Nostalgic Nostalgia

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Well, last month I wrote a piece on simple pure delights filling our lives with umpteen pleasure. Things which give us basic happiness, be it as simple as a foot massage or as rewarding as dancing without any hesitation.

Aah! I finished writing my article and when I re-read it couple of times after posting, my thoughts stuck to one of the points ‘Maggi and an old good favourite movie. NOSTALGIA!!!’ for quite a long time!

Nostalgia! Nostalgia! Nostalgia!

We have read so many times about thinking of the past, living in the past, dwelling and sulking in the past. Many articles have clearly pointed out about their cons and how they eat up our time offering nothing. But, there is a clear thick line between them and nostalgia. While others tend to make us low, nostalgia is a simple effort to reminisce the good old days and associations, linger onto fond memories and recalling our sweet past without any hesitation or guilt.

Once considered as a psychological disorder, nostalgia is now believed to be a powerful tool enhancing and improving your mood as it takes you to your sweet past souvenirs (though temporarily!). In this maddening world, where you are constantly chasing your undefined deadlines, your fascinating dreams and unending pleasures, a break ‘for’ the past, becomes a piece of sunshine in a dull cloudy atmosphere.

When I think what makes me feel nostalgic, obviously it’s all about my childhood. Being a typical 90’s kid, all I can think of those sing and dance Bollywood songs, weekend sessions of Maggi with my sis, summer holidays, annual school competition and plenty of others.

While there are several articles about 90s Indian kid for you to entertain, I caught five senses which walks me down memory lane. And here they are –

‘We’ Alert – wherever I have addressed ‘we’, it simply means my younger sister and me. My Nostalgia trip is incomplete without her mention 🙂

Taste – That fresh, spicy and raw mango pickle & Maggi!

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It reminds me of my sunny summer holidays, when mom used to make fresh, ready to eat mango pickle which we relished with every summer meal. My sister and me used to prick a few mangoes from a huge mango tree in my neighborhood! Oh that joy would never be attained.

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And nothing beats those long curly yellow soupy strands adorning the weekends! Yes, it’s Maggi!

Vision – Those cartoon series from TV or comic books.

Disney, Tom and Jerry, Supandi, Champak, Chacha Chowdhury! The lists endless. We used to be glued to TV screens almost every evening and borrowed so many books from the community library on Saturdays. These were the main motivation to finish our home work on time!

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Hearing – My favourite 90s Bollywood songs

This is the best one! The perfect memories of my childhood. Can’t get over it, in fact don’t want to get over it. There are plenty of songs so don’t want to name any, but the rhythm, beats and lyrics of sweet 90s Bollywood songs can easily transcend me to those childhood evenings when we used to plug in to the cassettes and listen till our mom scolded!

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Smell – Fresh whip of International Lux and marigold flowers

Hahaha! It was that time of the golden era when using Lux was a luxury! Keeping Rexona, Medimix, lifebuoy, Cinthol aside, indulging in a Lux bath was not less than a lavish indulgence. And Marigold! Ooh la la! Any wedding was incomplete without it! Those long loops of marigold embellishing the wedding hall, entrance, Mandap!! Wow! These days it has been drastically replaced by rosy roses, orchids, lilies n many other exotic flowers, but nothing could beat the golden drape of marigold!

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Touch – That angelic touch of your parents and grandparents

Those blessed times! A lovely night, Grandmaa’s lap and her lullaby. Maths exam the next day, sleepless hours and parents assurance touch that it will be fine! The Best!

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Well, this was my list of sweet innocent fun. How about yours ?

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Oh Maggi! Your yellow curly saucy thin threads are going to be missed!

Oh My Dear Maggi!

So, after more than 30 years of strong friendship with India, the ‘Bas Do Minute’ saga is crashing down! Isn’t it sad for the entire nation who has actually grown enjoying and slurping their favourite snack for ages! Yes, it is.  For all that I know, this is errr.. I mean was the only one food item which was common across varied Indian cuisines; this basically bridged the gap between several cultures of a diversified country like India. And, you are now laying there in your Nestle factories, units and outlets to be destroyed! More than you, WE your fellow loyal customers are feeling sorry about the whole fiasco!

maggi-noodlesMy first cooked meal was you! My first experiment in kitchen was you and my first food ‘amusement’ was you! I was a toddler when I starting enjoying you. I have a vague memory of my childhood days when your popularity was increasing in a rapid pace. There was only one ‘original masala’ flavour available in markets and the grocery list was never complete without Maggi packets. Not that my mom is a lazy mother or I was a finicky child, but during those times (early 1990s), this was the only ‘novel’ and ‘readymade’ food item available.

My partner in all crimes, my younger sister then joined my Maggi Team! No matter what the occasion be, the joy of having you in our food plates was delightful. A lazy Sunday evening or a rainy day! Watching a good movie on DD or enjoying our vacations! A quick midnight snack or a hurried meal! You were always there with you and we found you everywhere! Even when we were exhausted while exploring remote places in Uttar Pradesh, you brought a smile back when we saw you at a small eatery. I haven’t been in hostel, but I was quite surprised to see when the teenagers relished you in Pune and Bangalore, be it their PG house or a city mall. And not just in India, I was overwhelmed when I saw you in all the Indian Asian shops in UK! From Vizag to Varanasi! From London to Ludhiana! From Coimbatore to Kashmir! You were always adorned by a huge chunk of people, varying from toddlers, collegians to corporate and honestly everyone!

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Forever, you were the most pocket friendly quick nosh. Though the different flavours you came wrapped in didn’t get popular, but trying at least once was essential! And even if we loved your original masala flavour, we loved to experiment with our unique way. You made my menu little innovative and interesting  – adding Chinese sauces or tossing a dash of Italian herbs or blending a desi twist – Maggi Samosa, pakodas and many others! Oh My God! For Indians who usually eat with hands, you were the first one to teach me (at least for me) to eat with a fork!

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Oh, the experiences and odysseys are endless! And now I feel so bad that you are not here with us. If the reports have some mass, we were consuming excess lead and MSG for several years! You would be flooded with huge amount of letters these days’; a few complaints, a few consolations and a few queries. Well, I just have one question for you. Why? Why did you cheat your most loyal customers? Why did you deceive that nation which acknowledge you with open arms? Why were you harming those kids who were your main audience and revenue churners? Those yellow curly saucy thin threads are going to be missed!

nestles-maggi-instant-noodlesAt present, you, me and everyone is perplexed because of the noodle disaster and we are patiently waiting for your next substantial move. Will you discontinue your products in India? Will you revamp your productions and come with a ‘really’ healthy product? Or will you fight and declare that the current production is safe to eat?

We are waiting!

From your forever loyal patron!