The ‘Fresh Mint’ Generation

Statutory Warning: Cigarette smoking is injurious to health, resulting in permanent madness and will cause you to look, talk and act like me.

Smokers all over the country are aware of the life-saving little invention called Minto Fresh. Created, packaged and marketed by ITC foods, Minto Fresh is something of a godsend for people who suffer from halitosis after a smoke! 😀

The two brands of cigarettes that I usually smoke cost Rs. 3.50 and Rs. 4.50 respectively, and invariably I get a Minto Fresh back instead of the 50-paise change. I kind of like this, because it saves me the trouble of actually asking for it and sounding stupid, like what happened today. 😀

I went to this seedy joint run by this boisterous old hag (who is known for her loud mouth and foul language) and hesitantly, I approached the store and said, “Aunty, Milds please.”

Minto Fresh 🙂

She had once screamed at me for smoking too close to the store and apparently I had been blowing smoke into her store (no puns intended!!), and she had hurled a rich variety of abuses at me. I had been too shaken to sleep that night. Today, I wanted to avoid all that and stood at a safe distance and puffed away to glory, cursing myself for the habit and promising myself to quit after the next drag. 😀

Once the sinful cigarette burned itself out, I went up carefully to the counter and laid a five-rupee coin on the counter and said, “Aunty, Minto Fresh, please.”

The cigarette cost me Rs. 4.50 and instead of asking the crazy woman for change, I thought I’d much rather buy the mouth freshener. She grabbed the coin and said, “I don’t have Minto Fresh!” and glared at me.

“Uh, what mint do you have, then?” I asked, almost apologetically.

“I have fresh mint!” she said and put the coin down her ridiculously large blouse and placed her hands over her hips. I chose to ignore the former gesture. 😀

“Ok, give that,” I said, only to be rid of this woman, who was probably a conceptual mistake to begin with! 😀

She went to the other end of the small store and came back with something in her hand. “I know you,” she said as she laid down the mint on the counter. I gulped and looked at her.

“What?” I said.

“You are that kid, that NRI, right?” she demanded.

“Uh, no ma’am. I’m not an NRI. I just went abroad last year – ” I couldn’t complete the statement as she cut in in a loud voice, making me flinch.

“You young kids go to all those god forsaken countries and come back with all fancy and weird chocolates and you think that you’ll find all those things here in India? Minto Fresh it seems! I don’t have any such foreign things. Take this or scram!” What made the retort worse was her gestures – she flipped me at least thrice, though I don’t think she knows what the middle finger means; she was gyrating her hips in an unearthly fashion and her head bobbed up and down and made me dizzy. 😀

She shook her head and started cursing the present generation of kids for their affliction to all things Western. I didn’t say anything. I just grabbed the mint from the counter and ran to my bike. Only then did I manage to look at what I had in my hands. She had given me a Minto Fresh. 😀

Anyway, this afternoon, once my brain had returned to normal and once my head was clear of that horrible squealing hag, I was bloghopping and I came across Kris’s blog, where I heard his song “Hope It’s Over,” which put me in a totally wonderful mood. It took me quite a while to get over the fact that I actually know a rockstar. Anyway, download the song and listen to it! I am sure it’ll put you in a wonderful mood! 😀

PS: Kris Bass is the bassist for Shor Bazaar, one of the fastest-growing rock bands in the country. Check out more of Shor Bazaar here.

PPS: How the hell do I get an audio widget thingy here inside the post, where people can just click the “Play” button and the music plays? I’ve gone mad trying to figure it out! 😀

Images Courtesy: and Shor Bazaar

Published by Nikhil

Nikhil Kumar lives in Bangalore with his wife and their stuffed dog. They are both advertising professionals and lead very exciting lives on the streets, dodging traffic. Their fridge is filled with cans of Diet Coke and their water heater doesn't work. He doesn't smoke (up) anymore.

57 thoughts on “The ‘Fresh Mint’ Generation

  1. LOL …
    she was gyrating her hips in an unearthly fashion and her head bobbed up and down and made me dizzy.
    ROFL ..
    next time ask fresh mint . 😀

  2. LOL!LOL!

    Minto Fresh is something of a godsend for people who suffer from halitosis after a smoke! 😀

  3. see, minto is fresh is kinda god sent’ for non smokers also ( like me ) coz, it saves us from that dirty smell all thru the shift. . 😀

  4. Effects of Tobacco Smoke
    * Smoking KILLS
    * Every year hundreds of thousands of people around the world die from diseases caused by smoking.
    * One in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit. Half of these deaths will occur in middle age.
    * Tobacco smoke also contributes to a number of cancers.
    * The mixture of nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure, straining your heart and blood vessels.
    * This can cause heart attacks and stroke. It slows your blood flow, cutting off oxygen to your feet and hands. Some smokers end up having their limbs amputated.
    * Tar coats your lungs like soot in a chimney and causes cancer. A 20-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.
    * Changing to low-tar cigarettes does not help because smokers usually take deeper puffs and hold the smoke in for longer, dragging the tar deeper into their lungs.
    * Carbon monoxide robs your muscles, brain and body tissue of oxygen, making your whole body and especially your heart work harder. Over time, your airways swell up and let less air into your lungs.
    * Smoking causes disease and is a slow way to die. The strain put on your body by smoking often causes years of suffering. Emphysema is an illness that slowly rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again, and suffer lung and heart failure.
    * Lung cancer from smoking is caused by the tar in tobacco smoke. Men who smoke are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than non-smokers.
    * Heart disease and strokes are also more common among smokers than non-smokers.
    * Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which leads to heart attack.
    * Smoking causes around one in five deaths from heart disease.
    * In younger people, three out of four deaths from heart disease are due to smoking.

    Ok now for rest of the comment. Having been around smoky guys, trust me minto fresh or any other mint does no good. or maybe my nose is too sensitive. In my part of the country no shopkeeper sells or even keeps cigs. They are sold by “paanthelas” at every corner of the cities, roads and highways. Is this shop near to ur house? How does she know u r an NRI? 😛
    check out these links

  5. @ Nikhil

    Have you stopped to consider that Jodha may not like to be around a person who smells like an ashtray? You can have all the mint for bad breath but what about the smell on clothes and hair? Just a point to ponder. Surely you can stop smoking for Jodha Bai, eh.

  6. I thought Halls was the one smokers used. U shudve asked her that !!!

    I upload my songs in my blog and its pretty ZimBle……create an account in and then upload the song that u need (its very much user friendly), you will receive an URL after uploading and then create an account in and paste the URL there to get the HTML code for publishing.

    As I mentioned, its very simple, if you find it confusing, please do contact me and I will send you a detailed step to your email.

  7. ROFL!
    Man, i’m telling yu, yu shud quit smoking! 😀 It really does yu no gud…
    And like Reema said, mint or no mint, smokers smell like a burnt butt 😛 (no pun intented)

  8. Ha ha ha ha .. Nice one Buddy !! ..

    Try eating Pass Pass .. It serves the purpose too ..


    Yeah, smoking kills slowly but who’s in a hurry?? .. LOL !!

    By the way, I dont smoke !!

  9. Ok, I think u must have gotten enough advice about smoking, so I’ll skip that part, but do tell me cuz I am interested, how does it feel to smoke? I mean I have always wondered, what does it feel like when u inhale some cough inducing bad tasting smoke into ur lungs?
    Man, that lady was really something, eh.. but i have seen a fair share of these people in my life who like to have a go at u for no apparent reason. The only solutions seems to be getting out of there, cuz ignoring doesn’t work….
    also, the song is quiet cool, nice find
    anyway, happy hopping

  10. Hey, Nikhil…that band is cool!. So much media is imported from the good old “godforsaken Western” USA that it is easy for us to forget that there are cool bands all over the world. (Having recently featured a band from Indonesia on my blog, I’ve now got the bug for rock and roll from places with interesting musical history…keep it coming!)

    What a Minto Fresh breath of fresh air! Thanks, dude!

  11. I was distinctly reminded of good ol’ Kerala after reading your post. I mean, the coin going down the cleavage thing; that too of a very arrogant woman, is so common in Kerala.

    (PS: Nikhil, thanks a lot for your comments about me and the band! And if you wanted a widget, I’ll get one for you? With just this song?)

  12. he he … yeh hai India meri Jaan 🙂 . You should have asked for Supari. BTW, Please quit smoking, atleast when you don’t smoke.

    To put an Audio just add the code [audio url]. You should have uploaded your audio else where like

  13. Sandeep: ITC makes a helluvalot of money selling ciggies..the money from the mints are but a pittance.
    Nikhil: STOP! DO NOT SMOKE! wow…that was the first time I typed in caps in a comment!! Am sure you would have read loads of material on why not to smoke, apart from Reema’s comment 🙂
    Besides, mint or no mint, smokers stink!
    Though, loved the narration, can picture that lady! :)lol 🙂

  14. @Arvind
    Hehehe… Next time, I’m planning to avoid this woman altogether!

    Welcome back… Long time! 🙂
    Yeah, cigs are expensive!

    Hehehee… Are you a fellow smoker too?

    Haha! So true! 🙂

    Thanks man!!
    It was a harrowing experience!

    Yes, boss! 🙂

    Jodha doesn’t mind it.. I asked her, and she’s cool with it!

    Halls is outdated man.. We get expired stuff if we ask for it…
    And thanks a lot man… I’ll get in touch with u! 🙂

    Yes, ma’am… I will quit ASAP…
    Your wish is my command! 😉

    Pass Pass?? Isn’t that like tobacco?

    So you wanna know what it feels to smoke… Hmmm… Well, its hard to explain… Lemme try writing a post about it… 🙂

    Welcome back!!!
    Yeah, it’s a cool band!!
    Anytime you wanna freshen up, visit MirrorCracked!

    @Kris Bass
    LOL… I think that dame was from Kerala… And don’t thank me dude… 🙂
    You rock… And yeah, just lemme know howto create a widget for this song or any other song that I wish to share…

    I dont like supari… Never tried it and never will…
    I’m happy with fresh mint! LOL…
    And thanks, I’ll try that code… 🙂

    Yup!! they’re clever bastards arent they?? They make the damn cigs and the mint too!!

    Hahaha! Yes yes! I won’t smoke… Been getting that a lot… I don’t stink!! Let’s meet up, I will prove that I don’t stink!

    @Ms Cris
    Welcome to MirrorCracked!
    Yeah, I’ll try a plug in, thanks! 🙂

  15. when you said she kept the mint on the top i thought she came back with “fresh mint”. meaning fresh mint leaves!!! 😛 😛

    And reema has said sooooooooooo much on smoking “benefits” that i would spare you!! 😛

  16. best thing about this post was the DISCLAIMER…
    Well Pass pass is also an option na…..but not as effective as minto-fresh..aaah poor u

  17. @Soham
    Oh, ok… LOL… 😀

    Hehe… Thank god for small favors! 😀
    mint leaves?? LOL… 😀

    Hehehe… yeah! 😀

    Old ladies should take pity on me! Maybe they’re insecure about being too old for a handsome hunk like me! 😉

  18. LOL nice post, buddy! And, unfortunately, I can perfectly understand what having a bad smell means… 😐


  19. Look – Nikhil – I’ll send you the widget via e-mail. And I’ll send you the link to my songs page where you can individually make widgets.


  20. Sure Nikhil Any time you are in Chennai ping me 🙂 Am planning a trip to Blore this weekend 🙂 but whether you stink or not, just quit 😀

  21. You smoke???

    The only thing that I say to my smoker frenz is…go burn your life but just stay away from me 😀

    BTW this lady sounds like “Mma Precious Ramotswe” 😉 (in mannerism)

    Pity her, she has your best interest in her mind, yeh baat alag hai that she is showing you the shortcut to death 😀

  22. 🙂 Nice one…but shocked that such a great writer u r and smoking … we don’t want to miss you very soon

  23. Hey Nikhil
    Had been reading your blog for quite some days and found it really really interesting … Especially the posts you have, the creativity in things which you pen down, and the way you write your posts… really impressive and the lingo is perfect … Keep up the good work ….


    Samy …

  24. Go to any rural place in India and you can find hear these statements in any grocery store –
    “Ek Wheel Surf dena bhayya” (Surf~Washing Powder)
    “Ek Promise Colgate dena” (Colgate~Toothpaste)
    So next time, ask for a mint and you wil get a Minto Fresh from the shopkeeper!

  25. Aah, so I get too.. That minty thingy instead of 50 paise.. but I don like when I buy a pack… they give 4 for 2 rs and so on….. I keep putting that it front pocket of my bag and now its flooded with those tiny creatures… Now I ask for chhutta.

  26. A person who smokes has this filthy smell in his mouth which always make me almost faint. Even if you drink gallons of mouth freshner, I can still smell it. I have the nose of a dog. 😀

  27. hey why do u hav to smoke … no mint will do u good.. it all is just temporary .. forget bad breath .. don’t u care abt ur lungs ???
    please quit smoking asap..

    btw , read somewhere dat mints are harmful for the male species .. 😛 (u’ll get this if u knw wat i’m talkin abt !!! :D)

  28. @Smallstar

    Coo, thanks man! 🙂

    Hahaha!! yeah!

    Okie, I’ll try that.. Thanks man! 🙂

    Haha! I was Chennai this Friday…
    Hey lemme know when u come to blore! 🙂

    You hate me now that you know I smoke, don’t u? 😦

    Hehe… Yeah.. .Looks like it!

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! good one, dude!!

    Hehehe… Great writer? Me? Oh wow.. Thanks!


    Hahaha! Yes, doc!

    Welcome to MirrorCracked!
    Glad to know you like it here.. Would love to see more of your comments! 🙂

    Hahhahaha!!! Yeah!!

    LOL..!! 🙂

    Hehehe… Yeah!

    It’s not the in-thing nowadays!

    Hehehe.. It’s irrirating yes!

    LOL… Ok, sire… I shall brush thrice before meeitng u! 🙂

    Hahahah!! Yes!! Good one! 🙂

    I know what you’re talking about.. LOL… I’ll quit soon, don’t worry! 🙂

  29. Eheh I was intending a bad smell about smoking cigarettes… LOL! 😀 however… How are you? I really hope that everything is going fine 4 ya! *KISSEZ*

  30. u better use something more than a minto fresh if u come across a person like me. i can smell a cigarette smell (from ur mouth and not from ur shirt) even if it is 6 hrs since u smoked. 😛

  31. I liked Reema’s idea of posting the big long comment on the ill effects of smoking and thought of doing it myself till I saw hers and then saw the stupid link that you posted for her. Stop finding silly excuses and get over that thing. It’s not going to do you any good!

    Funny post! I laughed and laughed.

  32. And I dont like people who smoke stand really close to me as well…I can just smeelll the dirty smell from a distance and it annoys the crap out of me….- There I gave my warnings out as well. hmmph!

  33. @Smita
    Phew! 😀


    Gulp… Ok sir! 😀

    Hahaha! Ok ok… I will double my efforts at quitting! 😀

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