The ban over Maggi has become national news in India. And, why not? It even featured prominently in a novel I had illustrated – The Loudest Firecracker.
India has tied itself in knots thanks to a noodle problem. The country has been in an uproar since tests alleged that some packets of Maggi instant noodles have been found to contain lead and MSG. It’s caused an instant uproar.
“Maggi you see is more than just instant noodles. In a socialist India where Coca Cola was forbidden, Maggi from Nestle in the 1980s felt almost like cosmopolitanism in a packet..
“Fast to make and good to eat Maggi makes a tasty treat. Maggi Maggi Maggi”
It broke the rules of cooking. Nothing needed to be chopped, ground or grated. It was East meets West, home meets the world. All with a masala flavor. Everyone had a Maggi memory – the schoolchild’s tiffin, the hostel student’s dinner, the newly-married working couple’s trusty stand by.
Unlike instant noodles in the US which was the epitome of the sad loner with a hot-plate, Maggi managed to sell itself in India as piping hot testimonial of mother’s love. The bright yellow packets still carry the legend Mummy I’m hungry. The ads all feature fond mommies.
Continue to find out more on Sandip Roy: The Ballad of Maggi