A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for November, 2010

I feel old!

Posted by Pepper on November 29, 2010

On certain days I feel like a child who has a lot of growing up to do. And then there are other days, like these, when I feel like an old soul. I feel lifeless, tired and jaded. Like I am done with this crap called ‘Life’. I have no energy to go on. I really wanted to have kids at some point. But I do wonder, do I have the physical and emotional stamina to raise kids and live the parenting adventures?

I am 24 years old. Twenty-four! That is old! I distinctly remember my first day in 3rd grade. I was all of 8 years old and I felt proud for being such a ‘big girl’ and reaching third grade. At that time, 24 seemed like an age too big to even comprehend. And yet, here I am, at 24. How did life speed past me like that? My life so far has been happy. But it has been a ride on a jet plane. I am now oceans and continents away from where I began.

A lot of times, my memories hold me hostage. I fail to unfasten the chains. Some other times, I find myself clutching my beautiful present and devouring every grain of happiness. But it is the future that terrifies me and makes me feel old. Really, how did I get to this age? Twenty-four feels so old!

Posted in A penny for my thoughts | 33 Comments »

Of being phoneless

Posted by Pepper on November 28, 2010

On Thursday night we went to have dinner at my uncle’s place. He is my dad’s brother. It was a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes, corn bread, beans, pumpkin pie, etc. Living close to family has some advantages.

Anyway, on Friday afternoon, I needed to make a call and noticed my cell phone was missing. Yes, it took me an entire night and half a day to even notice my phone was missing. That goes to show how exciting my social life is, doesn’t it?

I first thought Mint was playing around and had probably hidden it somewhere. After the previous cell phone saga, I don’t trust him an inch. But after talking to him I crossed out that possibility. That still didn’t bother me and I continued to remain unperturbed. Misplacing things is such a common occurrence in  my life, that it fails to make me even blink an eyelid now. I casually looked around the house. It wasn’t to be seen. So I coolly assumed it must be lying on the floor of the car. I was so sure it would be in the car, since I couldn’t see it anywhere at home that I didn’t even bother to go up to the car and check.

So I stopped searching for it and got busy with other stuff. My lack of concern for my phone, does speak of my arrogance and my ‘take for granted’ attitude. Soon the day turned to night. At around 9 pm I got a call from my cousin. She said I had left my phone behind at their place and said she was surprised I hadn’t called them for so long to check. ‘Ohh, so its with you! I’ve been looking for it all day and searching the entire place!’, I lied.

Why would I want her to know of my uncaring attitude or my non existent social life? So well, the phone is still at their place. We haven’t found time to collect it yet. And doubt we will, until Tuesday evening. Till then, I shall remain phoneless.

Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour | 25 Comments »

A walk in the past..

Posted by Pepper on November 24, 2010

Comfy’s recent post where she exhibits her beautiful pics full of snow tempted me to dig this one out. It also took me on a nostalgia trip. This was during a time when resources were scarce. I walked everywhere on campus. To ease the financial strain I would even try walking to far off places in the city. Because a car was unaffordable and public transport was not very easily available. I’d try and avoid cabs. But walking long distance with sub zero temperatures and riotous winds is cumbersome. Really.

Getting to class always turned out to be an eventful journey. I would jump out of bed a few minutes before class began and then have to run all the way. Which would be fine. Except that the roads were layered with a sheet of ice. They make you skid, slip and fall. So I’d never get to class without a couple of thuds. I’ve had some very interesting falls on those roads.

Getting back home from school on the other hand would always be a quiet peaceful affair. I’d observe the pretty white world swirling around me. And with that, my thoughts would tardily swirl in my brain too. The impressions still remain.

That’s me walking back home from class on a usual snowy day.

Posted in Blasts from the past | 27 Comments »

The ongoing war..

Posted by Pepper on November 23, 2010

Every time I read posts where you girls write about the way your husbands/boyfriends toil, work hard and serve you, I am filled with deep agony. I am telling you, stop writing such posts. My bhatakti aatma (wandering soul?) will haunt you.

I wish I could write such stories about Mint too. But I won’t lie about him. He is the laziest person to have lived. I wish I could say how hard working I was and how I worked around the house. But I wont lie about myself either. I am lazier than him. Yes, its possible. Don’t ask me how.

Both of us constantly try to escape any kind of chore that requires any physical movement. We keep trying to sweet talk each other into doing it. Sometimes it works. Other times it doesn’t.

On week days, I make the veggie/dal/sabzi, but I do not let him get away that easily. He makes the chapatis/rotis. This arrangement works well. But during weekends, our unfortunate alikeness results in war. If we are home, neither of us agrees to move our ass. We both keep urging each other to get out of bed and whip up a meal. At times, he agrees to go and do it. But not right away. ‘Haan, I’ll go in 5 minutes, pakka’, is his standard response. What the hell? That has always been MY LINE to my mom! Soon the 5 minutes have extended to 20 and there is no sign of any movement from him. ‘GO RIGHT NOW!’, my screech is loud enough to shatter glasses within a 50 mile radius. Really, I can’t even strangle him. Why would I say that without trying?

Sometimes, miracles happen. I actually find him in the kitchen cooking an elaborate meal. This has helped me sharpen my reflexes. I run out the very moment he sees me, before he can ask me, ‘baby, can you chop this for me please?’.

And then, there are times when he *does* serve me in hand. That is every single time we eat dosas. Because he is the only one who knows to make them. I am smart. I never tried learning.  So do you know why I love stocking up the dosa batter. * Wicked grin *

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 34 Comments »

Hello from my new home!

Posted by Pepper on November 22, 2010

In life, every time I move to a new address, I am full of apprehensions and excitement. The apprehensions slowly fade away as I settle into my new home. I suppose this is no different. So I moved here, with all my past baggage in tow. I then spent a while organising things and putting them away in their rightful places. See the categories? And the effort that went into it? I had to open each post individually and categorise it. I almost gave up.

I am just about beginning to feel comfortable in my new abode. But I am still unfamiliar with the locations of certain objects. I am sure I will find my way around though. I am also interested in the decor of my new home. But right now I am experimenting with different set ups (read themes). Once I am happy with the arrangement and like the way the place looks, I’ll stop.

I was very excited about hanging up the picture frames on the walls. I also wanted the picture to include Mint. Since I cannot figure out a way to blur, crop, smudge or make the face unrecognizable without  frightening people to death, I’ll use the only decent one I have. I was also excited about my new display pic on WP. I spent a while thinking of what I should put up. Finally, I decided to flaunt the only part of me that is flaunt worthy. My eyes. I am told I have big, pretty eyes. So I chose an image that was pretty ‘eye catching’. * Laughs to self and ignores the eye roll *

So here I am. I will miss blogger and miss the sound of Red Liquid Flow. But for now let me focus on the new beginning and say Cheers!

Posted in A penny for my thoughts | 40 Comments »

It is a crib fest!

Posted by Pepper on November 18, 2010

If there is one thing that comes naturally to me, it is whining. When it comes to whining and cribbing, I am such a pro. One of the reasons I consider my blog to be a good friend is because it allows me the luxury to mop and wail to my heart’s content, without saying a word in return.

– Let me start by talking about the chaos that is my house. The bedroom is in a perpetual state of mess. Both Mint and I have the tendency to fling our jeans on the floor. Both of us suffer from a rare condition that allows us to comfortably dwell in the mess. Lack of order doesn’t bother us. In fact, my brain was programmed in a way to react only after it processed the sound of my momma screaming in the background asking me to clear the mess NOW! But now, mama isn’t around here. So I tried to change the settings of my brain myself. Once in a while I do clear the room and put things in order. Only to notice that the room has returned to its original messy state within 24 freaking hours. And the heap of clothes lying around has reached unsurmountable heights. Soon we have to hop around to move across. Really, what do I do? Become responsible did you say? How do I do that?
– These days, it gets pitch dark by 5 pm! I absolutely hate it! Add to that, some days are pretty chilly. Yes, I can whine about the cold despite living in California. If I were to live in places like Boston, NY or Canada, I’d bury myself underground and resurface only after winter has officially ended.
– I’ve been discovering new blogs everyday. It has turned me into Alice exploring her wonderland. But reading blogs is so time consuming, and such a damn addiction. What is surprising is that every time I read a new blog, I see comments there from the people I read regularly. That makes me wonder how do people have the time to read and comment on so many blogs? How come I don’t seem to have the time on a regular basis? Very unfair!
– I am thinking of moving to WordPress. The features are so much better. But I’d only do it if I figure out a way of moving all my old posts from here. I don’t break ties with my past easily you see. I still need some advice. And some help in setting up the new blog. I wish Mint wasn’t so busy 😦 .

Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour | 15 Comments »

A peep into our home.

Posted by Pepper on November 18, 2010

I finally have the pictures of the house. I was going to upload them somewhere and then thought I should also put up a few on my blog. Here are some of my favourite spots in the house.

This is where I wish I could spend my entire life – the bed. This particular bed is huge and one of the most comfortable ones I’ve slept on. Stepping out of here is well, painful. Do not judge me for the two stuff toys you see there. I got them almost free at some garage sales. Or okay, go ahead and judge me. I think they are cute, okay? I know I still have some growing up to do. 

This is another corner I love. This is actually a shoe rack which we decided to use as a DVD stand. I think it looks very neat and I love the dash of colour it adds to our living room.
The dining table. We chose a different set up for the chairs to save space. I love the candle in the centre.
The backyard. I know a picture taken during the day would have been clearer, but I like this one more. I am a sucker for candles. I love the way they’ve lit up the plants.

Posted in Slices of life | 19 Comments »

Timeless Joy!

Posted by Pepper on November 16, 2010

We all have some memories that we count on for a few smiles. This one is mine. It is one of the happiest moments of my life. I do realise the recent spate of posts dripped in saccharin can nauseate any reader. But this incident forms an integral part of my memory and I’ve been wanting to write about it forever. It *has* to be put on my blog.

People who know me in real life have heard about this story about 8,63,451 times. A handful of you who know me personally read my blog. You may skip this post with my best wishes.

For the rest of you, I take you back to my student days, when I was completing my Masters in UK. I’ve written about how Mint was an inseparable part of my life then. Without him, I wouldn’t have had any shred of sanity left in me. Back then, I also missed my family a lot. I would keep yearning for home. When I finally had a chance to go to India for a few weeks, I jumped to it without further thought.

So it was during my Easter break that I went home. I was in Mumbai. It was around then that I told my parents the details about my relationship with Mint. Before that, they only had a vague idea and I always sounded non committal to them in my replies. They took in all the details, and were as usual, supportive. But they were also very apprehensive after hearing about Mint’s rigid family and their non accepting nature towards people belonging to different castes and communities.

It was quite a short trip. And I had also carried with me a whole load of assignments. So between spending time at home, meeting friends and relatives, taking care of my assignments, I was quite busy.

One day, my friends called me and made plans for dinner. When I said I was a little busy with my assignments, they insisted I go for it. So I gave in. My sister and two of my best girl pals met for dinner. My friends were supposed to come back with me and stay back at my place. So the four of us got back home at around eleven pm. To my surprise, my parents weren’t home! I wondered where they could go at this time. I didn’t have the keys and so I called them. They said they didn’t realise I didn’t have the keys and asked me to take them from the neighbour after a quick apology. They told me they were out having dinner. Having dinner? They hadn’t told me about any such plans.

Anyway, we finally entered the house and collapsed on the sofas in the living room. But something seemed strange. All these girls were a little giggly and restless. Finally, my best friend asked me to go get her a pillow from the bedroom so that she could sit back with some back support. Oh, get it yourself, I told her. But after being forced by all of them, I got up and walked into my room.

I entered and what greeted me shocked all my senses, rendering me speechless. The room was lit by numerous glowing candles. In the midst of the semi darkness, I saw a figure standing in the room. Whaa.. there ..is ..somebody.. in .. the .. room? I was almost going to scream and run back. And then I realised. It was Mint! He looked at me and said a cheerful ‘Hi!’.

I was still frozen in shock to react. And very, very confused. I mean, Mint? The last I spoke to him a day ago he was in the US. Is it really him or am I hallucinating? How can it be him? He doesn’t know the address to my house in Mumbai. How can he come here? And oh, the house was locked and there is nobody at home. How did he get in here and enter my bedroom? Okay, it has to be hallucination.

And then, all these girls ran into the room and started jumping on the bed and giggling away joyfully. Before I knew it, the camera was in my face, recording this moment. Mint seemed to be laughing along with them. I was still clueless and I stood there frozen.

Finally it hit me and I realised this was really happening. I continued standing there, trembling in shock. ‘Why are you standing like that? Go hug him!’, I was told. But I couldn’t move. I seemed to suffer from momentary paralysis and my brain throbbed with a zillion questions pounding inside.

After I regained my senses, I managed to ask him, ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ and he smiled, pulled me close and said, ‘I came here to be with you on your birthday’. Yes, it was my birthday the next day. I couldn’t believe he had traveled all the way to be with me for a single day on my birthday. In the next few minutes, a lot of excitement followed. Soon my parents walked in beaming and asked me if I liked my surprise. They knew? I was even more baffled.

So here is what happened. Mint decided to surprise me by coming for my birthday. But he didn’t have too much leave left at work. So he decided to come to India for a single day! It happened to be the weekend. He contacted my parents and told them his brilliant idea. My dad thought he was nuts to be coming from the other end of the world for a single day, just for my birthday. But he got them to agree to his plans. He then coordinated with my sister and with that, the planning began. They had to get me out of the house while he entered. My parents went to the airport to pick him up! They dropped him home and left because they thought it would be good to give us some privacy in the beginning.

Obviously, that has been the best birthday I’ve lived to see. When I think of the entire incident, I feel my heart burst with joy. How many people can I thank here? I still can’t believe Mint did this. It requires a heart to spend something like $1500 for a single day. It isn’t like he was rolling in money. He still choose to do it. Just to bring a smile to my face on my birthday? The amount of detail that went into this plan, that included the arrangement of candles was so incredible. Especially because Mint really isn’t the kinds who would do things like this. But he did it for me cos he knew I love candles? And the amount of hours he traveled for? And went back to work straight from the airport after he got back despite the exhaustion? I repeat, he traveled from USA to India and spent all that money for a single day for my birthday? I think I will live in disbelief.

And how can I thank my sister enough for planning this with him for so long? And yet keeping the whole do a secret from me? And my parents? Really, I don’t know where to begin. How many parents are liberal enough to go pick up a guy their daughter is dating and welcome him to their home? And even thoughtful enough to give us a few moments without their presence? How can I ever thank my parents enough for being what they are?

And how can I thank my friends for feeling my joy and jumping in excitement for me?

Sigh! If I’ve been the centre of such intense love, then I’ve lived a worthwhile life. Every time I think of this, I feel my heart leap out of my chest and flutter away to paradise.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 33 Comments »

Protected: The ‘peppermint’ story – part 2

Posted by Pepper on November 14, 2010

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Protected: The ‘peppermint’ story.

Posted by Pepper on November 12, 2010

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Give me soundless sleep!

Posted by Pepper on November 9, 2010

I was going through one of my old blogs and came across this apt post I had written that perfectly summarises my current grievance. I’ve turned into an extremely sensitive sleeper. Most of the times Mint stays up very late at night, browsing on his laptop and I lie next to him, tossing and turning every minute, unable to sleep because he isn’t sleeping. As a result I either oversleep in the mornings, or wake up sleep deprived. It results into me turning into a monster who snarls and bites at the slightest hint of a provocation.


There was a time when the loudest of alarms failed to make me blink an eyelid. There was a time when I could sleep through loud music, loud honking, loud television, loud screaming sister, other loud miscellaneous noises and any kind of commotion.
And now, I wake up with a jerk if someone sneezes in Alaska. Its simply unfair. And annoying.

Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour | 16 Comments »

Weekly forecast for Pepper.

Posted by Pepper on November 8, 2010

After the pleasurable weekend that included Diwali celebrations and a trip to Santa Cruz beach, you might find the coming week a tad dull and monotonous. Do not despair, keep moving and the next weekend shall be here before you know it. You will also consider getting over your reluctance to cook, because eating out so regularly is harsh on the stomach, and harsher on the bank accounts. Some people will annoy you, like never before. You will want to give in to your old desire of putting them all in the mixer. You are however, advised to stay calm. Practice yoga and meditation. Planning and organising yourself may prove fruitful. Good luck!

Posted in Slices of life | 21 Comments »

Protected: Mint speaks..

Posted by Pepper on November 4, 2010

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Language talk

Posted by Pepper on November 3, 2010

A lot of people seem quite astonished when they find out Mint and I belong to such different castes, communities, regions and perhaps even cultures. He is a Tam speaking South Indian. And me? I can’t seem to classify myself. But I am put into that broad category of North Indians (According to this division, anybody who is not a South Indian happens to be a North Indian. Simple) Most of the concern people have seems to revolve around one common question – What language do you guys talk in?

I don’t blame them for their candid curiosity. Typically, South Indians are not very fluent in Hindi (I do not wish to generalise, this is just based on my personal observations). And for a North Indian to learn any South Indian language is a nightmare. Will somebody please teach me Tamil before I give up completely? I understand little bits and pieces here and there. But being able to talk is a far way off.
So what language do Mint and I talk in? We speak in a mix of English and Hindi. Off late, it is more Hindi than English. Mint’s ability to speak Hindi is surprisingly good. All you need to do is ignore his South Indian accent while he talks. I am so used to it, I don’t think I even notice it anymore. In fact, he seems to have gotten quite used to the Bombay slang by now, and you can often hear him say stuff like ‘ Arrey yaar, nahi baba, abey, kya re, etc’
Now he does make some mistakes, quite hilarious if you ask me. And I am going to be mean enough to write about his usual errors here.
Mint: Woh toh andar chal gaya.
Me: Chal gaya? You mean chala gaya.
Mint: * Enquiring about some combo offer they had at a Pakistani restaurant * Toh yeh curry ke saath naan milegi kya?
Me: *giggling in the background and whispering* Its naan milega ka kya, not milegi.
Now this gender issue is quite troublesome. He insists on knowing why naan is male and not female. Uhh, I don’t know. I don’t have answers to most of his gender based questions.
Mint: * Looking for some restaurant while driving * Arey, usko toh idhar hi hona hai na?
Me: *Figuring out what he means – it should be here only* Idhar hi hona hai nahi. Idhar hi hona chahiye..
Sometimes its funny because he uses textbook Hindi. He’ll look at something and say, ‘Woh bohut sundar hai’. That makes me laugh endlessly. Sundar really? Whoever uses such words while talking? Other times, he shocks me by his knowledge of old Hindi songs. If I am listening to some stuff, he’ll hum along, leaving me zapped.
And then at times, he insists on knowing more than me. Yes, in Hindi.
Mint: Do you know what ‘warm’ is in Hindi?
Me: *After some thought* .. I don’t think there is a word for warm in Hindi. If there is, I don’t know.
Mint: There is. I know it. It’s ‘garam’
Me: Hah! Garam is hot, not warm.
Mint: No, its warm
Me: Okay, so what do you think hot is?
Mint: Garam garam
Me: *Speechless*

Posted in Slices of life | 19 Comments »

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