In school i would tell mum not to pack a lunch box. I would opt for her to rather give me money so that i could buy lunch in the canteen. Having come from a Tamilian household that wasn’t an option. The steel lunch box with my name etched on it travelled with me till 10th. It dint matter if my mum had to go to work at 8 am or 6 am, lunch was always always packed.
In college i refused to take the lunch box with me. It was bad enough (i was stupid then) i had to catch a bus to go to college and wasn’t willing carry the sticky lunch box with me. So i started to eat out at-least on days when my mum let me. There wasn’t an option on other days, you can never ever carry a full lunch box home unless you like spoons, knives and cups flying towards you at super sonic speeds. Once i was in engineering i was given about 35 Rs a day for a year. This was to ensure i behaved well. I did trouble my folks when i was in college and did really stupid stuff. Now the 35Rs. bought me a packet of cigarettes and a cup of coffee at Koshy’s, Nothing more. Just that. This time around the lunch box travelled with me to college and i had to east in class. I thought that was embarrassing. Would yell at mum for making me do this. This continued till i started working in college. Mum would ask me everyday if i wanted lunch and i would refuse. This did cause some fights at home but nothing too serious..
Passed out of college and started to run a business. Either i worked for someone or started something on my own. i had 16 Rs. in my wallet after i paid for my cup of coffee and decided maybe i had to start something on my own. Thankfully work took off. The objective of it was to make sure i could have enough money to travel. I would work from home, in my garage so had to eat at home or come home for lunch on days when i had meetings.
A year later i went back to college to study my MBA. Since i was old enough and was making enough money to support myself, i would eat out. Loved this place near college that served excellent meals and beef fry. Dint see the need to eat at home. What happened at thee result of eating beef everyday was i put on a ton of weight. After college, i took to the road. I traveled for about 6 months and during this time i would have to eat at a dabba everyday. This sucked, all i wanted was sambar and rice that mum made but i got dal and rice. Loved the places I went too but hated the food. I am a South Indian and prefer sambar to dal. Once i came back home after staying out on the road for a while i refused to eat out. Friends would want to go out and i refused.
Fast forward a few years ahead. I have been on the road numerous times and i always come back looking forward to eating at home. At work i prefer to open up my humble steel dabba and not eat at food that is served at work. Today i insist mum give me the dabba and wife give me the fruit box. Today i think the difference is that i dont care if its cool to carry lunch from home or not. I like carrying my lunch box, love the steel lunch box. Each day i look forward to opening it up. Somedays it has potatoes which is depressing and on other days mum sends me lots of veggies, which i love.
I am truly grateful today that mum and Cathy (wife) are willing to put in effort sot hat i get to eat well at work. Today i had 3 oranges, mangoes and grapes in the fruit box and for lunch capatti and potatoes. its been a conflicting day Loved the fruit, struggled with the potatoes.