Home Delivery

Tomato Wallah

In almost any neighborhood in Bombay, you need not venture out of the house to get goods and services. Starting in the early morning (you can’t really sleep in), say about 6am, the various service providers come to your door, are at the bottom of your building, or steps away:

  • Milk
  • Garbage
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Fish
  • Basic groceries
  • Brooms & Rags
  • Bindis
  • Laundry and ironing

Most people have at least one servant that cleans the house. If you are lucky, that same person will cook. If not, someone else will come in just to make lunch. In larger private homes, there will be one or two live-in or at least full-time help. In smaller offices and apartments, the help comes in, does the work, and moves on to service one or two more homes or offices. In larger offices, there is at least one full-time “peon” to serve water, make tea, run out for cold drinks, etc.

Lunch? If you have a car and driver, the driver will bring warm food prepared by your cook from your home to the office. The peon will go downstairs to pick it up from the car and set it up for you.

Want a snack? Mobile vendors will ply their wares throughout the day, carrying their goods on their heads and/or over their shoulders (odd combinations of fruit – bananas and mangoes, tomatoes and sitafal (custard apples); roasted nuts, chick peas and puffed rice; bhel puri), or on carts (vegetables, corn roasted to order), shouting out their wares.

Dinner? One evening at the home of our friends Shivraj and Aparna in Bandra, we ordered and took delivery of beer, Chinese food, and ice cream, all from local stores and restaurants.

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