If a slum dweller in Mumbai can earn a million dollars on a TV game show, why is it not possible for an aging insurance man to find love in his lunchbox? ‘The Lunchbox’ is in limited release in the US. It was hugely popular in film loving India and there was a national scandal when it was not chosen to be the Indian film representing India at the Academy Awards. And someone should have listened to the people because ‘Good Road’ which was submitted was not even honored in the top five foreign films. Mumbai (Bombay) has 5000 “dabbawallahs” who distribute one million lunches per day using their feet, trains, buses, and scooters. Many of the lunches are packed at home so they need to be collected, taken to Mumbai by the correct dabbawallah , arrive at the office of the husband, eaten, and then returned to the wife at home for the same routine the next day !
This amazing efficient delivery system is in the world’s 5th largest city of 12.5 million souls, one of the densest cities with 21,000 people per kilometer which is twice as dense as NYC, and four times as dense as London . And don’t forget the constant chaotic mess that is traffic in Mumbai!
The lunchbox is a steel tower with several compartments with hot water in the bottom to serve if not a hot, at least a warm meal to the husband.
This is a picture from the film.
Harvard researchers were amazed at this daily process and conducted research. Their findings concluded that only one in a million lunches were ever delivered incorrectly by the dabbawallh system of Mumbai.
The “Lunchbox” is a gentle Indian commentary on the human need for connection and communication !
text from Mark Moring
Christianity Today, movie reviewer
some photos from public domain