A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for June, 2015

5 days to go!

Posted by Pepper on June 29, 2015

– Before I can be with Mint again.

– Before I can breathe the familiar Bay Area air.

– Before I get a much needed break.

Before I soak in a luxurious bath tab.

– Before I dig into my Chipotle burrito bowl. And take in the deliciousness of their guacamole.

– Before I have access to all my old favourite restaurants. How much I have missed you!

– Before I meet my old friends.

– Before I meet some new friends.

– Before I meet my cousins and some family.

– Before I get to stock up on my favourite supplies. Read original Sriracha.

– Before I start haunting Trader Joe’s like a mad woman.

– Before I splurge on unnecessary things. Did you say that jacket will be too hot for Mumbai weather?

– Before I get to unwind all by myself. All day, through out the week.

– Before I visit some of my favourite beaches.

– Before I take some crazy pics.

– Before the fun begins!

Californiaaaaaa… My love, I can’t wait to meet you.!

Posted in Slices of life | 49 Comments »

My response to the question

Posted by Pepper on June 24, 2015

Warming: Long post.

Firstly, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me on my last post. The question I asked was, ‘Do you believe that couples who have had a love marriage should ideally be fighting lesser than couples who have had an arranged marriage?‘ About 50 people shared their opinions and except for 2 people, everybody agreed that the amount you fight does not depend on the kind of marriage you’ve had.

My answer is very much in line with the general consensus. I do not believe it is justified to expect a couple who has had a love marriage to fight lesser than a couple who has had an arranged marriage. The comments in the last post sum up my thoughts.

Coming to the debate I had with Maya, I’m going to quote her initial thoughts. She said, “I had a big question which was haunting me for no reason at all. There should be no fights after marriage, between people who knew each other and were head over heals in love with each other before getting married. Okay.. That’s pretty Utopian. At least lesser fights, right? That was the fleeting thought. I call it ‘fleeting’ ‘cos I knew most of the friends who didn’t go through the arranged marriage route were fighting more or less like us, who had not even seen each other before our engagement. Does that mean their love has diminished after they got married? ‘Cos I knew most of them would fight very little before marriage happened

I disagreed and we first debated in her comment section and then took it to emails before agreeing to disagree with each other. I think Maya has changed her views now and looks like we are all on the same side. Yet, every now and then I come across people who get a little shocked when they find out that a couple who has had a love marriage actually fights almost to the same extent as other couples. Their shock surprises me.

To start with, like I told Maya in the comment space, I had plenty of fights with Mint even before we were married. We had been in a committed relationship for a long time and every now and then we had to deal with a fight of high magnitude. Ofcourse, we would make up and go back to being madly in love. But the fights, they were always there. Those fights were insignificant in the larger scheme of things. We fought tooth and nail to get married to each other. So I do not fit into her category of friends who fought very little before marriage but went on to fighting a lot more after marriage happened. For us, our fights have remained constant over the years and marriage was inconsequential.

Maya did have an interesting point. She said people generally fight lesser after they accept each other. Shouldn’t this acceptance come more easily in a love marriage? Hmm. It did make sense. So I looked up the definition of ‘acceptance’ to start with. It says ‘A disposition to tolerate or accept people or situations’. Now this, I believe is completely dependent on your personality for one. While I have much higher tolerance and acceptance when it comes to other people, I always hold Mint to very high standards. Also, if there is one person I take the liberty to cross the line with, it is him. For two, personalities evolve. I can’t accept a certain kind of behaviour if it is unknown to me.

The point to note is, Mint and I rarely fight because we disagree with each other. Typically, our fights happen because Mint annoys me for seemingly trivial issues. I react. And then Mint reacts to my reaction, or what he calls ‘over reaction’. Would you believe, we’ve had an explosive fight once over a piece of cake?. He finished the last piece without checking with me because he was under the impression that I had had my share. I yelled. Called him names. Cried. Got him mad. We sulked and eventually I walked out of the house in cold, cold Cincinnati. I didn’t even have a hoodie on me and yet I was walking out in a thin tee in the harsh winter of Ohio. I walked for a mile to a place where I knew he couldn’t find me. And then I sat shivering on a bench until good sense prevailed.

This was in the early months of our marriage. Now, the fact that I have known Mint since I was 16 had no bearing on our fight. I couldn’t ‘accept’ this behaviour because it is very unlike Mint to not think of me while eating the last piece. This incident was not in line with my expectations. When you have a love marriage, you always have the past to compare the present with. Secondly, our fight was because of our personalities. My personality, to be precise. I should have let go after he apologised. Instead, I considered the act of him finishing the cake as a grave offense. Almost like a betrayal to me. The more I think of it, the more I realise most of our fights are because of how we react to the events around us. That is completely personality dependent.

I’m going to talk about another gigantic fight we had. One of the most prominent ones till date. For my cousin’s wedding, I had flown down from San Francisco to Chicago. Mint was to fly down two days after me. I realised I had forgotten a pair of my shoes, so I asked Mint to carry them with him when he came. To make sure he does, I had reminded him a total of 5 times. I even asked him before he left, if he was sure he was carrying them. I really wanted to wear them with my selected outfit. He assured me had packed them.

He reached Chicago and we went through the wedding festivities. Just before we were ready to leave for the reception, Mint told me he had forgotten my shoes! Although he had packed them originally, he had to remove them at a later point to reshuffle his luggage. In the process, he forgot them while repacking. He realised this after we were all dressed to leave for the party. I couldn’t believe my ears. I was depending on the said shoes . I had no alternate arrangements. So I threw a fit and accused him of not caring about me and so on and so forth. It got supremely messy. I was so furious, that I told him I no longer wanted to go for the reception. Yes, despite having come all the way from the Bay Area. I sat at the door, a sulking mess. I can’t believe that idiot boy took a picture of me while I was sulking, but here it is.


Now, this probably comes across as funny, but I assure you, at that time it was not. It was a catastrophic fight. I will always remember it because this was the fight that caused us to get very late for my cousin’s reception. In hindsight, I can’t even call this a fight. Mint really didn’t fight this out with me. It was mainly me having an uncontrollable outburst. By the time we made up, we were running extremely late. Everybody wanted to know what had caused the delay. Of course, we lied. Till date, I regret missing a big part of her reception.

Because I have known Mint for years, I knew he is absent minded and highly capable of forgetting things like these. I still managed to flare up. Probably because I sent him adequate reminders and he still forgot? I mean, even if I know him well enough to predict some of his actions, and even if I make provisions to ensure certain things don’t happen, I am still unable to forecast or control his behaviour beyond a point. I am unable to prevent a fight.

I am ashamed to say I have even raised my hand at Mint during a fight. I read through that post to understand the dynamics and the whole cycle of cause and effect. I come back to what I strongly believe in – this too was entirely dependent on the situation and both our temperaments.

Any two strong headed individuals who are living together are bound to disagree. Whether you convert this disagreement into a fight or whether you pass it off as ‘acceptance’ entirely depends on you. I don’t think it depends on the time you’ve known each other for. Moreover, disagreements are not the only things that cause disputes. I hardly disagree with Mint in principle. Most of the time we fight because he procrastinates beyond a point, making me lose all my patience. Or I get mad because he is never on time. And so on. And no, I cannot ‘accept’ these things easily. I cannot ‘accept’ cleaning the kitchen myself everyday just because he procrastinates beyond a point. I argue with him if he pushes me too much. I cannot ‘accept’ making others wait for us because Mint is used to being late everywhere. So we argue and sometimes our arguments turn heated.

Call me weird, but I love the fact that I can fight with Mint with zero inhibitions. I know at times he is the recipient of my worst behavior. I show him that ugly side of mine that I keep hidden from the rest of the world. We need to have that one person in our life we can be our true self with, without worrying about the consequences. I feel so confident of his love, it makes me feel fearless of pushing the wrong buttons. So if I go by this logic, I will say people in love marriages should actually be fighting more! But that is untrue because even people who have had an arranged marriage eventually fall in love and gain that same sense of security over time (I am guessing). So we all end up having the same fights, depending on our personalities.

In the end, I’ll say any two people who are genuinely in love (irrespective of whether they have had a love marriage or an arranged marriage, or even if they are in a loving and committed relationship) will revel in this security. And this security is conducive to fights, bad behaviour and everything else.

PS – For a deeper analysis, please read these insightful comments.

Posted in A penny for my thoughts | 19 Comments »

A question..

Posted by Pepper on June 21, 2015

Many months ago, I had this very interesting debate with Maya. I tried to evaluate the issue from many different angles and view points. I also started observing real life examples more closely. So far, I’ve enjoyed collecting and analysing the data in my head.

Coincidentally,  I was asked the same question again, very recently. I would love to share my thoughts on this subject on the blog, but before that, I would like to know your thoughts. So here is the question.

Do you believe that couples who have had a love marriage should ideally be fighting lesser than couples who have had an arranged marriage?  

I urge and request you to leave your responses in the comment section. In order to avoid influences and biases, I am not going to approve comments until I am ready to share my thoughts. I know I am using a small and random sample set, but the more comments and responses there are, the more interesting the analysis will be. So please, consider this to be my personal request to you and leave your responses in the comment section. Even if you are otherwise a lurker. Thank you very much.

PS – You do not have to be married to qualify to comment on this post. I will be very happy to hear your thoughts even if you are single, in a relationship, divorced, or belong to any other category possible.


Posted in A penny for my thoughts | 115 Comments »

Life updates

Posted by Pepper on June 18, 2015

It’s been a while since I allowed myself to write mindlessly with no agenda in mind. Today, I will let my thoughts flow.

Let me first rant about work. It has been very stressful. I know I need to learn to deal with the stress better. But as of now, I feel too much of physical and mental strain. Running a company is hard work. That is an understatement. I find myself constantly juggling to keep all the balls up in the air. I know we need to make a few hires at the senior level. I am too stretched. Sadly, a snapshot of our finances tells me we have no budget for lateral hires at this point.

I spend most of my time either working, or worrying about work. Sometimes, I tell myself to calm the eff down. If production stalls for a day because of an unexpected problem, it is okay. If I detect a small flaw in the operation process, it is okay. If a project delivery happens a day late for some unavoidable reason, it is okay. I can’t worry about everything. I have way too many things to look into. I need to deep breathe and let go of things that are beyond my control. Most importantly, I need to stop thinking about work when I am not working.


Talking about work, my dad has been traveling for official work since a week. Bah, I miss him so much, it’s not funny. I also realise how dependent I am on him for so many things. Especially work. Without him in town, I feel more unsure of everything. It’s rather strange because I am used to working without having him around all the time. But perhaps, knowing he is right there if I need him makes me feel secure in some way.


The R family visited us for lunch last weekend. The last time they came home was when RM was expecting R2. That time, they came for a pani puri party. Ever since my mom saw the very pregnant RM, she had been waiting to see R2 in person. She finally got a chance to lay her eyes on the little one. Both R and R2 are such absolute cuties. Playing with them was a delight. We kept the lunch simple. Our cook made the dal. Mint made spicy potato roast. My mom made mutter paneer. We had rice and rotis. We obviously laid out yogurt and a special red chili pickle outsourced directly from Rajasthan. RM brought some aam ras and our meal was complete. It was a rainy day, so we had some fun indoor. I even spent time dancing with R in a locked room. So glad they came!


We went to watch the Tamil film, ‘Kaaka Muttai’ on a Sunday morning. I was wondering if the early morning show was worth it. In the end, I was so glad we chose to sacrifice our sleep for this movie. This was one of the best movies I have seen in a long, long time. The attention to detail, the story, the casting, the expressions, it was all perfect. It left a deep impact on me. I urge everybody to go watch it. Even the sister, who doesn’t understand a word of Tamil, loved the movie. The subtitles worked wonderfully. I think the movie is a must watch for everybody, more so if you have kids.


Finally, we have gotten our friends addicted to Settlers of Catan. Tables have turned and they are the ones who call and request us to play now. Haha. We’re the only ones who have the game and they take special effort to remind us to carry it when we meet. This weekend, we met at a coffee shop. We were not sure how appropriate it was to spread out the board on their coffee tables and play there. Thankfully, nobody seemed to mind and we had a grand time playing. Cheers to board games! They are perfect for rainy weekends.


Yesterday, Oregano turned one! That might not make sense, so let me explain. Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of his kidney transplant. Since we consider his kidney transplant day to be his rebirth, we choose to call that day his birthday. He says it is more important to him than his actual birthday. I am inclined to agree. So when Oregano buzzed me on WhatsApp last evening to ask me what special something I was making to celebrate his birthday, I racked my brains and then zeroed in on Vidhya’s bread pudding.

It turned out lip smacking. And it was unbelievably easy to make. Thank you so much, Vidhya!


Mint is leaving for the US tonight. I’ve been very cranky and clingy. He’s going to Utah first  (beautiful Salt Lake City!) and then he’ll be in the Bay Area from next week.  I just don’t want him to leave me. *Sobs*.. But then, I am consoling myself because there is a chance I may join him in the Bay Area. It really depends on my work and a couple of other things. But until I am sure, I should tell myself to shhhh.. No getting excited until I know for sure.

Posted in The black hole | 20 Comments »

Fitting in

Posted by Pepper on June 11, 2015

There is this couch at my parents’ place. It is meant to seat two people. I loved this couch from the time we moved in to this house. Although it is the smaller of the two couches in the living room, it is mega comfortable. Since I loved it so much, I laid claim to it from day one. Instead of letting it be a seat for two people, I would spread out on it and lie down, using one of the arm rests as a leg rest. The other one was used to rest my head. The size was perfect. I snuggled like that for hours.

Then Mint came into my life. From the day he first visited my parents’ home, he decided to take over my couch. He started sprawling on it in the exact same way that I used to. At first, I let him. I was sure he would return to me what was clearly my place. Unfortunately, he had no such intention. He would rush to claim the couch the moment we would enter home. And once he was sprawled out, he showed no signs of moving his ass. If at all I did manage to get the couch to myself sometime, he would even have the audacity to tell me that I was occupying his space! He would annoy me till I was forced to get up. How convenient.

I tolerated this injustice for years, until one day I got fed up and tried to squeeze in while he was lounging on the couch in his favourite position, watching TV. To my surprise, what I thought would be an uncomfortable squeeze, turned out to be an extremely comfortable position for me. I was so excited I had found a new spot. I started using him to lean on. He is a good pillow. Ever since, this has been a favourite position. He welcomes me to use him as a back support. I place my legs up on the center table. It is uber comfortable.

We have now made truce and no longer have to fight for the couch. This is us, watching TV together. Now I know what they mean when they say we must all learn to carve a niche for ourselves. Mwahaha..couch1


Posted in Er-rant-ic behaviour, Splashes of Mint | 28 Comments »

Rule of thumb

Posted by Pepper on June 8, 2015

Some months ago, I started noticing a mild pain in my left thumb. It came intermittently and shot up only when my thumb got bent downward. Since the pain was not consistent or severe, I ignored it. But it was okay only as long as my thumb didn’t strike anything. If I accidentally hit or bent it, the pain would flare up with all it’s might. It would be so acute and intense, my eyes would well up.

I could bend it backward with ease, but if it got bend downward (forward?) even by a few inches, it was hell. I had no idea what was causing it. I didn’t remember suffering from any kind of injury. Looked like the pain in my thumb just appeared by itself one day. Anyway, like I said, it was not bad unless I bent it. So I tried to avoid bending it as much as possible. I know I should have tried to investigate the cause. I should have gotten it treated. Instead, I chose to neglect it and let my busy life take over..

A couple of weeks ago, a child’s hand collided into mine while we were walking in the park. His hand hit mine quite hard and as a result, my thumb got bent downward with some force. It sent waves of shock and pain in my body. Thankfully, it lasted only for a minute and I was able to overcome the shocking pain. It hurt for the remaining part of the day but it was bearable, so as usual, I shut up and decided to ignore it.

But next morning was pure torture. The raw pain in my thumb was stabbing me. I realised I had lost all movement. I absolutely couldn’t bear to move my thumb even a wee bit. I knew I had taken it too far and that I had to go to the doctor now. It was mildly swollen in the morning. But by the time I reached the doctor, my thumb was so stiff and swollen, it looked like a banana.

The orthopedic I had gone to asked me several questions. He said something was surely wrong if my thumb was that swollen with the mere impact of a child’s hand. He said he sees that kind of swelling in patients who get struck by cricket balls that travel in high speed. Just a little collision shouldn’t have caused so much pain and swelling. Other than prescribing an x-ray, he asked me to get several other tests done. Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Calcium and a bunch of others.

I realised how important the thumb is only when I had to live with a non-functional one. Go on and try to button or unbutton your jeans without using both your thumbs . I had to go to Mint or the sister each time I wanted to use the loo. Either that, or spend way too much effort and time on something that is supposed to be so simple! I couldn’t even use my hand to turn up the volume of the radio while driving. Nothing was easy. I felt handicapped.

My test results were quite pathetic, even though the x-ray was normal. My Vitamin D level was “< 4”. When I asked them what less than 4 meant, they said that vitamin D was untraceable in my body. They couldn’t detect it at all and so they had to have the “>” sign. The optimal range is between 50 – 70, so my level was way too low. Or maybe non-existent. And this is the second time I tested it. So I couldn’t even say the results were goofed up. My calcium, B12 and everything else was also quite bad. No wonder my bone health is so terrible.

I was prescribed a course of injections for the vitamin D and other supplementary tablets for the rest of the deficiencies. Getting used to taking tablets after every meal was just too hard for me. I know I sound lame, but the truth of the matter was that I simply forgot to take them. My parents would call me up to remind me after each meal, and yet, I would forget after I hung up. I knew this was not ideal. I had to take on the responsibility myself. After all, my health should be in my hands.

Finally, after a lot of trial, error, lazy bumming, ‘its-not-my-fault-that-I-can’t-remember’, ‘lack-of-vitamins-won’t-kill-me’, ‘I-forgot-the-tablets-at-home-today’ arguments, I have finally overcome my lax attitude. It’s been a week and I haven’t missed a single dose. I keep some strips of tablets at home, and some in my handbag. So I have them handy whether or not I am at home. I have also set reminders on my phone. Those have helped a great deal. I realised it is all about learning how to acquire a new habit. Remembering to take my tablets on my own for an entire week has been an achievement for me. I hope I only get better from here..

My thumb has healed to an extent, but it still hurts if I bend it downward. It is only a small inconvenience. But I have begun to take necessary steps to correct it. After my 3 month course of meds is through and  if my thumb still hurts, then we may investigate further. Until then, I am doing all I can to fix it. I know I have been stupid for so long, but I am glad I am finally learning to not neglect matters of health, even if they seem inconsequential at first. What about you? Do you usually remember to take your medicines or supplements in time?

Posted in Lessons I learn | 33 Comments »

A sweet prayer

Posted by Pepper on June 6, 2015

There is a little temple in our apartment complex. When dusk sets in, typically around 7.30 in the evening, the priest performs a small aarti. I am not a religious person at all, but I love the sound of the temple bells. They add an aura of tranquility to the atmosphere. The breeze floating out of the temple carries with it a whiff of incense. I usually try to go for my evening walk in the complex around the time of the aarti. Although I never step inside the temple, the bells and the fragrance of the incense sticks make me feel happy.

But more than that, I know what I look forward to the most. It is a sight that melts my heart. Right after the aarti ends, the priest hands out tiny laddoos to every person who enters the temple to pray. Our complex has many kids of different ages, all playing in the complex premises in the evenings. As soon as the aarti ends, I see all the kids abandoning their bicycles, skate boards, swings, games and running towards the temple. They queue up inside and wait for the priest to present them with a tiny piece of laddoo. I stop my walk and wait outside the temple sometimes, just to see the gleeful faces waiting patiently with their little palms extended. Sometimes they run out with a fistful of their prized laddoo. Sometimes they gobble it up before they even step out. Their excitement on finding the laddoo is heartwarming. Oh, the joys of being a child.

Posted in Life in India, Small joys | 7 Comments »

The tides of memory

Posted by Pepper on June 3, 2015

Ever so often, I’ve wished I had penned down my love story on my blog in detail. Chapter by chapter. That was such a glorious period of my life. I love soaking in the memories. Maybe I will write about it in sequence someday. Until then, let me just write disconnected chapters. Chapters that come from memories that get triggered unexpectedly by events of my current life. I know I have mentioned this part of our story somewhere on my blog, but for my own reading pleasure, let me put it down here in detail.


December, 2006. I was in college. I  was planning to go to Bangalore for Christmas break with my girl pals. That included my BFF, her sister, my sister and ofcourse, me. Since the plan involved 4 people, we kept going back and forth with the travel dates. At that time, Mint who was in India for his annual vacation, kept calling me every other day. He was going to be visiting Bangalore around the same time and he kept begging me to try and coincide our travel dates.

Mint. He was a good friend of mine. A friend who was witty and sarcastic. He was bold and intelligent. A friend who would hit on me and tell me he liked me more as more than a friend. I knew it was all said in good humour. So of course, I would laugh. While I did think of him as a really good friend, I always knew he would forever remain in the ‘friend zone’. It would have been great to meet him in Bangalore and catch up, I thought. But if we weren’t able to coincide our travel, there was nothing we could do. Why did he have to sound so desperate and earnest? Like the world would fall apart if we didn’t meet. I told him I would try my best and left it at that.

Once I had finalised our dates, Mint reshuffled his own dates to match mine. Or so he claimed. I still couldn’t understand why he would do that? Why that urgency to meet me? Anyway, the four of us girls traveled to Bangalore. We were staying in my cousin’s house and having our own fun. My cousin had planned a Christmas party in her house on the day I was to meet Mint. Neither my friends, nor my cousin was pleased with the idea of me going out to meet ‘a friend’ on that day. I tried explaining to them how eager my friend had been to meet me. He was leaving Bangalore the next day. He lived in the US. So I didn’t get to see him often. After bargaining for some time with him and promising to be back in time for the party in the evening, I left.

Other than Mint, I was also supposed to meet S, a common friend of ours who had just moved to Bangalore. We were to meet at The Forum mall for lunch. S and I were dot on time. While the two of were hanging out, we started bitching about Mint for being so late! What kind of a guy shows up this late? Just as we bitching, he came. After giving a quick hug to S, he came and enveloped me in a big, giant bear hug that seemed to linger on forever. Although I was mad at him, I could feel his warmth and that made me soften.

Since all of us wanted to eat different things, we decided to eat at the food court. We chatted as we ate. It was a good lunch. Shortly after lunch, Mint requested S to leave so that he could spend time with me alone. I was horrified. Now, I know this guy always claimed to like me. It was all said jokingly and I always laughed. But asking somebody to leave so out rightly was rude! S giggled. She turned to me and said Mint had already told her he wanted to hang out with me alone and it had been decided that she would leave right after lunch. Umm, okay.

And then, we were alone. Since we couldn’t stay in the food court, we kept walking around the mall, trying to find an appropriate place to hang out. I remember Mint coaxing me to enter ‘Firangi Paani’, but I dismissed the idea because they had a big cover change and we didn’t plan on ordering anything. It didn’t make sense to pay for nothing. So we just kept talking and walking aimlessly. Until I glanced at my watch and realised the time. OhMyGod! I told him I had to rush back. I had promised my friends and my cousin that I would be back soon. Moreover, I had missed 4 calls from the BFF. She had also sent me two very angry text messages.

I kept telling Mint I had to leave and he kept begging me to stay some more. At this point he did something that took me aback and had me totally stumped. When I declined his request and said a final ‘no’ and told him I was leaving, he went down on his knees and folded his hands in plea! OhMyGod again. The mall was crowded and what the hell was he doing, creating a scene and getting us so much of undesired attention? I was embarrassed. People were staring at us. What a drama queen he is, I thought. He refused to get up until I gave in. I gave in, just to save myself from further embarrassment and stares. This boy knew how to have his way.

After walking around the mall some more, we found a quiet stair way connecting  two levels of the mall. It was silent and perfect for us to sit and talk. We sat on the steps. Conversation flowed. We spoke about his life in the US. My college life in Mumbai. His views on life in general. My views. And so on. It went on for a long, long time. Talking to him was so easy. Sometimes I would notice him just staring at me dreamily as I spoke. What, I asked. He kept telling me it was my eyes. They were arresting and it was hard for him to not stare into them. Right. Good dialogues, I told him. *Chuckles*. As usual, he was offended because I dismissed everything he sincerely said.

When we were both silent for a while, he pulled something out of the little bag he was carrying on his shoulder. “I got this for you”, he said. It was a tiny box. When I opened it, I saw in it a set of gorgeous earrings. He told me he had spent many hours choosing them for me. He made it a point to tell me that he “didn’t get anything for any of his other friends”. Wow. Why did he always treat me in this special way? And why did he want me to know that?

When I was quietly staring at the earrings, he asked me if I would mind if he put them on for me? Umm. I wasn’t sure. Would that be awkward? Instead of answering him, I told him we should go and find a mirror so I could see how they looked on me. With that thought, we tried to find our way back to one of the levels in the mall. We would find a mirror somewhere, we thought.

Instead, the door we got out of took us the parking lot of the mall. ‘Perfect’, Mint said. We can use the side view mirrors of all the parked cars. It was funny. We walked to the nearest car and both of us stood close enough to peer into the mirror together. I pulled out the earrings, and just as I was putting them on for myself, I had a change of mind. I decided to allow him to put them on for me. All along I told myself, I shouldn’t find that awkward. They are just earrings. Why would him touching my ear lobe be a sign of intimacy?

I told them he could put them on for me if he wanted to and his eyes lit up. He brushed aside me hair and put them on slowly and carefully. We continued to peer in the mirror. “Tell me, do you really like them?”. I swore to him I did. I really did. They were such gorgeous little things. “Thank you”, he said. When I told him it was funny he was thanking me after gifting me something, he said he was thanking me for allowing him to put them on for me.

Before I could respond, my phone beeped for the nth time. I had stopped answering my phone because I was too scared to tell my folks that I was still at the mall with my friend. I was supposed to be gone only for around 2 hours during lunch time. It was late evening by now. The party at my cousin’s place had begun. My friends were at her place and I wasn’t there myself, which was awkward for them. They were all furious. I knew I was in for big trouble when I got back. I told Mint I really had to leave. We walked to the exit together and he gave me another big hug before he let me go.

That day after the party, I had quite a fight with the BFF. She said we had planned our holiday in Bangalore together. If I wanted to keep disappearing to meet my friends, we needn’t have come together. I knew she was right and I didn’t know how to explain the inordinate delay to her. I just told her ‘my friend really didn’t let me leave’. She continued being mad at me. That was one of the biggest fights I’ve had with the BFF till date. Some years later when I introduced Mint to her as my boyfriend, her first reaction was “Oh, so this is the friend you ditched us for in Bangalore”. We still laugh when we think of it.

What brought this on? I was cleaning my jewellery box and I pulled these out. The earrings he gifted me on that day. I put them on and smiled as the rush of memories hit me.



Posted in Blasts from the past, Splashes of Mint | Tagged: | 41 Comments »

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