How are you enjoying the book so far? Were you able to read all four chapters last week?
In the first four chapters, we’re introduced to Hassan and his family, and we understand how they became owners of a restaurant in Mumbai. I thought the section that told about Hassan’s grandparents and how they got their start as a dabba wallahs, delivering lunch boxes throughout the city, was really interesting.
In fact, I did a little research about the dabba wallahs. They are still used in India, and they are a staple for those who work in office buildings. Dabba wallahs pick up lunch boxes from wives and then deliver the meals straight to office buildings, using a complex code on the top of the lunch boxes as a guide. The whole system is incredibly precise, with a 99.99% accuracy rate. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article from NPR.
You can also read this article from The Guardian, which goes into more detail and gives some anecdotes from people who actually use the service.
In the book, were you heartbroken when Hassan’s mother passes away and the family leaves India? I thought it was so sad that his mother was a victim of the anger between the lower and upper classes. The family’s time in London wasn’t terribly exciting, was it? I imagine they were so overcome with grief they had a hard time doing anything.
What were your impressions of the family in this first section? They seem so close-knit and interested in one another. I liked that several generations all lived together in the same compound.
Have you tried any of the Indian dishes mentioned in the first couple of chapters? If you’re interested in creating your own The Hundred-Foot Journey feast at home, try some of the recipes mentioned on this food blog. Maybe it will help you envision the characters and setting better if you’re eating some delicious food as you read!
Tell me what you thought of the first section in the comments. And, let me know if you’re also watching the movie. I’ve heard it’s great—maybe you all will convince me to watch it.
Next week we’ll be discussing chapters five through twelve. Talk to you then!