The Role of Dabbawalas in Indian Society

Indian-dabbawala

Indian railways are unique in that they have what are referred to as “dabbawalas” which means “lunch box men” in Hindi as the term “dabba” means “box” or in this case “lunch box” in Hindi and the term “wala” means “man” in Hindi. These dabbawalas deliver food which has been cooked by the loved ones of the people who are eating it (e.g. spouse who cooks food while their significant other commutes to work. The first spouse has that food delivered to second spouse so that it is hot and ready to eat after having started the work day). This system works extraordinarily well as holding a bag while traveling upon any Indian train is nearly impossible due to the volume of people who use the railway each day. There are 5000 dabbawalas in Mumbai, India and this collective makes an astounding 200,000 deliveries per day, equating to each member of the group making an average of 40 deliveries each. Each dabbawala carries approximately 145 lbs. of food daily. The system is actually quiet elegant as some members pick up food, some members commute on trains with food, some members travel by bike or other vehicle with food, and all members typically share responsibility in that they trade meals if they run across a partner who is traveling the direction in which they need to go. This helps boost efficiency and allows for more income to be generated than if these individuals decided to work solo. Food is often marked with specialized code words so that dabbawalas know where something came from and where it is intended to be. Food is typically prepared by a clients wife, mother, or sister, but as India is changing and more women enter the workforce, shifts in who fills which role are beginning to emerge. Those who do not have a significant other at home who is available to cook for them will often have food prepared by restaurants or hotels and delivered via dabbawala. It typically costs 550 Indian Rupees ($7.75) per month which is affordable and within reach for most Indian citizens as even lower income members of society like dabbawalas earn 13,700 Indian Rupees ($192.00) per month. This system continues to flourish even as India moves into the 21st century with modern fast food and traditional restaurant establishments available to most people, as the cost is generally lower than eating out and the quality of the food is virtually always healthier. This is one of many reasons as to why leaders within this sector of business believe that the continued vitality of the industry will continue to last into the foreseeable future

The Turin Shroud of Christianity

Turin-Shroud

The Turin Shroud which is believed by Christians to have been wrapped around Jesus Christ after his death and to have been left behind by Christ post-resurrection, is approximately 14’6” long by 3’6” wide and bears the mysterious image of the full front and back of a man, a person who appears to have met a violent death. The Turin Shroud negative image was stumbled upon by amateur photographer Secondo Pia in 1898 whilst taking the first archeological photographs of the shroud. Today, the Turin Shroud is kept within the royal chapel of the Turin Cathedral in Italy, under lock and key in a climate controlled, bulletproof encasing. The Catholic Church allowed scientific examination of the Turin Shroud in 1978 and in 1988, but the piece is rarely placed on display for the public, with the last showing drawing over 2,000,000 (2 million) people in 2015. Blood samples found upon the Turin Shroud found that whoever supplied it had blood type AB, a rare blood type found only in 3% of the population, however more common in the Middle East. Much of the skepticism related to the Turin Shroud stems from the fact that it was not historically documented and recorded until nearly 1400 years after the death of Christ, during the Medieval period in 1349. It is suspected that the Turin Shroud could have belonged to the last grandmaster of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay. After being arrested by Philip IV, the then king of France, de Molay was tortured, had a crown of thorns placed upon his head, and was then crucified in 1314. Scientists have theorized that because de Molay was wrapped in a long piece of cloth, the lactic acid built up during torture as well as de Molay’s own blood mixed with the frankincense which was used to keep the cloth white, provided an imprint after his death. The last known historical description and image of de Molay actually matches quite well with the image on the Turin Shroud, both images depicting a male with a large nose, shoulder length hair parted in the center, a crown of thorns, and a full beard