Sunday, June 27, 2010

My love for Maggi

Maggi my dear readers is its own food group. If you disagree I’ll be more than happy to introduce you to the next random person on the street and we’ll gleefully bludgeon some sense into your head.

I met Maggi in school. My earliest recollection of Maggi is not of eating it but of wanting to own it. That’s right. People want to be a lot of things when they grow up, Pilot, Doctor, Policeman, Circus Clown (I have this friend…), but not me. I wanted to own a Maggi factory when I grew up. Owning a factory was the only way my mind could guarantee an endless supply of Maggi that I could eat as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted. That and something to do with noodle straps. If it doesn’t make any sense do re-read the part about me having to grow up.

Obviously, I could never have more than two at a time and that too used to give me a preview of my distended belly future. One however was too less and left a craving on my tongue. The same craving I licked off plates and bowls the Maggi was served in. The last drops of liquid masala were manna from heaven and I could not leave a single molecule of it on the utensil. This gave a big inferiority complex to my imaginary pet dog. His name was noodles.

Since then, Maggi has come a long way. You can now get rice and wheat variants while the brand is spread across ketchup, soups, seasoning and other categories.  It's the ultimate comfort food. Most convenient to cook and one of the rarities that provide a full meal on just adding water, cooking in the least time. Mother's around the world keep a packet in the temple, thanking gods for this modern wonder. Everyone has their preference of Maggi making style and recipe. Some like it wet, some like it dry. Some like it in the pot, with veggies and fried. I liked mine poured hot into Tiffin box and during school recess to be found solidified with a jelly like consistency, cut into cake like pieces and then had. My friend’s mom being aware of my Maggi Tiffin stealing ways used to send with him a concoction with tomato ketchup. Needless to say I foiled their attempts and acquired a taste for it as well. Sadly, I could never replicate the experiment at home. Try as I might, I couldn’t steal from myself.

Me and Maggi co-existed in a perfectly hunky-dory world. If you know your bollywood then this is the time a villain makes the entry. Nestle lost the plot. First they took away my favorite flavor of 'Sweet and Sour' closely followed by 'Capsicum'. It probably left a bitter taste in their accountant's mouth but oh what I would give for a Sweet and Sour Maggi right now! They tried to fix what wasn’t broken and gave new meaning to the adage “Hitting axe on your own foot”. So we had a new Maggi that tasted like bird dropping (this is where you think, “how does he know what bird droppings taste like?”) and started being used by Doctors to induce vomiting whenever medically required, e.g. when you voluntarily swallowed bird droppings.

Sales plummeted and no one in Nestle made fresh lime soda because they took a while to recover from the hangover. Lesson learnt, they redeemed themselves by bringing the old Maggi back and all hostelites past, present and from the future breathed a collective sigh of relief. But, it was too late for me. I had already crossed over to the dark side and Top Ramen was my new bed fellow. Tempted with its promises of international appeal, smoother flat noodles and spicier masala, I gave in. I couldn’t resist. I had a collection of digestive juices crying in my belly and I did not have anything to feed them with. Maggi eventually did forgive me as I forgave it, as one must forgive their first love, but the damage was done. Now I spend time alternately with both of them and we are a happy threesome.

Please share your opinion on this post in the comments section.


  1. what a love story! has gotto be the coolest maggi story i've heard!

  2. thank you. that is very sweet of you

  3. hats off ma man, excellent writing skills

  4. :-) Nice.. very nostalgic! I even went ahead and fixed myself a sticky plate topped with maggi ketchup *yums*

    Its a very rare treat for me growing up. Mom was pro feed-kids-only-healthy-food-no-junk. grrrrrr :( But I went overboard when i left home for college.
    It was our 'late-night-party-maker', solace-food or just mess-food-was-so-terrible-today replacement. We knew we could always depend on it..

    It was just not a quick-fix meal for most of us.. it's a mile-stone in our early adulthood. And it deserved above post :D well done!!!

  5. Ah! maggi.....I use to beg my mom for it, since we were restricted to having maggi once a week. Now I bribe my daughter with it - "eat your chappatis and you can have maggi for your evening snack" - she just gives me the look, picks up a packet and asks her dad to make it for lunch instead, saying "maggi atta noodles (the only type I allow her) is equal to two chappatis, know?".

  6. thank you manisha and nmaha for the maggi love. it's the ultimate comfort food for sure!

  7. oh man! terrific blockbuster...some free ki advise - build on this..add some masala and give it to a FTII Pune guy...this can be an oscar story b/t a schoolboy and his fav-food...and the way it is written...sarcastic humour with extreme innocence...v v creative

    and hey, how can you forgt the two famous respectable phrases, the God himself gave to Maggi with Cold Drinks -
    'safed kainchuye with toilet cleaners' [hope you can recall ;) ]

    got a v bad hike but this one just took my brain off that...Cheers with Maggi this time...

    current fav - Curry Maggi

  8. ankit. safed kainchuye. it is imprinted in my memory forever. he's really god for me.

  9. Awesome..subtle innocence with brilliant humour made me smile throughout going have to work harder to beat you at this..

    @ankit..safed kainchuye...silly nostalgia :D

  10. I liked reading your post more than I like Maggi. :)
    Totally fun read and I am sure my kids will relate to the sentiment more than I.

  11. i got to this page by linking through your goodreads profile page.. This post is so hilarious!

  12. hey vishal,I bet u cud connect ur story to the mass plate-licker-maggi-lovers like me !!!
    the ups and downs with maggi love is similar just as the intrusion of Top Ramen in our life ! a very nice post on one of the easiest, tastiest and complete food for indians ... and i can gurantee it more as i have always secured a full packet ofmaggi in my kitchen every place outside india, be it europe or us or singapore now ! i started dancing looking at a packet of maggi in a lesser known city of netherlands once and that justifies the meaning of "comfort food" which is the best possible tag for maggi marketters :)

  13. @deeghi from one maggi lover to another, slurrrp away :D

  14. Hey you did the Authoratative photography streetfood guide of Delhi? Incidentally, the day you left that comment on the coffee cake post was the day my boss just told me start working on your guide, we want to do something like that for our website. !
    Wonderful work btw, have to work with a napkin at hand to to wipe the drool of my comp. :p

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  16. i hate maggi
    but nice article...maybe I'll go taste a bit


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