aunts and cousins, I’ve received excellent feedback from them. I was really happy about that.
As for anybody else who objects to writing candidly on sex and relationships, I’d say get real and open your eyes!
What kind of books do you like to read? Do you read chicklit novels and about young people’s life experiences? How does it measure up to read such a work as against writing one?
I like to read a lot of stuff — both fiction and real-life experiences, but I’m not into fantasy writing and things like that. Zadie Smith is one of my favourite writers. Vikram Seth also. I do read chicklit novels and young people’s life experiences for fun sometimes, I enjoy them. But I wouldn’t exactly call my own book chicklit, because I think for me ‘chicklit’ is defined as a woman who is searching for a husband. I don’t think my protagonist is old enough — she’s only 25 — and secondly, I don’t think she’s searching for a husband, it’s more like she’s searching for herself. But that being said, it has been interesting writing a book about a woman and her relationships only and seeing the different classifications. I’d prefer if people didn’t think of You Are Here as a chicklit novel, but again, everyone’s entitled to their own opinions.