Maggi can take a hike

You know, I’m so glad about the way I’ve been brought up. This post might seem like a tribute to myself, but it’s every bit a tribute to my parents for having brought me up so perfectly. I’m not saying I’m perfect (although I might be), but that my upbringing has been perfect.

Feeling suicidal
Feeling suicidal?

In fact, this post is stemming from all the ruckus that Maggi has created. And then Cerelac, and then Haldirams and whatever else. Honestly, I’ve lost track because it doesn’t make a bit of a difference to me.

A few weeks ago, I went and bought myself a box of Kellogg’s Chocos. As I ate it, I giggled and revelled in the luxury I felt. It was probably the third box of Chocos I’d bought in 24 years of my life. I’d always thought it too expensive to ask my parents to buy it. Not like we’re poor people, but I’ve been taught to spend only where necessary. So, I’d always thought of Chocos as a spoilt child’s snack. In fact, when I was around 12, I did ask my mother for it once. She bought it. But I forgot all about it, until a year later, when I found a jar of soggy Chocos and threw it away. Maybe it was out of guilt, but I waited literally 12 years to buy the next box, with my own money.

The thing is, ever since I was a baby, my parents have thought a thousand times about buying packaged food. I was never given Cerelac as a baby. I was instead fed vegetables and fruits or just thuppa anna (plain rice with ghee and salt). I think the only packaged food I was spoilt with was Bournvita.

So, thanks to being brought up with such food habits, I grew up loving rice, rasam, ghee, salt, milk, curd and other home-made things. You might think it strange, but I wasn’t even introduced to cheese until I was old enough to go out and dine at a restaurant with my friends.

That’s when pizzas, burgers and sandwiches entered my life. I was perhaps 13 or 14. At first, I didn’t really like the taste of white sauce pasta, or cheese omlettes. It was all so bland. But then the taste grew on me and I began to appreciate it. Thankfully, though, my taste buds were already accustomed to homely tastes and I let fast food remain an occasional thing.


Last week, my sister and I ordered pizza, and both of us laughed at the fact that it was probably the third time in life we were ordering pizza. We never order anything home. Nothing tastes better than my mom’s rasam rice with kothambri soppu at the end of the day. And no meal is ever complete without curd rice.

So with a lifestyle like this, I was shocked to see so many of my friends worried about the Maggi ban. Maggi has been a rarity in my house, compared to most households that I know. I liked the taste, but seldom ate it. Same with fried food like chips, fries and other things. I try to avoid them as much as I can. I can’t remember the last time I voluntarily bought a packet of Lays or Kurkure. Ew!

With such good habits, it’s not difficult at all to stay thin and healthy. I feel bad when I see so many friends just gorging on unhealthy food, ordering in pizza every other night, drinking bottles and bottles of alcohol and bloating up. Fat is not nice, not because it’s socially unacceptable or something. It’s just unhealthy.

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I’m not saying I’m the epitome of good habits. I have bad habits like biting my nails incessantly, scratching my skin too much to leave marks behind. (Sigh.) I also have my share of alcohol, but I don’t overdo things, as my parents have taught me.

My dad drinks, but rarely. We have unopened bottles of scotch at home, and they’ve been lying around for years. My mom might be the epitome of good habits though. I can’t imagine anything she does wrong. She even does yoga thrice a week. It’s too hard to be like her.

So thank you amma and appa, for helping me stay thin, inculcating good habits in me in the right way, without ever having punished me. Thank you for making me like healthy things, rather than keeping me away from unhealthy things. You guys are awesome parents and hope the next probable parents, Su and Anand, become parents like you someday. (Muhahaha!)

Thank you! :)


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