A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for July, 2014


Posted by Pepper on July 28, 2014

I wonder what it is that lies beneath my skin. I feel it crawling inside me. Is it anger? Is it sadness? When did I lose the ability to distinguish? Nobody is sick. Nobody is dying. Yet, what crawls under my skin is abominably dark. I suspect it is the hurt. Hurt that is drowning me. Why? Why do we give some people the power to hurt us this bad? If I could take back that power, I would.

Or maybe I wouldn’t. I’d continue bestowing them with this power. And I’d continue flinching as the hurt descended upon me.

Posted in Chaos | 11 Comments »

Misty affairs

Posted by Pepper on July 15, 2014

It was a rainy night. With no shelter in sight, the sister and I were getting drenched to the bone. No cab agreed to take us home. To add to our woes, every passing vehicle was splashing us with such ferocity, we were soaked until our waist. Finally, after much imploring and pleading, a cab driver agreed to take us. After shoving our wet and grumpy selves into the taxi, the sister and I slumped into our seats.

Neither of us were upto any conversation, so it was a silent ride. Since the rain was pelting down in full force, I rolled up the windows. The stormy rain coupled with foggy roads was making the windows mist. Watching a thick layer of mist settle on glass gives me great joy. Soon, I started drawing patterns on the mist.

And then my mind traveled back to that day. This is when my dad had heard of Mint’s name for the first time ever. My mom knew of his existence, since she knows names of most of my friends. Including the ones I am not really in touch with. I don’t usually tell my dad such obscure details of my life because he never remembers them. So Mint’s name had never been mentioned in his presence. And since Mint was ‘just another friend’ back then, there had been no occasion or opportunity for his name to be brought up in dad’s presence.

One day, I had stepped into the shower after having some random conversation online with Mint. The steam from my shower had made the bathroom mirror misty. I don’t really know what I was thinking. Or perhaps I wasn’t thinking at all. But I ended up scrawling Mint’s name in big bold letters all across the bathroom mirror. I suspect I thought of him at that time only because I had just chatted with him.

I stepped out of the bathroom and promptly forgot about my brilliance and what I had just done. My dad walked in to the bathroom for his shower after me, but he came out almost the next second. Here is how our conversation went.

Dad: What have you written on the bathroom mirror? Whose name is that?

Me: *Suddenly realising my blunder and going red* Oh. I was just doing timepass.

Dad: Timepass by writing somebody’s name? Whose name is that anyway?

Me: Just some random friend’s.

Dad: Why would you write some random friend’s name on the bathroom mirror?

Me: I don’t know. Just like that. I happened to be thinking of him at that time. Nothing else to it.

Dad: So you were thinking of this random guy friend of yours while taking a shower. Interesting.

Me: *Feeling my earlobes burn because of how suggestive that statement sounded and what it implied* Dad!! What do you mean by saying ‘thinking of him while taking a shower’? I wasn’t thinking of him like that!

Dad: Like what? I said nothing. I only repeated what you said.

Me: Never mind *scurrying away*

I remember how flushed I felt. Especially because, err, thinking on those lines was unthinkable. Mint really, truly was just a friend to me back then. This whole writing on the bathroom mirror was coincidental. I was very mad at dad for having such inappropriate ideas. He always loves embarrassing me by putting me in a spot. Hmph. Thankfully, he forgot all about it and Mint’s name was never teasingly brought up again, the way I feared it would.

Yesterday, as I watched the swirling rain and drew patterns on the misty window panes of the taxi, I thought of my dad. And the first time he heard of Mint’s name. It set off the laughter and my sister glanced at me curiously, wondering what had brought it on. I didn’t give her an explanation then. I only continued to laugh as our cab rode through the rain.

Posted in Meet the family, Splashes of Mint | 47 Comments »

Seeing through a glass wall

Posted by Pepper on July 8, 2014

These days, I seem to write posts only in my head. Once I am done writing an elaborate post, I go on to evaluate it. Yes, in my head. Considering I take pride in the fact that I hardly censor my writing, I am not sure why my mental evaluation has become so stringent. If I don’t find the content of my posts appropriate enough, I spend some more time editing it mentally. By the time I am done with this exercise of writing, evaluating, editing in my head, I hardly feel like posting.

Sigh. So I am not going to subject my thoughts to anymore assessments. Not today. Even if I write a completely meaningless post. Which is bound to happen, you know? I am so bored and blahed. The sister and Mint have gone for a movie. They really tried hard to loop me in. And although Transformers seems to have some good reviews, I didn’t feel like spending my evening cooped in a theatre. Just one of those days, I suppose? I chose to stay home and work on a tedious project. That is, washing my hair. Have I told you how much I hate taking a hair bath? I avoid it till I can.

Unfortunately, I managed to evade the ‘big task’ yet again. Which means I will have to wake up early in the morning tomorrow to wash my hair. What a pain. Today, I spent my evening lounging on the couch. I think I like being home and doing nothing. Speaking of home, Mint and I are staying with my parents. To add to it, we have a lot of our boxes and bags lying around and the house is in a state of disarray. Our own house is still not ready, but from what we understand, it should be complete in another week. Then we will need to buy a few basics before we can consider moving in. Basics like a bed and a stove and an air conditioner and a refrigerator and..umm, other stuff I can’t think of right now. I wonder how long it will take to procure all of that with an overanalytical Mint. I’ve spent long hours imagining life in the new house. I’ve pictured myself there and gone over the finer details in my head. I’ve dreamed of sleeping, waking up, cooking and unwinding there. So I am quite curious to know how it really will be to live there.

Maybe I will ask Mint to make a list of our pending purchases tomorrow. Oh well, tomorrow is only Wednesday. Why does it feel like we’ve already gone through the week? When will the weekend arrive? Weekends are so much  nicer than weekdays. Speaking of weekends, I met my former colleague this Saturday. I was amused to note how my old work place has remained unchanged. After we said bye, he sent me a text saying how much everybody in my team misses me. And how they all hate my replacement. Hah! What a high that gave me.

Mint and I also spent some time in this lovely coffee shop. It was the perfect place for an impromptu date. We spent some good time chatting with each other. About life and all that jazz. The coffee shop had a large glass wall with a beautiful view. I couldn’t resist taking a picture. It was a clear day, but I thought of how lovely it would be to come here on a rainy day and watch the downpour and the swelling lake through this glass wall. Someday, I know I am going to come back here to do just that. For those of you who are interested, this coffee shop is in Hotel Renaissance. Lovely, isn’t it?

coffee shop

Posted in Slices of life | 31 Comments »

My adventurous life

Posted by Pepper on July 3, 2014

Each time I believe we’ve seen the worst, and each time my husband proves me wrong. I am talking about our track record when it comes to being on time for our plane / bus / train. We never learn. Rather, he never learns. Until now, I thought the worst experience we’ve had was when we *just made it* to our train to Amsterdam from Paris. The doors shut the freaking second we set our foot in. I didn’t think we could have experienced something more nerve wrecking. But guess what? We did.

We had our train from Chennai to Bangalore at 5:30 pm. I had been pestering Mint to finish his packing the previous day. Ofcourse, he paid little heed to what I said. We’re used to packing an hour before we leave. Why would he even consider doing it a day in advance? I let go.

We had asked my father-in-law how long it would take for us to reach the station from home. 45 minutes is what he had said. Now I am very wary of estimations like these. For one, I don’t much trust human judgement in these matters. We can never forecast the traffic condition at that time. For two, I know Mint doesn’t treat them as an ‘estimation’, he clings to the number as though it is God’s word. I try telling him these calculations are only approximated values and are very prone to human errors. So if somebody says it will take 45 minutes to reach, we should keep a buffer of atleast 15 minutes and consider our travel time to be an hour. But again, does he listen to me?

Mint had an official call in the afternoon. I kept eyeing my watch, wondering when it would end. Finally, he hung up at 3:45 pm. I had aimed to leave by 4:15 sharp. I am known to prefer security over adventure and would rather wait at the station for 30 mins than make a mad dash for the train on the last minute. He started packing only at 3:45. Sigh.

That is when my FIL asked us if we would like to go the hospital to say bye to Oregano before we leave. Sure, I would have loved to do that. But did we have the time? I ran upstairs to check with Mint. I told him if we could leave by 4 pm sharp, perhaps we would have a chance to stop at the hospital for a minute and meet Oregano once before we leave. He agreed.

I kept badgering him to rush but he seemed to work at his own pace. I could feel a fight brewing. Why have you not finished packing yet, I asked him. What can I do, he said. I had my call till 3:45 pm. Rubbish! I wanted to scream. Who asked you to not pack before your call if you knew it would last that long? You could have done it last night! Don’t act as though you had no time! Knowing it wasn’t the best time to pick up a fight, I let go.

We left the house only at 4:15. The hospital wasn’t even en route to the station. Needless to say, I was hyper ventilating. Once we reached the hospital, we ran up to Oregano’s room and spoke to him exactly for 3 minutes. We rushed back  to the car where my FIL was waiting for us. He was going to be dropping us to the station. By the time we left the hospital, it was 4:36.

Mint laughed when he noticed the stress on my face. He reminded me of his dad’s estimation. It was a 45 minute ride. By that calculation, we would still reach by 5:16. So we would still be almost 15 minutes early. Err, okay.

As luck would have it, we encountered heavy traffic. I tried calming myself. At 5 pm, I asked them where we were. They told me we were nowhere close to reaching. I gulped. Our car seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace. At 5:15, my FIL said it was really doubtful we’d make it. Great.

By the time we reached the flyover close to the station, it was 5:20. Our train was to leave in 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the flyover was fully jammed. Although we could see the station, it wasn’t close enough to walk. So we continued waiting in the car. Before we knew it, the clock in the car said it was 5:26. Perfect, I thought. We’ve missed the train.

In a last ditch effort, we decided to get out of the car and run. So out we stepped, pulled out our suitcase from the trunk and we ran. Maneuvering through stationary vehicles, rolling our suitcases on the slopes of the flyover, we ran as fast as we could. Surprisingly, we were at the end of the flyover in about a minute.

Once we were at the end of the flyover, we found ourselves at the crossing of a main road. Although we wanted to run, we had no choice but to wait until the traffic came to a halt. Every second seemed precious. It was past 5:27 by now. Finally we requested a traffic cop to halt the traffic so we could run across.

We entered the station a few seconds after 5.28. We paused for a few seconds below the indicator to find out which platform our train was leaving from. As luck would have it, ours was the very last platform. Which meant, we had just over a minute to run across the entire length of the station!

I had my hand bag and another heavy bag on my shoulders, yet, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. Mint was sprinting ahead, although he was carrying two shoulder bags and our heavy suitcase! That’s when the difference in our fitness level truly stuck me.

On and on I ran, wondering when our blasted train would be in sight. In just a few seconds, I thought I was going to collapse. So I called out to Mint and told him I can’t do it. To my horror, he just ignored me and continued to run ahead. Not being left with much of a choice, I stumbled forward on my shaky legs.

The porters who realised I was running to get the 5:30 Shatabdi to Bangalore looked at me in shock. I could see the train by now, but I was sure the asphyxiation was going to make me pass out. My lungs were on fire. So I had stopped running, although I was this close to the train. I was just bumbling along. They wondered, why the hell was I not running when it was the past possible second? What could I tell them? I had no breath left in me because I had been running right from the flyover a block away from the station?

Mentally I had decided. Mint was waiting for me next to the train. I was going to call out to him and ask him to get on even if I couldn’t. I would figure out something for myself. The jerk. I hated him. This was all his fault. Putting me through this hellish anxiety. He was fit enough to run like that. I wasn’t. Let him just go. I would think of an alternative.

It was 5:30. The train started moving. I saw the guard inside the train waving the green flag as it chugged to life. He saw me walking just a few  feet away with a dismayed expression on my face. He called out to me and asked me to enter from the official coach which was the closest from where I stood. Okay, I thought. Let me give this one last shot. With trembling legs and burning lungs that were gasping for breath, I willed myself to run just a few more steps.

I remember stretching out my hand to grab hold a bar so I could pull myself in the train. I almost expected the guard to give me his hand, DDLJ style. But no such thing happened. He waited for me to gain a foothold myself. Once in, I realised Mint was nowhere close. He had tried entering from the other coach and the door was locked. So he ran back to where I had entered from. By now, the train had picked up considerable speed. He reached the door, first threw in one bag. Then threw in another bag, and finally pulled himself in.

Once we were both in, I allowed myself to collapse. The guard looked at us sympathetically. We still had to walk the entire length of the train to get to our coach. But now that we had made it, it didn’t matter much. I was drenched in sweat, my hair was in clumps and I was still out of breath. My face was drawn and haggard. Mint turned around, gave me one look and grinned.

I swear I wanted to not just smack him once, but clobber him until he was blue. How does he manage to put me through this every time? Me, who is mocked and laughed at for going to airports and stations 3 hours prior to departure. With him, I always end up in an adventure that lets us make it with the narrowest margin possible. Always. I am still trying to forgive him. You see, unlike what all my Famous Five reads made me believe, I truly dislike adventures.

Posted in Chaos | 48 Comments »

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