For years I watched my mother cook and pack lunch for dad to take to work. For perhaps the same number of years, my brother and I received a pack of food as well to take to school. She never complained about having to get up early to cook for everyone. But she did complain about having to decide what to cook! I sympathized, but rarely helped. I do remember one instance where we sat down and made a list of all the foods that I didn’t mind taking to school, that she could make in the morning and she thought were appropriate for a school lunch. We got 22 items down that met all the requirements – perfect for one month.
It has been a long time since mom packed a tiffin for me, but it has been on my mind since I started my first job a few days ago. A 9 to 6 work day, plus travel time, translates to the need for a packed lunch as well as a breakfast and a dinner that require no time or effort to cook. Or eat (especially in the case of breakfast.) Everyday. And the meal I keep forgetting – the evening snack. And all of it should be nutritious and low-calorie, and should have milk and fruit and all the other things that are so essential. And every day and every night as I try to decide what my next meal should be, I wonder how mom did it for all those years. And everyday, my love and respect and gratitude towards her goes up a notch.