At 7 pm on a Wednesday evening – I call my husband with a heavy heart.
I am just starting for home from a meeting at a distant location from home – and the traffic I see on the roads that lead home – tell me that there is no way I will be home in time to fix dinner for the family tonight.
With a drooping heart – drooping shoulders and a drooping mouth – I call home to tell my husband that.
He listens gravely and assures me that I need not worry at all.
All that he says sounds absolutely genuine and above board – but I find my Mom instincts kick in suddenly.
I am suspicious. Do I sense a celebratory mood at the other end of the line?
And then – as I hang up – I hear a shouted word that confirms my doubts.
Before the line goes dead – Father and daughter shout – YIPPEE!!!
They are delighted!
My not being home on time will mean that the duo will be able to feast on Yippee noodles tonight.
A wave of indignation sweeps over me – but when that is over – my drooping smile is replaced with a happy laugh.
Yes – it’s going to be a Maida (refined flour) dish – instead of a whole wheat Atta dish on the table tonight.
Yes - the veggies in the noodles are not going to be farm fresh and will come from a packet instead.
Yes - the meal won’t be as high on the nutrition scale as I like daily dinners to be.
But at least it will be a real meal. And more importantly it will fill the house with laughter and smiles.
I can almost hear the joyous shouting – “Yippee!! Yippee!!” – as the noodles cook in my house.
After all the recent controversy and panic – it is good to have instant noodles in the clear at last.
Of course the controversy was never about Yippee noodles – but I have to admit that as one brand of instant noodles (that a whole generation grew up on) – took the beating – I couldn’t but suspect my current family favourite – Yippee noodles – of all the terrible things that the other brand was accused of.
Even though I knew fully well that Yippee Noodles was just an instant bystander in the raging crossfire - I had banned its entry into my house.
Yippee is brand from the ITC group and funnily enough however - suspect it as I may have, of various flaws – I continued to buy and serve other brands from the ITC group with great confidence throughout. Aashirwad whole wheat and multigrain atta continued to make it to the table at every single meal – because quite simply – I just couldn’t home in on a better brand.
Thinking back now – I think the controversy about instant noodles was a quite a typhoon and I think I was just caught up in the wave that was sweeping over all of us.
I have worked in some of the best medical laboratories in the country – labs that have had ISO and NABL accreditation. And I have also set up a good many labs. So – while the controversy was raging -I did have some niggling doubts about what I read and heard – but life being as busy as it is – I never had time to give it that much thought.
Then last Saturday ITC Foods division volunteered to clear these doubts.
In the luxurious environs of the ITC Gardenia Bangalore –at the YAWA (You Ask We Answer) session organized for Bloggers - I had the pleasure of listening to and interacting with the Divisional Chief Executive of the Foods division of ITC – Mr V L Rajesh, the Head of Marketing for the ITC Foods Division - Ms Kavita Chaturvedi, The Chief Operating Officer of the ITC Foods Division Mr S Ganesh Kumar and several other people on their team.
Sincerity always shines through and it shone like a beacon as these people spoke.
Yes – they stood there in the line of fire and answered all the questions all us gathered bloggers had to ask.
Here are some things that they said that really got me thinking and also answered a lot of questions I had.
As a Mom and Doctor – there is no doubt in my mind – that what we serve our children must be safe and healthy.
But as a Parenting and Wellness Consultant I definitely believe that we must give children “CHOICE” and infuse their meals with “FUN”
I was delighted to know that the Marketing head of ITC Foods said that – that was what she found in her research. And that these were the two elements she looked to provide as well when she went about creating the Yippee Noodles.
There is something about meeting people who have spent their lives creating brands that they believe in - brands that are part of their personalities and their lives.
I think my Saturday was well spent because I met so many such people of the ITC foods division. People who have invested more than a decade of their lives building products with passion and sticking by them through good times and bad – because they knew what they knew and because they were convinced that they had always been doing what was right.
It would have been the easiest thing in the world for these people to jump ship when instant noodles went through the recent rough patch.
But the faith that they had – to stick by their creations - to sail through that storm that threatened to wipe them out – has reinforced my faith in all the ITC foods brands.
Yippee noodles make it to my table now – because I am convinced – to convince yourselves – look here