Maggi is ubiquitous. You go to any part of India, and there is a possibility that you would find it there. Apart from tea stalls that also sell boiled eggs which are found in every possible nook and cranny, Maggi vendors ensure they aren’t left behind. So here are my favourite places where I have had Maggi, and it tasted even better because of the ambience, the difficulty with which it was provided, a slight variation in the taste, or simply because I didn’t expect it there at all.
Kalatop Wildlife Santuary, Dalhousie
This quaint destination is not popular with tourists, and of the few people who visit Dalhousie, only a fraction of them visit Kalatop. The wildlife sanctuary is home to wild bears and Himalayan Ibex, and a lot of birds, apart from an astounding flora. With 3kms of trek into the wild, one reaches a compound where Wooden Chalets made in 1925 welcome you out of the blue. The charming chalets are amidst thick deodars, pines, and are surrounded by perfectly mowed down lawns replete with sunflowers.
When I reached there with my friends uninvited, I was refused to stay there as one needs to book in advance and get permission from the district officer of forest department in Chamba. So we just explored the place, and after taking snaps of the majestic Himalayan range one sees from there, we requested for food at their small kitchen. The kitchen was perched atop a small bump in the hill, and one had to climb stairs huffing puffing, and by the time you reach there, you are hungrier than before!
The kitchen hadn’t anything in stock for evening snacks, as it was all reserved for the hotel guests, so we had no other option than to beg for food. The cook finally said, “Yes, there are few packets of Maggi.” We heaved a sigh of relief and excitement. We in fact even asked him to throw in some veggies, which the cook politely declined. Then Ranjan, my dear friend, asked him to just chop very minuscule pieces of green chillies, and along with it add a dollop of butter.
We sat on the porch of a large chalet, which had old recliner chair, wooden table, and a glimpse into the chalet through the mosquito net framed windows. The cook brought us Maggi along with Chai. The nip in the air, the view of majestic bluish mountains, the green wooden chalets, the enormous sunflowers, the quietude and serenity, the chirpings of birds…all came together to make the Maggi taste heavenly. In fact, it’s hard to describe the taste of Maggi then. Heavenly is surely an understatement. The butter in the Maggi made the consistency smoother and the miniscule pieces of green chillies infused a pungent taste. The spices in the Maggi had got accentuated because of green chillies. The taste was more defined.
I would ask all the readers to visit that place. It’s a different experience altogether. No, there are no malls out there, no mall road, no shops in fact. But there is beauty. There is a time warp. I have been there twice during monsoons, and it becomes misty and chilly. You wouldn’t believe your luck to have Maggi in this kind of Eden settings.
Qutub Institutional Area
A crackling bonfire. Copper hued moon hanging low in the sky. Flickers of lightening gurgling through the thick clouds. Silhouettes of tall buildings against the dark blue skies. Darkness shrouding the never-ending expanse of forest. The dimly lit road lined by trees, canopies wrinkling the absolute sequence. That’s Qutub Institutional Area for you.
Nestled in one of the greenest areas in Delhi, QIA houses many management institutes. Due to a sizeable number of students there, few Dhabas & Shacks have sprung up on the road that borders the forest area. The most popular Dhaba being the one next to IIFC.
Come around any time, and the riveting silence interrupted by the fleeting breeze, humming of cymbals, chirping of birds would welcome you. The calm of the road is stark opposite to the chaos just about 1km outside the area. That’s the beauty of the place, it offers serenity, brings you closer to nature, serves you yummy food.
It’s not about the Maggi here, but about the ambience. Irresistibly romantic for the hopeless romantics, welcome break for the city dwellers, heaven for those coming from the not-so-green areas of the city, stress buster for those who had a rough day, there’s always something for someone to be here. And add to that, Maggi!
Though the stalls also offer many other things, paranthas being very popular (especially chicken parantha) apart from Macaroni, the humble Dal Sabzi Roti, yet, you just cannot ignore Maggi here. Maybe it’s the nip on the air once you enter QIA, or the greenery, or the serenity, you just want a light meal there. And what better than Maggi?
Go for a stroll under the canopies, sit around on the chairs, or keep sitting in your car, QIA has an ambience for every mood. Only one thing remains constant though – Maggi.
Though I love to add eggs (Bhurji) to my Maggi there, you can get veggies added, or just butter. Gulp it down with a Maaza. The QIA experience never bores. It’s a little heaven in Delhi.
My favourite dhaba though is a yellow van on that road. They’re better with their paranthas and maggis. Try it if you haven’t till now, or go again if you have. The romance never dies out there.
Disclaimer: The images for Kalatop are shot by me. However, the ones used for QIA are taken from google images.
More experiences/destination to come soon…