Disclaimer: This article was supposed to be live before the ban on Maggi got lifted, but I just got a little ‘too’ late in completing it! But that’s no reason to stop me from writing it anyways so for the moment, just assume a situation where Maggi just isn’t back yet 😉
Those rainy days when I didn’t have my umbrella with me, those ultimate moments when nothing else made me happy, those wonderful days when I waited to be home, the first thing I learned to cook, when there was nothing else, there always was… Maggi.
Not me, this is the voice of all those people, all those kids, all those youngsters and all those moms who had Maggi on their kitchen shelves. Except for moms, it was indeed the first thing a huge population of India would have learned to cook, keeping aside the fact that there wasn’t much cooking involved 😛 So today its not ‘me’ that would be writing this, its ‘we’ right?
It was just a noodle brand. Why do we think so much about it? Because somewhere down there, there are moments in our lives witnessed by Maggi. Maggi was a part of it sometimes. Like a song from your childhood. Every time you hear that old song on your mobile, laptop or TV, you get hit by a sword of nostalgia. Feelings and memories that take you back to all those things that happened back then. Blame not the song, you didn’t sing it. But the song witnessed your moments, didn’t it?
You see that’s where Maggi is. In our memories. Sometimes in life, things can get lost without any certainty of finding them again. And that is what hurts. The feeling that something is wrong and that it will never be right again. But sometimes it is meant to be that way isn’t it?
When you hear that good old song of your childhood, you are drawn back to the wonder years of your life for a moment. You dream of the past, want to swing time in reverse and in the end, you come back to reality and say, “I miss those days”. But what happens if you keep hearing that song again and again and again for days straight? There you go. You lose the nostalgia from it. Like a horcrux without the soul in it. Just a piece of music it is then. That’s the magic of nostalgia, the deeper you go, the more you want to touch the bottom. But if you just go way deep down there, beyond the invisible barrier, the magic goes away. Its good to love the things in your past, to love the best time of your life. But its an another thing to try to recreate the same thing in the present. You will fail and lose the charm of your past.
Wait, I was supposed to be talking about Maggi isn’t it? I got a bit off-track as usual!
Speaking of nostalgia, it is said that the human nose has some physical connection to the memory elements of brain and so the best trigger for nostalgia is our nose. Bingo! Maggi always had this beautiful fragrance that we loved. Something that will always belong to Maggi no matter how many times you get a similar smell in your nose.
Few days back, somewhere I don’t remember exactly where but I got a very similar trigger to my nose. I almost lost track of time and the place I was when I realized that then wasn’t the time to think about the past! But what could I do? Its science right? 😉 I just told you about the nose-tanglia thing!
First cooking experience…
Not many people get their first cooking experience till they get old you know. By old I mean like something mature and responsible. But judging today’s youth of India, most of us know how to cook Maggi. Some people know other things as well but for us, it has always been Maggi. The one thing which we cooked. Agree India? 😀 Maybe we will get ahead in our lives, develop our cooking skills and find something new to cook. But we are not there yet..
When you’re an Indian teenager, you are what you post on Facebook and what others post, matters to us and influences us. We are those group of people who start with 1 meme and end up with a million people making alternate memes. So more than the adult newspapers and TV news channels, its the social media that influence us. We think in the same direction as the social media trends go. It was no wonder that when we realized that things won’t be the same with Maggi and us, we started doing what we always do:
Step 1: Cry
Step 2: Criticize
Step 3: Love and respect forever
Be it the Facebook profile photo change feature to support France or be it Aamir Khan’s statement, … or be it Maggi, we have always done these 3 things in sequence.
Lets begin with how 😉
First, we get sentimental. Oh no, Maggi has been banned! Maggi is gone What about the one thing I knew how to cook? I will never be able to cook again! Oh and what else will I eat now? People around the world were sad hearing about the Paris attacks. And they very well welcomed the Facebook feature to change your profile photo colors to match France’s flag colors. Some people for a day felt sorry for what Aamir’s wife felt.
Few days and then comes the criticizing part 😉 MAGGI HAS EXTRA MSG!!.
Someone – Hey, do you know what MSG is and what it does?
Us – Umm. No. BUT MAGGI HAS MSG!! How can you like Maggi afterall??
People started criticizing other people who changed their Facebook profile picture to ‘support’ France. How could you possibly be supporting France just by changing your profile pic? OK. That’s a good point to be noted. I agree. And about Aamir, well a huge mass of people is criticizing Aamir for what his wife said in some other context. :/ And then there were some people criticizing people who are criticizing Aamir. And some who are criticizing people who are criticizing those people who criticized Aamir. Yes 3rd order criticization 😛
Social media at its best, huh! And the worst victim in Aamir’s case was Snapdeal 😛 Yes I know, it doesn’t connect!
And then there is this one last stage… Leave us to what we are. We will always love Maggi. It doesn’t really matter if we ever get the pleasure to eat it again or get lost in the ‘Maggi fragrance’, the fact that we once loved Maggi is enough for us to survive.. and one day, to move ahead in our lives.
There will be times when you have another favorite dish be it Pani Puri or some Pizza or Pasta or some new dish that you haven’t eaten yet, but you know… nothing can replace that one dish you will always long for, the one which will always bring back the nostalgia and the memories.
There are things that are just not meant to be with you forever. There is a timeline they belong to. When the time is gone, so are they. Its a timeline you can always look back and relive for a moment or two, but the truth is, you just can’t get anything back.. I remember I had a toy Beyblade gifted by my friend about 10 years back and I remember that I gave it to someone and never got it back. I remember a glass paperweight that is lost somewhere. I remember a whole collection of Pokemon playing cards and I don’t know where it is now. But the thing is, even if its lost, it doesn’t lose its meaning and importance. There was a role those things played when I had them and then there is this role they play when I don’t have them with me. I don’t have the toy with me or the friend who gave it to me. But that doesn’t mean I will forget either. We don’t have Maggi now. But that doesn’t mean we will forget Maggi, will we?
You know our answer. Because Maggi has already taught us this.