A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Red. The colour of my cheeks is red.

Posted by Pepper on January 23, 2014

One of the reasons I love living in Mumbai is that it gives me an opportunity to introduce Mint to components of my childhood. Yes, even when we were living in the US, we did visit Mumbai every year. But it was never the same. It can’t be. There are somethings that can be seen and experienced only if you are living in a place, as opposed to just visiting it. Now that I am back to living in my city, I often take Mint around to tour my past.

The little playgrounds I ran around in, the corner on the road in which I waited for my school bus to arrive, my favourite restaurants, the building my grandmom once lived in, all of it. I let him absorb it, hoping it gives him a better understanding of where I come from.

Yesterday, I took Mint to the Jatra. The jatra is a 5 day folk fair that happens in January every year. When we were in school, the BFF and I would wait for January to come, especially because it brought the Jatra along with it. We never missed it. This year, I really wanted Mint to experience one of my childhood joys. So plans were made. The BFF, her BF, the sister, Mint and I. We would all meet after work and head there.

We did, and we had a whale of a time. The jatra is full of thrilling rides,giant wheels, games of skill (Shoot the balloons, ring the stuff toy), street food and the sale of delightful little knickknacks.The first ride we went for made our senses reel. The spinning and speed were dizzying and we were all screaming until we were hoarse. What fun!


We did a couple of other fattu rides (I really don’t know how I can translate ‘fattu’, forgive me) after which we moved on to the giant wheel. There is something about the giant wheel that makes even adults squirm in childish glee. Each time we rose up in the air, I felt my heart whoop. I couldn’t get over the lack of safety measures in sight though. No belts, no bars, no protection! This would NEVER ever happen in the US. But here, we just sat in an open capsule. Finally when I did look down from that height, I couldn’t help but clutch on to the sides. Much joy, nevertheless.


We bought a lot of pretty little things. Earrings, peacock feathers, a slate, hair clips, a toy gun with dart like bullets, and a handmade mesh resembling a cage with two little parrots dangling from a wire inside. I totally loved it and bought two of them. See? I plan to hang these near my window.


I haven’t come to the most embarrassing part of my evening yet. After the gala time we had at the fair, we decided to head out for dinner. Now this was a good restaurant. As we sat on our table, I decided to take a look at the goodies we had purchased. I examined the gun. For some reason, the bullets weren’t staying inside. They would fall out the moment I pushed them in. I was upset. I’ve been wanting a toy gun forever (Do not remind me of my age!). Now that I had finally bought one, I wanted to make sure it had no defect. Because if it did, I planned to go back there and exchange it. I pulled the trigger to test. Nothing happened. Sorely disappointed, I started pulling the trigger repeatedly, deriving some unknown joy out of the sheer act. And then it happened.

Without warning, a bullet flew out of the gun and landed on the next table. And to make matters worse – it landed right inside a plate. There was stunned silence. The people on that table had no idea what had come flying over their heads and landed in their midst. And then they saw the gun in my hand. I was HORRIFIED. I stood up, and said “I am sorry. I am really sorry. I am so sorry. I am sorry”, or something to that effect. How the f*ck was I supposed to explain that? I wished the gun in my hand was real, so I could shoot myself in the head and die. For a moment, I even considered hiding beneath the table. No kidding.

Mint and R, ofcourse, could not stop laughing. They were sitting across the rest of us and had been absorbed in deep conversation when it all happened. They had noticed nothing. So all they saw was me standing up all of a sudden, looking at the people on the adjacent table and vehemently apologizing. They were very confused, until it all dawned upon them. I feel mortified even as I write this. Here’s the bloody culprit.




20 Responses to “Red. The colour of my cheeks is red.”

  1. DI said

    😮 Ok, going by what you told me about embarrassing easy, this HAD to be bad! I would have literally gone and hidden under a table 🙂

  2. Sarah Syed said

    We used to have such exhibitions in Hyderabad in January too. It was fun. When now I asked Junaid if he knew about Jatra, he says he has no clue about any such event 😐

  3. haha I cant stop laughing 😀 The people on the other table…were they mad at you?

    • Pepper said

      I don’t know. The lady on the table sure did seem pissed. She gave me awful looks. But the man whose plate it had actually landed in smiled and said it was okay.

  4. ferret said

    Hahahhahah LOL LOL LOL 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  5. How I love the ‘Jatrey’ ( kannada term for ‘jathra’)..the sounds, the feel and the joy of it all!

    I never missed the local town jathra while growing up too. And here in the US, i got a bit of the same feel while at the ‘Christmas at the park’ ( remember? ? Especially the roller coasters that took us both ulta, hehe)
    We went again this year with Paapu and thought of you guys a lot! 🙂

    BTW,the bullet incidence is hilarious…lock it up in the ’embarrassed!’ corner fo the mind. I have many gems sitting there 😉

    • Pepper said

      Jatrey? The name is almost the same in Kannada!

      Ofcourse I remember Christmas at the park! It was so lovely, how can I forget? 🙂 I hope to go there again, some Christmas.

      AHK, I miss you!

  6. Bingo said

    I know you were so embarrassed but Pepper, I could not control my laugh, sorry.

  7. Haha! Rather than thinking of the guys eating, I am thinking of the poor mortifying you!! Face palm and I’m quite an expert in awkward situations as how I put myself into. Pepper is having damn fun at people’s fun nowadays and guess they shit scared bout some real bullets hitting their plate. haahha

  8. hahaha…what was the reaction of those poor unsuspecting souls enjoying their dinner?

  9. Smita said

    ha ha ha…did they laugh?

  10. Ashwathy said

    OMG!!! Hahaha……….. 😆 I could SO imagine the whole scene! :mrgreen:
    And that gun looks quite a handful!! 😛 I burst out laughing at the sentence where you said you wished the gun was real so that you could shoot yourself! Rofl! I usually don’t laugh at aggrieved sentences like that, but this was an exception! 😀 😀

    Sigh…… fairs are such fun aren’t they?? *wistful look on face*

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