If you have ever travelled in the Mumbai’s local trains before a year and a half – you would know how important the Parle G factory was to the city before it was shut down. Located in the middle of Andheri & Vile Parle railway station, Mumbaikars often joyously sniffed the smell of Parle G biscuits being made in the factory, while passing through the overhead flyover or in the local trains.
Most of us have grown up eating these plain biscuits which go amazingly well with a cup of chai. The wrapper of the iconic biscuits hasn’t undergone much change throughout the years. It still features the cute little girl on the ochre-yellow wrappers. Who is she? Many have wondered.
A lot of rumours went around about this. A few users on Quora said that the girl was ‘Neeru Deshpande’ and some said ‘Gunjan Gundaniya’. A lot of speculations happened until Mayank Shah, a group product manager at Parle Products revealed to ET, “It’s actually an illustration by an Everest creative back in the 60s. People have created their own stories about the kid being a girl and assigned names of their own accord and others just caught onto them, a lethal combination of rumour and grapevine.”
Parle was first a confectionary maker in Vile Parle, Mumbai in 1929. The first Parle-G biscuit was baked in 1939 in British India. In 1947, when India attained independence, Parle-G launched its first commercial that said that Parle-G biscuits were an Indian, Swadeshi alternative to British-made biscuits.
The name Parle-G (with G standing for Glucose) is a favourite among masses. There was an ad featuring the biscuits that said that the ‘G’ stands for ‘Genius’.
If you line up all the Parle-G biscuits consumed annually, you could go around the circumference of the globe 192 times! In 2015, Parle also became the first FMCG company to cross the ₹5,000 crore mark.
When the Parle factory was functional in Vile Parle, schools often organised tours of the factory for children. Also, people used to line up outside the factory years ago, to buy pieces of Parle-G biscuit that have broken during manufacturing and thus cannot be sold in a packet. Such was the love of Mumbai for the Parle factory.
For Indians, Parle-G is a constant and pleasant reminder of our childhood – where we struggled to make sure that the tea-dipped Parle-G biscuit didn’t fall in the cup before we put it into our mouths!
Preview Photo: indiatimes.com