The forbidden food: Waking up to the harsh reality of the ban on Maggi

  • Avleen Kaur Lamba, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 12, 2015 10:15 IST

Hapless, hungry and heartbroken, Maggi lovers are out on the streets looking for their recently lost love. The addiction to the instant noodles has left most of us with withdrawal symptoms. But where do we go for rehabilitation? We have some alternatives to the rescue, but well, beggars can’t be choosers.

While some city dwellers can’t seem to imagine a world without Maggi, some have found alternatives.

Fans in the tricity are having a hard time trying to replace the noodles that satisfied the hunger of many a generation. In fact, one needs to have the right contacts to be able to procure a packet of India’s favourite snack turning it into contraband of sorts.

Madhav Pubby, 18, a Panchkula resident, recounts such an episode. “I went to a grocery store and asked for Maggi. On hearing the word Maggi, the owner of the store turned hostile and suspicious. Other stores responded similarly, with some even seemingly scared to mention the M-word.”

A departmental store in SAS Nagar Phase 5, also said they had none and that the old stock was taken away by Nestle employees. The storekeeper also said there was still demand and had noticed a number of faces walking dejectedly out of the store; backs hunched.

There was no sign of the bright yellow packets even inside a big departmental store in Sector 26, and the owners reported that they had been taken away.

The only people, who could possibly get you some, are vendors who sell milk and eggs on the roadside, and vendors who sell Maggi, biscuits, chips and other savoury items, pushing their cart through streets every morning and evening.

One of them says, “I still have Maggi packets and no one is buying them anymore. People seem to hate the very same product that they loved to bits a few weeks ago.” If you’re among the non-believers, then look out for one of them and hoard as many packets of Maggi as possible for apocalypse now.

While some city dwellers can’t seem to imagine a world without Maggi, some have found alternatives. Gurvinder, 30, who works at NABARD and lives on his own, has responded swiftly in his time of distress. His apartment has a full-fledged stock of Maggi but he has also begun to develop a taste of Wai-Wai instant noodles, whose new flavour is exactly like Maggi’s.

Kids for whom Maggi was a luxury are also in mourning. Arsh Kaur, 13, a Class 8 student of Smart Wonders School, SAS Nagar, says, “Now we turn to Knorr’s soupy noodles or Yippee noodles which are yummy too. Anything junk would do, but Maggi is, was and would remain the tastiest and most satisfying two-minute snack.”

Hostellers have a rather sad story to tell. Stories heard of cooking Maggi with heaters and in some cases, under sunlight, will now be a thing of the past. Kamal Garg, 19, from PEC, says, “All my hosteller friends are extremely sad we cannot have Maggi anymore. Gone are the days of nocturnal instant snacking. On a night off, we head out to Night Food Street for paranthas.”

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