A young woman places a note in a tiffin box. It is a desperate message to her boyfriend. Unfortunately, the tiffin box is lost. This loss has far-reaching consequences.
Thirteen years later, a young boy, Kunal, is looking for his mother. His life is hard. He works as slave labour in a cafe. Kunal dreams of finding his mother and believes that a new life awaits him. He has befriended a dabbawalla (a man who delivers freshly prepared lunches in tiffin boxes) called Vinayak. One day, Kunal escapes from the cafe and goes to live with Vinayak. He badly wants to become a dabbawalla like Vinayak, but even more than that he wants to find his mother. He thinks that he will be able to find her with the help of the Tiffin service. However, Kunal’s search brings him to the realisation that the love he is looking for might be closer at hand than he thought.
The Tiffin is a thoughtful and beautifully descriptive book that brings both the characters and the story to life. The characters are engaging, but they are realistically portrayed with faults as well as virtues. Both Kunal and Vinayak make mistakes and misunderstand each other. Culture and life in Bombay is also vividly described. It is a vibrant and thriving city, but it can be hard to survive there. This is an extremely good book that involves the reader from the first to the last page.