A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint


Posted by Pepper on December 31, 2020

How ridiculous is it that my first post of the year is being written on the last day of the year? I absolutely had to write today. I can’t let an entire year go by without posting on my blog. That has not happened in the history of my blogging journey that began in 2004!

What a year you’ve been 2020!

Mint and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in March. We had already been in lock down for several weeks and I was hoping that by the time our anniversary rolls in, we are in the clear and the fire ignited by this wretched virus has been extinguished. I remember tching tching and thinking how terrible it is that we’re in the fag end of March and are still dealing with the impacts of this virus. LOL!

Can I just say we struggled as parents this year? I mean, I am aware that everyone struggled in some way or the other. But as parents of 2 year old twins who were always home 24/7, this year was batshit crazy. It made me realise how much we value our daycare/preschool set up and I can’t list the number of times we considered sending them back, this virus be damned. Other parents told us we were lucky our kids were at an age where they didn’t have to deal with online schooling. We on the other hand wished they had online school and some sort of structure to their day.

Now that I have spoken about how hard it was, I want to take a moment to list out the positives. Because truth me told, there were plenty of those hiding beneath the covers of everyday life.

Cotton and Candy. My marvelous kids. I can’t believe they turned 3 years old in September. This year, we got to witness a deep companionship that was rock solid. Sure, they fight and get on each other’s nerves and then want to go back to playing like nothing happened. Just like any other siblings. But this year was different. It came with the stark realisation that they are a constant in each other’s lives. The world around us shut down. We pulled them out of preschool. We stopped stepping out of home. There were myriad changes in our lives. But the one thing we saw them learn was that come rain, or shine, or pandemic, they have each other. They truly are a constant in each other’s lives and I am so grateful we get to witness this bond.

We acquired some new skills. I started waxing my eyebrows and was surprised I was fairly good at it. How liberating it is to be able to shape my eyebrows on my own! I gave Candy two hair cuts. One of them made Mint pick up a fight with me because I had ruined his precious daughter’s hair. I won’t deny it. It turned out outrageous. But it is hair and it grows back. I left Cotton’s hair to Mint and he seemed to do the job so remarkably well, I asked him to consider changing his profession.

We cooked a hell lot this year. I know this is true for most of us, but being a family who loved dining out and trying different restaurants and cuisines, I expected to feel deprived this year. And strangely, I didn’t feel the deprivation as much as I thought I would.

Another big thing is that I finally started using my grinder and making my own idli – dosa batter. From scratch. This was life changing and it took a pandemic for me to get to it. 10 years of being nagged by a mother in law didn’t do it. And now there is no way I can imagine going back to store bought batter. The wet grinder I own gives us out of the world idlis. Good bye Shastha and Ganesh. I’m not going to explain those names. If you know, you know.

I had, or rather ensured I found a lot more time to chat with my parents and sister this year and I spent literally every evening on video call with them, hearing my dad’s very lame jokes, having deep conversations with my mom, laughing with my sister about things that only we laugh about. Even if we were caught up, we made it a point to pause and connect and just breathe and laugh together. Those daily conversations were so uplifting and I said a prayer of gratitude every day. My family survived this year.

Here’s a big one. We bought a new home this year. A beautiful home at that and we managed to get through the whole move in the middle of the pandemic. It has beautiful palm trees on one side and red wood trees on another. We love having out coffee there. Sharing a picture of me sitting by our pool.

I’ve almost been tempted to blatantly show off our home by sharing some pics on Instagram. But the key word here is ‘almost’. I didn’t do it. For that matter, I haven’t even shared pictures of some of our glorious vacations on IG. We had a blast on our holiday in Singapore and social media didn’t get a whiff of my trip. We have had several such trips and I feel so torn between sharing and not sharing pictures. A part of me wonders how can a trip be gratifying if the world has no clue we did all that we did? The other part rolls eyes and tells myself to stop being so lame and shallow. And most times, I debate so much in my head and decide in the end to not share. But that doesn’t stop me from enjoying and feeling entertained by the snippets of the good life that people share. I am genuinely thankful to some of them for perking me up.

In an odd way, we’ve lived more this year. Every celebration was taken very seriously and we went all out carving pumpkins for Halloween, lighting up our whole house for Diwali, getting a big tree for Christmas and giving the kids a dose of the Elf on the Shelf. This year was all about the little things that gave us big joy.

But now I am done. There is only so much isolation I can handle. I am desperate to get back to normal life. I want to allow myself to fervently hope that 2021 is an easy year for all of us. But if there’s anything 2020 taught us, it is to live with no expectations. And on that cautious note, I will sign off. If there’s anybody reading this, Happy New Year to you!

25 Responses to “2020”

  1. Priti Jadeja said

    It’s so good to see you back. A very Happy New Year to you and a big hug! (:

  2. Visha said

    I login to WordPress after an year or so and the first post I see on my reader is yours, it makes me happy to read you Pepper. Loved reading your updates and I wish you show off your new home, I definitely enjoy seeing homes πŸ˜‰
    Happy New Year’s eve and hope the new year is good to all. Happy 10th year Pepper and Mint….11th anniversary not far away haha. Hugs!

  3. seema3 said

    Happy New Year, Congrats on the new home. We got a home too after staying for years in an apartment. The pandemic taught us we could survive together as a family.

    • Pepper said

      Congratulations to you too! This year seemed like a good time to buy, isn’t it? We’ve been stupid enough to live in a big independent house for so many years and waste money on rent because we didn’t want the commitment that came with buying. But there’s only so long you can stay uncommitted.
      Hope you’re enjoying your new home!

  4. A happy New Year to you and the family. Hope we’ll read more of you this coming year.

  5. Mona said

    We’ll never stop reading your blog. I’ve missed your posts…and by some miracle I opened up wordpress and saw this! Happy new year to you. Please never stop writing even if it is just one post a year. 😊

  6. pixie said

    Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family! πŸ™‚ It’s nice to see a post by you.. made me nostalgic of the days when we wrote regularly and almost daily! πŸ™‚
    Congratulations on your new home! It’s been heartening to read the positives of 2020.

    • Pepper said

      Those were the days of daily blogging, right? Sigh… Made me nostalgic too. Well, Happy New Year! Hoping we write more often, even if not everyday.

  7. Boiling said

    Hi Pepper, a pleasant surprise to see your post. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary and buying a house. Have a lovely year ahead!

    • Pepper said

      Thanks Boiling. How have you been? Happy New Year!

      • Boiling said

        I am doing good. I have been in Bishkek for 3 years and I have adjusted pretty well πŸ™‚ I am working as a school teacher and enjoying my break before school started in a week!

        • Pepper said

          Oh, I did know you were in Bishkek, but had no idea you’re still there and it’s been 3 years. That’s interesting!
          And wow, school teacher! That job commands a lot of respect! My sister works as one too and I get to hear so much about the profession. Glad you are enjoying your break 😊

  8. Seema said

    Pepper, so good to see you back here. Love reading your posts as always.

    It is not an easy job raising twins, insert a pandemic and no pre-school and support, it can only get tougher exponentially. Kudos to you and Mint for for not only managing well but also going all out to celebrate festivals and making the experience special for them.

    Please do share the pictures of your home here. Would love to see.

    PS: I am totally with you on being able to get my eyebrows done independently. Who woud have thought!!

    Lastly, you are 100% right that this year has taught us to live without expectations and take life as it comes and enjoy every little passing moment.

    • Pepper said

      Thanks Seema! So happy to see you.. You guys have done such a splendid job raising your twins. I see you as an inspiration.

      And kudos to independently doing our eyebrows!

  9. Hey! So so good to see you here Pepper! A very Happy New Year! And hope there will be more of you here this year. Ofcourse, congratulations for your new home!

  10. anisnest said

    Happy new year to Pepper family and congratulations on your 10th anniversary and new home. Here is to build many more memories as a family in your new home.

  11. Sheetal said

    How much i love reading your life blogs, I had you in my thoughts this year when I didn’t see your blogs.
    Its pandemic and its tough, some discovered their passion for blogging and some caught in a life.
    So happy to read your blog in the end of year and happy to see you are doing good. I would love to follow you on Instagram, if you can share your handle.

    • Pepper said

      What a delightful comment, Sheetal! Thank you so much for thinking of us in the past year. I feel really happy knowing there were a few people in the blog world who still remember us. I expect most to have wiped us out of their minds.

      Happy New Year to you! I keep my Instagram fairly private and don’t add too many people I know even in real life. And to be honest, you aren’t missing out on much, because I rarely post. Lol! But I’d love to connect with you personally if you are up to it. Please send me an email on talk2pepper@gmail.com and we can take it from there?

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