The sweetness of a man appreciating the food cooked by a woman just got me… the genuine validation of her culinary efforts … no, they were not husband and wife. In fact each one did not even know the other existed. Well that and the slow, natural and destiny-driven way they came together through the food and the daily written notes in the lunchbox … soul-to-soul, unadulterated by a visual image … filling a hunger in both. He was a recently widowed, lonely accountant. She was a housewife with an indifferent spouse.
Destiny steps in when the usually efficient and well-oiled dabba system (lunch box delivery) in Mumbai, praised for its efficiency even by Prince Charles(!), was having a major malfunction. A delicious lunch, prepared by Ila to win over her unappreciative husband, was erroneously delivered to an appreciative stranger who after getting over his first surprise, slurped his way through this finger-licking meal.
After several loud consultations via her apartment window with her elderly neighbour upstairs, about how many pinches of salt, chilli powder etc. she should add to her husband’s lunch, Ila was assured that this fiery meal would rekindle her marriage. A ray of hope was all she had and when the lunch box came back empty she was ecstatic! Gone were the rice, dal, vegetables and roti … a change from the usual untouched meal that returned in the dabba every day.
Later that evening she gleans from her husband’s conversation that he was not the one who ate the meal … so figuring it was someone else, she puts a Thank You letter in the box the next day for the appreciative stranger. Now this turns into a daily exchange of notes between two strangers each seeking affection and connection for different reasons in their separate, lonely lives.
Much happens in between this and the ending … an attempted, failed meeting between them in person, which saddens the viewer and one thinks that Destiny which brought them together is also hindering cementing their friendship. But there is a twist and I will not ruin it for you if you intend to see the movie.
The ending of the story is hinted at and the viewer is left to interpret it individually. Walking out of the theatre lobby I heard a woman asking another “Do you think he went to be with her?” “Seemed like the next natural step” I murmured to myself as I floated out.