A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Moving on..

Posted by Pepper on August 9, 2013

We did get Oregano’s biopsy reports. I will probably write about all of that in detail in my next post. For now, let me just say it is a grim scenario. We have been taking opinions from almost every known nephrologist in Chennai. While their choice of treatment differs, their opinion on Oregano’s condition and prognosis is almost the same. The atmosphere around the house is sullen. I feel for my inlaws. Oregano’s ailment seems to have shattered something deep inside them.

In my bid to remain positive, I’ve tried to see the brighter side of it all. I know things are bad, but they could have been worse had this not been diagnosed now. Discovering it now does give us a little time to do some bit of damage control. At home, we try to lighten up the mood. We play games, including some childhood board games of Mint and Oregano that have been safely tucked away for all these years. Movies are watched. Humorous conversation does the rounds. From the corner of my eye, I try to see if my inlaws are joining in the laughter, but a closemouthed smile is all they can manage.

We have been in and out of hospitals a lot, but despite that, I do find myself having some spare time. There is silence and contemplation. It is a far cry from my very active life in Bombay. I have spent quiet time talking to myself, reading books, admiring certain things and taking it all in. One of the things that struck me today was the beauty of this home. My inlaw’s home is certainly not posh or upclass, but it has abundant display of elegance and character.

It is huge. Coming from a city like Bombay, I have been unable to stop admiring the size of the house. It has beautiful terraces, ample of open space, a little garden with pretty pink flowers, hibiscus and lemon trees among others. The house has pretty urlis with fresh flowers from the garden, big glass window panes, beautifully carved wooden stools, tanjore paintings made by my mum in law adorn the place. I wish I could put up a lot of pictures, but the slow connection does not permit me to do that. I will however, put up some favourites..

This front porch is not spectacular by any means.  But I think these steps make a lovely reading spot. I spent some time sitting here, alternating between reading and watching the road, the different people coming to sell fruits, vegetables, broomsticks and other wares. It gives me a chance to slip in and out of two beautiful worlds.


This little manicured stretch is on the right side of the entrance. Pity that the lush green is not visible at this time. It is a treat for the eyes.


My favourite. View of the stairwell from the top.


The enormous and very gorgeous skylight. It casts a lovely glow on the stairwell


These glass panes let the sun stream in. These too illuminate the stairwell.


Hibiscus from the garden.  Flowers in this urli are changed everyday. Something about fresh flowers that always adds a touch of tranquility to the place, don’t you think?


Have I told you Mint belongs to a family of artists? His mom, grandmom, Oregano, uncle, all of them display a streak of brilliance in their artwork. This painting is made by my mom in law. The gold bit has been painted on aluminium foil. The house is full of such stunning tanjore paintings by her. Too bad my cell phone camera does not do justice to the art. Also, the angle in which I clicked was terrible.



29 Responses to “Moving on..”

  1. paatiamma said

    Awesome place ur in-laws have!!! Things will get better..This too will pass..

  2. Pratiksha said

    This is what I like about Chennai and Chennaites.. they are very traditional, follow culture religiously… 🙂 I must say ur in-laws house is really soothing.. those staircases, have become even my favorite 😉 that view indeed is fascinating 🙂

    Until when are you in Chennai? Do not worry abt Oregano. Treatment opinion differs from doctor to doctor. So don’t worry about that, see what drs have to say and what are they suggesting.. it would be better if treatment/surgery could be initiated asap! as it will good for Oregano.

    Take Care

  3. PeeVee™ said

    A typical South Indian house… atleast by my standards 🙂 I miss my own home now.
    The painting is beautiful!

    And I’ll keep Oregano in my prayers:)
    Chin up!

  4. Mom in law is truly talented. I hope all of you tide over this difficult situation. God bless!

  5. Deboshree said

    Comforting, warm and tranquil. Lovely pictures! 🙂

  6. Pepper! I am sure that a miracle will come up in Oregano’s case and we should never lose hope in life. Jeevan chal ne ka naam chalte raho subha sham. Your in-laws has such a beautiful house beautifully designed with the state-of-the-art stair case, entrance and beautiful art work. No wonder, they are wonderful artists:)
    Have an awesome weekend.
    PS: Did I tell you that you write lovely and when I read your post, I feel I am reading big B’s blog@srbachchan.tumblr.com

  7. Hope Oregano gets well soon.Everything will be fine ..will pray for him.
    Your house is indeed beautiful Pepper .:)

  8. Deepa said

    That is a stunning home indeed. How lucky mint and oregano grew up in such a graciously done up home. Kudos to your mum in law for following her artistic instincts. I absolutely adore tanjore art and having studied at Trichy which is very close to the city of Thanjavur visited many a home where this art was actively pursued and displayed.

    My prayers to Oregano. Since I’m suffering from cancer I know how you and the family, not to mention Oregano, might be feeling. It is terrible indeed for the patient but sometimes equally so for his/her loved ones. My suffering pales in comparison to what my mother and son feel because the former agonizes how it could’ve even happened and the latter wonders if I will live long enough to watch him grow.

    • Pepper said

      Deepa, you are very brave. I’ve read your comment multiple times, and have had several thoughts crossing my mind. I’d love to connect with you personally. Can I write to you at the email id you’ve mentioned in this comment? If that is not the one you are using, could you email me at talk2pepper@gmail.com ? Thanks.

      • Deepa said

        You are very, very welcome to write whenever you find a breather. I wish we’d met up when you lived here in Bay Area(I was reading you then and found your writing delightful but somehow didn’t have the courage to convey that desire. My loss:-))

        My father was diagnosed with liver failure during his final hospital stay and was on dialysis before he died a month later. At the time someone had mentioned to us that naturopathy(in India that would be folk medicine types) had a cure for damaged kidneys or atleast it reversed some of the damage. But how one would go about finding it and a credible person/vaid to administer it I dunno cuz we didn’t pursue it actively at the time given he was afflicted with a stroke too. But do your research, see if it feels valid and believable to you and a slow miracle might even be on its way. Oregano is way too young to have to undergo this and my heart goes out to him.

        • Pepper said

          Never too late. A trip to the Bay Area is on the cards in the next 2 months. Will let you know and we can catch up 🙂

          Liver failure requires dialysis too? Oh. Yes, about naturpathy. We’re on the look out.

  9. A lovely home!

  10. Smita said

    I agree with your positive attitude because if nothing else your spirits should be positive!

    And the house has something very peaceful about it!

  11. R's Mom said

    Our prayers with Oregano…hopefully things should look better…

    That house is AWESOME!! At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, I must say that Mint is really sweet to adjust to the matchbox houses of Mumbai no?

    The urli, the amazing stairways..and that painting…Gosh! thats brilliant!

    • Pepper said

      True RM. Nice of Mint to adjust to the lack of space here. But before Mumbai, he has already lived in a small hostel room during his college days, then in a tiny studio apartment in the US, then in a 1bhk, again in the US. So I guess he has been used to it over a period of time. Lol. Because even he seems to now think that the house he owns in Chennai is huge. He is conditioned to being confined in small homes.

  12. Ashwathy said

    I so understand. I learnt to appreciate the sprawling houses (these are normal ones, not palatial!!) in Kerala after city life in Delhi and Bombay. One concept that I used to take for granted there….space!

  13. I don’t know how I missed seeing this post in my feed.
    The painting is stunning. Loved the details in it like the tile print in the painting. Needs so much patience.

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