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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.