A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for August, 2014

To traumatise

Posted by Pepper on August 29, 2014

My sister has been rather ill for a week now. It all started with a bout of nausea in the local train. We were on the way to her college to complete the admission formalities for the new course she’s begun. Before we could fully asses her condition, she began throwing up. Fellow passengers were kind enough to help us out by giving us a bottle of water, a plastic bag for her to throw up in and some valuable suggestions on how to counter the nausea. Unfortunately, nothing worked and she puked the entire day. In the train, in the cab, in her college. That was a bad day.

Anyway, we attributed it to indigestion and since she seemed to be getting back to her usual self by evening, we didn’t think it necessary to check with a doctor. Then it happened again. I got a call from her college day before yesterday. They told me the sister was throwing up violently and I had to go and pick her up because they didn’t think she was fit enough to travel all by herself. Thankfully, her college is not too far from my office. I found myself in a cab within minutes. When I saw her, I realised she was extremely weak and dehydrated. She was having a hard time even taking a few steps.

We took her to a doctor immediately. Her BP was very low! The doctor asked her to take complete rest for the next 4 days. Along with that, she gave the sister a round of medicines that she asked her to take quite vigilantly. Despite the medicines, she developed a high fever by night. And it has been there ever since.

Yesterday was her birthday. My little baby sister turned 22! But due to her spells of dizziness, vomiting, low BP, fever and weakness, we had to cancel all our grand celebratory plans. Nevertheless, we sneaked her out for dinner, ignoring everybody who objected to the idea. Unfortunately, I regretted the decision as soon as the sister complained of stomach ache after ingesting just a little bit of food. We were in a restaurant in the mall. The restroom was on the other end of the mall. She said she wanted to throw up all of a sudden and we had to run all the way across the mall to get to the loo. Quite a harrowing experience.

We got home as soon as we could. By then she had such a high temperature, she was burning. When we reached, we found out that my dad was not very well either. He was quite feverish himself. And today was the day my mom was not home. Sigh. Anyway, we tucked the two sick people in bed. I have realised one thing about myself. When people around me are sick, I am overcome by this desire to soothe them. I do all I can to comfort them, be it sponging them with an ice pack, stroking their hair or settling them in bed.

The sister was unable to sleep because of a bad headache. So I sat beside her, massaging her temples with Vicks Vaporub and alternately sponging her body with a cold piece of cloth. She fell asleep with great difficulty. It was past midnight by the time I turned in for the night.

And then it began. At 1.10 am to be precise. A *LOUD* noisy procession with a *BLARING* musical band. It took my just asleep brain a few minutes to register the source of the noise. What the hell was it? And then I realised. Ganpati. It was the first day of the festival and they were bringing in the idol.

I was livid. It was past 1 am. And these fuckers were passing through an entirely residential lane. (Yes. For the first time ever, I am not going to watch my language on the blog. I am *that* angry.) How dare they subject all the sleeping residents to this blasting music? Did they have to screech and dance at this hour? Did they have to bring the idol at this time? Did they have to have such a noisy band? Did they have to pass through residential lanes? DID THEY?

I walked in to the other room, and as suspected, my sister was in acute discomfort. She was clutching her temples and twisting in pain. My father was tossing in bed. I have two sick people in the house who had just managed to fall asleep with great difficulty. This was so not done.

I waited for five minutes, hoping the procession will pass. It didn’t. I continued pacing back and forth in our living room for a good twenty minutes. Finally, I stepped out in the balcony to see what was going on. There they were. Dancing in front of the cart that carried the Ganesh idol. The procession didn’t seem to be in any rush to pass. They were dancing in the same spot, barely inching forward. If you insist on disturbing me and passing through my lane at this hour, can’t you atleast be considerate enough to leave fast? Do you have to dance and stay rooted to the same spot for a bleddy hour? From my balcony, I could see other residents waiting angrily by their windows, hoping this would end soon.

When I had had enough, I twisted my dishaveled hair into a ponytail and slipped into my flip flops. I decided I was going downstairs and confronting the assholes. Just as I was stepping out of the door, Mint grabbed hold of my hand. He told me it was a large mob. How many people would I single-handedly take on? What if they were linked to a political part? What if they were dangerous? What was I planning on telling them anyway? How would I accomplish anything? I had no answers to his questions.

So I stepped back in and thought some more. I decided to contact the police. This was something I have never done in my life, so I was a little apprehensive. I pulled out my laptop and googled for the right numbers. I found this page that dealt with ‘Noise Pollution Complaint in Mumbai’. There was an option to send an SMS, but I wanted speedy action and I wasn’t sure that was the best way to go about it. So I called the Police control room directly.

The lady at the other end was very helpful, but since my surrounding was so ridiculously noisy, I could barely hear what she was saying. I blurted out to her my problem in the best Hindi I know. I was so angry at that time, I wasn’t sure if my blabber made any sense. I just remember saying words like ‘too much noise’, ‘loud band’ ,’almost 2 am’, ‘sick people at home’.

She asked me my exact address. I had a tough time explaining to her where exactly the procession was. The lane they were passing from has no name. Not that I know of. So I gave her my apartment address and told her they were exactly below my building since almost an hour. She said she would send a Police vehicle in less than 20 minutes.

I hoped the miscreants would have to deal with the police. The band and the loud beat of drums continued to pierce through the night. Twenty minutes were up and the noise showed no signs of abating. I was wondering if my call to the police would have any effect at all. Finally, after 35 minutes of making the phone call, the band came to an abrupt stop.

I rushed to the balcony to find out what had caused them to stop. I wanted the satisfaction of knowing that the cops were here and were giving the jerks a hard time. Unfortunately by then, the procession had moved further ahead and I didn’t have a clear view of what was going on. I would have to live without knowing how it ended.

I walked back to bed, thankful for the precious silence that had crept on so suddenly. While I have always loved the spirit of the Ganpati festival, to say I am disappointed with the way some people treat it is an understatement. How many laws can you break in the name of religion? How inhuman and inconsiderate can you be to people who are aged and sick? How much more can you harm the environment? I am too scared to find out.

Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour, Life in India | 54 Comments »


Posted by Pepper on August 14, 2014

is what you feel when you have not one, not two, not three but four holidays stretching in front of you. Four! Four! That’s like a double weekend. Most people you know have only three. That makes you want to rub your extra holiday in their face. Mwahaha. ¬†And for the first time ever, you have no travel plans. So you come home, get an oil massage, grab a blanket and settle down on your couch, with what else but your ultimate source of delight?



Sea salt soiree, hazelnut and chili. Just incase you didn’t notice. Since I couldn’t decide which one to start with, I decided to have all of them at once. Makes sense, no? Alright then. I’ll go back to my chocolates and that feeling of zen which comes with absolute nothingness. Happy holidays!

Posted in Small joys | 35 Comments »

On my mind

Posted by Pepper on August 12, 2014

Is a motley. An assortment of thoughts. Ofcourse, I am converting them into a post.

Is the new fridge we got this weekend. Yes, we bought one FINALLY. The moment it arrived, I went to a quiet corner and fist pumped like mad. You see, it wasn’t just the joy of owning a new refrigerator. It was the joy of finally having decided on a brand and a model. Phew.

Are the pani puris I have been bingeing on. The mother made a couple of gallons of pani this weekend. For a change, the supply could match our capacity to consume. Since we couldn’t finish it in one go, we decided to freez it. I come home every evening only to let it defrost, before I go on to stuff myself. Pure bliss.

Is our newly done flooring. Yes! We managed to choose the pattern. That’s one more thing off the list. Euphoria!

Are the rakhis we tied to each other. The sister and I have been tying a rakhi to each other since the past couple of years. The sister also ties one to Mint. It is only this year that we realised that Mint had not been tying one to the sister.We realised it in time and he did tie her a rakhi this year.


The rakhi I tied to the sister. Pretty, isn’t it?

The sister tying Mint a rakhi.  Too bad I don't have other pics..

The sister tying Mint a rakhi. Too bad I don’t have other pics..

Are the new shoes I need to buy. I have been surviving only on one pair. The rest are in boxes that lie unopened. I am going to buy a new pair of shoes because that is obviously easier than opening the million boxes and searching for the old ones in there. No, you’re not allowed to ask me why we didn’t number/mark our boxes.

Are the many holidays that are coming up. For the first time ever, I think we’re too broke to travel. Any spare money we have needs to be put into the house. Surprisingly, that is not saddening me as much as I thought it would.

Is the stupid lady at the salon. I happened to take a package that included eyebrow threading and a hair cut. Along with it, I got a free facial clean up. There are few things I love more than a good facial massage. Especially one done by skilled hands that know where the sinus points lie. Anyway, I told the lady I wanted some mild cleansing and then I wanted her to focus only on the massage, nothing else. No bleach by any means. I repeated that a total of 5 times. Only to realise that my face was stinging a little and I could smell the bleaching agent. When I called out to her, she said she didn’t use bleach, but only used an “Anti tan pack”. Because apparently my face needed one desperately. What the hell does an anti tan pack contain if not bleach? Idiots!

Is the picture of the sleeping child I happened to see when I was at Dadar station a few days ago. As expected, crowd and chaos reigned the premises. I was startled to see a child, fast asleep amidst the din. Instantly, my mind was spinning a million stories..


A makeshift bed in the midst of complete bedlam. Can you spot the baby?

Posted in The black hole | 16 Comments »

We are our choices

Posted by Pepper on August 5, 2014

I’ve been a little quiet around here. Mostly because I’ve been living a dazed existence and don’t quite know what to say. I feel like I am living in some sort of a limbo. And for somebody who freaks out at the loss of control, this doesn’t come easy.

I’m sorry if my statements sound overly dramatic. Nothing earth shattering happened. I am just annoyed and exhausted with the lack of progress we’re making with our new home. For those of you who keep asking me, no we haven’t moved into our place yet. We’re still staying with my parents. Please don’t go on to ask me why. I hate to answer that.

Because there is no real justification. Our reasons are considered vain. Nobody really understands them. In order to move in, we had to make a few immediate purchases that would make the place livable. I can’t go on tell you how stressed out we’ve been because of our inability to decide. To pick and choose.

What is the best water purifier? Should we get an RO? Does Mumbai really need an RO? Or will UV treatment suffice? Maybe UV is enough for Mumbai, but what if we decide to move to a city that requires RO too? We won’t be able to carry the water purifier with us if it is only UV. Should we get a sofa cum bed that is not very soft or should we get a soft and cosy sofa that comes without a pull out bed? Will we need a sofa cum bed? Will we really have visitors? Shouldn’t we just focus on comfort? What if we regret not having a pull out bed later? Should we get an ottoman for the sides or should we go for single seaters? Oh, ottoman won’t have backsupport. Maybe a bean bag is the best. But will everybody be comfortable sitting on bean bags?

Should we buy an instant water heater for the bathroom or should we buy a boiler that takes time to heat? Will the instant water heater be able to take the load of a long, high pressure shower? Will a boiler be better for lengthy showers? But will we remember to turn it on before our shower? How long will it take to heat? Will we even have that much time in the morning? What colour should our flooring be? Will a dark wood shade make the room look too small? How much can we spend on a refrigerator? Will the dimensions of the fridge fit in the designated nook of our kitchen?

Mint spending *hours* pouring over different wooden flooring patterns. I just sat on the floor since I was so tired after a long day at work.

Mint spending *hours* pouring over different wooden flooring patterns. I just crouched on the floor because I was too tired to stand for hours after a long day at work.


One of the many evenings we spent in furniture stores. That's Mint taking a break playing candy crush on his phone. Across him is my equally fed up sister.

One of the many evenings we spent in furniture stores. That’s Mint taking a break playing candy crush on his phone. Across him is my equally fed up sister.



Lights. So many. Which ones will be right for our home?

I can go on. But you get the point. You don’t need a genius to point out that we over think. We simply can’t make decisions. I’ve written about our inability to decide here and here. Even taking a small decision has always been painful, so now when we’re faced with the task of making infinite decisions, we feel bogged down. I wonder if we suffer from some kind of a disorder? Why do we always have two unrelenting perspectives in our head? The two perspectives are always at war with each other. Neither willing to accept defeat.

Unfortunately, in addition to being perennially confused, I am also the kind of person who likes to be in control. I need to know where I am heading. How long I will take to get there. How tough the path is. What I should expect along the way. I can’t deal with the loss of control. But now, our endless to-do list is not allowing me to maintain command. I don’t know when we will make all our required purchases. I don’t know when our home will be set up. I don’t know when we will go back to a normal routine. And all the unknown has been throwing me off balance.

Every evening after work hours we find ourselves in some store or the other. We spend hours analysing and dissecting every detail of the product and brand we are considering. Yet we come back without taking any firm call. We put it off for another day. I’ve spent so many days going this, I have no energy left anymore. All I want to experience is the joy of striking an item off my endless list..

Posted in Chaos, Er-rant-ic behaviour | 49 Comments »

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