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Voicing Silence 7

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The sweet taste of memory

When we were growing up, we used to have something called ‘chocolate’. Except that it was not. It was hard-boiled toffee, I later learnt. The real stuff, the one made of cocoa, those were referred to as ‘Cadburys’. And this we saw rarely of. Anyway, into our world of limited choice came a rare treat courtesy of a peripatetic sailor uncle. One day, he came home with a packet of crisp, golden, feather-light ‘sweets’. We didn’t have a name for it and so came to refer to it as ‘foreign chocolate’ (what else!). Foreign was a country outside India and chocolate was anything sweet. These tiny balls of heaven were strictly rationed and we’d carry our share to school in the top rack of our two-tier tiffin box.

Years later, as I was browsing through the aisles of an impersonal supermarket in a ‘developed’ country, I chanced upon a carton that had pictures of honey-coloured globes. The box read ‘Breakfast Boulders’ and I knew I had to get it. I ripped open the pack as soon as we got home and when the first of those boulders melted in my mouth, a mystery was laid to rest. I called my sister the following day and told her that I had found ‘foreign chocolate’. She understood instantly. “How does it taste?”, she asked. “Just like it did when I was 11 and you were 9, all those years ago”, I replied.


Uma said...

Nice one Ammani. It is amazing how very subtle tastes and smells take you back years. I don't want to grow up yet :(

Shyam said...

Yep, I can remember those "sweets" :) But the first time I had real chocolate from abroad - even the ubiquitous Cadbury's - I was surprised at how much better they were quality-wise compared to the Indian version. They were (are) also cloyingly sweet... way sweeter than the "Indian Cadbury's". Dont care for chocolates and most sweets, in any case :)

Thangachee said...


Gnabagam varudae.. Gnabagam varudae.. Pokkishamaaga pudaindu vaittha "Anda Chocolate" saapta gnabagam varudae!

dogmatix said...

Ah the joy i felt when i spotted my fav. 'Cadburys dairy milk' here in the US. Move over ghiradellis , lindt , godivas .. for the one i love is here..

i felt like singing in the aisle

'sila vishayame nambinaale, silla vishayame visheshame silla suvaigaleeeee aeeee . yenna visheshame .. vaizhvilleeee aeee!!1

AF said...

I don't care much for Chocolates...but even so the taste of the Cadbury's is the best.
We had got a Hazelnut Cadbury from Canada and it was the best I had ever tasted, I have never found such a variety in the US.


Suguna Purushothaman said...

hmm so a sweet tooth for a sweet blogger

Harish said...

I don't wanna grow up either :(

honey-coloured globes

when the first of those boulders melted in my mouth,

aaarrggghhh! this is torture! :"(

S m i t h a said...

You wont believe it... my story is the same.. when-i-was-a-kid/uncle/foreign chocolate/tiffin-box... but havent come to the revealing of the mystery part yet :( wish me luck!

Vidya said...

Good for you, you were able to find those again!!!:)

On a different note - u know, all of us (our genration) never had all this nice candy and chocolates so handy. I remember when I was a kid, for every dairy milk we got, we used to split it - like 2 pieces for me, 2 for my sis etc. Those are memories I look back at and smile. And then there's your 'foreign chocolate'.

You think kids of this generation would ever have such moments once they grow up? They are getting everything so easily that it must all seem trivial and 'always available'!!

Sorry to drift off the main topic :):)


Harish said...

You have candies, sweets and Cadbury's on ur ads now! :)

ammani said...

What do you mean 'us' (our generation)? Haven't you heard, I'm still in my late teens? Hahaha :)

You can safely say there's no danger of you growing up. Not in the near future anyway ;)

perspective said...

and how did you end up in this foreign country? Curiosity wont leave me alone now!