A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for November, 2012

When paths cross..

Posted by Pepper on November 29, 2012

I started this post on Sunday. It has taken me 5 days to complete and publish it. At this rate, I am beginning to wonder how long my blog will stay alive.. ūüė¶


I hate making decisions. The more I try to evade them, the more they seem to chase me. This has been a difficult weekend. One in which I had to employ every ounce of energy and arrive at a conclusion that is beneficial to both Mint and I. At times, I feel our relationship heavily favours my preferences. I want that to change.

I guess confusion is going to be our companion for the coming few months. We have a while to go before placements officially begin on campus for Mint. However, there was one particular company that came to recruit a little ahead of time. Let me call the company ABC. So the role that ABC offered was a very prestigious one. Mint was actually in Mumbai when he received the mail from the placement committee. We read the mail together. The salary package made my jaw drop. They seemed to offer an insane amount of money. Even the joining bonus was one big whooping figure that ran into lakhs. Other than that, they were giving you company shares that were worth a huge sum of money. So, on the whole, the offer seemed to be a very lucrative one. For us, atleast. We’re not people who are used to that kind of big money.

But, yes, there is always a but. The job wasn’t going to be based in India. You would be rotating for the first 3 years and then you would be posted in some location that is not known to you right now. Those clauses didn’t really suit me. Unfortunately, we hardly had any time to think about it. The deadline for you to submit your resume was a day or two after they sent the first email.

Since we didn’t have much time to really think, we decided to go ahead and apply. Mainly because we were positive his resume would not get shortlisted. That turned out to be an incorrect assumption.

Mint called me early in the morning two days ago and told me his was one of the few resumes that had been shortlisted. Perhaps they used some broad filters to shortlist resumes. One of them being international work experince. What else could it be, considering he had no background in the industry the company operated in. What do we do now, he asked me.

The problem is that Mint is not allowed to reject more than 2 job offers. If he is offered 2 jobs, he is officially pulled out of campus placements. So it is very important that he applies for jobs he really wants to take. Else he ends up using up his offer limit of 2.

Mint kept questioning me – ‘What should I do now? Do you really want to be a part of this?’ I couldn’t really answer that question. It was hard. I asked him what he wanted, but he only confused me further by giving me answers like ‘I want what you want’

So the onus of making the right decision rested on me. Going ahead with this kind of job didn’t really make sense. We moved out of the US because I wanted to be in India. This job defeated the purpose of moving back. But in practicality, I had many other factors to consider.

– This kind of money wouldn’t come to us again. We’re both in our twenties. That is relatively young.

– We should save money at this stage and then think of growing roots.

– I dream of owning a home in Mumbai. The dream doesn’t sound realistic. I mean, we can burden ourselves with lifelong EMIs and buy a home. But with this job in hand, we would be able to buy a home a lot more easily, with relatively few EMIs. Or if we saved for a few years, then we’d be able to buy property without the help of a loan. Now that is a very big deal!

– This would be a good career move for Mint, considering it was a coveted role.

But at the end of the day, I would have to deal with the distance (from my family) that came with this choice. After some thought, I realised I would pick my family, over picking the money. However stupid that sounded to some people. The problem was, this was not about me alone. This was about us, as a couple. What was best for us?

It was very important for me to find out what Mint wanted. Obviously, if he wanted this, ¬†we would consider it and then make a joint decision. Each time I made an attempt to know what *HE* really wanted, he would refuse to give it thought, without sweeping me into the picture. He kept talking about how this would impact ‘us’. I tried really hard to get him to disassociate from me for a while. We would get to the ‘us’ part later. First, it was important to understand and assess individual wants. He just wouldn’t tell me. His only response was, ” I want what is best for us. I will be happy if you are happy’. After a while I gave up.

And so I made a call. I chose to let go of this opportunity. We had to use devious ways to wriggle out of it, but I won’t get into those details. People around me were shocked to find out how easily Mint was willing to give up all this money, for the sake of my happiness. Each time Mint dismissed their reactions, saying ‘It’s not a big deal. I really don’t care too much’.

Being a couple is hard at times. Your connected lives turn you into one single unit. At times, the diverce ambitions and desires blend. Other times,  you know your partner has to live the consequences of the choices you make.  And accepting that is not easy.  And when your partner is so easy and accomodating, his interests become your lookout and responsibility.

Now I only hope I make responsible choices..

Posted in A penny for my thoughts | 63 Comments »

Diwali 2012

Posted by Pepper on November 23, 2012

How was your Diwali? Ours went by in a blur. Mint and I spent a good amount of time together, and now that he is gone, I feel those distinct withdrawal symptoms. Let’s play catch up. Here’s a preview of the past week. Or was it more than that?

Mint and I had a chance to catch up with my newly married BFF#2, along with her husband over dinner. We chose Pizza Hut, since it was a convenient venue. While the BFF has had several opportunities to bond with Mint before and after we got married, this was the first time  the two of us met along with our respective husbands. The whole idea of meeting along with the husbands seemed so grown up. I mean, just yesterday, we were two young college girls, giggling at the mention of marriage, and considering it to be a very far off possibility. And here we were, married couples catching up over dinner, discussing work and life. How did this happen? When will I accept the fact that we have indeed grown up?

It was a fun meal. The two husbands didn’t talk too much. Or perhaps the ceaseless banter prevailing between the BFF and I didn’t leave the guys with adequate opportunity to talk? *Note to self* – Meet at a quieter place next time. And talk a little less.


Mint also had the chance to catch up with the rest of my extended family this time. Every time we meet, I realise what a crazy bunch we are. This time, we booked a room at Otter’s Club in Bandra. So we had all of my mom’s side of the family gathering there, along with my uncles and aunts, cousins and their kids. We spent most of the afternoon sipping drinks and eating tasty tandoori appetizers. Since this was not a typical restaurant set up with tables and chairs, the kids had enough room to run around in our private area. It was a lovely, relaxing afternoon, full of laughter and conversation. The kids also spent some time in the children’s library. When we got bored of the adult talk, we joined the kids in the library. I had fun going through the vast collection of children’s books! I even made Mint read out a bedtime princess story to me. And he did. With full expression.


Diwali was, as usual, glorious. We made a rangoli and lit diyas. The sister, Mint and I spent a while playing ‘catch catch’ with a cushion at home. The house was overflowing with sweets. We had assorted barfis, home made ladoos and other kinds of mithai being gorged on all the time..¬†I love fireworks and crackers. Sparklers, in particular. But we had a cracker free Diwali. I know how much harm fireworks cause to the environment, but despite that, I find it so very hard to give them up completely. They form such an integral part of my childhood memories. Diwali was never complete without the sparkle of crackers. It is going to take a while for me to¬†disassociate¬†Diwali from firecrackers, but hopefully we’ll get there. Now, we just¬†reveled¬†in the brightness of the lamps. The colourful lanterns being sold on the roads added to the festivity. We ended the day with dinner at a restaurant (Yes, again!)


We flew to Chennai to visit the¬†in-laws¬†early in the morning. 5 am flights don’t go too well with me. It means waking up before 3 am, or rather, not sleeping at all. Visiting the parents in law always makes me nervous. This was a very short, two day visit though. So I hoped nothing would go wrong. I am happy to note, I had a wonderful time. It was a packed schedule, what with Mint’s friend’s wedding thrown in. We had relatives visiting us. We were seen running around to get to the wedding hall. We also managed to fit in two dinner outings with Mint’s parents and Oregano. The highlight of the trip was certainly the food. I’d wake up to incredible filter coffee and unbelievably fluffy idlis with spicy molaga podi. And of course, no trip to Chennai is replete without a visit to Saravana Bhavan. Each time I go there, I eat, and eat, and eat. Why the hell don’t they have an outlet in Mumbai?

Here are some pictures for your viewing please.

Freshly made ladoos being cooled under the fan

Festivity in the air..

Pile of gifts lying on the bed.

Mint  sitting on a bean bag, reading to me. I decided to freeze the moment by capturing it on camera.. I love fairytales being read to me.

The sister and Mint playing with the pillow..

Posted in Life in India | 14 Comments »

Just one of those days

Posted by Pepper on November 10, 2012

We had a shoot in our office today. I planned to look good. I planned to wear my favourite shirt, my best fitting trousers, use kohl on my eyes, and have washed and styled hair.

It all got ruined because I woke up too late. I realised I had no time for a hair wash. So I was forced to skip it.

I used kohl on my eyes with shaky, nervous hands, and ended up messing it all up and looking stupid. Never mind, I’ll try fixing it to the best of my ability, I thought.

I ran out of the door in a frenzy. Suddenly, my shirt seemed a little creased to me. I had ironed it the previous night, so I don’t quite know what happened. Anyway, forget it, I thought.

And then I did it. I forgot I had kohl lining my eyes. I rubbed my eyes, clumsily and enthusiastically. The result was obviously disastrous. Kohl smudged eyes can look scary.

Anyway, it happened. There were bright lights. Cameras in my face. I was questioned. I answered. My eyes instinctually averted the camera. I have always been camera conscious. My skin flaws, the smudged kohl, sticky hair, it all seemed so much more glaring under the 1000 watt lights. I know I don’t look or sound great. But hey! This was a first! Yes, it will be aired on TV. I will let *some* of you know when and where.


I started this post on Thursday and I am completing it on Saturday. With Diwali around the corner, life has been too eventfull. This is my first Diwali in India after what feels like a thousand years. I am excited beyond words. Mint was to get here tonight. Instead, he sprang one of his usual surprises on me and walked in today morning. I was woken up by him, and as usual, I went ‘wha?’. I think I should stop falling for these. Let me just accept the fact that he appears anytime, anywhere.

This week is bursting with plans. Dinner plans, catching up with friends, gorging on sweets, decorating the house, buying gifts, having family gatherings, soaking in the festivity, admiring the strings of lights and lanterns adorning the windows of each home. To add to it, we have travel thrown in. It’s going to be a very busy few days.

Tada folks! I’ll be back when the madness subsides. Maybe in a week or so? Here’s wishing all of you a very happy and bright Diwali!

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments »


Posted by Pepper on November 7, 2012

Numbers. I think they are clogging my brain right now. I suppose yours too. I just realised, at any given point, our poor brains are saddled with the weight of numbers. We think in numbers. We calculate. We analyze. We count. We dissect. We process. We anticipate. Most of these are numerical thoughts. Some of the numbers on my mind are:

– The number of EMIs left for my loan to clear (Yes, I am *still* paying for my Masters)

– The number of days left for Diwali (I can feel it in the air already. I can smell it!)

– The number of days left before I see Mint (I have a constant countdown that runs at the back of my head. 3 more days to go, incase you are wondering)

– The number of days we will be together for (8, incase you are curious)

– The number on my salary cheque (And the number of things I can achieve in this amount)

– The numbers related to TDS (I don’t understand this at all. Sigh)

– The number in my PF account (How I wish I could use the money in here)

– The number on my cell phone bill (What on earth are they charging me so much for? I really don’t talk on phone that much!)

– The number on my customer ID for my Internet Service Provider (I need to call and find out why the hell I get disconnected so often)

– The number that is my ATM pin (Can’t afford to forget this one at all)

– The number on the price tag of the cell phone I want to buy for Mint (He’s using some crappy old phone as of now, because his very awesome phone got stolen)

– The number on the price tag of the camera I want to buy (Like I said, our very awesome camera got stolen too. As of now, we are cameraless)

– Cell phone numbers of the people I talk to everyday (They swim in my head all day long)

– The number of vacations we can afford in a year (I know, we just did Europe, but I am already dreaming of my next holiday)

– The number of the page I am on, in the book I am reading (Page number 44. Yes, I just started)

– The number reflecting my bank account balance (I need to keep this in mind each time I think of making a big purchase)

– The number of minutes I can save if I take an autorickshaw to work (I save about 45 minutes to an hour, which means, I wake up 45 minutes later than I would have to)

– The number on the metercards of the said autorickshaws. (These numbers seem to kill me these days)

– The numbers of the buses that will take me to work, if I do manage to let go of the autos (I need to find this out)

РThe number of shoes I own. (And where/how the hell I can accommodate them)

I can go on, but I should stop. There are endless numbers colliding in my brain at all times. I suppose it gets worse as you grow older

– The number of kids to have?

– The number of calories you’ve consumed today

– The number of square feet of land/property you can afford to buy.

Dammit, growing up sucks!

Posted in A penny for my thoughts | 27 Comments »

To the tunes of Opera

Posted by Pepper on November 3, 2012

13 years ago, when I was exactly 13 years old, my mother told me this for the first time. “You were British, born in England in your previous birth. You were the daughter of an Opera singer. Your mother from your previous birth is still alive. You had a sister too. They live in England even today. They are very old. They still miss you a lot”

WHAT? Those words flummoxed me. I asked her how she knew all this. She wouldn’t tell me. Over the years, she kept reiterating those words. I just shrugged it off. Time came for me to move to UK for my Masters. Noo, she cried. What if you meet your mother from your previous birth there? What if you looked the same in your last birth and what if they still recognize you? I just rolled my eyes and ignored her. When she agreed to let me go, she told me I was to make sure I never attend an opera concert there. Yeah, whatever, I said.

Every now and then, the discussion would steer to my previous birth and she would repeat the same thing. Yesterday, I was telling her about the opera concert I went for in Prague. “You know, I can’t associate myself with anything to do with Opera. There’s no way I could have been the child of an Opera singer.” Her response?

“Hahahaha. Maybe you weren’t. Maybe I just made all that up because I was bored.”

Me: What?! You were joking for 13 years?

She: Maybe I was. Or maybe I am serious when I say all this. Hahaha..

WHAT.THE.HELL? My mother sure has a weird sense of humour. And a weirder imagination.

Posted in Meet the family | 45 Comments »

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