When in kindergarten, we memorised a song about an Old MacDonald, his farm, his cows, ducks, and fishes. It was the song that rang in my head every an animal was spotted whose sound I mimicked while singing it. I would've been in third grade when I first saw the big 'M' that graced a roof in the outer circle of Connaught Place. It became what held the best of childhood memories.
Not that all the outlets are going to be shut down, but 43 out of 55 will be gone. Along with them, we'll see the end of a number of memories that played out each time we stepped into a familiar store.
These outlets were landmarks. There will now be lesser number of times when you'd call a friend and say, "Let's meet outside the McD outside that market." Maybe, it'll no longer be there. Who knows if you'll now be able to go back to the same table where you had your first Happy Meal.
For every 90s kid who grew up in this city, you've also seen the rise in the prices of burgers and wondered if you'd ever be able to keep up with the prices.
Student days are tough. McDonald's was the place that offered food that was, by and large, accommodating when it came to almost bare pockets. But when the price of burgers went up, (yep, they were a lot cheaper *sniffs* back in our days) it took a little piece of our hearts too. It's the place that made going out on dates a not so expensive, yet classy looking affair. Cheap food, puppy love, and maybe a little handholding. Life was good.
But nothing can beat the joy that came with entering an outlet after exams got over. McDonald's outlets near schools would be overflowing with students. It was the happy place where no answers were discussed.
It was the place where plans were made for the holidays, which movie to watch, and chomping down burgers that were washed down with coke.
It's the place that had the best birthday parties. In fact, it was the first place where I had a birthday party outside my house. Not to forget the picture with Mr. Ronald McDonald.
It's the place that introduced me to the beauty that french fries are. It's the place where birthday parties meant fun, food, and incessant noise and chatter. Nobody was asked to sit down quietly, no disciplined way of eating badgered us. It's the place that taught me that messy burgers are the best ones and ketchup is bae.
Even today, it's the first food outlet that pops in my head when I head out. It's the first place I think of grabbing a quick bite from if I've not had breakfast (almost every day) or the place to rush to get over a maddening hangover.
The later's a bitch that does not let you face the sun or your own kitchen. But McD was the safe haven we all would venture out for because it offered a quick fix real cheap. It's not the unavailability of other places, it's the comfort that came with the store. It's all the memories of having been there so many times that you knew it's the place where nothing would go wrong. From comfort food to hangovers, it was a home for the child in me who refused to grow up.
And although it's not altogether coming to an end, it will no longer be the one place that everybody agreed upon. In memory of yet another 90s memory meeting its almost-end, for the last time guys, have a Happy Meal and bring home a toy.