A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for March, 2011

On being directionally challenged..

Posted by Pepper on March 29, 2011

I was out for a walk today, when I realised I was a little lost. The surrounding didn’t seem familiar at all. To my dismay, I wasn’t carrying my phone, or my wallet. I had simply sauntered out with the keys in my hands. You think I am an idiot? Me too! Very few people have the capability of getting lost so close to where they live. Fortunately, I found my way back at some point. Only after I took the familiar turn did my heart beat return to normal.

I am so directionally challenged! It is not even funny anymore.  People usually understand directions. That is how they get by. I only memorise the route. So I am always desperately looking out for landmarks. If I find nothing to take note of, I panic! I then resort to temporary landmarks. For example, take the second right after you see the blue skirt on the display window of some store. And if the store has closed by the time I want to get to my destination, you can imagine how clueless and lost I feel.

I once had to go to a friend’s place. She gave me the number of the bus that would take me there. I walked to the bus stop, happily entered the bus I was supposed to and patiently waited for my stop to come. It never did. When we got to the last stop, I asked the driver if my designated stop had been omitted from the route. He calmly informed me that I had gotten into the right bus, but from the wrong side of the road! I had a monthly pass, so I didn’t have to get a ticket from the conductor, which is why I didn’t figure this out for so long. Sigh. Until the end, I had no clue that I was traveling in the opposite direction.

There’s more. I might with some divine intervention figure out how to get from point A to point B. But when it comes to returning from point B to point A, I am lost again. My brain, unlike other developed brains cannot reverse and backtrack the path. I feel so disadvantaged.

To make matters worse, I do not understand maps. Fortunate are those people who can travel the world just by reading those complex geographical representations that seem nothing more than a maze to me.  Honestly, I wouldn’t even know if you were holding the map upside down.

Mint on the other hand has a terrific sense of direction. His sense of direction is so strong that I am sure he’ll find his way back even if I blind fold him and drop him in the dense forests of the Amazon. He obviously does not need a GPS system in the car. I suspect he has an inbuilt GPS hidden in the corner of his brain. If we’re driving to another state, the maximum he’ll do is get a print out of the directions using Google Maps. The damn directions start with instructions like ‘Head northwest to X avenue’. He tells me I shouldn’t use the GPS either. Just following the instructions in the print out is enough.  But how the hell am I to know what direction northwest is huh? And God forbid I take one wrong turn! I will never find my way back in this life.

We all know Mint is a mean, mean boy. He has fun at my expense. If we’re leaving a mall, he’ll insist I lead him to the car. These malls are huge with multiple exits and parking lots. Most of the times, I walk around aimlessly, testing my luck as I go. Hoping to see a flash of red at some point. I can usually hear him laugh as he follows me and watches me go around in circles.

How I wish there was some human maintainence department where I could send my defective brain for repair . Or better still, if I could find a way to replace this faulty model I have been supplied with. Perhaps then, my life could gain some direction.

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Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour | 57 Comments »

Happy Anniversary, Mint

Posted by Pepper on March 24, 2011

Dear Mint,

Today we turn one year old together. Not that we weren’t with each other before that. But one year ago, our union was made legal.  We were granted an official certificate by the society that gave us the right to be with each other at all times. Neither of us have cared too much about social acceptance and these official tags. But well, I’ll go ahead and wish you all the same. Happy Anniversary!

There are times when I wonder how the time has flown by. It feels like I had just written this post after completing 6 months of togetherness.  And now it has been a year already! And then other times I feel like we’ve been living with each other for a decade and can’t believe it has only been one year. If I had to describe our time together in one word, I’d say ‘Ecstatic’. Because that is how I think this ride has been. Is it because the newness of our relationship hasn’t worn out? What kind of a couple do you think we will be after ten years? Will we still cuddle so much, hold hands while walking and do other such sloppy, romantic stuff? Or will we be solemn, jaded partners,  who’re living together, exhausted with the burden of responsibility and duties we’re struggling to fulfill in our everyday lives. Life does makes you weary. But whatever the case be, if we keep alive the passion we have for each other, then we will sail through everything.

Someday, after many years, I hope to read this letter with you. To take note of how our first year together has been, to remind us to keep the celebrations going, to give us hope and inspiration when we are in dire need of some.

Living with you has been wonderful. Of course, you have your faults. Some of your traits annoy me enough to make me want to slap you. Especially when you stare at your computer screen while I am talking to you. Or you find some screen to look at and keep check on the score while we’re eating dinner out in some restaurant. It angers me no end. That is a horrible thing to do. You apologise each time and put your focus back on me after I sulk. Your obsession with sports is another thing that gets on my nerves. At least if it were one sport you were interested in, it would be more tolerable. But you want to watch and closely follow every game, whether it is cricket, football, ice hockey or any other goddam thing. And when I start feeling awful and sorry for myself, you chuck it all and come and be with me. Your habit of staying up till late, or until the early hours of morning is another thing that makes me wild. Because for some mysterious reason, I cannot sleep until you do. These annoying traits of yours often make me fume.

And then I realise how small and insignificant they are. When it comes to the bigger things, you put me above everything else. Career, money, other desires, everything. If you are having a chance to make some money by changing your job to one that takes you to a location in which I don’t feel comfortable, you will ditch that opportunity. And most of the times, my emotions are not reasoned. I have no real or compelling cause to feel the way I do. But my happiness and well being is put above everything else. And you let go of everything that comes in its way. Even if it makes you lose out on stuff you desired. It makes me feel awfully guilty for being so eccentric. You are the one who is constantly at the ‘giving’ end, while I happily sit at the ‘receiving’ end. The other day, you let go of a boys night out with your friends, because you did not feel like leaving me alone at night. This is not something you should do often. But right now, I want to thank you for caring so much.

You help me out in every little thing I do. Do you remember how surprised and envious my friends were of me when they found out that you actually iron my hair for me sometimes? I don’t do this often, but sometimes when we’re getting ready for an occasion and I decide to use the hair iron, I  call out to you. Because I am too lazy to do it myself. The image of you using the iron on my hair in concentration, as you part the sections still makes me smile. I know most guys would not do this and would in fact roll their eyes when they see a girl ‘dressing up’.

You truly consider my body to be a part of your own. In the literal sense. If I am about to throw up and don’t have enough time to run to the washroom, you will instantly extend your hand in front of my mouth, so that you can hold the puke and prevent other surfaces from getting dirty. If I have a running nose, you will not hesitate before wiping the snot off with your bare hands if nothing else is available. When my nose stud got stuck, you were the one who put your fingers up inside my nose and finally managed to get it out. These things gross me out and I am not even comfortable doing them for my own self. So I know I would have reservations in treating your body the same way. I admire you for the abilities you have, and for the way you’ve accepted my body as your own.

I know I have a very clingy relationship with my family. But you deal with it all so well. Including my random cries of ‘Mama chahiye’. I’d get so mad if you were to do something like that. You are different from me. You hold me and comfort me. I love sitting on your lap the way I do. Facing you, with my head resting on your shoulder. It is very childish. But it is comforting, and that is all I care about.

I feel happy that you are so sane and rational. Because I am equally insane and eccentric. And very unreasonable at times. Like when I was polishing my nails once, I wasn’t finding it easy to use my left hand to do the nails on the right hand. So I asked you to do it for me. Like always, you agreed instantly. And then I got mad and yelled at you when I thought you weren’t doing it right. Or the other time I threw a fit when we were at a video game centre and you used the last two coins in a game I didn’t want to play. You apologised, were willing to buy me a whole set of new coins, but nothing worked. No amount of consoling. I was on a screaming spree. When I think of these times now, I feel terrible and stupid. But I also feel so grateful for having a person like you by my side. You smile, forgive me and always love me the same way.

We’ve had a fun filled year. We’ve been unbelievably lazy, whimsical, indisciplined and sometimes stupid. We’ve traveled a lot together. That is the best gift you have given me. Traveling is a privilege. It has broadened my horizons. We’ve lived without a care in the world. Going out for ice creams late at night, taking off for a trip on a whim, making a meal out of chips and chocolate, eating in bed while watching movies. We mostly lead a fun, unplanned life. We’re both messy. You should be happy that I am not the typical nagging wife, asking you to maintain order in everything. I am as chaotic and lazy as you are. The house is  mostly untidy. But neither of us seems to mind. We live a happy and fun life in the midst of that chaos. A lot of this is possible because it is only the two of us, living far away from the rest of the family. In the coming years, we might be forced to change our ways and impart some discipline into our lives. We have to grow up and take on more responsibility. But let us not crib too much then. We have have had our fair share of this erratic and careless life.

We have some tough decisions to make sometime soon. Decisions that will carve our future. Choices have always confused us. And I dread to think of the blurred visions, confusion and chaos this will bring to us. But you know what? None of the choices are bad. Every option can be given a positive spin and can work to an advantage. If I fret too much, make me read these lines. All we need to do is hold hands and keep the party going. Life is fun. I love the way we usually hop together on our way to the car. I love the way you dance on the road if I ‘dare you’ to. You have taught me to live without caring about what the world thinks. And I love you for that. And for the warm sunshiny happiness you’ve brought into my life.

— Pepper

Posted in Uncategorized | 77 Comments »

Conversations and other things..

Posted by Pepper on March 22, 2011

Pepper: It is raining. Even the temperature seems pretty low. I don’t think we should go out.
Mint: Hmm, yeah.

After a minute..

Mint: It is raining!
Pepper: Huh? What the hell did I just say a minute ago?
Mint: You said we shouldn’t go out.
Pepper: Yes, that was the last line. Did you even listen to what I said before that?
Mint: *Grins*
Pepper: *Fumes*

Mom, I know you prayed for this. I know this is karma. For all the times I was spacing out and zoning while you spoke to me, I know I deserve this.

And yes mum, while we’re talking about the past, let me remind you of one thing you always felt. You believed there couldn’t be a person lazier than me in this universe. For all the talk you gave me, I present to you this guy. When he wants to heat something in the microwave for 20, 30 or 40 seconds. He will always punch numbers like 22, 33 or 44. Because it takes less effort to punch the same number twice. And he is too lazy to lift his finger and punch two individual numbers separately. BEAT THAT!  *Rolls eyes*

Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour | 80 Comments »

I smile when..

Posted by Pepper on March 20, 2011

I peep into the bin. Yes, the garbage bin at home. Every time I happen to look in while discarding something, and I see potato skins, onion peels, empty milk cans, chocolate wrappers, used paper napkins and other miscellaneous rubbish, I have a big smile on my face. It tells me I have a warm, abundant and thriving home. Sometimes, watching the trash you have created can be so satisfying.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I smile each time I see this offline message my mom sent me about a week ago. Needless to say, I’ve read it a million times already.

Mom

to me

show details Mar 12 (7 days ago)
These messages were sent while you were offline.
6:57 AM Mom: Oh my cutie pie! my lil baby! sugar and honey! when will you realize how liitle you are for me?

I realise it of course. I am my mama’s little girl. Knowing that is so wonderful.

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We played Holi! And this little American girl stole my heart. I smile every time I see her picture.

I try to get her for a pic, but she is too busy colouring herself pink.

And this is us, after we got back home. I am only thankful nobody arrested  us as we drove back in this terrifying state.

Oh yeah.. Happy Holi!

Posted in Slices of life | 40 Comments »

My lottery?

Posted by Pepper on March 16, 2011

I was 18, or probably 19 when we moved into a new house. The moment we finished shifting all our stuff, I decided to set my room up. Okay fine, our room. The sister and I have always shared a bedroom. What is the point in having a room that lacks a personality? So I was on the look out for some interesting posters to put up on the walls, a soft board for us to pin up our pictures and notes, other miscellaneous art work to keep around, etc. I finally landed at this store, where I saw the kind of stuff that interested me. Amongst all the things, I saw some posters that I knew I had to buy. That being the peak of my teenage vanity and all that..

This was one of them. The picture is very unclear because something was wrong with the camera settings at that time. That explains the pixelated pink haze.  Anyway, I put this up right across the bed. So I could see it at all times.

I would laugh, and with a swollen head tell my family to wait and watch. One day I will win the lottery and move out of that place. So better value me while you have me. The sister would roll her eyes. My mom, being as dramatic as I am, would play along, and tell me she is aware of all my evil intentions and knows that I will run the moment I see my lottery. My dad would ignore me and would only worry about the ugly tape marks the posters would leave on the walls.

Years passed and I moved out of home. This poster was completely forgotten about. Until this trip of mine to India. While we were sitting in my room, my cousin asked me the question, ‘So, have you won the lottery?’. His question instantly reminded me of the days I’d fool around telling everybody to wait and watch. I thought about it for a few seconds. I no longer lived in that house. I have moved out. I now live in dollarland. Had I won my lottery? Then I asked him what he thought. He said he thinks I did won the lottery. I instantly decided to put this up on my blog. I then went on to ask the sister, my parents, friends, and every Tom, Dick and Harry. They all said the same thing. Everybody felt I had won the lottery.

So what is this jackpot victory of mine that everybody is talking about? What the hell is my ‘lottery’?  Or should I say ‘who’  is? When I asked them, they all smiled and said I know it already.

Err.. I think I know. But I want to pretend I don’t.

I want to believe HE won the lottery. Not me.

Posted in Slices of life | 57 Comments »

Wedding Mania – The marriage ceremony

Posted by Pepper on March 14, 2011

After the reception, we were asked to proceed to the hotel in which the wedding ceremony would be held. My in laws had booked  a couple of rooms for us because it would be most convenient to spend the night there. By the time I got into my pajamas, it was 1 am. I had about two hours to sleep. I think I had just fallen asleep when the alarm rang. It was time to wake up and take a shower. The beautician who was to get me ready would be there in some time. I remember groaning and asking my mom for the nth time, if I could get married in my pajamas?

The lady arrived as soon as I was out of my shower. This time, I decided to do the make up on my own. I didn’t want my face to have layers of gaudy colours. The sari was put on. And then came the dreadful part – my hair do. She first added the extension. A long braid. She then placed some circular, metallic object on my crown. Then came the thick and heavy string of flowers. By now my head felt so heavy, I didn’t think I’d be able to look up ever again. But we weren’t done. She went on to add more metallic decorations to each segment of the braid. I think my head in isolation must’ve weighed more than the rest of my body.

After I was ready, Mint stepped into the room wearing his veshti. This time it was my turn to look at him and laugh.

At around this point, I realised my mom was seriously ill. She was nauseous and weak, and couldn’t even stand. The ceremony was to start soon. Somebody rushed her to the hospital, so that she could get a shot that would mend her temporarily. I tried to keep calm and told myself she’d be okay.

The ceremony began at 7 am. We had the Nalangu first. Oh, what the Nalangu really is, what relevance it has to a wedding and what it symbolises, I still don’t know. I asked Mint, and he didn’t know either. I wish somebody had taken the time to explain all these rituals to me and my clueless family. All that happened at this time is that I got another shower. Of turmeric strained rice grains. People came upto us, and generously poured a handful of them grains on to us. I don’t know how the rice made its way to such confined places, but I had yellow stains all over my lingerie.

By the time the Nalangu was over, my mom was back from the hospital. She didn’t seem okay even now. But we didn’t have enough time to look into it. We had to move on as per the events, since we couldn’t afford to miss the scheduled auspicious time for the wedding. I had precisely five minutes to change into another sari, click a few pictures and get back to the mandap. So imagine the level of panic!

The wedding ceremony began. We were sweating it out in front of the fire. I was extremely uncomfortable through out. My hair, due to the metallic decorations on the braid was getting caught in the embroidery on my sari blouse which was full of intricate wires. As a result, I had to keep my head bent until someone untangled it for me. This happened every few minutes and I kept feeling that annoying pull.

Suddenly, the background music became dramatic, and I realised it was the thali wearing time. Even after that was over, the rituals seemed to continue. At one point, I asked Mint in whispers, ‘Are we married yet or not?’. He looked around, considered it for a moment and whispered back. ‘I think we’re married’.

The ceremony went on for some more time, covering all the elements that are quintessential to Hindu Indian weddings.

Finally, after what seemed like a tiring journey, we were declared married. Phew.

I like this dramatic way of putting sindhoor. Look at the way his hand comes around me.

I have no idea what he is doing touching my feet. I was about to put my hand on his head and bless him, but I stopped myself. Not too many people would have thought it is appropriate. Or funny.

Count the garlands. Don’t ask me how much I weighed.

The moment the we got done, Mint ran out and changed into his jeans. That gave me the bright idea and I asked if I could change into my jeans too. They said I couldn’t. I had to enter the in laws house in all my glory. I was pretty annoyed. Mint’s veshti was not half as uncomfortable as my sari, jewelery and troublesome hairdo. But well, what had to be done, had to be done. At least we were done with it all and could call ourselves married.

Posted in Blasts from the past | 52 Comments »

It feels like home..

Posted by Pepper on March 9, 2011

In the past few years I’ve led quite a nomadic life, changing cities and even countries every now and then. While the optimist in me feels privileged and happy to experience different places and savour different cultures, the pessimist whines because it makes me feel uprooted a little too often. I long for that feeling of home.

And for me, to call a place home, it needs to have the weight of my history. The mention of ‘home’ should bring in that rush of nostalgia that comes only with a long term association. It should be a place where you can visit your memories and see your past. Going by this logic, we can have only one home. For me, that home is Bombay. Unquestionably.

Ever since I moved out of Mumbai, I’ve been in search of a place that feels ‘like home’. I studied in UK and have fond memories of that place. But it is not a place I can live in for long. Each time Mint talks about moving there, I protest vehemently. And I have no answers to give him. I just could not connect with the soul of that place. My mind was aimlessly wandering in search of an unknown destination.

Surprisingly, after I moved to the US, I felt a greater sense of attachment to the place I lived in. While Ohio was good and I actually miss the city we lived in, it still didn’t feel like home. There were some invisible barriers that prevented that feeling of belonging from seeping into me.

Things started to change slowly after we moved to California. I was falling in love with the Bay Area. This is such a beautiful place. Everything is so scenic and picturesque. More importantly, the Indian food available here is fantastic. It is actually better than what you’d get in India. Probably because this place is so full of desis. I see Indians everywhere I look. So much so, that most of the times I forget I am not living in India. The weather, though a little cold by my standards, is still so good compared to the rest of the country. But this is not about the beauty, or the food, or the people or the weather. This is about the one mystical element I was in search of. This place has that elusive ingredient that makes it feel like home. I am in love with my surrounding and feel like I can live here. If not forever, for a long time at least.

And that, is not necessarily a good thing. Because our life right now is so unpredictable, I have no idea where the coming time will take us. I don’t know how long we will be here. It may or may not be long. And that scares me and makes me hope I don’t become too attached to this place. But I will worry about that another day. Today, I will just rejoice, for I have found a place that feels like home.

Posted in Chaos | 42 Comments »

Wedding Mania – The reception

Posted by Pepper on March 7, 2011

For some reason, the in laws wanted to have the reception before the wedding ceremony. For my folks, that concept was rather unheard of. But eventually, they did agree. The mania, in a rush to surface, began even before we left for Chennai, where the reception and wedding ceremony were to be held.

We were to reach Chennai a day prior to the reception. On the morning of the departure, I was woken up by mom at 7 am. We had our flight in the next few hours. The moment I opened my eyes, I felt the world around me spin. The  bed I was lying in had turned into a fast paced swing. The walls seemed to be tilting and oscillating, going back and forth. My head felt like it weighed a thousand tons and every object in my vision was doing a dance of its own. It didn’t take me too long to realise that I was terribly dizzy. To make matters worse, I had to deal with severe nausea and ended up retching and throwing up uncontrollably. As expected, my sudden sickness at such a crucial time made my parents hit the panic button.

Medicines were ingested, prayers were said. We left for the airport. I felt weak and limp, but tried to wobble on my unsteady feet. We landed in Chennai. My father in law, along with my family took me to some doctor. Severe vertigo he said, along with low BP. He asked me to take complete rest that day, told me to follow a particular diet, and give me some pills. Hopefully he said, I’ll be okay by the time I have to get on to the stage.

We reached my hotel room and I was made to sleep. Slowly, the other guests started arriving. Seven of my close friends flew in from Mumbai. Everybody was given strict instructions to not disturb me. So I don’t have much of an idea of what happened that day.

The next day, the day of the reception i.e., I woke up feeling a lot better. I still felt weak and had occasional bouts of dizziness. But the nausea was under control and I thanked God for that.

So yes, the fun now officially begins. In the afternoon I was whisked away to the hall in which the reception would be held. Two women arrived to deck me up. The make up was put on. The sari, a very Non-South indian-non silk kind, was draped. It felt heavy as expected, but more than that, it felt a little odd. Like it hadn’t be draped the right way. The pleats seemed formless. I made the usual blunder of ignoring it then. My hair was then tended to. The women insisted I add volume by doing a simple blow dry and leaving it at that. I wish I hadn’t agreed. My mane looked like it had been awkwardly inflated and puffed up.

Once I was ready, the photographers arrived. And then came the painful part of taking pictures. These guys insisted I pretend to be the loony, docile and coy bride that I wasn’t. He asked me to cup my face in my hands and smile and do things I had sworn I wouldn’t do. The worst part was that those guys spoke only Tamil, with a few words of English. My attempts to communicate with them were futile. So I gave up and tried my best to cooperate. But each picture would take about five shots to get right. Because every time I’d end up laughing hysterically, instead of flashing the shy smile that I was expected to. A senior photographer was called and he told me ‘Medum you be laughing too much. Please be sad’.

After a few minutes, the sister came in giggling and told me the guests had started arriving, and my recently taken mock shy bride, falsely coy and blatantly artificial pictures were being displayed on the huge screens in the hall. I was horrified, but more than that, I felt sorry for the guests.

Mint came in, took one look at me and laughed. I should have guessed what a sight I was. Or was it my agonized expression that made it so funny? I don’t know. Take a look at one of the pictures.

And then we were called on to the stage. I needn’t say what followed. Every Indian who has gone through a reception, or even witnessed one will know it already. We had to stand there, faking a smile, developing a serious jaw ache for what seemed like eternity. 1200 guests. Each one wanting to take a picture with us. At one point, after going through the while process of standing and smiling for an hour, I mustered the courage to look at the queue waiting to get on to the stage. All I saw was a slithering python, sliding towards us in slow motion. It brought back the dizziness.

Now this is the worst part – there was a fan standing right behind where I was on stage. The result? A few sections of my hair going wild and flying in all directions, as though experiencing euphoria that comes with the first taste of freedom. This kept annoying me no end, and I constantly pushed away the stray strands that made their way to my face. But I hadn’t even seen the worst part. I realised how awful I looked only after seeing the video. But the rest of the world could see me when it was happening. Why couldn’t anybody come and switch off or take away the fan from there? For them, the whole thing only seemed comical and my in laws laughed as they saw the video. Me? I am still pissed and still trying to forgive the world.

I continued smiling on stage and reached my endurance limit. Unfortunately, I could do nothing to escape it. How can any human keep that smile intact, every second for hours? It was as though the world would explode the moment I stopped smiling. Understandably, the back began to ache, the weakness returned and brought with it a an added sense of grumpiness. At some point, the smile was replaced by a murderous glare. All I had to do was sprout an extra pair or arms, hold a blood soaked dagger and stick to my tongue out and I’d have the world falling at my feet in worship. They’d think Goddess Kali herself has descended on earth.

And oh, the videos. The amazing animation, special effects and graphics of the video definitely deserve a mention. On all the screens present in the hall, people could see interesting scenes being played out. Animated characters driving on the highway, and pointing to big hoardings with our pictures plastered on it. Our faces replacing fruits and flowers and hanging off trees., big hearts coming together with our faces flashing inside.  There even was a shot in which my head splits into ten segments and hovers around the atmosphere, before coming back and becoming a whole. I thought the video guy must’ve been a genius to think of this. Wonder how he knew that is exactly what I felt was happening to me.

I was truly glad when the evening came to en end. The only good part of the whole deal was Mint. While we were both standing on stage, he put his sense of humour to good use. Through gritted teeth and forced smiles, he’d whisper his comments to me. Comments that would be so amusing, they’d make me pray I don’t seem like the lunatic bride due to my sudden bursts of laughter.

The food this time was great! Unfortunately I was too exhausted to have much of an appetite. I  tasted everything and we had the customary pictures of the bride and groom feeding each other. And more pictures with family in the end. I was relieved when it was all over, but anxious all the same. Early in the morning the next day, we had the wedding ceremony.  Till then..

Posted in Blasts from the past | 45 Comments »

He’s the man.

Posted by Pepper on March 4, 2011

He’s the man who made me believe I possessed some magical powers for the first four years of my life. All I had to do was touch the little bulb on the dashboard of the car and bingo! It would glow. It never happened when somebody else touched it. Only in my fifth year did I realise that the switch of the bulb was next to the wheel and was being operated by him on the sly.

He’s the man, who in his bid to prove to the world what a great father he has been, goes on telling everybody that he has changed a million poop filled diapers of ours. It makes me and the sister cringe and we keep asking him to stop emphasizing on the ‘poop filled’ diapers. Saying he has changed our diapers is sufficient. They all know every kid poops.

He’s the man who’d sneakily hand me the prohibited ‘Ice Candy’ when mom wasn’t looking.

He’s the man who always told me he loved me a ‘litlleeee more’ than he loved my sister, but that was supposed to be our secret. I lived in my smug, happy bubble until one day I overheard him say the exact same thing to the sister.

He’s the man I shared my first drink with.

He’s the man who has always driven me around. First to school, then to dates.

He’s the man who drives everybody up the walls with his annoying and deliberate goofiness.

He’s the man I have some of my best and most gross conversations with. We once had a long discussion on how real Madhuri Dixit’s boobs were in Dil To Pagal Hai. These are times when the mother scurries away and tells us we’re disgusting and vulgar. Perhaps we are.

He’s the man who has given me a life of comfort and luxury and paid for all my indulgences.

He’s the man I argue with the most.

He’s the man who blames me for his bald head.

He’s the man who was full of sympathy for Mint when we decided to get married.

He’s the man whose blood I carry in me. He’s the man who made me who I am. Happy Birthday Dad. I will go ahead and wish you now, since you live in the Indian time zone, and as per that, the date is right. I hope your year is full of laughter, merriment and joy. I am so, so proud to be your daughter.

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Wedding mania

Posted by Pepper on March 2, 2011

And it is March. This month, last year we took the big plunge and acquired the official license to harass each other. Yes, we got married. This blog didn’t even get a whiff of the events – the biggest events of my life. The mayhem took a while to do die down. And when it did, I didn’t have the enthusiasm to write about it. So I thought it was time I blow away the dust and chronicle the mania. I am going to divide these posts based on the three big events that were a part of our wedding. And more than providing details of the happenings, I am going to talk about the bloopers, what went on behind the scenes, and other stuff that people normally wouldn’t know.

Warning – Long post ahead. People with low tolerance to unnecessary details are advised to skip.

The Cocktail party

This was the first big event we were gearing up for. Considering it was the only party we were having in Bombay, we decided to make this a large scale affair and wanted something that would equal a reception. In all my stupidity zest, I had decided to be on the forefront of all the arrangements. We willingly chose a hotel that would rip us off. Each item on the menu was carefully selected by me. There was a lot I was taking care of. But despite the exhaustion, I was happy. Now let’s get to the bloopers.

– The dance. We were to have a couple of dances performed by my friends. The songs would be a part of the narration that spoke about our story. And then the friends insisted that Mint and I perform as well. If you know me, you’ll know how terrified I am of dancing. But I got pulled into it, helplessly.

– The song that was finally selected was a very cheesy SRK number. If you know Mint, you’ll know that the very mention of SRK is enough to make him barf. I had to not only convince him to do an SRK  number with me, I had to convince him to actually do a slow, love sick SRK number. The things he has agreed to for lou.

– Now that we had the song in place, we had to learn and rehearse the dance. The problem was that Mint and I weren’t together. He was in the US, and was supposed to come to Bombay one night prior to the party. One night! I kept breaking into sweat each time I’d think of how we’d manage to learn and rehearse and perfect the dance in one single night. Beside that, shouldn’t I be getting my beauty sleep that time? That was not to be. We spent the entire night dancing, trying to memorise the steps and get it right. By the time it was morning, I was one cranky, tired and sleep deprived monster.

– The D Day arrived and we walked in to the hotel in the afternoon. We had a couple of rooms booked there for us to get ready in. The party was to start in the evening. It was in the ball room downstairs. The rooms in the hotel were pretty and the bed was inviting. The piled up exhaustion surfaced, I couldn’t hold up any longer and I just slept. People kept nudging me to wake up, the make up artist had arrived. I was told it would take a while to get me ready and I had to start the process. At that point, I wanted everybody to go to hell. I was tired and all I wanted was sleep. The thought of the impending party was so stressful. I think they got the point and let me sleep for an hour, even though it delayed everything a little.

– Once I was up and willing to be glamoured, I walked into the room only to find out there was a different make up artist there. Not the one I had spoken and given detailed instructions to. I wanted my make up to be subtle and natural. The original guy had even given me a trial to assure me of his understanding and his abilities. And now, I was told he was held up and had sent a replacement. What choice did I have but to trust this man? I hesitantly agreed to let him have a go. I put my head back and almost slept (again!) while he sprayed my face with rose water and set to work. When I finally peeked into the mirror after he was done, I thought it was a little too loud for my taste. What could be done? Nothing.

– I finally stepped into my lehenga. And it was HEAVY. There were folds of thick fabric layered inside the skirt and I had to kick the cloth in front of me to be able to walk. And I was supposed to dance in this? And just to rub it in, the sister then asked me to wear my sandals. They were pretty with big heels. Great. Big heels + heavy outfit + nervousness + exhaustion + frightening dance performance = ? I’d have to wait for a while to know what that totaled to.

– The grand entry. I do not understand this whole concept of walking in late, after every guest has arrived. I would have preferred to sneak in quietly when few people were around. But I was asked to wait upstairs and then enter the party quite late. I am sure I was cursed by a lot of people. Anyway,  finally, it was time to walk in. This was one moment I dreaded, and rightfully so. The moment we entered, the DJ played some loud, dramatic music. He played Saawariya. Something I will never, ever forgive him for. And in the next instant, I had cameras, lights, etc shoved into my face. Not to mention the hovering eyes of every guest present there. Now, I am an attention seeking drama queen. I love being the focus. But that is only when it comes to family and close friends. Not 500 random people. At that time, I could hear my own mental cries of ‘Get the paparazzi outta my face!’. Sigh. This is our first click of the evening.

– The evening progressed. We cut the cake. The other dances were done and it was time for us to perform. I woefully stood up. The dance began. I prayed with every step. I fall clumsily when I walk on the ground with flats. Here I was, dancing in heels in front of hundreds of people, with a long, heavy lehenga, and an added duppata to make life more miserable. Falling down or tripping right now would not be pretty. There was a point when I felt my skirt slip down a little, and I had thoughts of a terrifying wardrobe malfunction happening there. But thankfully, we pulled along without any major pitfalls. Here are some glimpses of our dance.

– The food. I was hungry. But I couldn’t eat, because the would be bride and groom, with their families are supposed to eat in the end. Very unfair. While I was moving around, socialising and talking to people, somebody came up to me and told me the tiramisu was over. It was over? I panicked. I was aghast. How can I possibly not eat something like that at my own party? I promptly left everything and walked up to the buffet area to find out. Fortunately, the person who told me that was just fooling around. The tiramisu was safe. Phew.

– When the evening drew to an end and I finally sat down to eat, I was disappointed with the food. I mean, it was just-about-okay. Considering the obscene amount we paid per plate, I expected it to way better than what it was. Beside that, the hotel had arranged for a sample buffet for us before the event, and I was quite satisfied with the quality and the taste at that time. So when the actually food at the party didn’t turn out to be as great as I expected it to be, I felt rather cheated.

There’s a lot more I can write about, but the folks at WordPress would probably sue me for abusing my right to write and churning out such dreadfully long posts. Until the next event..

Posted in Blasts from the past | 49 Comments »