Wednesday, 2 April 2008

The Easter Bunny

Barely a week into office and one fine morning I find a pretty young lady moving from desk to desk distributing what seemed to be a gold paper wrapped in the shape of a hare or rabbit.

In the last few days that I had been out, I saw many such gold shaped rabbits being sold in the shopping stores. Like everybody else’s, even my table was a proud owner of the Goldhase [German for gold hare]. I read to find that it was from Lindt. Being na├»ve about this I waited for my boss to inform me what it was all about.

What boss told couldn’t have made me less pleased on the prospect:
(a) The hare shaped thing was all chocolate; a Easter gift from the company
(b) Lindt is supposed to be the best chocolate manufacturer in the world.

But that was not enough for me… Why hare? Why during Easter? My quest took me to a few websites whose information I’ve collaborated and presented here.

The Easter bunny has its origin to the fertility lore in the pre-Christian era. The hare and the rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the spring season. Eggs are also fertility symbols of extreme antiquity. Since birds lay eggs and rabbits and hares give birth to large litters in the early spring, these became symbols of the rising fertility of the earth at the Vernal Equinox.

Rabbits and hares are both prolific breeders. The females can conceive a second litter of off-springs while still pregnant with the first. The two litters are born separately. This phenomenon is known as superfetation. Lagomorphs mature sexually at an early age and can give birth to several litters a year and hence the sayings- “to breed like bunnies” or “multiply like rabbits”. It is therefore not surprising that rabbits and hares should become fertility symbols, or that their springtime mating antics should enter into Easter folklore. So much so for history.

Seeing the chocolate hare in the fridge and not eating it was one of the greatest tests of patience I had undergone. The fast lasted for barely a couple of weeks where in it was executed in less than an hour. Needless to say the chocolate tasted YUMMM!!!

After having satiated my chocolate hunger with a couple of mouthful of chocolates, I decided to take it back into the fridge from my prying eyes. But the “one last piece” never ended and the chocolate was only the gold paper. I savored my chocolate –and there is one more of my room mate in the fridge. Though it’s out of sight, every time I open the fridge one thought does run in that direction, till I pull the string back.

While savoring the chocolate... a few questions had poped into my head... Why does chocolate make me feel like this..? I again logged into the internet to find some more info about the same. What I found was a bit of past and a bit of present.

The world "chocolate" comes from the Aztecs of South America and is derived from the Nahuatl word "xocolli" which means "bitter" and "atl" which means "water". The Aztecs associated chocolate with Xochiquetzal- The goddess of fertility. Chocolate is also associated to the Mayan god of fertility.

That's about the past. Now about how it makes me feel... and why the "one last bite" never ends till the chocolate is no more. Ask yourself- How does it feel when I place a piece of chocolate in my mouth? The pleasure, however hard I try cannot be penned down... somehting that only consuming it can describe. Part of the pleasure of eating chocolate is due to the fact that its melting point is slightly below human body tempreture: it melts in the mouth. A study report by the BBC indicated that melting a chocolate in ones mouth produces an increase in brain activity and heart rate that is more intense than that associated with a passionate kiss, and also lasts four times as long after the activity has ended.

Chocolates are good for health too, provided consumed in the right quantity. Dark chocolates benefit the circulatory system. Chocolates is also a good anticancer, brain stimulator and cough preventer. That's all towards the health impact of chocolate.

If ever blessed with an opportunity of being offered Lindt chocolates- let go of the outer self, let go of the moral values taught, let go of the hypocrisy , let go of everything that might hold you back from taking as much as you can and please be kind to offer me a few if I happen to be near. Be rest assured, even if I have more than a bagful of the same, you will never find it out, unless of course you check the waste basket under my table.