People & Culture

Dabba – A storehouse of love, comfort and friendship

3rd Prize Winner of the Memories in a Dabba Contest sponsored by Ektra Superware Fine Dining. To purchase one of these gorgeous kitchenware from Ektra Superware Fine Dining, contact Area Manager, Siddhi Padgaonkar using this link.

Text by: Nishita Gattani, Student, Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh

Dabba is not just a box, its an endless fall of emotions. Every dabba carries more than just food. It carries efforts put together with affection, care and understanding. For a kindergarten kid, a dabba is a fascination and an obsessive possession. As a little kid, I sought my dabba to be a mystery box, unfolding it with hope, always made my eyes gleam in surprise and happiness. Having a dabba in my bag always fills me with content. It assures me that, howsoever rough my day maybe, at the end I’m going to be amidst people who love me dearly. I’ve always felt, my mom packs some magic in the dabba she gives me, as no matter what mess I’m in, eating my dabba evidently lit me up.

Dabba is a symbol of motherhood. Every time my mom hands me a dabba, she assures to herself that I’m never groaning empty stomach. A dabba from home acts as fuel to my day. It makes me feel loved compassionately. A dabba has been the most eminent part of my school life. It served as a boost to my regularity. Sitting with a group of friends, and fighting to steal a bite from each other’s dabbas had been a great pleasure. Sharing the love our mothers had cooked for us, we shared priceless moments of life, which then got engraved in our sweet memories.

3rd Prize_Bon Apetite Rs. 888 + Rs. 100 extra for bag
3rd Prize_Bon Appetite Rs. 888

I remember, how those perfectly sliced potato cubes, those crispy Appum, and delicious fried Idli, helped me rule the show among my friends. I still remember, how once I plead my mom to pack Appum in my dabba, as my friend, Pari loved them. Alas, the next day in school, I realized that Pari was absent. I thought of something to myself, and I skipped a meal during lunchtime, as I genuinely wanted to share it with her. As the school dispersed, I left for her home and presented my dabba to her. She was overwhelmed. Tears of joy, rolled down her cheeks as we sat together and ate my dabba. And that day, I learnt how a dabba is not just a food box, rather it’s a feeling. And each time my mom made Appum for me, I had a memory to cherish and smile.

Now, when I’ve moved cities, I realise how a particular dish in dabba could spring up so many memories associated with it. Dabba is a special source of joy. Discussing with friends what each of us has in our dabbas, and waiting for ourselves to share it during the lunch break, gave an astounding joy to me, back then, and still does. Dabba has a special place in my heart. And that is why, every time I see a dabbawala in Mumbai, carrying love packed from so many homes to their destined places, I’m left amazed. I have great regard of respect for these dabbawalas, as they’re doing the kind deed of delivering love packed in a dabba to everyone at work away from home, ensuring the homely feel and endearment to all.

Dabba is a feeling, of love, of care, of trust, of concern, of understanding, of friendship and of joy. The more is it shared, the more prominent and memorable it becomes.

Nishita Gattani
Nishita Gattani, Student

Please Note: All views and opinions are purely of the participant. 

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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