Humans of the Office Lunch Table

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Humans of the Office Lunch Table

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

I

n every office across India, there is that one co-worker who gets angsty as soon as the clock closes in on 1 pm. He begins goading the rest with the familiar phrase, “Chalo guys, lunch kare?” Everyone is forced to agree, even if they don’t want to because #TeamLunchIsBae and fuck individual deadlines! The difference between school kids and office-goers is that instead of Jim Jams and Peppy, the adults will animatedly discuss aloo ke parathe and rajma chawal, and in doing so give you a fair idea of who they are basis the contents of their dabbas. Meet the Humans of the Office Lunch Table.

The Probably Stale VP

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This old-timer is likely to carry doodhi and give you unsolicited advice on the digestive benefits of flaxseed while he eats it. He is also adept at sneaking in his borderline pervy WhatsApp jokes into the conversation.

Most likely to say:

“Monginis ka Black Forest cake is still the best.”

“Hey, can you help me set up this PayTM application?”

Baingan Bhartiya Naari

Taking a break from taking a break, the BB Naari makes time to bitch about the newcomer’s uncanny proximity to one of the founders while simultaneously offering you her wholesome ghar ka khaana for which she is secretly seeking your adulation.

Most likely to say:

“Did you see what she was wearing the other day?!”

“Like WTF! None of this would fly in my previous agency. Anyway, want some halwa?”

This cocktail of diverse mindsets and eating habits is what forms most of this country’s cosmopolitan workforce.

Team Taste Everything

Infamously eating little (if any) food from their own dabba, this species of gastronomic adventurers make it a point to haath maaro in every dabba on the table. By the time they are done with their clumsy hunting and gathering, the side of the table they occupied can pass off for a Jackson Pollock painting.

Most likely to say:

“Arré wow! Jigisha’s mom’s theplas are my favourite!”

“This baingan is nice but we make it better in our house. I will get it tomorrow.” (They never do.)

Zomato Ketchup Creatives

In the dark confines of the floor, away from the picnic lunch-eating uncles and aunties, are a bunch of cool creatives who meticulously browse through the pocket friendly delivery section before finally deciding they can only afford McDelivery for the fourth time that week.

Most likely to say:

“Ek biryani saat log share kar sakte hai na?”

“Bro, let’s do a piece around office lunches!”

Sexist Sausage Party

Seated comfortably in their bubble of misogyny, butter chicken, roti, and a cloud of Marlboro smoke thicker than the Delhi smog, this human mass of testosterone and statistics discusses the female anatomy in grotesque detail. Naturally, they will all grow up to become Probably Stale VPs.

Most likely to say:

“Seriously? On the first date?”

“Why would I lie, bro?” *Casually looks away*

This cocktail of diverse mindsets and eating habits is what forms most of this country’s cosmopolitan workforce. Sure, most of them are insufferable twats, but I’ve realised the trick to surviving this ordeal is jumping onto the Team Taste Everything bandwagon now and then. Eventually, people will just begin avoiding you and you can attain that rare moment of nirvana every Indian office-goer secretly dreams of: eating by yourself.

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