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!