To begin with there were these phantom cigarette candies. I shared this on Facebook sometime back and heard from many many friends saying how they missed them just like me. These had a texture quite like chalk and were sweet enough to put you off sweets for a long time, or so I thought when I recently sampled them again. I’d thought they were dead and gone till one day I got a call on the intercom from my 9 year old asking permission for a cigarette that his friends were offering. I completely freaked and asked him to come right home. And this is what he got. It brought back many many fun memories. When we were young, we would put them to our lips and pretend to blow out ‘smoke’ during the cold Lucknow winters.
I also remember a ‘sweet man’ who was quite a favourite with all of us. He’d stand outside our school with a huge box, which he hung from his neck, stacked with all kinds of sweets. My favourites were these tiny pink rose flavoured sweets that I cannot remember the name of. They came in a peppermint flavour too but the rose were my favourite. I remember the fragrance more that the flavour. Regrettably, I have never found them again.
Those were certainly simpler times. Sweets back then were simply an occasional indulgence, nothing more. They didn’t need to boast of additional benefits. Have you noticed how these days they come ‘packed with energy boosters’ or ‘fortified with glucose’?
And so each time our child has a meltdown and we reach out for a sweet to pacify our sad or angry toddler we can tell ourselves, “Wow I avoided a tantrum and I gave him an energy boost!” A win-win situation, right? And it’s way easier than helping him work out strategies to cope with his anger/grief. Advertisers have certainly made the whole exercise guilt-free.
Okay I’m over analysing this whole thing but I do have a lot of issues with sweets and the way they are marketed. For instance, have you seen how Kinder Joy comes in a boy version and a girl version?? I mean, must sweets (and toys and books and everything else) also have a gender now?
Despite all the advertising hoo-haa I wonder if my kids will remember them with as much affection and nostalgia as I remember my phantom cigarettes.
Linking to Mel’s #Microblog Mondays .