Save the Earth! It is the only planet with chocolate….

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"The doctor said I need more calcium, so I'm switching from dark to milk chocolate."

What do you do when you know that global warming could target one of the sweetest solutions you have always counted on — that chocolate (or the cocoa plant) is at a risk of extinction in a few decades?

I decided to drown my melancholy in an entire bar of chocolate that I realised at the other side of my criminally-calorific break must have been saved up by one of my children.

Luckily, the brain had me covered with the build-up of the goodness of endorphins and serotonin that magically transformed my guilt and melancholy into an inexplicable feeling of warmth and goodness — albeit temporarily.

The word ‘chocolate’ itself feels like an invitation to joy, happiness and a reason to smile, unlike words like ‘eggplant’ that causes a certain adult and a child in my household to try hard to keep up a straight face and suffer from a sudden onset of ‘loss of appetite’ while the other child — who is still on the road to learning the tricks of the trade — is seen to scream her disapproval.

Chocolate comes wrapped in the pleasures of delicious moments that trigger sweet childhood memories.

Being the Five-Star and Dairy Milk generation of kids, my cousins and I willingly shared our clothes and sometimes even our homework but fought tooth and nail for a fair share of the rare chocolate treat that was painstakingly divided to the last millimetre.

On the bright side, it was during these rare moments that we put every apparatus in our mathematical instrument box and our math skills to good use.

Summer vacations meant freedom from school work and hovering in stealth mode near my aunt’s refrigerator trying to get our hands inside the colourful tins of chocolate that it treasured — the wrappers of which were saved away between the pages of our notebooks where both its ‘chocolatey’ scent and memory lingered on for days

Along with chocolate are coffee, potatoes, apples among many others in the global food chain that are found to be at a risk of extinction. While the company, Mars, is working on using scientific methodologies like the gene-editing technology to aid in developing plants that will be able to survive in the expected conditions, we have one more ‘sweet’ reason to do our bit in saving our home from the devastating effects of global warming.

As for me, the gnawing grief is making a comeback with the effect of the ‘happy chemicals’ waning. Now if you will excuse me, I need to grab another bar.

 

This is an extract from the publication in the Off the Cuff column of The Gulf News. For the entire article please click here.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter!

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39 responses »

  1. HAPPY EASTER to you too! even if you threaten me with direst of consequences, should I turn away from the chocolate bar you might offer me, I wouldn’t bulge,as I’m so engrossed with the battle of the bulges around my midriff, though it’s an inevitable part of aging. But it’s new avatar- the dark chocolate, even though it comes wrapped in promises of better cardiac health, I’d rather chose death from heart attack than the bitter taste of the dark cousin of chocolate!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Doctor. Hope you had a good Easter celebration.
      A wise choice, Doctor, to keep away from the allure of chocolate for the mind has a very confusing way of convincing the body that it is okay to eat a little more until there is no more left and yes, they have reached the growing midriff. For me it is a task better said than done.
      As for the dark cousin, we love them, strangely even the children.
      Good day, Doctor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Childhood days and chocolates are inseparably intertwined with each other, I still remember how we relished those 5-star chocolates ! Your hilarious words resonate with my childhood days as well !!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Megala. The 5-star was indeed a star among us and how we treasured those wrappers after its contents were consumed. Chocolate has never tasted better than those enjoyed in those treasured moments.
      Thank you, Megala.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Very nicely written Pranitha madam. I could recall the episode of saving choco wrappers especially for the fact that around 100 empty wrappers did fetch one free chocolate in excgange bak then. I still remember cadbury eclairs in orange wrapper used to cost .5 and there used to be a lollypop for re 1 that came wrapped in purple or violet color. I also miss a choci named double decker from cadbury. Looks like we get it only in united kingdom now. Felt nice reading your article, thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, as always, Ravi. You are indeed a treasure trove of wonderful memories, a lot of which I recollect when you mention. I too remember exchanging wrappers for a chocolate. We never understood what they did with the used wrappers but our motive was that single chocolate that awaited us at the end of the 100th wrapper. Yes! Eclairs costed 0.50 and how expensive that was then. Sometimes we had to make do with a groundnut burfi from the bakery with only the sight of the glass jar full of eclairs when the change did not add up to 0.50. Strange but are valuable memories that will linger on for many many years, albeit as little stories in blogs and to our children.
      Thank you so much for reviving those memories – yet again, Ravi. Good day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy Easter. The chocolate days of childhood, Cadbury, KitKat, Mars and five star when Mom and Dad indulged me, treating the self to bliss. Just had a bite of homemade easter chocolate given to us by the neighbors. Enjoyed reading the tale.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh but I like eggplants. More so when they’re called brinjals. Eggplant brings to mind a lovely image, of just reaching out of the window into the garden, and plucking off the key breakfast ingredient. But I like brinjals more. They are unarguably better than peas.
    I love chocolates. But that’s understood.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I recently indulged in two bars of chocolate shared with my partner alongside cups of English Breakfast tea and now I want more…it’s sad to imagine a world without this sweet treat…I love the image of placing the chocolate wrappers in between those pages, delicious reminders until the real deal comes around again!

    Liked by 1 person

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