Most of us are slaves to a routine. Tied to a desk, our clients, something. I work in a digital communications agency, where our days are action packed – managing a horde of things while we pull our hair out every other day. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. All of it. Yes, some things could be different, but we’ll get there.
Every evening, however, on my way home I can’t help but notice how much of a world there is outside that I’ve missed. Then, I make mental notes – will do this over the weekend, will leave work early tomorrow, will do the laundry tonight… Most days, the mental notes don’t translate into action. But, there is always tomorrow.
My work place is in Lower Parel in Mumbai, which was once home to Mumbai’s mighty cotton mills. Today, it is a hybrid of fancy commercial complexes alongside former mill workers’ homes. Massive glass-and-steel skyscrapers coexist with crumbling chawls and propah restaurants rub shoulders with hole-in-the-wall eateries that serve amazing food.
One afternoon, my friends at work and I – broworkers, I call them – tried out these tiny eateries. No ordering or delivering, just real food exploration. We found everything – sandwiches, dosas, parathas, complete thalis, chaat… and we tried it all. It was one of the best, most inexpensive lunches we’d had in a long time, and we stuffed ourselves.
As I watched corporate executives in fancy suits enjoying the meal, I couldn’t help but think how food is the perfect escape from everything that ties us down – the laptops, the overbearing air-conditioners and that to-do list.
Sometimes that’s all we need, right? No mental notes, just an hour off from our routines with people we love.