A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for December, 2010

And with that, we end the year..

Posted by Pepper on December 24, 2010

2010 has been a very eventful year for me. Perhaps the most eminent year of my life. I received my Masters degree right in the beginning of this year. What I felt most was relief. Phew. No more studying in this life. I’m done for good.

Right after I graduated, my wedding discussions commenced in full swing. There seemed to be a tussle going on between Mint’s family and mine regarding the wedding date. We finally settled for a date which was just a few months away. When I broke the news to friends, most of them were shell shocked. Why marry so soon? I had my reasons. But  I did not bother convincing them and justifying my choice.

Before I knew it, the wedding preparations were consuming me. When the wedding date finally arrived, I was more relieved than happy. Phew again! It’ll all be over now.

After marriage, I moved to the US, full of apprehensions. I can now say I love this county, but the distance continues to scare me. The longing for my family still haunts me. I doubt that will change.

After moving here, we traveled a lot and had a wonderful time. How I wish I blogged regularly during that time. I’d have had detailed accounts of my travel tales. All I can do now is bank on my memories. Thankfully, my memory doesn’t fail me easily.

Around this time, I lost my grandmother. It took me a little while to recover but now her memories make me smile. The last twinge of sadness is being replaced by acceptance. I feel grateful that we married at the time we did. Had we pushed it any further, she wouldn’t have been around.

In the middle of this year, we were drowning in chaos and confusion. Mint had planned to do his MBA. But should he pursue it now? The consequences of every decision took us to a different direction. We finally made a choice which we hope was the right one.

In the midst of all this, we decided to move from Ohio to California. This was my forth move in two years and I was sick of it. This was a busy period, discarding old furniture, packing our stuff, clearing the house, shipping some stuff, moving to the Bay Area and house hunting, selecting the house and hunting for good furniture, arranging things and settling down. Phew. I suppose this year has given me a lot of phew moments.

I have now grown to love this home and this place. Life in the past few months has been fun and peaceful, without any disrupting changes. Living with Mint is the best. I am glad we decided to get married this year instead of waiting further. This year is drawing to an end, and I look back and feel amazed by the number of events and activities that took place. Each one of high magnitude. An absolutely eventful year for me it has been.

Here are some of my favourite clicks of 2010.

























































And with that, we end the year. Here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I asked my Santa what I was getting for Christmas and he reminded me of my gift – a holiday in Hong Kong. Not bad, is it? So we’re off for our vacation. HK should be fun! And then I am hoping all goes well and we manage to surprise my parents after reaching India as per the plan. I am looking forward to all the desi delights – spicy pani puris, vada pavs, road side sugar cane juice, filter kaapi, my beloved Bombay, family and friends. Life is good!

Posted in Slices of life | 39 Comments »

Blog match-making anyone?

Posted by Pepper on December 22, 2010

While talking, Revs and I came up with a brilliant idea that we thought needed to be patented right away. The following post has been written by her 😀

“Technically, our generation is supposed to be this polished, civilized and broad-minded generation. Atleast, most of us. Gone are the days when parents analyzed status, religion, caste, subcaste, groups, subgroups, checked and double checked bank balances and jobs, matched horoscopes, either side of parents checked if the anatomy of the bride and groom were intact, if the complexion(!) and heights matched, discussed the number of sovereigns of gold and silver that would be ‘offered’ by the bride’s side along with utensils, electronics, clothes including underwear, footwear etc., even before showing the bride and groom photos of the other. All that is gone now. Atleast in most families.Young adults these days want to choose their lives. The look for a ‘partner’ in the true sense of the word. They look for a certain comfort level and compatibility. Religion or caste or financial status isn’t a big deal to them. They want to meet, get to know, consider their choice and see if they can work through the differences. They want that freedom of choice. Having said that, in this super fast and busy pace of life when everyone is prancing around to go up the professional ladder, it’s unlikely for these young adults to meet others like them. They have targets to meet, appraisals to work for, lives to save and blogs to update! 

Did we just say blogs? Ah haaa! Considering people write so much about their lives – what’s happening with them, what they like, what irks them, what does it for them, how they want their funeral to be like(Hi Judy!) and all that on their blogs, wont blogs be a great way of match-making? If you are worried about how genuine the details in a blog would be, I’d say the chances are as good/bad as trusting what a person puts up on a matrimony profile(remember the very famous ‘traditional girl/guy with modern outlook’?) or even trusting what someone tells you in person about them!

Pepper and I came up with this emmm revolutionary idea – blogmatrimony.com! We are so patenting this! (23rd December, 2010, 11.20am IST)

So interested bloggers can all just sign up there. While signing up, you might have to answer a few basic questions about yourself and all that. Then, a member of our blogmatrimony team will go through the individual’s blog and verify a few facts. References and validation from fellow bloggers can be very much welcome! Oh, we could also have a few rating style questions for members to answer. Like:

  • On a scale of 0 to slutty, how would you rate your dressing style?
  • On a scale of 0 to jerk, how would you describe yourself?
  • On a scale of 0 to constipated turtle, how lazy are you?
  • On a scale of 0 to Samantha Jones(Sex and the City), how would you rate your sexual history?
  • On a scale of 0 to smelly cat, how would you rate your personal hygiene?
  • On a scale of 0 to Mark Zuckerberg, how geeky are you?

So based on all the details provided and verifications done, we could categorize the profiles and then let the fun begin! Single bloggers can meet each other this way knowing that they have atleast one common interest already – blogging! We aim to create massive employment opportunities as well through this site.

  • Those of you sitting there all day in your office and blog-hopping and getting paid for it, let us indulge you as well. You could refer blogs of single bloggers to us and alternatively, you could refer our site to them.
  • Those of you sitting there all day at home in your PJs and aimlessly blog-hopping and watching random youtube videos, you could do the same as above as well.
  • Those of you who go around various blogs, read about all their problems and dish out relationship gyan, you could join our team of in-house relationship experts. You could have been divorced thrice already for all we care, but as long as you can give out advice like free colour tv, we are good.
  • Those of you who enjoy photography and are good at it, you could all come and do some wedding photography maybe? Or even take profile pictures for our members? Come on children, it’s time to be mutually beneficial now.
  • We’re also looking for lawyers(Arpita?) to take care of the legal side of matters. You know, sue anyone who steals our idea and all that. And if any of those bloggers married via our site are looking for divorce lawyers.

About the Founders:

Pepper is a pretty Indian girl who met the love of her life seven years ago, on his blog. They bonded over comments and the rest as they say, is a fairy tale! Now they are married and she’s undoubtedly the pioneer of blog love!

Revs is a single blogger who lives in mortal fear of all those creepy guys out there in the marriage market who copy fancy, flowery words from other matrimony profiles, to their own. She’s someone who knows the pain of pragmatic, single bloggers.

Deadly combo, isn’t it?

Are we awesome or what! Come join us before we become too famous and rich to be talking to mere mortals like you! ;)

PS – I didn’t  bribe her to add that pretty bit. Promise


Posted in Uncategorized | 28 Comments »

Why I quit advertising..

Posted by Pepper on December 21, 2010

I’ve decided to put up posts from my old blog every now and then. Today when I was going through the blog, I came across this one that immediately transported me to my college days in Bombay. It made me realise that I have always been uncreative. And fields like Advertising and Marketing are really not for me. So I guess I did the right thing by switching fields. This post is written just a few hours before my deadline during Sem 5.

Friday, September 14, 2007

3 print ads for Barista. 1 TVC (television commercial) for Lakme Beauty Salon. 1 radio spot for Florista. Deadline: 14th September. I have 1 hour and 20 minutes left before its 12’O clock. Have to email Mr. Iyer all our ads. After that i’ll be going past the deadline date. I have hazy concepts ready for 2 of them. This is the letter I am planning to attach to the mail with the assignments.


Dear Sir,

Hello! I am a student of yours from XYZ college. It is okay if you are unable to figure out who I am, for you have hardly seen me in your class. Don’t get me wrong, you’re one of the very few profs I liked this sem, but the wonderful time you chose to hold your lecture made it extremely difficult for me to attend. Those were the days of pampering my body to the hilt and emerging out of bed at that hour of the morning was considered to be a grave wrong.
The purpose of this mail is to tell you how harrowed I have been trying to come up with good and creative ad concepts for the said products. This whole exercise has also made me realise that there isn’t a creative bone in my body.
I’ve been contemplating killing myself because that is the only way I can get out of this agony. Yes, I am in absolute agony to watch my classmates pour out their creative juices and churn out brilliant concepts and realise that that kind of composition doesn’t flow in my brain. All that exists is a dried and wrung out piece of flab. To add to that, a lock has appeared on the side of my head, and all my effort of unlocking it and entering the perplexing maze of my brain seems to be going in vain.
I tried everything possible. When desperation struck, I bribed my copywriter friend and promised to gladly buy him a drink and dinner and dessert if he came up with good concepts for me. I was willing to go and beg people on the streets for ad concepts and was even willing to pole dance on the traffic signal for them in return.
Since all my efforts have taken me nowhere, I am sending you this garbage in the name of creativity. I beg you to have mercy on my soul and mark me liberally. And forgive me if you can.


posted by Pepper at 10:30 PM

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments »

When girls ask for it themselves..

Posted by Pepper on December 20, 2010

A former classmate of mine buzzed me on gtalk and said she was depressed. She then went on to tell me that her boyfriend had been treating her shabbily for some time now and has also been sleeping with another girl. What? Why the bloody hell are you still with him then? She said, ‘Because he loves me. And I know its true, because he told me that when he was drunk. People don’t lie when they are drunk.’

Sigh. Some girls make it so hard for me to defend the intelligence of my own sex.

Posted in Uncategorized | 42 Comments »

The plight in a flight..

Posted by Pepper on December 17, 2010

We still have a few days to go before we leave for our vacation, and the thought of the impending journey, in particular the flight, already makes me a bag of nerves. I know I’ve said this enough number of times, but I’ll say it again. I hate flying! Detest it. Abhor it. In all honesty, the concept terrifies me. It is quite disturbing to know you are hanging mid air, suspended over oceans and mountains.

I have a lot of travel ‘under my belt’. Hah! Literally and figuratively. But that does not help abate my fears. To add to my woes, I cannot ever sleep in flights. So I keep peeping out of the window, dreading an  air crash, wondering if there would be any chance of survival and then asking myself to shut up and stop picturing such bleak scenarios. Yes, the in flight entertainment usually helps, but those are only brief snatches of respite. The complete lack of sleep and the restless mind always ensure I am totally grumpy by the time we land. My grumpiness being directly proportional to the flying time here.

Whenever I flew back home from London, I thought the flight was endless. And then the last time we had a direct flight from Bombay to New York. I thought it was cruel beyond words. I know a lot of people do it. But my stiff limbs, aching back and haggard brain  make me despise long flights. So imagine flying from the West Coast! The flying hours are quite ridiculous. The end to end journey is around 30 freaking hours! Mint and I are travelling together on our way home, so that makes it a tad more bearable. But I come back alone. Sigh. Imagine squirming in your seat for a good 14 hours. Running around in your sleep deprived state during the transit. And getting back to the air craft only to be greeted by endless hours of flying time again!

I asked Mint yesterday, ‘What if the plane crashes while I am returning alone? Will you remarry?’.  And then before he could respond I added, ‘I don’t care if you do, just make sure she doesn’t prance around in MY clothes or shoes’. To which he calmly replied, ‘No, I’d give them all to your sister’. ‘ Not easy to stir his emotions, I know.

Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour | 41 Comments »

A good deal!

Posted by Pepper on December 15, 2010

Till a while ago, I used to think Mint is the most kanjoos person I know. And then I realised that he is not. He never deprives himself of what he wants. He simply waits for the best deal. So he’ll wait for sales and then buy a superior quality product, or he’ll buy things in bulk and save a few dollars instead of buying the smaller packs and saving space. He often scours the net for good offers and coupons. The point is, he is willing to pay more than usual for something he wants, but ‘Value for money’ is the mantra. I being the most impulsive buyer known to mankind, rarely have the patience to deal with his calculations and analysis.

However, I thought I should use his calculative nature to my advantage. So Mint, I have an exclusive offer for you. You get some points for each task mentioned in the list. And you can redeem those points whenever  you want.

The tasks:

Making quick purchases while shopping (and not analysing product A and product B and then brand C and brand D) – 10 points

Vacuuming the house – 20 points

Cleaning the bathroom (while ensuring the bath tub and floor are sparkling) – 50 points

Making dinner from scratch – 100 points

Buying me clothes/shoes/hand bags – 200 points

Watching cheesy hindi movies with me – 500 points

Here is what you get in return

100 points – I will make chapatis for 3 days!

500 points – I will tickle your feet for an hour (What can I do? The guy likes strange things)

1000 points – I will not nag you for 48 hours (The best deal, isn’t it?)

2000 points – I will cook whatever you desire.

5000 points – I will tolerate you watching foot ball (or any sport)  for an entire day.

10,000 points – Whatever you ask for! (I feel safe saying this since I know the target will never be reached)

As a new member of this elite club, you get 10 points absolutely FREE!

* Terms and Conditions apply.

– As per the deal, you are the one permanently responsible for filling the jug of water and putting it in the fridge.

– This contract is subject to change and can be revised at any given time.

Posted in Uncategorized | 41 Comments »

Forever, in thought

Posted by Pepper on December 13, 2010

Some months ago I lost my maternal grand mom. It hit me hard cos she was my only surviving grand parent. And losing her made me realise that I am no longer somebody’s  ‘grand child’. I wanted to write about it, but not with the bitterness I felt then. So I waited till I was in a position to celebrate her memories without remorse.

I think my grand mom was an incredible woman who was very liberal for her age. She loved eating pasta, she’d shout at my dad if he questioned me when I wore my tiny shorts at home, she always told me to go and marry someone of my choice instead of going the arrange marriage way, she made the world’s best fried aloo that had chili powder sprinkled on top, she gorged on pani puri and ice creams with a passion I haven’t seen in others, she sang wonderfully, she always told me she was waiting to dance in my wedding right from the time I was a child.

And I am glad she did. That is what leaves me with this feeling of deep satisfaction. And the fact that Mint had an opportunity to meet her. She loved him and went on telling everybody what a great guy he was. Neither of us can figure out what she saw in him in their first meeting itself. But it is soothing to know that she adored him. She passed away two months after our wedding.

In her last few years, her mind had started to lose its sharpness. She’d forget things that were told to her five minutes ago. She’d do funny things which didn’t seem acceptable to us at that time. But even in the midst of all her mental weaknesses, memories of her history remained constant. Having lived in Pakistan during the pre partition era for half of her life, she loved talking about those days, and how they fled from there during the riots. And I loved listening to her. She and I shared our birthday, and I like to believe she gifted me a part of herself.

It makes me sad to think that when I will go home this time, I wont find that short, spectacled woman with her sweet smile anywhere. But I will still look back and smile, and have a few extra pani puris to celebrate her life.

That is her, keeping the promise she made to me years ago.

And that is me, holding on to my past, with pride..

Posted in Meet the family | 42 Comments »

The big news!

Posted by Pepper on December 8, 2010

It is vacation time and I will be going to India soon!! Can anybody see me doing a delirious jig?  Oh how I have waited for this. The other part of this news is that it is a SURPRISE! Nobody back home knows of my trip. I’ve always wanted to surprise my family by landing up unexpectedly, and I finally have a chance to do it.

I had written a hell lot about how much we love surprises on my old blog, so I’ll try and not get too repetitive. Okay, only a little bit. I was in Goa once and I decided to surprise my parents. So I told them a false date of return. Landed a few days earlier and just turned up at the restaurant they were in. And they looked at me as though they had just spotted a ghost. I’ve never forgotten their expressions. So I am trying to imagine how they would react if I casually walk home one day. In fact, my original plan was to enter the house in the middle of the night (I was smart enough to carry with me the keys of the house when I left) and just wake them up randomly. How awesome would that be? But now, I can’t find the damn keys. I suppose I misplaced them when we moved from Ohio to Cali. So I am a little confused. We’ll be landing at an insane hour, and should I just ring the bell at that hour of the night? They’re sure to be startled. But perhaps those few moments of tension till they open the door are worth it.

The other problem is keeping my mouth shut. I talk to my parents and sis a hell lot, especially my mom. Soon after Mint and I confirmed our trip, my mum tells me on phone she had a dream in which I land up at home and surprise them and they are all so delighted. WTF? I panicked and was wondering if I have dropped any subtle hints. But nope, nothing. In fact we had just decided ourselves, so there is no way I could have told her something. So it was just an uncanny coincidence? Mothers! I tell you…

It is so agonising to not bring it up at all while talking to them. What if I can’t contain my excitement and just explode? It’s unfair. Who made me the custodian of this happy secret? Okay, I did this to myself. Every time I talk to one of them, I realise I am bursting to let out our plans, and so I hang up and think of ways to glue my mouth shut and make sure there is absolutely no leakage. Such torturous labour!

And I can now dream of my beloved city, Bombay! Surprisingly, I never valued it this much when I lived there. I know the city has a lot of drawbacks, but you speak a word against it and I feel offended and take it personally. I can never really articulate my love for that place. Though I have written bits and pieces, like how much I love the Bombay rains, how I love the beaches and Marine Drive. And there even is  a picture of me jumping on Juhu beach. But these are only tiny gems all part of a bigger jewel. It is my favourite city. I can’t say Mumbai belongs to me, but I definitely belong to Mumbai.

This trip to India also involves a stay in Chennai. On the whole, I am so, so excited! We leave from here around Christmas, go on to spend a few days in Hong Kong and then land in Mumbai. And now, I can’t wait to see my mama, and papa and sis.

Posted in Uncategorized | 34 Comments »

I am a loyal slave..

Posted by Pepper on December 5, 2010


I liked you the moment I was introduced to you. Little did I know you would become such an addiction. Functioning without you seems so unimaginable. I cling to you when life is tough. I look forward to the warmth you offer and that bitter sweet taste you leave on my lips. I hope you will continue getting me through rough sleepless nights. You are a charmer, and the world falls for your tempting traits, but you have to give me credit for my sheer loyalty. I love you, my steaming mug of coffee.


There is something about coffee, that makes me its slave. The fresh aroma, the comforting taste, the flavourful addiction..  I was reading my old blog and realised that I’ve always been loyal to coffee. I wouldn’t have gotten through so many deadlines and submissions if my all night affairs were not accompanied by this magical potent. I might like some hot masala chai on some days, but I don’t find any  beverage as soothing as coffee. And a cup of filter coffee is enough to send me into a blissful coma.

These days, I take my cup of coffee to the backyard and savour every sip before the morning chores begin. On most days, its cold outside, especially in the mornings, but that is what makes me relish the warmth of the brew as it slides down my throat.

Posted in Uncategorized | 33 Comments »

Childish misconceptions..

Posted by Pepper on December 1, 2010

Since a while, I’ve been compiling a mental list of the misconceptions I had as a child, and thought this would make a perfect post. Here are some that I can remember.

* I was very little when I learnt that cows gave milk. Following that, for some reason I assumed that buffaloes gave tea. Probably because I once heard my aunt tell my mom to cut down on her tea intake, or she would become black like a buffalo. The thought stuck and made me believe it were the glorious buffaloes that gave us tea.

* I thought ‘breaking a signal’ actually meant hammering it and breaking down the pole.

* I was sure the word ‘hypocrite’ had something to do with the animal ‘hippopotamus’.

* ‘Chaalbaaz’ was the first movie I saw that had cast the lead in a double role. I actually believed Sridevi had a twin who acted alongside, for the longest time.

* My favourite and much repeated one – I believed Oral Sex meant talking about sex. It’s all because of the Oral Exams we had in school.

Wasn’t I brilliant? I am sure each one of you have had your own wonderful interpretations and ideas as a child. Do you remember any? Do tell me about it!

Edited to add: Like some of you suggested, I am turning this into a tag. Not an easy one, this, for most of you won’t remember stuff like that. But put on your thinking hats and dive into your childhood. I am not tagging people individually, but if you read this, consider yourself tagged. List a few misconceptions/ideas/beliefs you had as a child. Leave me a comment after doing it so that I can stop by and read.

Posted in Blasts from the past | 87 Comments »

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