A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

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Flavour of my life

How it ended

Posted by Pepper on November 2, 2014

Thank you, kind people. All your thoughts and comments on my last post are much appreciated. I owe you guys an update. Since I spoke about how it all began, I should also mention how it all ended. Infact, I am sorry I have taken this long to update this page. It lead some of you to believe that Mint and I were still feeling the strain. That is far from the truth and I felt utterly guilty for not updating this space when I saw some concerned mails.

My post was probably a knee jerk reaction. Maybe because I am absolutely not used to disputes that last more than a few hours. When the last one had not been resolved  by the next morning, it started upsetting me more than it should have. Anyway, it came to an end in a day. I also realised that I had taken this a lot more seriously than Mint had.

I remember being all upset the day I wrote the last post. I wondered how long it would take for us to thaw. When Mint got home after work, I glanced at him and then decided to ignore him. To my surprise, he seemed totally fine. He even chose to engage in some trivial talk. “Hey, the shoes we ordered for you online are here. Did you try them? Did they fit you?”. I was a little confused. So I responded to him only with a silent nod. I mean, I thought we were not talking to each other? Why are we discussing these inane things then?

It went on like that. Mint talking to me as though nothing had happened. Hello? I don’t want to return to normalcy unless we sort that out. Like I said, I need closure. But most importantly, I believe it is critical to discuss our differences if we want to avoid similar showdowns in future. We need to negotiate and reach an agreement that both of us are comfortable with. If we don’t do that, won’t we keep getting trapped in our old issues?

Looks like the guy didn’t think so. He was absolutely comfortable not discussing our past behaviour. Neither was he being cold to me anymore. After realising this wasn’t going anywhere, I decided to take matters in my own hands. I told him I wanted to talk about what had happened the previous day. Like I suspected, he seemed reluctant to go over the crap. Too bad. Not that I find the exercise very enjoyable. But what needs to be done, needs to be done. I’d rather get done with it by talking about it now than be caught in it again. Setting the tone for the future is imperative.

So I broached it after giving it some more time. And we spoke. I told him what angered me. He told me why he was mad. That was easy. Reaching a mutual agreement on what lines are not to be crossed in future called for a slightly longer discussion. But after some calm negotiation and bargaining, we were done. Back to being best pals.

It has been many days since we resolved it now. Realisation strikes me yet again. Mint has spoiled me too much with his forever affectionate gestures.  He has conditioned me to expect a million hugs and cuddles in a day. It is what made me feel so unprepared to face a tiff that lasted an entire day. So after a day when I went back to being his ‘guds’, the world seemed right once again. That is what he usually calls me. It is the shortened version of ‘gudiya’, something that my dad lovingly refers to me as. He picked it up from my father and eventually went on to modify it to ‘guds’. Perhaps that sounds corny and it may garner a lot of eye rolls, but needless to say, I love it.

I’ve known couples who barely fight. BFF#2 for example. She always tells me how she and her husband hardly find any grounds to disagree, let alone fight. I wondered how they did it. Mint and I are such vastly different people, we disagree and argue with each other often. But I love our instant ability to turn around and go back to being madly in love with each other. I’ve secretly come to enjoy the disagreements. They challenge my perspective, teach me how to defend my view point and as a result make me question, learn and grow.

And then there is that matter of underlying security. It indeed is the most comforting blanket. Perhaps, it is that security that permits you to cross boundaries at times. It is what makes you fearless of the consequences. Because you know, no matter what, you will be loved and cared for at the end of the day. It is also what assures you that the freedom and power you have bestowed on someone will never be abused beyond a point. It is what you lie wrapped in when you sleep at night.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 16 Comments »

From a glass wall..

Posted by Pepper on October 28, 2014

I love writing posts that are joyous. They come to me easily. Writing about your hurt on the other hand, calls for some courage. To admit that your life is not as merry as you would like it to be is not easy. But here I am. Acknowledging the imperfections and baring myself. Well, it isn’t hard to guess that I feel very sullen and disturbed at the moment.

I’ve had two lousy fights with Mint in two days. It is emotionally draining. Moreover, the fights are so ridiculous, it gets me mad that the two of us can have such enormous fights over nothing! Ofcourse, in my mind, Mint is responsible for blowing it out of proportion. According to him, it is all my doing.

Two days ago, Mint and I were driving back from somewhere. He was at the wheel. Traffic was particularly chaotic at one junction. The car adjacent to us brushed against our side view mirror. It was such a minor collision, I did not believe it caused even a scratch. The driver in the other car looking into our car, mouthed a ‘sorry’ and raised his hand in apology. I smiled at him and told him it was okay with a gesture of my hand.

The next thing I know, Mint is racing up to that car and glaring at the driver with all his might. I turned to Mint and said, ‘Why are you glaring at him like this? The guy said sorry already’. Mint asked me, ‘When did he say sorry?’. I was surprised Mint had missed the silent mouthing and the hand gestures. So I told him, ‘He did show his hand’. Mint’s next sentence is what made me see red. His exact words were, ‘He did not show his hand’.

Huh? That statement can have only two implications. Either I am hallucinating. Or I am lying. I was furious beyond words. Because this is not the first time Mint has thoughtlessly dismissed something I have said. I instantly unbuckled my seat beat. I wanted to tap on the window of that car and get the driver to admit to Mint that he had indeed said sorry. I had this burning urge to furnish some evidence. Sometimes I have this undying need to prove myself when I know I am right. I didn’t even utter a word to Mint, but my expressions and action (the anger with which I unbuckled myself) may have conveyed to Mint just how furious I was.

My fury is what got him furious. ‘Why do you have to get so mad at everything? Why do you react like that. Why do you want to pick up a fight all the time?’. I couldn’t believe he had the gall to say that after passing that statement. When I asked him, he said he meant ‘He didn’t see the guy showing his hand’. Well then, your wording was all wrong. And that tends to happen all the time, he doesn’t word his statements right. Why can’t you watch what you say, I ask him? Why do you always stick to words, he asks me? He was screaming. It was only feeding my rage.

I had not even said a word to Mint when he passed that statement, let alone shouted at him the way I wanted to. He got that mad only seeing my expression and watching me unbuckle my seat belt. I thought that was unfair beyond words. Here I am, showing enough restrain to not scream when you dismiss something I have said with so much conviction. But do I not have the space and freedom to even react silently? My expression wasn’t even voluntary. I don’t think I was even conscious of it. And he had to pick at how angry I looked instead of apologising for a wrongly worded statement he made?

No, we didn’t sort this issue out. We merely stopped talking about it. I continued to blame him. He continued to blame me. We decided to let go. But I am sure this stayed between us. It sure stayed inside me. I always need closure and leaving something open ended like that bothers me deeply.

I do not have the energy to write about our second dispute. But it was *exactly* the same as the first one. He passed an unfair statement. Yes, he agreed later that the statement was unfair. This statement came after I had gone out of my way to do something for him. Obviously, when I heard that statement, I reacted and asked him what he meant by that. I know I sounded angry, but I maintain I was well within my right to exhibit atleast some anger after I had done so much for him. No, I didn’t expect a thank you from him. But the last thing I expected was that statement. And that is how it began again. Him screaming and asking me why I have to shout and fight for everything? After all, he was only asking me a question. The accusation always feels like a slap on my face.

So that has been the formula for our recent fights. He says something inappropriate. I react. He reacts because I react. And it goes on. I am guessing I can just put an end to all this unpleasantness if I do not react to the things he says and does, but that I think is very unfair and difficult. It will suffocate me if I am forced to always suppress my reactions. Even if my reactions are not extreme, he still expects me to have NO reaction and tell him whatever I have to say in a very calm and zen way, irrespective of how outrageous I find his words. Hah! Perhaps that doesn’t sound unreasonable, but it does not come easy.

We haven’t spoken after our last fight. It has been an entire day. He went on to watch a movie on TV right after we fought while I paced around, disturbed. How does he do it? And his behaviour is so out of character. I kept wondering what happened to my ever patient, ever caring and affectionate Mint? When I tried to swallow my ego and talk to him, he flatly refused to have any conversation with me. Great. He even left the house to go on and complete some chores without informing me. When I called him and asked him if he cared to let me know before he left, he just told me a cold ‘No’. I hung up, feeling a sudden ache in my gut.

I really wonder if I deserve such nastiness. Since those accusations have been hurled fast and thick, I have asked him if that is how he perceives me. Somebody who only loves to fight with him for no reason. On the other hand, I am the one who feels hurt by his thoughtless remarks and yet he is the one who blames me in the end.

And so he continues to sit on his throne of self righteousness. I really wish he would want to come up to me to console me instead of withdrawing like this. I know I did my part by trying to make amends with him, twice. We need to communicate with each other and figure out what is bothering us so much. I tried to get him to talk. It wasn’t easy going up to him when I expected him to come to me. I had to crush my pride. And yet, all I got from him in the end was arrogance and a blatant lack of will to make peace. So I let go. I know it is pointless to try again. Besides, my pride (or is it self respect?) will not permit me to go up to him once again. So I spend my day feeling distressed, angry and sad, while I suspect he goes about without much remorse? I don’t know. I am just so done with it all.

Posted in Chaos, Splashes of Mint, Uncategorized | 58 Comments »

Understand? You better understand!

Posted by Pepper on September 24, 2014

Look what I found while clearing my drafts.

****

Dear Mint,

If we’re at a friend’s place and I look at you questioningly and raise my eyebrows, it translates to, ‘I think we should leave and I’d like to know when you’ll be willing to get your ass out of the door’. It does not mean, ‘How are you?’ like you thought it did the other day. In return, you don’t have to give me a sweet smile and mutter something like, ‘I’m great, baby’, and then continue to lounge on the couch, refill your beer and watch the match. I hope you understand.

Thank you very much,

Pepper

****

This post was written a few years ago, but things have largely remained unchanged. Perhaps I need to design a crash course on ‘How to interpret nudges and signs’ for the husband. Ufff..

PS – The title is a dialogue from a shady Hindi movie.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 13 Comments »

Sometimes I wonder..

Posted by Pepper on September 16, 2014

I wonder what happened to Mint. Each time I go back to old pictures, I feel a pang. Until we got married, he was in an extremely good shape, physically. Some people called him skinny, but I thought his body was very well toned. He had this youthful glow. And really, he looked like a complete baccha. I’m not exaggerating. You can see his pictures and I bet none of you will say he looked a day older than 20. I thought his boyish looks were irresistible.

And then we got married. And he got fat put on weight. I refuse to believe the food we cooked post marriage was fattening. Infact his diet before marriage was very unhealthy. He bought packs of ready to eat, frozen food for lunch everyday. Even when he cooked, he used packs of frozen, cut vegetables and canned food most of the time. I made sure we switched to using fresh ingredients after we started living together. We used limited oil. We didn’t eat very carb heavy food. Then how the hell did he keep getting fat? Was it because he quit exercising? But it isn’t like he exercised vigorously before we were married. And he was a skinny rat for the first 25 years of his life. Like I said, you have to see the pictures to believe just how skinny he was.

The fat also makes him look older now. Okay, fine. he isn’t exactly fat. He just has excessive stomach flab. And he doesn’t look old. He merely looks his age now (I think) , although he still believes he doesn’t. But me, I really miss the boyish looks.  The past 4.5 years of our marriage have been err, quite transformational for him. And I want to understand why. No, jokes about his ‘sufferings’ in our marriage will not be tolerated.

The other day when our friends were home, one of them picked up a photo frame that was lying around. It held a picture of ours from our just married days. ‘Oh look how young Mint looks in this one!’, the friend commented. ‘ But I was four and a half years younger back then!’ was Mint’s response. I chipped in, ‘Hello! I was too! Why does it only show on you?’. Mint said something like,’You look the same from the time you were 15. So it doesn’t say much’. Ofcourse, that was an exaggeration, but I let it go. The friends seemed to agree with him though, so he had an edge. I ended it back then, but I continue to wonder what happened. Oh well, he can’t look that young and child like forever. And what they say about our metabolism slowing with age must be really true. It’s such a scary truth.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 22 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 »

Protected: Happy Week – Day 4

Posted by Pepper on June 5, 2014

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Year 4 – Happy Anniversary, Mint

Posted by Pepper on March 27, 2014

Dear Mint,

We turned 4 years old two days ago! When the clock struck 12, you woke me up and gave me a card. I was taken aback, because you haven’t given me a card in a long time now. All the cards I have carefully saved have been given to me by you before we were married. Ofcourse, that gives me the opportunity to talk about ‘how you used to do such sweet things for me once upon a time’, and how you don’t do them anymore. Your gesture will now force me to shut up for some time. When I was trying to wake you up in the morning, you put in front of me your curled fist. When I opened it, I saw a lovely chain and a pendant. What had happened to you? This was more sweetness than I had been prepared for. All this time, I wasn’t feeling guilty for not having done anything special for you, because you know how very busy we’ve both been. Yet, you did manage to spring these surprises. I wondered what my excuse was. card

I look at our journey so far and I realise how we have remained unchanged. I still don’t know when we will turn into responsible adults. We are so tired of hearing people say we don’t behave like married people do, we just let go now. Marriage is meant for grown ups. And grown ups are responsible. We decided to get married one day even before we felt ‘grown up’. It would happen, we thought. We will learn. We never did. And I don’t know when we will. As of today, we still throw our clothes all around the house, order food every other day, wake up really late, live in a mess, spend money very irresponsibly, thrive on junk and more. I know we enjoy our untamed existence, but trust me, this is not conducive to healthy living. I hope we change sometime, for our own sake.

I feel tongue tied when I review the year that went by. We’ve argued and fought so much. We’ve hugged and kissed so much. We’ve blamed each other for ridiculous reasons. We’ve stood by each other in difficult times. We’ve screamed at one another. We’ve clung to one another. It makes me wonder what kind of a couple we make. We’re not the ‘ever loving’ type given how often we argue. We’re not the ‘always fighting’ type given how much we smile, cuddle and hug. I don’t know where we fit, but I guess it doesn’t matter at all. What matters is how awesome I think we are together. *grins*

I still hate how attached to your phone and laptop you are, I hate the fact that you don’t have much value for time, I hate some of your habits, but I also love the fact that you give me a hundred kisses on my forehead, that you put my wishes above your own, that you serve me dinner even when you are tired yourself, that you are always there for my family, that you smilingly bear with my sometimes unreasonable moods, that you stand up for me no matter what, that you take me on those lovely holidays, that you really want to carry me and walk every time I say I am tired, that you still don’t flinch while clearing the bathroom drain full of my hair. You are amazing. Stay the same.

I am putting up another favourite picture of mine. This one makes me feel all warm and reminds me of how often we embrace..

Europe61

Lots of love,

— Pepper

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 67 Comments »

Mint’s shaving grace

Posted by Pepper on January 27, 2014

In every relationship, there comes a point beyond which you should not push. Where exactly that point lies is a question I ask myself everyday. I’ve written about it in the past. What is the right time to let go?

I am married to a man who does not believe in shaving regularly. Let alone shaving every day, he doesn’t even think it fit to shave every other day. The end result is a shabby, unkempt stubble. It angers me to see him like that. Not only does the stubble look bad, it also makes him come across as messy and disorderly. Which ofcourse, is not far from the truth. But if I can, I want to maintain a facade that safeguards our ‘image’. I never denied being shallow.

In a professional environment, a permanently shabby stubble is blasphemous, in my opinion. Who would want to see an employee in that overgrown and seemingly unclean state? Won’t people judge your personality and attitude? Unfortunately, Mint works in a very casual set up where most people walk in with crumpled tees and loose jeans. It is not the environment in which one would notice a stubble. Ofcourse, he loves his workplace.

On average, he shaves once in 10 days (No Mint, I am not exaggerating). If I ask him to shave before we go out, he agrees to do it. He doesn’t oppose or decline my request. But the problem is, most of our outings are unplanned. And when they are, we end up rushing out of the house in a big haste with little or no time for such luxuries. So again, the result is an unshaven Mint.

When we bump into people, or meet friends who end up seeing him in that state, I feel crushed. Few people will understand my anguish. I cringe. He is my husband and I want the world to recognise his good looks. An unshaven Mint with unkept hair and glasses looks completely different from a sweet smelling, clean shaven Mint with contacts on. The glasses, I don’t grudge ofcourse, but the grubby beard? That’s not done. I hate it that people see him in that terrible state, because I don’t want to be seen with a man who cares so little about personal grooming. It makes me feel embarrassed and I battle the demons, all alone.

How hard can it be to shave once in 3 days? Don’t you love me enough to do it? Is that how little you care about things that matter to me? His behavior is hurtful. Ofcourse, we’ve had these conversations several times. He promises me he will shave regularly. And then goes on to break his promise along with my heart the very next day. At times, I confront him and turn it into a battle, other times, I understand the crank quotient in me is here to stay and move on.

“Why is it that only you are so uncaring and lazy? Have you ever seen any of our male friends show up for dinner with an overgrown and shabby stubble? Why can’t you be neat and tidy like the rest of the men in this world?” I’ve asked him this several times. To which he says I should not compare him to the rest of the men in this world. Does he expect me to do what other women around him do? Does he ever ask me to follow any ‘standards’ that are set for women? And if he actually did behave like other men in this world, I may not necessarily be happy. Sigh. The man has irrefutable logic.

I do agree with him. So I try to fight my own shallow morals, to combat my deep rooted resistance to a messy stubble. I try and attack my own hidden insecurities. It causes a lot of internal dissonance, but I try. A while ago, Richa tagged me to write about this for a contest. It hit a raw nerve, so I let the surge of emotions pass before I decided to write about it. I know the contest is long over, but my views are here to stay.

Till date, if we are going to a place that I give adequate importance to, I insist Mint shaves. I refuse to leave the house until he does. Those times, he doesn’t argue. We leave the house only after he has emerged without the trace of a beard, complete with the scent of aftershave. But other times, I try and let go. I still wish he were different. But he isn’t. I can either take it as a personal loss and believe his beard is testimony to his lack of regard for me, or I can see it the way it is and attribute it to his laziness. The choice is mine. And I choose the latter. Because the truth is that he is an awesome person, who has done more for me than I can do for him in this life. I only hope I remember that when I have my next fit.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 38 Comments »

A truly versatile taste

Posted by Pepper on January 18, 2014

While flipping through the kitchen..

Me: Oh My God! There are ants inside this chapati ka dabba. What do we do for dinner now?

Mint: So what. They are just ants. We will dust em off and use the chapatis.

Me: Eeks! I am not doing that. I’ll eat the two chapatis in the other box. You do what you want with these.

After 10 minutes

Me: Look, I am hungry. You are taking too long, so I will start eating. I’ve already heated my meal.

Mint: You heated yours, but didn’t heat mine? Why are you so mean?

Me: I am not mean, I was waiting for you to figure out what you wanted to do with your chapatis. I couldn’t heat them, na?

Mint: Why not?

Me: Huh? Would you not mind eating microwaved ants?

Mint: So what? They’re a good source of protein anyway.

Me: *Speechless*

I know he says all of this to gross me out and test my reactions. But I also know he would be totally unperturbed had he actually swallowed a couple of ants. When I say Mint is ready to eat just anything, I mean it.

 

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 13 Comments »

Going the extra mile..

Posted by Pepper on January 5, 2014

It is almost noon, on a cool Sunday afternoon. Beneath the soft covers, I see Mint fast asleep. I watch him as he sleeps, kissing his cheek and forehead every now and then. Today, I feel special affection for him. I will tell you why.

Yesterday, all of us drove to Khandala (a little hill station a few hours away from Mumbai) When I say all of us, I mean my parents, sister, my dad’s extended family, Mint and ofcourse, I. My dad’s brother will return to his home in California tomorrow. So we’ve tried to fit in as many family outings as we can in these few weeks while he was here. So plans were made for all of us to spend a day in Khandala, before he flies back to his land.

The ten of us piled into 2 cars. 5 in each. The thing is, nobody in my family is very enthusiastic about driving. My dad thrusts the task on me. I don’t take it up, and instead thrust it on Mint. And Mint, well, he gives in without a fight. So he is our designated driver, almost every time we’re traveling by road.

It took us a few hours to reach Khandala, with one hault. On reaching, we lounged around in the resort. Then ate lunch in the midst of foggy hills and stunning views of the valley. Some of the folks wanted to go shopping, so we let them. While the rest of us continued to hang out in the resort. After a good high tea, we moved on to the terrace overlooking the hills. The evening was beginning to get a little chilly. Before we knew it, it was dark. All of us felt a little exhausted. So we slumped back on cane chairs, facing the valley.

We left from Khandala quite late. I felt a little sorry for Mint, as he geared up for the drive back home. He had already spent a few hours at the wheel in the morning. As expected, we encountered heavy traffic on the way. The drive seemed endless. And then, the sister quipped in, “Today is my friend’s bachelorette party. It is in town. I want to go” We were confused. We asked her why she didn’t say it to us earlier. She said, “I thought I would give it a skip. But now they’re forcing me to come, and I think I should just go.”

We had still not reached Mumbai. It was late at night. Her party was happening in South Mumbai. Getting from the suburbs to the tip of South Mumbai would take another few hours. We didn’t want her to travel alone so late at night, and neither did any of us have the energy to go drop her. So we asked her to let it go. She was a little upset, but agreed to give it a miss.

By the time we reached our home in the suburbs and turned off the engine, it was really late. We were all tired after the long drive. I thought Mint in particular would be the most exhausted, considering he had driven in traffic for so many hours. But Mint being Mint, spoke from the driver’s seat and said, “I will go there and drop her. Let her not miss her party”. We were all surprised by the offer. He had had a long day. It was awfully late. And yet, here he was, volunteering to drop her. I asked him if he was absolutely sure. He said he was.

And so, it was decided that Mint would go to drop the sister by train. We thought it would be the fastest, but I was even more impressed by his willingness. Train travel is tiring. And to go after an exhausting day, climb the platform stairs, and go from one end of the city to the other, and then come back all the way was no easy task. He made is sound like it was no big deal. His magnanimity often touches my heart. God knows, I would not have offered to drop her there at this time. I didn’t even do it under my current conditions, there is absolutely no way I would have done it after having driven back and forth in thick traffic to a town a few hours away. Time and again, I see Mint going the extra mile for my family. This was not even important. All of this was just so the sister could enjoy a party with her friends. Each time he does go out of his way, he thinks it is not a big deal. And that, that is exactly why I think his gestures are special.

We said bye to them. The rest of us reached home and climbed into bed, gratefully. And slept. After dropping the sister to her party, Mint came back home early in the morning. It is noon now, and he is still asleep. I haven’t had the heart to wake him up. I did try using him as a hand warmer a couple of times. I let my cold hands rest on his warm cheeks while he was asleep. He sleepily mumbled and then pulled up the covers higher in his bid to protect his cheeks from my cold hands. When I saw it, I couldn’t resist taking a picture.

DSC_0614

Isn’t he the cutest? *Grins*

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 21 Comments »

Annoying Mint and waiting for Christmas!

Posted by Pepper on November 30, 2013

At times, I feel like I am married to somebody who is the modern adaption of Lord Buddha. Nothing else explains his calm demeanor and zen charisma. Try as you might, it is hard to annoy him. Since I have grown up troubling my little sister and being manically yelled at by her, I miss those reactions when she is not around.

A few days ago, Mint was busy watching something on TV. Since I was bored, I went and placed a folded napkin on top of his head. He let it stay there, without blinking an eyelid, and continued to watch TV. Hoping to elicit a more entertaining reaction, I decided to carry this game forward. I then filled a cup of water and poured it on his left shoulder. He looked up at me for a second when he felt the water trickling down his arm, and then continued to watch TV without saying a word. Since that didn’t give me the reaction I was looking for, I chose to carry on. I brought another cup and poured water on his right arm. He didn’t blink and continued to watch TV. I poured water on his back, and yet, there was no reaction. The next time, I filled a large mug with water and poured that on the front of his tee. This time, he looked up at me, gave me a big smile and exclaimed, ‘Main geela hogaya’. (I got wet). And then picked up the napkin from his head and proceeded to wipe himself. That’s it.

Huh? What about calling me an annoying pest? Sounding harassed and troubled? Or even screaming a little? My sister would have brought the roof down had a drop of water touched her. No wonder, I prefer annoying her over Mint. What is the point in taking the trouble to trouble him if I get to see no reaction? I know this sounds hard to believe, but I swear I am not making this up. You can ask him about this if you see him. He was soaked because of me, and he didn’t even choose to question my motive, let alone be mad at me. All I got from him was a smiling declaration of the truth. That he was now wet.

Sigh. I just realised how much I miss that crazy guy already. Mint is traveling. He left yesterday. And I fly out elsewhere tomorrow. I will be gone for a couple of days. And I leave just a few hours before he arrives. So I will not be seeing him for about a week. 😦 I know I sound lame, but let me just admit that I can’t live without him.

For some reason, the thought of Christmas is really cheering me up. We officially enter December in a few hours. And December is all about waiting for Christmas. I was going through pictures of earlier Christmas celebrations and I found one that I thought I should put up on the blog.

That is Mint and I, during Christmas 2008. He was visiting me in UK while I was studying for my Masters. That was the time when my parents *kind of* knew about him and his parents had no clue about me. That was the time when he turned into the best Santa ever and gave me about 20 Christmas gifts. That was the time when he had no trace of a paunch. That was the time when the future seemed like a mystery. So much has changed, and yet, I remember this picture being taken like it happened yesterday. I remember insisting we stand in front of the tree, so I could show off the size of the Christmas tree, since I have not had the fortune of owning a tree of this size earlier. I remember asking him to not stand too close to me, so I could pass him off as ‘just a friend’. I remember smiling for this picture and the click of the camera. Just like that, so many years have passed. And here I am, writing this post, and smiling at the past.

xmas

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 17 Comments »

Questions and answers

Posted by Pepper on October 20, 2013

I happened to open TPPL’s blog the other day, and the post she had written spoke straight to me. She has listed out certain behavioural traits of her husband, PK. And how she, his beloved wife is the one common solution to all the problems. It made me think long and hard. I truly admire her, for I can never be like that. Here is how my reactions are different from hers.

1) What do I when Mint stuffs fresh green cilantro and curry leaves directly in the fridge without any cover or protection, causing them to shrivel up and dry?
Answer: I insist he changes his ways. When he doesn’t, I start nagging and snapping. Because I feel a lot of heartache each time I have to discard the coriander leaves.

2) What do I do when Mint forgets the geyser on in the bathroom, *every* *single* *day*?
Answer: I point it out to him every single day. And yet, he forgets the next day. I tell him, in exasperated tones that he forgets every day because he doesn’t try hard enough to remember. And then, once in 5 days I get really frustrated and I scream.

3) What do I do when Mint does not open the door when the bell rings, because he is too engrossed in his movie and because he says he did not register the sound of the doorbell?
Answer: I tell him I am too tired to keep running around on my own. He has no choice but to be more alert and open the door himself the next time.

4) What do I do when Mint chooses to dry a wet, freshly washed towel straight from the washing machine in a small, closed space like a bathroom?
Answer: I tell him to not be so lazy and dry the towel on the clothesline outside the house instead, because the wet towel will make the bathroom damp and smelly, and will in turn make the freshly washed towel smell too. He doesn’t listen always, but I make sure I tell him anyway.

5) What do I do when Mint takes the just cleaned car to the beach early in the morning every other day, and returns with a dirty, mucky, muddy car full of sand on the carpets?
Answer: I shout. I love my car. The moment it is cleaned, he takes it to the beach (where he plays frisbee and practically rolls in the water and the sand) and then drives back in that state, dirtying the car beyond measure right after it has been cleaned in the morning. Only to repeat the same process the next morning. So we basically have a dirty, sandy car all the time. I get mad and I shout. It hurts to see my beloved car in that state. I make sure the car is cleaned again, but I do not just let it be.

6) What do I do, when like PK, Mint refuses to tidy up the house when we have guests coming?
Answer: I keep asking him to please get up and tidy the place, until he actually does. Perhaps I am annoying. But I find it exhausting to do it all by myself. Also I do not see why I should.

I am not really complaining about Mint in this post, more like comparing the different ways in which TPPL and I react to similar situations. I am not denying or overlooking all that Mint does for me. For example, he cooks meals for me and hands them to me many times without me lifting a finger, and also clears the kitchen right after. He even yells at me if I enter the kitchen. But then I do the same for him too. We are both inherently lazy and it would be unfair if one of us were forced to shoulder majority of the responsibility. The problem is, Mint has to be coaxed and prodded and chased to complete his share of work. When he doesn’t, I grumble and insist he does. The result is, I find myself grumbling a lot.

I wonder how much more peaceful our lives would be if I were to lovingly complete such chores myself. But then, I don’t think I can do them lovingly. I would only end up working grudgingly.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 25 Comments »

No ownership. Thank you..

Posted by Pepper on September 7, 2013

In the beginning of my relationship with Mint, I was led to believe that he was ‘mine’. You think that sounds stupid? I do too. How naive and dumb was I? And Mint? Why on earth did you drill that in my head? And hey, just in case you think I am making all that up, I have your cheesy emails as evidence.

In fact, let’s leave the past aside. Till date, when we are in one of our mushy moods, we talk about how we belong to each other. I can see the sincereity in him. He has always told me he has complete trust in me, so giving himself to me does not scare him, becuase he knows he will always be taken care of. Now that sounds wonderul to hear. The only problem is that I tend to take such statements a little seriously and my poor little brain is left confused due to conflicting viewpoints.

All these romantic notions aside, the damn truth is that no one individual can own another. You don’t own your partner, or your parents, or your sibling, or best friend or your adult child. Individuals only belong to their ownself. Period. That is one something I keep reminding myself of.

Let me now come to the point of my post. There is a particular trait of Mint that really annoys me. Actually, there are several traits of his that annoy me, but this one makes me see red. I have written about it before. Mint only moves around barechested when he is at home. This preference of his disturbs me so much, it makes me cry. I cannot tolerate people staying indoors without a tee on. Why would they do that? Normal, civilised beings are meant to be clothed. No, don’t tell me it is hot. We have an AC in every room of the house. Use it. Or maximise the speed of the fan. Do whatever. But why would you choose to remain shirtless the entire time you are at home? It is an eyesore for me. Mint only moves around in his boxers. If you don’t want to wear jeans or trouser at home, I get it. How about shorts or track pants? Every time the doorbell rings, I glare at him and send him in the room to wear atleast a goddamn tee before I open the door.

He doesn’t even seem to think it is a ‘guy thing’. Numerous times he has asked me why I choose to wear clothes when it is hot. Why don’t I roam around like him? He really doesn’t get it. He can’t fathom why somebody would want to wear clothes when they are indoors with nobody else’s intruding presence.

I feel depressed. I can’t reason out with him. Why can’t he be ‘normal’? His contant refusal to dress like cultured beings at home fills me with despair. At times, the fury starts enveloping me and I feel ready to burst. At times I throw a fit and insist he wear some clothes. Sometimes he listens to me without putting up a fight. Most times he does listen only after putting up a fight. And yes, most other times, I try to ignore the bare chest and keep calm. It doesn’t stop bothering me though..

So I go back to being confused. Do I really have any right over him, despite him saying I have complete authority? He is his own person. I do now own him. No matter what he says. I cannot and do not want to rule his life, but then again, don’t I have some say atleast ? Should I be excersiing that if something bothers me this deeply? Or should I train myself to accept him and all his ways, however wrong or annoying I think they are? Ultimately, it is his body, his home (also), and his choice.

This is such a pety example, but it does make me wonder if people in relationships have any right over the other? If yes, then to what extent can you exercise that right? What is acceptable and what is not?  And if no, then to what extent can you ignore your partner’s actions? For example, if Mint was ruining his health, doing drugs or gambling away his life, I would take it upon myself to prevent him from doing all or any of that. Relationship protocol be damned. I wouldn’t care about his preferences, or him being his own person. I would assume all right to stop him. But if it were something milder, like Mint getting himself addicted to the games in his cell phone (true story), do I have any right to stop him even if I know what he is doing is harmful in some way? The fact that I do stop him is another story. But really, what right do I have when an adult is knowingly and consciously making an informed choice? If he is okay with the consequences, do I have any right to hold him back? So how do I give myself the authority to stop him from doing drugs but wonder if it is okay to stop him from succumbing to other addictions? If you say drugs are extreme and other things are not, I wonder who draws the line and at what point? We may all have different definitions of ‘extreme’. Ah, I am confused.

For now, I will go back and nag Mint to wear his tee.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 75 Comments »

30

Posted by Pepper on June 12, 2013

Big number, isn’t it? Through out my so called adult life, I never managed to actually connect with the grown up adult world. And I always told myself I didn’t have to. We were 20 somethings. It was okay to feel childlike and believe the world was full of uncles and aunties, just the way it used to be a decade ago. We weren’t a part of them grown ups.

But the number 3o always sounded really big.  Like the final frontier of your youth. At 30, it felt like you could not escape it anymore. You had to confront, acknowledge and accept adulthood. I had been dreading Mint turning 30 since the time he turned 29. Because being married to a 30 year old made me feel very old. I’m not sure why that number bothers me.

Perhaps age is really just a number. Nothing changes. Or maybe, somethings do. I am not sure I know.  I will leave the contemplation for another day. For now, let me document the very wild celebrations.

Earlier in the month, I realised his birthday was on a weekday. On a Thursday. But when we came to know that a local group was covering one of his favourite bands at Hard Rock Cafe that day, it was tough for the rock music fans in us to pass it up. We started by asking friends if they would be able to join in, considering it would be a late night, and the next day was a working day. Surprisingly, we had big numbers. Weekday be damned.

Once at HRC, friends started pouring in. We were a big, loud, boistrous group. Friends got their spouses. A friend got his classmate. The BFF commented, saying we didn’t exactly know everybody too well, but we were all there with a common objective – having a good time.

We bonded over Metalica and alcohol. The music was loud, accompanied by a lot of head shaking, screaming to be heard, giggles, laughter and madness. The alcohol – this is deserves special mention. Generally, I dislike excessive consumption of alcohol – but I was told by everybody, ‘Oh let go today! It is his 30th birthday!’. So I decided to forget my rules for that one day.

I was driving back, so I didn’t drink too much and ended up being the only sober soul. They started with free flowing towers of beer. Just when I thought people were quite drunk, they ordered vodka and mojitos. By now, I was getting amused by the drunken chatter and was sure nobody had the capacity to hold anymore alcohol. I was proved wrong by a friend who ordered some shots of tequila for most of us. He did that without checking with anybody and insisted we went for them.

People swigging down the shots showed me a new level of drunkeness. Heads started reeling. People were staggering to the restrooms.

– I have never seen Mint drunk like this in my life. I was annoyed at first, but then I let go, telling myself it was a once in a life time event.

– The BFF was seen pointing at a man and screaming at the top of her lungs “He took 5o0 bucks as cover charge. I hateeeee him! Ask him to return the money. NOWWWW”

– Guy friends were seen hugging each other in a manner that I thought was, umm.. inappropriate.

– Mint was seen raising his glass of water and screaming, “Does anybody wand some waderrrr?”. He did that just after everybody’s glasses had been refilled by the server. He was seeing doing that every 3 minutes.

– Another friend was seen holding her head and laughing, saying ‘My head is going round and round and rounddddd’

– A  friend went to the rest room and perhaps, fell asleep in there. We had to go around searching for him.

– Another friend went to some dark corner and, again.. either fell asleep or got deeply immersed in thoughts, that I suppose were of critical importance. He was found spacing out after being searched for for about 45 minutes.

– Mint was heard saying ‘ Don’t be mad at me because I love you, okay?’ every 10 minutes, in the most sincere voice I’ve heard till now.  He loves me, so I shouldn’t be mad at him? Perfect logic.

There was more, ofcourse. Drunken talk was amusing. The random hugs were funny. The loud music was intoxicating. The dazed people were laughworthy. By the time we piled in the car, it was 3 am. By the time we were home and in bed, it was past 4 am. And then the next day we were all back at work by 9 am. Texting each other about the crazy night and groaning in the midst of meetings.

It was a mad night, and for the crazy memories, it was worth it. Mint’s birthday is still the talk of the town every time we meet. Like he said to our friends, “I’d like to say this was one of my most memorable birthdays, the only thing is I don’t have much memory of it”

Mint Bday

Mint, after having his face smashed with cake, came to my end of the table and smeared my face with cake too. For what joy, I don’t know. Here we are, posing for a picture while the BFF takes a picture from the side.

Mint Bday 2

Those tequila shots that brought on the madness

Mint Bday 3

Mint’s very awesome birthday cake. We relished it for 3 days.

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 30 Comments »

Where there’s a will, there is a way..

Posted by Pepper on June 8, 2013

We’re desperately trying to unpack the boxes and set up the house. I allotted one room to a very sleepy Mint and asked him to “clear the place”, while I worked on the other room. I was worried he’d doze off, so I made sure the room was too bright for his comfort. One part of the window had the blinds rolled up. Sunlight was streaming in. I was confident he wouldn’t be able to sleep under such glaring light.

After about half an hour, when I walked into the room. This is what I saw..

innovation

The guy was fast asleep. He had opened the suitcase and used the flap to shield his face. Innovative, I thought. How do I get any work done with him? Ufff..

ETA: Title credit – Smitha

Posted in Splashes of Mint | 41 Comments »

 
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