Social media has been in a tizzy ever since the words "Parle G" and "shut down" started appearing in headlines a few days ago. Indeed, the very prospect of losing this ubiquitous accompaniment to hot beverages -- milk, tea, coffee or health drink -- has cast a pall of gloom over the minds of many.
It has also resulted in many people openly mourning online the apparent demise of a brand that seems to be omnipresent in childhoods, irrespective of the social standing of people. It has also been a favourite of those living on a budget, those with dogs and myriads of others.
As if that was not enough, a quick scan of vidoes of foreigners trying Indian food shows they may hate everything else, but always have a good word for this inexpensive little biscuit. Somtimes, it is the only snack that is appreciated, with much more diverse ones coming in for criticism.
Therefore, when the initial news reports started doing rounds that there would be a shutdown, people were aghast and quick to react.
Most were baleful, to say the least, at the thought of losing a food heritage of sorts. Here are some recent ones:
Interestingly, the news of this shutdown seemed to have spread its shroud of sadness to foreign shores as well, as is evident from the post of this gentleman, who wrote it from Doha in Qatar:
So is there reason to be concerned? Definitely! Because all these people and many more have simply not read the report they are sharing, and have equated the shutting down of a single factory to the shutdown of the entire brand. Sure, the factory is the iconic 87-year-old one at Vile Parle that imparted the welcoming smell of biscuits being baked in the area, but it is by no means the only factory Britannia had that manufactures Parle G!
The truth is, Parle G is manufactured all around the country in what is said to be hundreds of plants. So the closure of this one plant, for whatever reason, does not mean Parle G is off the plates and saucers forever. And Parle G itself confirms as much on its official Facebook page!
So, no need to hoard the biscuits thinking they are the last batch. Sure, you can hoard them because you like them, or someone else likes them and you want to make them smile. And now they have one more reason to smile. That dreaded Parle G closure everybody is talking about is not happening!
And while we are on the topic of dispelling false beliefs or incorrect information, here's another. There is this old post of how that little girl on the Parle G pack looks now, that surfaces time and again on social media:
Apparently, that little girl's name was Neeru Deshpande. But the accompanying photo is definitely not her. Keen-eyed individuals -- mostly quizzers -- will recognise her as Sudha Murthy, wife of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy. So, there goes that notion as well!