Monday, 25 February 2013

The Tiffin By Mahtab Narimhan

Author Mahtab Narsimhan
Pages: 192
Year Published 2011
Publisher: Dancing Cat Books

       In Bombay, a pregnant teenager is forced to rely on tiffins (Lunch boxes with warm food inside) and dabbawallas (The people that deliver the tiffins) to get a very important letter to her boyfriend. She trusts that the letter, tucked inside tiffin will reach him. After all, a tiffin rarely gets lost.
       The story centers around a twelve year old orphan boy named Kunal. He works as a slave for Mrs. Seth and Sethji. Each day one thing puts a smile on his face. Seeing an old dabbawalla named Vinayak.  Vinayak understands what Kunal is going through and offers Kunal a place to stay if things ever get too bad. Kunal quickly takes him up on his offer. Before leaving though, Mrs. Seth gives him one piece of information: His mother is alive and is living in Bombay. Now Kunal only has one thing on his mind. Finding his mother. First, he needs a job. Vinayak is trying his hardest to get Kunal a job as a dabbawalla but in the meantime he is stuck with a job at another restaurant. He soon figures out a plan. All he needs to do is send a note in every tiffin asking to meet his mother. Now all he has to do is get a job as a dabbawalla. Unfortunately, Vinayak is unable to get Kunal a job due to his family situation. Just as Kunal has lost all hope, the dabbawalla leaders agree that although they can't let Kunal become a dabbawalla, they can send some notes in the tiffins. A small glimmer of hope lives inside Kunal once again. But now the only thing he can do is hope for a reply.


       Kunal at some points was a little unrealistic about finding his mother. Luckily he has Vinayak to keep him from getting his hopes up too much. I have say that throughout the whole book, Vinayak was my favorite character. He cares about Kunal a lot more that Kunal actually realizes. Vinayak can seem kind of mean sometimes but everything he does is for Kunal's own good in the end.
       No love story involved in this book. And no past relationships with anybody mentioned.

       Overall, this book was alright. I probably won't pick up this book for a second read. I was able to stick with it to the end, but it just wasn't as promising as I thought it was going to be. Boys and girls could read this book, either gender could enjoy it


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