Sunday, June 28, 2015

It's Still Not The Time for GoodBye!

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I don’t think Maggie has ever been considered to be a junk food. It is something that we would ideally put in the category of what is popularly known as the comfort food. The popularity of Maggie can be understood by the fact that Nestle holds around 60% share in India markets. Ever since I can remember, the evening snack has always been the quintessential yellow packets of goodness. In the 90s life was simple. Pizza’s, burgers were conspicuous by their absence.We saw them being devoured through recently introduced cable network. But the only relation we had with them was of fascination. For us the-kids-of-90s Maggie was arguably the only guilty pleasure. Maggie also had a strong foot hold in foot items that are a part of relief and emergency like mountaineering etc.

We induced variety in it by adding vegetables trying to emulate the prototype on the cover.But mostly it was just cooked in boiling water. Though it was never done in 2 minutes, no one complained. Maggie meant a whole lot of different thing to hosteliers and bachelors. It was like a knight in shining armour, a saviour and a necessity to say the least. A lot of late night chit-chats were centered on Maggie. Study sessions were supported by numerous cups of coffee and bowlfuls of good ‘old Maggie. No-mood-to-cook days were efficiently taken care by the thought of Maggie hai na..

Then nestle won another round of hallelujah from the lazy bums all across when it’s introduced the cup noodles. Just add garam pani and you are done. Now there was no need to even switch on the gas burner. Because the hot water was procured from the geyser. It just couldn’t get any better.

But it did. Soon after they came up with vegetable aata noodles. Got Madhuri Dixit on board to make us believe that it’s perfectly ok if your kids don’t eat the regular chapatti and vegetables. As long as they eat these “healthy” noodles there is no reason to fret. It’s not like we believed that Maggie was the ideal food, we all knew at some level that it is a very unhealthy substitute. But we chose to brush it aside until something jolted us into action.

That jolt came in form of a very disheartening news of Maggie constituting lead contents which were 17 times the permissible limits. It takes our body roughly around two to three days to get rid of these toxins. Just imagine, noodles cooked in 2 minutes (well actually more than 2 minutes) eaten in less than 10 minutes and we feel that’s that. But the sheer amount of work our digestive system has to do to digest the maida, flushing off toxins etc is mind boggling. Especially when there are negligible nutrients involved. Just like Shakespeare would have said – Much ado about nothing.

The subsequent ban on the sale of Maggie has invoked a mixed state of reactions from people.While some are showing their anger and aggression by burning packets of Maggie, others are expressing their disappointment by sharing their fond Maggie memories on various social networking sites. There is also a section of people who are unaffected by the whole hullabaloo. For them it doesn’t make any difference. Having been eating Maggie for year’s altogether, they feel the new revelation of lead will do little harm. A college student from Delhi jokingly says “By now our bodies are so used to the lead or whatsoever content is there is Maggie that it hardly matters”.

The future course of action also varies hugely. Some people have entirely sworn-off from Maggie and the likes (knor, sunfeast, wai-wai etc.), others feel that it is only a matter of time before Maggie comes back with a bang (and with a popular celebrity endorsing it). We may recalls that the same kind of scenario happened with cold drinks and Cadbury chocolates some years back. With pesticides content found in the former and worms in the latter. After a gap of 2 months however, both the products were back with top film-stars and cricketers backing them. Most of the people therefore feel that Maggie will surely come back after the hiatus.

Nestle’s global chief executive officer, Paul Bulcke, said in an official statement: “We have been in India for over 100 years. We are part of India. Trust of consumer is shaken because of some confusion and we want to restore that.” Nestle maintains that Maggie is safe to be had but the huge over cry has forced them to withdraw the sales.

Meanwhile while the samples of noodles are tested and retested the die-hard fans of Maggie are left with no other option except reminisce. Personally, Maggie invokes memories of me and my sister fighting for who gets more share. Preparing our own maggies to see whose tastes better. Ordering platefuls of Maggie over assignments in college canteens. Relishing coffee and Maggie from Nescafé's. Ban or no ban, it goes without saying that Maggie has and will always be close to our hearts and stomachs.



  1. You've described the love affair the nation has with Maggie so well, SEPO. It's been a life saver for us students, burning the midnight candle and lazy to cook, it saved the day. How it saved my life! I remember buying packs of Maggi to give the mess in ISH hostel, Mumbai to cook for me.
    I feel that after the whole thing dies, it will be u said Coke and all. Lovely post.
    Here's my take:

  2. Lovely post, really enjoyed reading this post, brought back so many memories from childhood and college days!! :) Like you, I am a die-hard fan of maggie, tasted every new flavour they introduced over the last 2 decades. And can't agree more with everything that you've written :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories, hope Nestle solves the confusion soon and it won't be long before we get back to enjoying another pack of yummy maggie!!! :)

    Cheers!! :)

  3. Title could have been better :( RIP Maggie or not ..huh

  4. Lovely post...and what a co incidence sneha, just read two more blog posts about maggie today ! :)
    Students ke liye aur bachelors ke liye ye to bahut bada sahara tha...Ye maggie :)
    Post ekdam sahi hai aapki :)