A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for June, 2013

Parathas, pizzas and burnt cookers

Posted by Pepper on June 16, 2013

I was craving for aloo parathas. So I decided to go to my parents’ home. I end up being there once in three days on average, and each time I come back with home made goodies. Living close to parents is such a delight!

Anyway, where was I? Yes. Aloo parathas. I went home, and the parathas were waiting for me, packed in silver foil. I had planned to bring them back with me, instead of eating them there. After spending some time at home, I left. The mother and I decided to walk down for some sev puri. After stuffing outselves with the tangy chaat, we walked in to a store to buy some steel utensils for our new home.

The moment we reached the utensil store, my mother noticed the bag missing from my hands! My precious aloo parathas! They had been left  behind at the little sev puri shop. Thankfully, I realised it in good time. So we turned around, walked back and found the bag that contained my aloo parathas lying there.

We then walked back to the utensil store. After making a few purchases, I hailed an auto, hugged the mother and left. When I was almost home, I realised the bag containing my aloo parathas was missing, AGAIN! So I called home, told them I had left the bag at the utensil store this time.

Since I was almost home, there was nothing we could do. I was feeling really bad. I had been fantasizing about the parathas all day. The parents were feeling bad since they wanted me to have the parathas they had made. Since we could really not do much, I told them to let go. But what do you know? They made the aloo parathas for me the next day again, and my papa came to my office to deliver them to me before lunch time.

I know, I am blessed. But really, how do I cure myself? This absentmindedness and carelessness has been a chronic ailment.

*****

It was a rainy evening and we decided to order some pizzas at home from a place called Joey’s. When I called the pizza place, I learnt that the whole world had decided to order in pizza from Joey’s on that particular day, and they were taking no more orders. We tried convincing them, but to no avail. Disappointed, we let go. We then thought of ordering pizza from a place called Pizza Craft.

They took our order and assured us the pizza would be delivered within 40 minutes. We waited, and called them after an hour to check. They said the guy was on his way, and the pizza should reach us anytime. After about 1.5 hour, when there was still no sign of the pizza, I called them again. This time, a little angry.

I was shocked, since a man on the other end of the phone seemed to be clueless about our order. He said they had not received any order from our address. I told them that the earlier two times I had called, there was a lady on the phone. He told us no lady worked for them.

I put him on hold and told Mint. He said he would speak to them, since he knows I am too much of a softie and don’t know how to sound stern. These are the parts that I heard him say.

” How can you do this? We’ve been waiting since an hour and a half and now you tell us there is no order from us? ”

“What do you mean you don’t understand? We placed our order at 9:38 pm. What kind of a system do you have if it can’t track orders?”

“There was a lady on the phone.  What am I to do if you say you don’t have any femlate employee? How do you explain us talking to one on the phone when we called here last?”

Meanwhile, the bell rang and there was a delivery guy carrying our pizza. We were confused. Mint continued on the phone..

“If you say there was no order from us, how come we have your delivery guy standing at our door?”

Then I asked the delivery guy his name. The pizza folks were as confused as us. Mint was still questioning them. And then it struck me.

I gulped. Looked at Mint and whispered to him, “I think, I dialed Joey’s pizza instead of Pizza Craft this time. We’ve been shouting at the wrong guy”

Mint looked appalled. He whispered back “What? You dialed Joey’s?! How could you? I trusted you”.

And then to the guy on the other end, he said a random “Okay thank you bye” and hung up.

Somebody kill me.

*****

We were back at home after a long day at work. After scouring the refridgerator, we decided to stir fry some ridge gourd and pair it with dal for dinner. Mint starting working on the ridge gourd and I was in charge of making the dal. Both the preperations were basic and got done in no time.

The dal however, seemed a wee bit watery. “Do you want to leave it on the stove and thicken it a little?”, asked Mint. “Okay”, I said. So I left it on a low flame and we moved on to doing other things. I am sure the next part is predictable. After about  40 minutes, a weird smell made me run into the kitchen. My dal was burnt. The cooker was black. I looked at my charred preparation in dismay. How could I forget we had left it on the stove? What do I do with myself..

I think it is time we get a cook.

Posted in Slices of life | 50 Comments »

30

Posted by Pepper on June 12, 2013

Big number, isn’t it? Through out my so called adult life, I never managed to actually connect with the grown up adult world. And I always told myself I didn’t have to. We were 20 somethings. It was okay to feel childlike and believe the world was full of uncles and aunties, just the way it used to be a decade ago. We weren’t a part of them grown ups.

But the number 3o always sounded really big.  Like the final frontier of your youth. At 30, it felt like you could not escape it anymore. You had to confront, acknowledge and accept adulthood. I had been dreading Mint turning 30 since the time he turned 29. Because being married to a 30 year old made me feel very old. I’m not sure why that number bothers me.

Perhaps age is really just a number. Nothing changes. Or maybe, somethings do. I am not sure I know.  I will leave the contemplation for another day. For now, let me document the very wild celebrations.

Earlier in the month, I realised his birthday was on a weekday. On a Thursday. But when we came to know that a local group was covering one of his favourite bands at Hard Rock Cafe that day, it was tough for the rock music fans in us to pass it up. We started by asking friends if they would be able to join in, considering it would be a late night, and the next day was a working day. Surprisingly, we had big numbers. Weekday be damned.

Once at HRC, friends started pouring in. We were a big, loud, boistrous group. Friends got their spouses. A friend got his classmate. The BFF commented, saying we didn’t exactly know everybody too well, but we were all there with a common objective – having a good time.

We bonded over Metalica and alcohol. The music was loud, accompanied by a lot of head shaking, screaming to be heard, giggles, laughter and madness. The alcohol – this is deserves special mention. Generally, I dislike excessive consumption of alcohol – but I was told by everybody, ‘Oh let go today! It is his 30th birthday!’. So I decided to forget my rules for that one day.

I was driving back, so I didn’t drink too much and ended up being the only sober soul. They started with free flowing towers of beer. Just when I thought people were quite drunk, they ordered vodka and mojitos. By now, I was getting amused by the drunken chatter and was sure nobody had the capacity to hold anymore alcohol. I was proved wrong by a friend who ordered some shots of tequila for most of us. He did that without checking with anybody and insisted we went for them.

People swigging down the shots showed me a new level of drunkeness. Heads started reeling. People were staggering to the restrooms.

– I have never seen Mint drunk like this in my life. I was annoyed at first, but then I let go, telling myself it was a once in a life time event.

– The BFF was seen pointing at a man and screaming at the top of her lungs “He took 5o0 bucks as cover charge. I hateeeee him! Ask him to return the money. NOWWWW”

– Guy friends were seen hugging each other in a manner that I thought was, umm.. inappropriate.

– Mint was seen raising his glass of water and screaming, “Does anybody wand some waderrrr?”. He did that just after everybody’s glasses had been refilled by the server. He was seeing doing that every 3 minutes.

– Another friend was seen holding her head and laughing, saying ‘My head is going round and round and rounddddd’

– A  friend went to the rest room and perhaps, fell asleep in there. We had to go around searching for him.

– Another friend went to some dark corner and, again.. either fell asleep or got deeply immersed in thoughts, that I suppose were of critical importance. He was found spacing out after being searched for for about 45 minutes.

– Mint was heard saying ‘ Don’t be mad at me because I love you, okay?’ every 10 minutes, in the most sincere voice I’ve heard till now.  He loves me, so I shouldn’t be mad at him? Perfect logic.

There was more, ofcourse. Drunken talk was amusing. The random hugs were funny. The loud music was intoxicating. The dazed people were laughworthy. By the time we piled in the car, it was 3 am. By the time we were home and in bed, it was past 4 am. And then the next day we were all back at work by 9 am. Texting each other about the crazy night and groaning in the midst of meetings.

It was a mad night, and for the crazy memories, it was worth it. Mint’s birthday is still the talk of the town every time we meet. Like he said to our friends, “I’d like to say this was one of my most memorable birthdays, the only thing is I don’t have much memory of it”

Mint Bday

Mint, after having his face smashed with cake, came to my end of the table and smeared my face with cake too. For what joy, I don’t know. Here we are, posing for a picture while the BFF takes a picture from the side.

Mint Bday 2

Those tequila shots that brought on the madness

Mint Bday 3

Mint’s very awesome birthday cake. We relished it for 3 days.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 30 Comments »

Where there’s a will, there is a way..

Posted by Pepper on June 8, 2013

We’re desperately trying to unpack the boxes and set up the house. I allotted one room to a very sleepy Mint and asked him to “clear the place”, while I worked on the other room. I was worried he’d doze off, so I made sure the room was too bright for his comfort. One part of the window had the blinds rolled up. Sunlight was streaming in. I was confident he wouldn’t be able to sleep under such glaring light.

After about half an hour, when I walked into the room. This is what I saw..

innovation

The guy was fast asleep. He had opened the suitcase and used the flap to shield his face. Innovative, I thought. How do I get any work done with him? Ufff..

ETA: Title credit – Smitha

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 41 Comments »

The very long post, full of updates…

Posted by Pepper on June 1, 2013

It has been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve sorely missed this space, and I hope I’ve been missed around here too. So much has been happening, I’ve been struggling to catch my breath and find a few moments to record it all here. It never happened. I still haven’t managed to catch my breath, so let me just ignore my breathless state and type out this post.

Work. It has been insane. I am tired of saying this, but that place is poisonous. My manager makes grown men cry. I know this might sound ridiculous, but people in my office cry almost everyday. There have been group crying sessions because people were ill treated and humiliated by my manager to that extent. I was used to consoling people. But being there was starting to make me feel mentally ill.

I had been wanting to resign forever. But I held on for months because I was so unsure of everything. Then one day, I decided to just do it. This agony was not worth the money or the experience or the security. Unfortunately, my resignation didn’t get accepted. Do not ask me how that is even possible. I’ve tried twice. Until I think of a way out, I am trying to hold on.

Other than work being toxic, it has also been highly stressful. I can’t leave office until late. There are days on which I have calls at night, and I had to take them from my desk at work. Many days I would even bring work home. Recently, I had to fly out of Mumbai on a work trip and that has added to my exhaustion.

Our new home. So much happened after I wrote here last. In my last post, I said we found the apartment that we thought could be our home. Mint and I finalised the deal and were running around between work to get the registration done. The day the registration got done, we got a call from the owner saying the apartment may not come with a parking spot because the society was creating a problem.  This horrified us. We weren’t willing to do without a parking space, and now, the deal had already been signed. We had made a payment that run into lakhs, all in the name of deposit and advance. We didn’t want the house without the parking, neither could we afford to lose so much money.

The owners are very nice people and we knew they were genuinely stuck due to the society’s issues. They asked us for some time to sort it out with the society. We waited, and meanwhile, we  began looking at other apartments reluctantly. After all the euphoria after signing the earlier deal, this new experience was nerve wrecking. We didn’t know where this was headed.

Finally, one evening we got a call from the owner saying the parking issue has been resolved. We rejoiced. And from there on began the process of moving in and setting up. Phew.

Moving in. One day, we had a small little puja in the house, and we ‘officially’ moved in. We hadn’t unpacked most of the boxes that we had shipped from the US. But they were all over the place. Some in my parents’ home. Some in a locked apartment in the far end of the suburbs. We started by bringing all the boxes to my parents’ home. Then one night after work, we hired some movers and a tempo and transported all the boxes and bags from my parents’ home to the new house. It was midnight by the time we got done. Considering we had already had a long day at work, doing this stuff made me feel completely fagged out.

The help we have. I can’t not mention it here. My parents, the sister, the BFF, they’ve all probably done more to set up the house than Mint and I have. Many times I walk in to see my mother in the kitchen, putting away things she’s bought for us. The sister is seen unpacking boxes that seem bigger than her. My father going about counting the number of tired people he should make tea or coffee for. The BFF and Mint lugging around furniture to change the look and feel of the living room. I feel so thankful to have these people in my life.

The house is nowhere close to done. Our sound system, the PS3, the Xbox need to be set up. We’ve bought these from the US, and are looking for reliable adapters that will allow us to safely use these electronics in India without ruining them. The kitchen is still not functional. We need to buy a lot of things essential to everyday living. We need to call the carpenter and electrician and fix a lot stuff. Our TV still needs to be transported from my parents’s home to the new home. We need to set up the cable. There is a lot to do, but we’re trying to take it step by step and tackle it one at a time.

While all of this was going on, we were/are frantically trying to decide what car to buy. Mint, with his analytical mind has been driving me up the wall. We test drove a million cars. And finding time for test drives in the midst of such a busy life was not easy. Work pressure would not decrease, the list of chores to do around the house was only getting longer, and as we tried to stay afloat, we would squeeze in time to test drive a car. Most times, Mint would get the car below my office, and we’d drive it back home, so we wouldn’t waste time driving it another time.

After seeing so many cars, Mint eliminated most of them based on two factors – airbags and ABS. The cars we liked (and were within our budget) wouldn’t meet this criteria. Only the top most variant of the cars have ABS and airbags. And the top most variant in most cases was way above our budget. Honda Amaze was the car we both really liked,  and the first two variants fit our budget, but since Mint was not willing to consider anything that had no ABS and Airbags, we had to let it go.

We’ve now decided to go ahead and buy the Honda Jazz that will be released next year. In the interim, we will buy and use another car until we buy the Jazz. So we’re looking at cars that have a good resale value. Mint and I have also been bickering about how we should pay for the car. It may be a stretch for us, but we do have the money to buy the car without a loan. Despite that, Mint wants to use a loan. His logic – If we get the loan at 10% interest, we might as well put our money in an FD that gives us 10% and buy the car on a loan. Atleast we will have the money with us. My logic – why on earth do you want a loan if you can do without it?

We’re still trying to reach a consensus. Meanwhile, we did try applying for a loan, and realised just how hard it is for us. We do not have any Indian IT returns, since we haven’t lived in India. They won’t accept our US tax papers. We’re trying to sort out our documents and see what can be done..

In the midst of all this, Mint turned 30! I am still trying to digest it. His birthday celebrations were wild, and I should do a separate post soon. This has been a very long post, so I should stop and get back to work. Tada and see ya soon.

Posted in Slices of life | 41 Comments »

 
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