I was in two minds. Should I write a post on Maggi? Is it too much brand promotion, writing about an instant noodle that has no health benefit whatsoever? But what the heck, who eats Maggi for health reasons anyway? We indulge in Maggi because it’s fun, it’s quick, it’s versatile. And of course, it’s readily available. Any kirana shop anywhere in the country will have Maggi. Those who go for treks would know the joy of having hot Maggi served by a small food stall up in the hills.
I can’t think of any other brand that has been running strong for decades. Since walking into our classrooms sometimes in the 80s to now, the 2-minutes noodles continue to be hugely popular with kids. My friends with children tell me that they have Maggi for breakfast or dinner at least once a week because the kids insist.
I remember getting the pack of Maggi from school, my mom reading the instructions carefully while my grandmother suspiciously looked on. We gorged on Maggi that mom served for an evening snack. Wrapping the noodles around our fork and savouring them before swallowing, sometimes slurping noisily. My grandmother shook her head and strongly disapproved. She thought Maggi smelt like soap and should not be served to little children. She was also upset that we chose the instant noodles over her homemade moya and nadu.
Thus started my love affair with Maggi. Every now then and then I would urge mom to pack Maggi for lunch. It wouldn’t taste good cold; she would say but eventually give in. She would add vegetables like beans, peas also and egg to Maggi. And the cold Maggi tasted better than anything in the world. I still remember sitting under a tree during our break and proudly sharing my lunch with friends. Those Maggi lunch days were special!
All the kids I know are as excited about Maggi as I was at their age. ‘I can cook Maggi,’ chirps 11-year-old Prapti. ‘I boil it with masala on the induction cooktop,’ she adds.
In the hostel, we would make Maggi in our room whenever we were sick of hostel food. Since I started working and staying on my own Maggi has been my go-to meal whenever I was too busy or too lazy to cook. I always add loads of veggies to my Maggi – onion/spring onion/green peas/capsicum/beans/carrot, top it with egg and sometimes cheese. I also add sausages to Maggi. Once I added red pasta sauce to Maggi and it tasted amazing.
On these stay-at-home days, my Friday dinner is often Maggi and a drink – gin & tonic or vodka with fruit juice. I get into my comfortable pyjamas, put on a good show and sit before the TV with my favourite dinner. Maggi never fails to cheer me up and has kept me going in these gloomy days!