That first one of Maggi in the school tiffin box. Cold and lumpy. It had a unique taste of its own.
The one that Mata ji made – on afternoons while mum and dad were at work. I insisted too much and she gave in but it always tasted really weird. I think she ‘secretly’ tried to make it healthy.
The one at Irfan’s – accompanied by masala coke.
Tom Uncle’s – mainly for the cult value and peer pressure of liking what everyone loved. I remember not liking it too much.
Papa’s Maggi – for when I came home late from college and CAT prep classes. I always got it in my favourite plate. Soupy just like I preferred.
The Symbi canteen – running out after a class to beat the rush of people who’d all order a Maggi, Raju bhaiya ready to take the order, it was always at least three or four plates. Half the joy was in taking away the first servings that made it to the counter. The other (in hindsight) in squabbling over portions with forever hungry friends. This one came tailored to be soupy or dry.
Workplace Maggi was very rare. That was the era I lived with the after effects of eating poorly and had to be extra careful about such indulgences.
Pahadon wali Maggi – on those idyllic trips to the Himalayas. Oh my I miss those mountains! The pleasure of roadside Maggi (and chai for my co-travellers) on cold and misty days is hard to match.
Adult life Maggi – the one where you’re responsible to feed yourself and sometimes can only be arsed enough to make Maggi. That’s a whole different level of satisfaction. A packet and a half of the new age reduced size to make up enough food to count as a meal. As complicated as that last sentence and as simple as eat from the pan with feet up in front of the telly.
Cherry on top always is being able to lick the bottom of the bowl or the pan for extra flavour and thrill in the end.