I am sure that my friend Megh expected me to write a blog post when he sent me this link to a fascinating story about the Norwegian packed lunch and here I go obliging him.
I have not been to a work place where I had to have lunch for the last sixteen years. So, I do not know quite what the scene now a days is but I do see hoards of young people having lunch during lunch hour at either way side food stalls or restaurants near blocks of offices in my neighbourhood. Perhaps the system of taking packed lunch to work or schools/colleges has gone out of fashion at least in Pune or it is just that there are too many singles working in Pune who have come here to work from distant places and staying in paying guest accommodation or hostels.
I distinctlty remember taking a single lunch box of stainless steel to school till I finished high school at the age of a little over fifteen.
My mother would pack curd rice with a piece of dry pickle on one side and a piece of jaggery on the opposite and during lunch break, I would sit with other classmates who would have also brought the same for lunch from their homes.
After that, till I started to work in Mumbai in January of 1970 I had lunch at convenient places. In Mumbai, my wife would pack and send lunch through the iconic Mumbai dabbawalas just like almost all my colleagues in the office got theirs. Those packed lunches would come in carriers like this kind of thermos flask inside which would be a three tier case containing three different dishes. It was quite usual to share among colleagues whatever was brought.
Fast forward to the late eighties when I became part of a management team to which lunch was served in a lunch room as part of the perks during times of socialism in India! So, the practice of taking packed lunch stopped till the middle of 1990 when I shifted to Pune where I started taking packed lunch from home in a electric thermos/thermos tiffin box which would heat up food if plugged in half an hour before lunch time. Here too, I would share the food with other colleagues who too would have brought lunch in similar boxes. Till I retired in late 1998, I continnued to use this device to take packed lunch to my places of work.
I also remember packing sandwich lunches for my son who was going to work after I retired and while I was the house husband due to the illness of my late wife.
I am sure that most of my readers will identify with the days when they took packed lunches to school or places of work unless of course they were provided with lunch like many places now do. Do you have similar experiences?