Sometimes on set, the hours get so long, the only way to wake myself up is to disappear into a book - even if it's only for a quick ten minute break. It's the lure to escape to another place; to learn something new. It was one of those long, late nights that I stumbled upon the interesting career of the Dabbawala....
A Dabbawala literally means "box person" because their job is to in carry tiffins or as we know them, lunch boxes of food. These delivery men are most commonly found in Mumbai, where a good, warm home-cooked meal is still extremely important. The Dabbawalas' job is to pick up the tiffin of food from the home where it was made and deliver it to the workplace of the spouse or relative. Forbes magazine rated the Dabbawala as having a nearly perfect record, and Wikipedia claims that only one mistake is made for every 6 million deliveries! All this despite their lack of education and literacy, and without using computers or any other modern technology. Simply delivering homemade goodness to millions of people everyday.
My tiffin and its carrier on my set chair
Several of my co-workers now have tiffins, and have found that in addition to being able to eat delicious homemade "real" meals at work, a cultural awareness has begun to develop from the mere presence of our tiffins. Now if we could only arrange to have a Los Angeles Dabbawala deliver them to us at work everyday!
As I was writing this story, it occurred to me, just in time for Valentine's Day, that I DO know a Dabbawala (of sorts). Neelie Hespin and Monika Gray, owners of Choc - a Brownie Company, have one of the most delicious and socially conscious brownie companies on the west coast. And there's no need for a Dabbawala, because they deliver right to your door via UPS! Their February flavor of the month is Red Hot Devil: delicately flavored with mascarpone and habanero. So if you're in need of a spectacular Valentine's Day gift, or one for any occasion, check out their website: www.chocbrownies.com
I find everyday I live & breathe to be a gift.