Mahtab Narsimhan

THE TIFFIN

THE TIFFIN is a middle-grade novel set in the vibrant city of Mumbai with its ubiquitous dabbawallas; men who deliver home-cooked food to the millions of white-collar workers throughout the city. This hundred and fifty year-old service is unique to Mumbai and is an integral part of the plot. The illiterate tiffin-carriers use a primitive alpha-numeric code for deliveries, and yet achieve ninety-nine percent accuracy. This story is a result of that one error in six million.

A tiffin-box containing an important message goes astray, irrevocably changing the life of a young boy, Kunal. Twelve years later, abandoned and alone, Kunal leads a wretched existence, believing he is an orphan. An almost fatal incident leads him to discover he has a mother after all and he is compelled to search for her in a city of millions. Kunal finally tracks her down only to realize that he had already found his real family; one based on respect and friendship, rather than blood.

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