Books Magazine

Of That Lunchbox, Packed With Love

By Jaideep Khanduja @PebbleInWaters
Fifteen Years. 
A decade and a half is the time, which has passed since I last carried a lunchbox to office. 
The 2K millennium brought with it, for me, the opportunity to switch over to a new workplace. Apart from bringing with it, an improved standard of living for my family and me, it also brought along an opportunity for my wife to be relieved of the early morning hurry to prepare food and pack it into two lunchboxes - one for me, to carry to office, and one for our daughter to carry to school. 
With my new job in place, my wife had just one lunchbox, for our daughter, to pack, thus lessening some of her workload.  My old workplace had an unhygienic kitchen, which prompted me to opt for home-cooked food, instead. With the new one, it was not so. In terms of the food, the utensils and the staff employed at the in-house cafeteria, the new workplace scored some notches higher. 
All in all, the year 2000 was the time when I decided that I would now be opting for the food being served at our cafeteria, in order to give it a try, and if it did not suit, I'd switch over to the good old homely lunchbox.  Thankfully, the cafeteria's food has not posed any serious health issues, till date. 
Though I miss the fragrance of home which used to fill my space, from the instant when the lunchbox was first unpacked amid office-mates, the cafeteria's food is satisfactory enough for me not to complain! :D 
Why am I time-travelling a decade and a half back in time? 
There's this TV movie channel you may be knowing of - &Pictures
For the movie buff that I am, I was glancing through all the movie channels, in my leisure time.
When the turn came for &Pictures, I was sent back to the era of 2000 to reminisce that lovable lunchbox.
Why?
'The Lunchbox' premieres on Valentine's Day at 8 PM on &pictures
This was what was flashing on my television screen as a full-screen advert.
For some strange reason, the keywords 'Lunchbox' and 'Valentine's Day' seemed to speak to me.
When I checked my mailbox some time later, there was a 'Popular In Your Network' mailer from Twitter India.
It too, declared &Pictures as the popular one. They were trending with the hash-tag #lunchboxANDyou.
Well, I had seen the movie in the past. It is one of my favorites and one of the masterpieces of Indian Cinema. Its unique concept of those cutesy notes in that tiny lunchbox compartment had surprised me too, when I had first seen it.
With #lunchboxANDyou, I chanced upon an idea to surprise my wife, this Valentine's.
I am going to send my wife Poonam, such a lunchbox with a similar note attached, this Saturday.
Sounds game, doesn't it?
Why am I doing it?
Three simple words. Three couplets.
For that lunchbox, with the fragrance of home. For the home-cooked goodness.
For that silent fulfillment of duties. For being a competent working woman, and an equally special homemaker.
For the lady who has been balancing work and home effortlessly. I Love You, Poonam.
This Valentine's, I am going to take on a role-reversal.
She used to pack my lunchbox, with my favorites - Cucumber and Onion Salad, Rice and Cottage Cheese Gravy, Badaam Halwa.
This time, I am going to pack a similar lunchbox, with her favorites - Corn and Asparagus Salad, Rice and Goan Fish Curry, Gajar Halwa or Carrot Pudding.
Sounds good now. Tastes fantastic, I hope, :)
What'll surprise her for sure, is THIS note.
Twenty one years back you came into my life To become my wife The real meaning of Valentine's Day and Love I got to know only Starting that day That moment When I looked into your eyes And you into mine
There will be no Dearth of love and happiness In life As long we are Together.
If not this, I would surely be watching the Valentine's Premiere of 'The Lunchbox', at 8 while we have dinner.
Would you be watching it with your loved ones as well?
I hope you do. It is a sparkling gem! :)
Of That Lunchbox, Packed With Love

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