“Mummy bhook laagi (Mummy I’m hungry),” cries the kid. “Bus do minute (Just two minutes),” assures the loving mom. My mother never preferred Maggi, she would rather prepare some chow-chow (not to be confused with the Chinese breed of dog or the American condiment), that is what we referred to as in Shillong what the rest of India calls chow mein.
But beyond home, this five-lettered instant noodle brand has become a trustworthy companion, for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and occasionally in-between). Don’t feel like cooking and end of the month budgetary constraints disallow eating out, it is always Maggi to the rescue. Every month I consume dozens of packets of this two-minutes wonder and so do millions of others like me.
There have been at different points of time, different competitors who attempted to replace Maggi from my breakfast/lunch/dinner bowl, but have, in the long run, failed to do so. Worthy competitors were Top Ramen and Wai Wai. They are good for the occasional change in taste but it is Maggi that remains staple. And I’ve devised some alternative recipes to add some variety to my platter.
Though Maggi advertising (see ad at the end of this post) tends to target kids, a survey would reveal that a considerable slice of Maggi noodles’ consumers are single men and women. The pricing and the variety in tastes are the added advantages. Though I personally stick to the two traditional flavours – chicken and masala – and prefer to purchase my monthly quota in bulk. Only that my neighbourhood grocery store doesn’t store anything more than a pack of eight.
Even the dhaba near my office prepares delicious Maggi, thereby providing me with more options for lunch – parathas or Maggi and nowadays it is more Maggi than parathas. Though technically, the entire procedure of preparing a steaming hot bowl of Maggi noodles takes some multiples of that promised two minutes. Not that I’m complaining. But people who come visiting me and stay for a week or more, swear themselves off Maggi – at least for some time.
The only thing that I miss about the Maggi from my growing-up days is that they no longer give gifts in exchange of empty Maggi packs, else I would have had quite a collection by now. And I have another request for the guys at Nestle, please sell the chicken Maggi tastemaker loose, ie without having to purchase the noodle with it. It does make for one relishing lick.