Nachiket Barve, Fashion Designer
Nachiket Barve with mother Dr Rekha Barve
My mother was a busy doctor when I was growing up but she made sure she took care of our food. My earliest memories of a tiffin box packed by her is of alphonso mangoes with paranthas, something I thoroughly loved. She used to ensure variety, so I could expect anything, from roti sabzi to fried rice, fruits and even sandwiches. In fact, I remember, the day I used to have pizzas or biryani, my dabba used to become the most sought after in the class. While she was a doctor and focussed on health a lot, she used to occasionally allow a vada pav too. But she made sure that our tiffin box did not have packaged food, mainly home-cooked food was what we were given. I remember, since I was a little interested in cooking, she taught me how to make tricolour sandwiches, which I used to happily sometimes pack in my dabba.
Farah Khan Ali, Jewellery Designer
Zarine Khan with Farah Khan Ali
My mother was never the conventional pack-your-lunch type. But we would go shopping for snacks for our tiffins, and picking things on this trip was a delightful experience. Everything that we would buy would go in a cupboard and that was from where we would then decide on the stuff to be packed for the lunch box. My favourite were jam rolls and lemon rolls made of sponge cakes. All my friends loved it and would want to eat them too!
Nikhil Chib, Restaurateur
Mithu Alur and Nikhil Chib
My mother is a very good cook and my lunch box was the best. Every day, there would be a serious fight for the food. I would be running with my dabba and eating at the same time, while my friends would be following me throughout the school. At the end of it, I would get very little to eat. But the food was really nice. She would pack quite a mix of dishes for me — tandoori chicken, shammi kebab, kathi rolls, fried sardines, prawn cutlets or home-made pasta with tomato sauce. My favourite was the chicken tandoori, as it was easy to run with chicken leg pieces and eat at the same time! If I could grab two chicken leg pieces, I was sure that I would get to eat. Besides, it was light, grilled and healthy food.
Karun Chandhok, Former Formula 1 Driver and Commentator
Chitra Chandhok with Karun Chandhok
My mum was particularly good when it came to packing lunches. Our school used to get over by 1.30 pm, so lunch was always at home. For midday snacks, I remember getting aloo paranthas and rasam and rice. My mum always ensured that we were brought up on good home food. As a child, I used to really like podlanga (bottle gourd). A thing about my lunch boxes was orange cream biscuits that everyone in the class knew I would get. Being 96 kg when I was 16 years old, I was definitely a fat kid while growing up. As I like to put it, my brother and I have grown up in a crossbreed environment — my mother is a Tamil Brahmin and dad is a Punjabi, so we’ve always had the best of both the ends of the country on our plates.
Raëll Padamsee, Theatre Personality
An archival image of Raëll Padamsee with her late mother Pearl Padamsee
My mother was the cutest ever. Every day, she would pack ham sandwiches for me in my lunch box. Needless to say, all the kids who got ‘hot lunch’ from their home attacked my lunch and vice versa. I don’t think she realised what was going on. But the best was that once a month (when all girls get cranky and upset, and I was certainly one of them) she used to give me `20, which was a lot at the time, and send me down to the store to buy as many chocolates and goodies as I liked. So, she turned this awful, negative experience into such a positive one. Like I said, she was the best.