Monday, January 18, 2016

Sweet memories and some thoughts

Mel from Stirrup Queens has invited us today to share a memory of our favourite childhood candy and I realised I had more than one. Don't worry, though, I promise not to get carried away.

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 .




24 comments:

  1. ha ha ha yes memories and whats more nostalgic is Phantom .. Mr walker :)

    Bikram's

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    1. Ha ha yes Bikram. Phantom comics were a huge hit with us too.

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  2. I found that really funny "Wow I avoided a tantrum and I gave him an energy boost!" It's true that so many things are packaged in such an "ingenious way", it's just wrong!!

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    1. It is, isn't it? I wish they wouldn't come packaged as 'healthy' which they so clearly aren't.

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  3. I remember that Facebook post ;) Don't get me started on Kinder Joy. They are banned at my house. If the gender stereotypes don't get to me, the cost certainly does. Nice to see you at #MicroblogMondays :)

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  4. Ah those cigarette candies! I am now really fussy about how they are a poor form of surrogate advertising, but back in school they were the coolest thing in town!

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    1. Yeah that's there of course. Back then smoking was considered cool.

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  5. yes, I remember your FB post and these cigarettes. What fun, no? I get you completely about these gender stereotypes going too far. I had the same reaction when I saw the boy-girl kinder joys. As it is we have to deal with statements like "pink is for girls" uff!!!

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    1. Stereotypes are so limiting and unreasonable, isn't it? And kids catch on to them really fast.

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  6. Happy new year tulika...as usual lovely post...I remember these cigarettes...there used to be chocolate that came in green wrapper and was very hard to eat...that was my favourite... Ya kinder joy just irritates me...they also claim its nutritious....thank you once again for bringing back candy memories

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    1. Happy New Year to you and your family too Gowri. It's always nice to see you here. Glad I took you to your childhood for a bit :-)

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  7. I remember those candy cigarettes! Our youngest is 15, and she already has some nostalgic candy - especially the penny candy (including those cigarettes) she gets when visiting my mother.

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  8. That is a lovely read dear Tulika. To cherish those childhood memories are precious - yes, even those involving sugar sweet cigarettes:-) :-) I am sure our kids will have the same memories... about their stuff.. Mine loved to hear stories about my childhood memories, and that makes me remember them too- its fun:-) Hugs

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    1. Oh yes kids simply love to hear tales of my childhood too. Sometimes they find it difficult to believe that I was a lot like them :-).

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  9. It's so funny how many of us remember and loved those cigarettes, even though I would never smoke the real thing!

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    1. Oh yes the real thing is totally out but these were our favourites.

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  10. These were my favorites along with boiled sugar candies we called kanpat. Simple sweets back then. Now, there is so much variety. I think every generation will find something to feel nostalgic about. :-)

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    1. OMG Rachna I never thought anyone else ever called them kampats. We loved them too - this is really a Lucknow throwback.

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  11. We had something like those called Popeye's cigarettes. They were sweet candy sticks with a red tip at the end. I think they still have them, but they've taken the red tip off.

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    1. Hmm... I think it's no longer cute to have candies that look like cigarettes. Back then it didn't seem to really matter and we never thought of moving onto the real thing.

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  12. I remember those cigarettes! My favorite was the orange candy, really sweet and tangy.
    This brings back memories. :)

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    1. Glad you went back in time Inderpreet.

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