A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for October, 2013


Posted by Pepper on October 25, 2013

They arrive. My inlaws and Oregano. Oh, for those who want to know, Oregano was declared unfit to go to the US for his Masters by most doctors. So he stayed back in India and took up another job. They arrive tomorrow. This is their first trip to our new home in Bombay.

As is usually the case at such times, I feel like a bundle of nerves. This time, more so. Because for the first 3 days, Mr. Mint will not be around to shield me. He is traveling. Sigh. I feel awfully scared. Perhaps I should not say such things. I might unintentionally portray my inlaws (MIL in particular) as nasty ones. They’re not. Far from that. They are genuine and goodhearted people. Just that my dear MIL tends to grill me a little too much. And I don’t do too well with such stuff. My feminist views are forever fighting her sexist views,albeit silently. I only feel the despair, but do not give voice to my thoughts. Stupid, I know. Or maybe not.

I’ve worn the ‘thali’ (hah! the chicken girl I am), made the filter coffee decoction for tomorrow, stocked the fridge with supplies for the week, hidden the alcohol, cleaned the home (from the surface), but despite that, I know our combined unorganized traits are very visible throughout the house. I only hope this trip of theirs does not do to me what their trip to the US did. I remember having multiple crying sessions when they visited us in California, because I just could not handle the expectations. This time, I hope things are different.

I’ve been missing Mint terribly and can’t wait for him to get back. Sigh. It has been a long day. I pick the inlaws up from the airport tomorrow morning. After that, I am not sure where I should take them, or what I should do to entertain them. Oregano’s special dietary requirements restrict my options a great deal. Mint, come back soon. How am I going to handle this without you, so what if it is just 3 days?

Okay, I know I am blabbering and this is my cue to sleep. Gnite folks. And apologies for not having replied to the previous comments. I’ve been very short of time, but hope to rectify that soon.



Posted in Meet the family | 37 Comments »

Grey matter

Posted by Pepper on October 23, 2013

I have 3 strands of grey hair that seem to emerge from adjoining roots. As a result, if I part my hair, I can see a small cluster of grey. Instead of worrying about it, I feel thankful that I have only about 3 grey strands so far. Because my genetic constitution is exactly like my mother’s. And my mother started greying at the age of 16. By the time she was in her early 20’s, her grey streaks were very prominent. She introduced herself to the world of hair colour at a very young age.

I always ask her, why did she choose to colour her hair? She says she doesn’t know. That the possibility of not colouring her hair never occurred to her then. You go grey – you conceal it with dyes. That was the mantra. The social conditioning ran very deep and she says she was not intelligent enough to question the norms. Also, she isn’t bold enough to sport the grey confidently. She wasn’t then, she isn’t now. So she continues to colour her hair till date. Mehndi has not worked for her. It makes her hair too brittle. And I absolutely abhor the red haze it leaves. So that is ruled out.

All my life, I lived in anticipation of the greys. Since I take after my mum in every way, a part of me was almost sure I would start sprouting grey hair by the time I entered my late teens. Surprisingly, I did not inherit this trait. No grey hair made an appearance on me until the age of 25. Then I spotted 3 strands. I see the same 3 strands today, at the age of 27.5. Or perhaps I have more grey hair than I am aware of. I don’t know. But not much that is visible from the surface.

I keep expecting to see more grey as I grow. And they say stress and worry accelerates the process of greying. Hah! If that is true, I expect myself to have a fully grey head very soon. I am a chronic worrier. At any given point, I will be hyperventilating about my parents health, about our erratic financial management, our lack of planning and organising, Oregano’s kidney problem, our unborn kids, the piling laundry and everything else under the sun.

I give myself another year or two, before the grey is very visible. And then I wonder, what after that? Will I really be bold enough to carry the striking grey? Or will I succumb to the pressure and get my hair coloured? Mint is extremely clear. He says I should never colour my hair. Ever. The dyes that are used are cancerous. Why do people want to subject themselves to years of such harmful treatment? For what good? Mehndi is a no no for me.

At one point, I agreed with him. I was sure I would never get my hair coloured. But now, I find my resolve shaking. I happened to be getting a hair cut at a salon, and the guy working on my hair shrieked when he noticed the 3 grey strands. He told me I should colour my hair immediately. Instead of getting mad, I chose to remain calm.I told him I did not intend getting my hair coloured. Not any time soon atleast. And those few grey strands were acceptable to me.  But in all honesty, that shriek of his disturbed me more than I let on. Beneath the composed exterior lay my insecure and unsure self. I then reminded myself, if at all I do decide to go natural and never colour my hair, I will have to brace myself for many such shrieks. Am I prepared?

I consider myself to be young. Young people are not meant to have grey hair. Grey hair is a sign of age, a sign of wisdom and maturity. That is what I am led to believe. And that is definitely not me now. The point is – Will I ever think that description fits me? Or will I, like the rest, forever crave to look and feel ‘young’. I suppose we crave to look young because young equals fun, and old equals boring. I want to contribute towards changing this mindset and challenging this belief. And confidently sporting grey hair while I continue to lead a normal, ‘fun’ life will help. I just don’t know how strong I am. I will have to wait and watch.

Do you colour or plan to colour your hair? If so, I am curious to know why.

Posted in A penny for my thoughts | 55 Comments »

Questions and answers

Posted by Pepper on October 20, 2013

I happened to open TPPL’s blog the other day, and the post she had written spoke straight to me. She has listed out certain behavioural traits of her husband, PK. And how she, his beloved wife is the one common solution to all the problems. It made me think long and hard. I truly admire her, for I can never be like that. Here is how my reactions are different from hers.

1) What do I when Mint stuffs fresh green cilantro and curry leaves directly in the fridge without any cover or protection, causing them to shrivel up and dry?
Answer: I insist he changes his ways. When he doesn’t, I start nagging and snapping. Because I feel a lot of heartache each time I have to discard the coriander leaves.

2) What do I do when Mint forgets the geyser on in the bathroom, *every* *single* *day*?
Answer: I point it out to him every single day. And yet, he forgets the next day. I tell him, in exasperated tones that he forgets every day because he doesn’t try hard enough to remember. And then, once in 5 days I get really frustrated and I scream.

3) What do I do when Mint does not open the door when the bell rings, because he is too engrossed in his movie and because he says he did not register the sound of the doorbell?
Answer: I tell him I am too tired to keep running around on my own. He has no choice but to be more alert and open the door himself the next time.

4) What do I do when Mint chooses to dry a wet, freshly washed towel straight from the washing machine in a small, closed space like a bathroom?
Answer: I tell him to not be so lazy and dry the towel on the clothesline outside the house instead, because the wet towel will make the bathroom damp and smelly, and will in turn make the freshly washed towel smell too. He doesn’t listen always, but I make sure I tell him anyway.

5) What do I do when Mint takes the just cleaned car to the beach early in the morning every other day, and returns with a dirty, mucky, muddy car full of sand on the carpets?
Answer: I shout. I love my car. The moment it is cleaned, he takes it to the beach (where he plays frisbee and practically rolls in the water and the sand) and then drives back in that state, dirtying the car beyond measure right after it has been cleaned in the morning. Only to repeat the same process the next morning. So we basically have a dirty, sandy car all the time. I get mad and I shout. It hurts to see my beloved car in that state. I make sure the car is cleaned again, but I do not just let it be.

6) What do I do, when like PK, Mint refuses to tidy up the house when we have guests coming?
Answer: I keep asking him to please get up and tidy the place, until he actually does. Perhaps I am annoying. But I find it exhausting to do it all by myself. Also I do not see why I should.

I am not really complaining about Mint in this post, more like comparing the different ways in which TPPL and I react to similar situations. I am not denying or overlooking all that Mint does for me. For example, he cooks meals for me and hands them to me many times without me lifting a finger, and also clears the kitchen right after. He even yells at me if I enter the kitchen. But then I do the same for him too. We are both inherently lazy and it would be unfair if one of us were forced to shoulder majority of the responsibility. The problem is, Mint has to be coaxed and prodded and chased to complete his share of work. When he doesn’t, I grumble and insist he does. The result is, I find myself grumbling a lot.

I wonder how much more peaceful our lives would be if I were to lovingly complete such chores myself. But then, I don’t think I can do them lovingly. I would only end up working grudgingly.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 25 Comments »


Posted by Pepper on October 11, 2013

I wasn’t feeling very well today. I’ve been battling a very obstinate stomach bug since almost a week now. It refuses to leave. Today was particularly bad. I had severe stomach cramps in the morning, I felt weak and very exhausted. So I decided to skip work and stay home.

Life is moving at a very fast pace, and I often find myself tired and out of breath. So today, I decided to give myself complete rest. I stayed in bed with a book all morning. In the afternoon, I woke up only to heat my lunch, and sauntered to bed right after. I then decided to take a nap. On a weekday afternoon, it felt like pure luxury.

Unfortunately, the moment I decided to nap, some people in my building decided to devote themselves to God and started singing bhajans and other devotional songs, loudly. I tried hard to drift off to sleep, but the noise wouldn’t let me. Moreover, it all seemed tuneless, shrill and annoying. Were they singing or screeching? I hid my face beneath a pillow and cursed my luck. Why does this have to happen on the one afternoon I get?

And then, I decided to change my perspective. I told myself that the tuneless singing was actually soft melody. That it was soothing. That it was being played as a lullaby, exclusively for me. I shut my eyes with these thoughts, and kept telling myself to relax and savour the sound, instead of resisting it. It worked. Very soon, I found myself feeling drowsy with the effect of the music. After a while, I was at ease, noting the predictable rise in pitch every now and then. The swinging beat was comforting. And just like that, I fell asleep. A sweet, ,relaxed slumber.

It is true. Perspective is everything.

Posted in A penny for my thoughts | 11 Comments »

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