I have just finished reading the incredible book Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts who escaped from an Australian jail and ended up in Bombay (Mumbai) where he got in to all kinds of crazy and dangerous situations. It is a huge chunk of a book, but written so well. Some parts of it are very hard to stomach, making it similar in some ways to The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. In reading the book Gregory mentions the incredible phenomenon of the lunch-box delivery system that has been running in Mumbai since 1880. It is a fascinating daily event. It seems the lunch-boxes are called dabba or tiffins and the carriers are called wala and they even have their own website called My Dabbawala. Seems like something that might be good for school lunches…yum!
I recently got a recommendation to read the massive book Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts and let me tell you it is worth every second. I feel as if I am right there with him in the slums of Bombay, fighting off feral dogs, and tending to the rat bites of the local children. If you haven’t read this book it is a must read. Here is a passage I just read, I am only about halfway through the book at the moment, but this struck me as very true, it is only one million evil men who are driving the destruction of earth and the species living upon her.
‘The world is run by one million evil men, ten million stupid men, and a hundred million cowards,’ Abdul Ghani pronounced in his best Oxford English accent, licking the sweet honey cake from his short, thick fingers. ‘The evil men are the power–the rich men, and the politicians, and the fanatics of religion–whose decisions rule the world, and set it on its course of greed and destruction.’
‘There are only one million of them, the truly evil men, in the whole world. The very rich and the very powerful, whose decisions really count–they only number one million. The stupid men, who number ten million, are the soldiers and policemen who enforce the rule of the evil men. They are the standing armies of twelve key countries, and the police forces of those and twenty more. In total, there are only ten million of them with any real power or consequence. They are often brave, I’m sure, but they are stupid, too, because they give their lives for governments and causes that use their flesh and blood as mere chess pieces. Those governments always betray them or let them down or abandon them, in the long run. Nations neglect no men more shamefully than the heroes of their wars.’ -p349