Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Must do lunch

You know a scam when you hear one. In my book, “Must do lunch” makes it quite high on the list. Coming close are “Must meet up”, “Have to catch up”, “We must chat,” or “Let’s have coffee sometime”.

I have a quick detection program for such scammers. I set a date. “How about Tuesday?,” I ask. It is enough to sift the ones who want to do the work from the ones who don’t. For the doers, I’d do anything. Cook up a storm, negotiate downpours, ignore cats, travel great distances, drive on second gear, anything. And they would return the gesture in ample measure.

Which brings me to wonder why people say things they do not mean. I am not talking about the dating game or work politics or filmi interviews. But food? And eating! Why mess around with that?

Unlike, “Must meet for a drink,” “Must do lunch” is three words not to be used shabbily and without sincerity. It is certainly not like clicking “like” on Facebook which essentially comes with no set of deliverables, no call for action, nothing.

To me, food dates are sacrosanct. I find it easier to cancel on someone going clubbing than having lunch with them. And I would never suggest food and not mean it. It’s just not on. It doesn’t take much. Not a great table or silverware or French wine, just a desire to bond over food, which I find a great leveller. Unlike alcohol for instance, which sort of blurs the real issues and makes you micro focus on the idiotic ones.

I know we live in Bombay and there’s all that traffic and work sucks and no one’s getting laid, so more is the misery, but none of this is reason enough to not “do lunch” if you have proposed it. So what if you had a nervous breakdown and are busy recuperating. You still have to eat, right? Or if your dog died. Or your cat gave birth, and you didn’t know she was pregnant. Or if you have graduated from having bad hair days to having a bad hair life. Now, I mean I am not dating you or wishing to date you or anything. Just that you proposed an idea and I am suggesting how we take it further. When I want to do lunch with someone, I do something really simple. I fix a place or invite myself or the other person over for lunch, and it’s done.

So. If you really want to "do lunch" with someone, well, you just have lunch with someone. So whether or not you pray or love, eat!

Now that I’m in possession of a child, it’s graduated to “Must do play-date.” But more about whiny moms later.


  1. good one.... btw we must do play date soon :)...

  2. Love the article as always!

  3. You know, you've taken my dislike of these meaningless 'let's do-s' and 'must do-s' up quite a few notches by focussing it on the eating aspect. Really, how CAN they mouth such empty nothings when it's about food?! To me, food is sacrosanct, and while i always hated the way people go 'let's catch up, man' or 'we must get together, dude' as if it were a reflex, I now abhor it, after seeing it in this light. Thank you.

    (While on that, you know something else that really gets my goat? It's the flippant 'hey! What's up/How're you doing!' Note that there is no question mark there - because it isn't a question. They mostly don't even break stride as they utter that that sentence, just going on, gaze included, with whatever it was that they were doing when they saw you. So, far be it from me to actually tell them how I AM doing. Who cares, right?)

  4. @jonaki: "Wassup" deserves a whole new post.I usally grit my teeth and throw a "You tell me!" or a "Nothing", and the person sneaks away. And even if something's up, why should i tell you, shallow nincompoop?

  5. Would've said "must do lunch" and with sincerity if were in the same town. Great stuff.


  6. priya, it's a small world. if you say it like you mean it, we will for sure!

  7. So agree on the part where you say you 'bond' over a good meal. Some people just dont get the 'worship worthy' side of a good meal.

  8. hi anusuya,
    welcome here. there are still a few good men (and women) who believe in the power of the palate. if you are at a loose end some day, you can count on me for sure. and i agree, good meals are sacred, not to be messed with

  9. This reeeaally bugged me too, but guess what - I have defected to the other side and do it as an offence mechanism!! Hehheh that really stumps them!
    But on the seriousness of food - I will cook all the things that I have always wanted to cook, and then some - cos when I call people over it is serious business for me.

  10. I have been tempted to defect too, but it's food! it doesn't seem i guess it's their loss

  11. You so echo my thoughts! There have been countless times when I've left lovingly prepared home food, well at home just because i've had a lunch date with one of my friends, only to wistfully think about it later in the day when they've sweetly called and cancelled!