I grew up a '90s kid - a Johnny Quest watching, Champak reading monkey, cycling around the neighbourhood park. While during the day, the mother would run around the house trying to shove a strange concoction of roti-milk-bananas down my throat, the glorious evenings when the 10-year-old self could indulge in a piping hot bowl of Maggi were the very best.
Our favourite slurpy friend has epitomised comfort food ever since its inception.
From stealing the best friend's tiffin in school (because Maggi), to those all-nighters pulled during finals week, Maggi has had our back.
And then BAM! Before we knew it, adulthood crept in. Adding insult to injury (as if all that existential ennui wasn't brutal enough), THEY TOOK MAGGI AWAY FROM US! The damned people at the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India decided that the one solace we had was harmful for us, and decided to screw us over, imposing a ban on Maggi's production.
Rainy days and hunger pangs lost all meaning for the duration of our food-bae's disappearance.
After a year of despair, Maggi made a comeback. I remember that round of grocery shopping that ended in tears of joy, and my flatmate and I returning home with an entire carton of Maggi. We expected order to be restored. Except, something was off.
Maggi's comeback personally has been something like Guns n Roses coming out with Chinese Democracy and claiming to be back. Pfft. Sure, it's the reigning champion among Indian noodles, but it tastes like all the fun has been squeezed out of it. Like the truant who decided to mend their ways, and dropped their punk act to go on to become the teacher's pet.
Rainy evenings sans Maggi sucked, but now they just reek of disappointment. Heck, I'd happily gorge on a bowl of Yippee noodles instead.
The masala's lost its zing, the flavour is off, the joy is gone. It's just not the same anymore. It now tastes more, plastic-y I guess?
Maggi's latest attempt at redeeming itself has been a whole range of spicy flavours in brand new snazzy packaging. Sorry bros at Nestlé, your Peri Peri, Barbeque Pepper, Chilli Chicken and Green Chilli flavours just ain't cutting it anymore.
In all honesty, Maggi tasted better with lead.