When we were young, many many moons ago, chocolates were not as plenty on the ground as they seem to be now. Now, every passing guest will bring a gift of chocolates to my two daughters; the fridge is full of yet-to-be-unwrapped Dairy Milk Chocolate bars and other goodies.
The overabundance of chocolates have made them mundane and deprived them of the luscious magic of the past. For us, chocolates were magical stuff to covet and lust for. When they came into our possession, we relished the joy of ownership and the pleasure of anticipation for a long while (almost till the chocolate itself was in danger of melting because of being clutched in our grubby hands for a considerable time). And then the unwrapping of the shiny silvery foil and gazing into the sweet delights of the best brown colour in the whole wide world. And the love affair continued at the first bite …and the next…down to the last licking of the gooey mess in the folds of the foil or the tips of the fingers.
It was understandable when we learnt in college that the word chocolate had its roots in the Mexican ‘xococatl’ – a fittingly exotic origin for an out-of-the-world flavour.
The appeal of chocolates was all the more because we got to eat them on rare occasions, and then usually it was a small Cadbury’s éclairs or a 5-Star bar that had to be divided with great care and eaten with great relish.
So, you can understand our (my brother and mine) round-eyed, open-mouthed delight when my maasi (aunt) once gifted us a whole set of chocolate bars. The Amul company had then recently launched chocolate bars in different flavours, and maasi had generously given us the entire range!
We felt like monarchs who had been given the entire earth to rule over. There were orange-flavoured and coffee-flavoured chocolate, bars with nuts-and-raisins, rice-crispies, butter-scotch, peanuts, a dark chocolate one and a regular milk chocolate one.
Just the weight of the carry-bag and the feel of the rectangular bars (worth more to us than gold bars, at that moment) transported us to a kind of ecstasy.
And then came the difficult part. Like most monarchs who have to divide and rule, we too had to divide the booty to eat our share. Easy-peasy – eight bars, each neatly sectioned into sixteen cuboids. So what was the problem?
The problem was me. I was the glutton, gobbling my share in a matter of an hour or so, OD-ing on this unexpected bonanza, blissed out, but not satisfied. My prudent brother had a bite here and a bite there, and had kept the rest of his stash in the fridge, planning to enjoy his bonus a little at a time.
If only I would let him (Boy proposes, greedy sister disposes - this was the rule in our house). I remember coaxing him and cajoling him, then threatening him so loudly that my mother had to settle the sweet-dispute. Finally I used the pacifist-but-extremely-discomfiting ploy of sitting right in front of him when he would take out a bit of his hoarded treasure, and staring at him with starving-eyes, till he would be forced to shell out a cube or two (being a soft-hearted little fellow).
Ah, bliss all over again. Chocolate enjoyed through ill-gotten means tasted even better than the legally-devoured stuff.
DO SHARE A CHOCOLATE MEMORY.
P.S: THANK YOU, SCRIBBIT, FOR THIS MEMORY CALORIE-TRIP. (This post was written for Michelle’s Write Away contest).