In response to my request for 'lunch stories' techie Ajay Shenoy sent in this hilarious observation.
You would think in this day and age of fancy cafetarias/ food courts and working couples, the 'home tiffin' culture might have taken a hit. But at Ajay's company that certainly doesn't seem to be the case...
Lunch Byte - 1
by Ajay Shenoy
It's lunchtime and the crowd splits into two.
One table of happily married guys with huge lunch boxes in their insulated hot-stays-hot-cold-stays-cold pots.(If I were one of them I would know the right word for it, and the shop where I can buy it cheap).
The other table of guys who are condemned to eat the canteen food: ready made chapatis with paneer curry, dal and kurma - all tasting the same and the best part, in my opinion, the cut cucumber pieces.
Dinesh on the other table dismantles carefully his 4 storeyed lunch box. Chicken curry in one compartment, chapatis in the other, ghee rice in another and soaked and peeled badam seeds in the last.
Vishaal joins him with some Mallu delicacy drenched in coconut oil, with banana chips and halwa for dessert.
The guys on my table are too nauseated to look at our own plates. So we look at each others disgruntled faces. "Someday I am going to get my own lunchbox from home", Sanket quips.
Sanket has been waiting eagerly for his day on the other table, and has been screening resumes for a good cook, who is a bachelor in engineering, hails from a good family, God fearing, humble and homely, speaks the same dialect of Kannada that he does, and has stunning looks (but not so stunning that his friends will start "putting chance" on her).
In less urban and modernised parts of the state, he does find girls who fit that bill, waiting to be swept off their feet by a software engineer who owns a secondhand Maruti car and an apartment in a posh residency filled with other software engineers with second hand Maruti cars.
He was visibly disappointed after his last 'interview', because the girl was too modern for him. (apparently she rejected him before he had a chance to guage if she was enough "well-endowed").
Cross table conversation soon follows, the topics dwelling on marriage, shopping with wife, visiting in-laws, end of good ol' days of boozing at a friend's place. The talks remain superficial, not once scratching the surface, but far from encouraging for guys on the other side of the greenery.
As we scrape the last remains of the dal on our plates, we are happier about our single status and the fact that we are through with lunch. Both until we see the big lunch boxes on the next day of course!
Thinking out loud
Ha ha! So this is a common scene in most tech companies? Is it seen more in certain cities/ regions?
Ajay adds that he works for a sub-100 staff company which doesn't have enouugh volume for caterers to make the extra effort. Thus the company awards only 3 month contracts and based on consumer feedback renews or discountinues the same.
Perhaps we see less tiffins in the big companies where there are fancy food courts? Or is it still every guy's secret fantasy to open a 4 storey tiffin with ghee rice and soaked badams.
P.S> I do take a tiffin to office most days but it's just 2 storeys, no badams and cooked by a maid!
Send in your lunch tales/ observations to firstname.lastname@example.org. If I get enough good stuff, might turn it into a series :)