Ban Momos? Nooooo!!!

Aditi Raychoudhury. Twilight Zone. Pen and Ink. 2004.
Aditi Raychoudhury. Twilight Zone. Pen and Ink. 2004.

Almost everyone in my architecture school adored momos. We relished it often. Not satisfied with its war on Maggi, the Indian government now wants to ban momos. If momos were so dangerous, most graduates of the School of Planning and Architecture would have been dead well before graduation day!

Ban Maggi? Nooooo!!!

Aditi Raychoudhury. Twilight Zone. 2004. Pen and Ink. 8 1/2" x 11".
Aditi Raychoudhury. Twilight Zone. 2004. Pen and Ink. 8 1/2
Aditi Raychoudhury. Twilight Zone. 2004. Pen and Ink. 8 1/2″ x 11″.

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.

“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.

Maggi’s sunny cheery ads promised us a snack that kids loved and mothers could serve without feeling any deep-fried guilt.”

From Sandip Roy’s report for KALW. 

And, now for a vintage Maggi commercials to bring back fond memories.