A spaghetti tale: An open letter to Maggi, my staple food
If you end up getting banned, I’m definitely going to miss you.
I don’t remember the first time I ate you, but I carry fond memories of how my working mother used to hurriedly prepare you for my sister and me before leaving for work.
During my growing up years, my mother tells me, you were a constant succour for her – she knew that in case she was late from work and unable to prepare something ‘good’, you, dear Maggi, were always there.
Although you won’t be cooked in two minutes, as they sang in the ads, yet we all had full faith in your ability to satisfy our bellies.
I remember debates on whether you tasted best soupy or dry, with cheese or butter, with eggs or vegetables. Those were the times when your variants like ‘atta’ hadn’t arrived on the scene – there were just ‘masala’ and ‘chicken’.
You have always been different, and I guess you know that very well. You were not like the chow mien in the school canteen and other brands stood nowhere near you.
At least two generations of Indians have been hooked to you since you arrived. And it can be rightly said that you went on to become some sort of a cultural reference point.
When I left home after passing high school, your companionship started mattering more. The often inedible food at the hostel mess made me crave for you late at night. Cooking you was simple, and the taste guaranteed.
You are an integral part in the lives of most bachelors. Early morning or late at night, too lazy or in a hurry, whatever the situation, one Rs-10 packet of yours and problem solved.
For people who eat to live, you have been the best crutch.
To sum up, you have been a dear friend, treading along in the worst of times.
I’m not an expert on chemicals and I don’t know how lead and monosodium glutamate will harm me. For all these years, I trusted you completely and I’m not sure whether I should begin to question your integrity amidst the raging controversy.
In spite of the love and admiration, dear Maggi, the truth remains that you are the product of a multi-national corporation, which is profit-driven. Your parent company’s marketing of infant food and selling bottled water in poor countries have generated controversies.
A few days back, someone told me during a conversation that we live in a make-believe world where the reality is often shrouded.
Dear Maggi, if you have had questionable ingredients for all these years, then it’s really sad. The blind faith that we had in you will be lost and we’ll realise how terribly you have let us all down.
A Maggi lover
(The views expressed by the writer are personal. He tweets as