While growing up, instant noodles in the house was a strict no-no. Ma would say that one particular spice in the taste-maker was harmful and so instant noodles for us. Our fellow mates would busk in the mouth watering tastes of Maggi and Top Ramen instant noodles, while we would try to reason with Ma. The only exception would be when we used to be sick. And sometimes the concerned companies would distribute their instant noodle packs in our school for promotion and that evening we hungrily feasted on them. But yes, we used to have the normal noodles all the time.
When I moved to Kolkata for my UG course and stayed in the hostel, the most liberating fact was that I could have instant noodles as and when I wanted. As we were not allowed gas stoves in the hostel, we cooked the noodles in electric kettles. But my affair with instant noodles took a leap ahead when I moved to Tezpur for my PG studies. My friends there introduced me to instant noodles cooked with vegetables and eggs. It was lip smacking. Since then I have come a long way. I now cook them with veggies, eggs, soya-bean chunks or chicken sausages/hot-hogs and the dish has become one of my specialties.
As I started working and living on my own, instant noodles became kind of my staple food. I would try all brands available in the market and also never fail to taste the new ones too. Although Maggi used to be and still is popular choice, I was never a big fan of it. Several years ago, Top Ramen used to be my favourite, then came Wai Wai. In between, Knorr soupy noodles topped my list. But now Yippee rules since it hit the market.
As I said Maggi never excited me. But during my trip to Himachal (To The Hills & Back) last month, I saw it in new light. Vendors selling simply cooked Maggi with onions, tomatoes and green chillies tasted awesome. May be it was chill, the weather or the place, Maggi tasted different there.
My idea of enjoying a bowl of my special instant noodles is watching a movie or an episode of my favourite shows on my laptop. And doing this simple thing makes me beam with cheer. And yes, a well cooked bowl of instant noodles never fails to give me instant “noodle’ly” happiness.