Do Not Mess With MadMan

My good friend Madhu ‘MadMan’ Menon, the phenomenally talented restaurant owner and chef who has designed this website, speaks to Lounge about why he shifted from IT to food—and why others shouldn’t! Check it out, and if you’re in Bangalore anytime, visit Shiok—his Drunken Beef is a masterpiece.

Personally, I think his two great talents, which most of the world does not yet know about, are opera singing and martial arts. Sadly, I do not have an audio file of his singing that I can upload right away. But I do have a story about his martial arts.

About a year ago, I went and stayed at his flat in Bangalore while he designed this website. Our rooms were at different ends of his apartment, separated by a large living room and a kitchen. So one morning, after a latish night arguing over backgrounds and fonts, I woke up and groggily made my way towards the kitchen. Madhu was pacing up and down in the living room.

“Where are you going?” he barked.

“I’m going to the kitchen to make some coffee.”

“Do you realise that you could be attacked?” he said. “Someone could come and put their hands around your neck and try to strangle you.”


“I will show you how to fight them off. Come and try to strangle me.”


“Come, come, you must learn these things. Come here and put your hands on my neck. Pretend you are choking me.”

“Uh, whatever.” I went and held his throat.

“No, you fool, not like that. Press hard. Pretend you are strangling me.”

I pressed lightly, and the next thing I knew, I was flying through the air, and then I was flat on my back on the living room*.

“Huh,” I said, too stunned to slip into my normal alpha male mode, the one that all the girls flip for.

“See,” he said. “That’s what you need to do when someone tries to strangle you. But what will you do if someone gets you in a headlock? I will show you. Stand up and get me in a headlock.”

And so it went, for half an hour, before I finally reached the kitchen. I then made, I am proud to inform you, the greatest coffee ever.

So that’s MadMan. You never know what he’s going to be world famous for, but you sure don’t want to get him in a headlock.

*  *  *

*Madhu claims that I exaggerate this story, and that I was never actually literally flat on my back. That is possible. Indeed, via Chinese whispers, the story has travelled and gotten back to me with details that even I never knew in the first place. But the details don’t matter, the essence does. And if communicating the essence of it requires me to be flat on my back, that is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.