Chocolate: a basic need!

Zeba Raziunnisa

When American author Judith Viorst said, “Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands, and then eat just one of those pieces,” she couldn’t have said it better. You don’t need to be a genius to know the kind of effort it takes to execute the above operation especially the last bit. After all, we know a piece of chocolate in the mouth is worth two on the plate. Or in this case, three!

According to American writer Sandra Boynton, research shows that 14 out of any 10 individuals like chocolate (no, I haven’t got the math wrong). And according to computer scientist Robert Paul, “A new British survey has revealed that nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth lies.” Now who ever said we need statistics to prove our love for chocolate?

A bar of chocolate is a blessing for sure. And it was while watching my little nephew go through the ordeal of having and wanting to share this blessing with his older brother that I got to marvelling at this joy from heaven. Now I haven’t the slightest intention to endorse the reference to chocolate as a divine indulgence – I think it is unfair to do so– for it rather belongs at the bottom of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is a basic need – as long as your chocolate needs are not met, it is impossible to progress to your social and intellectual needs. So while addressing his basic need, the little one started off with a noble, “I-am going- to-share-this-bar-of-chocolate.” He carefully broke the bar into two neat pieces. Wrapping up a half, he sincerely asked for it to be kept away in the refrigerator for his brother. Having finished his share, he was content for a full two minutes. Soon, he began worrying about the piece of chocolate sitting “lonely” in the refrigerator, and insisted on holding it till his brother got back. No amount of assurance was enough to convince him that the chocolate was safe where it was, and so out it came. Boy! What a wait. The chocolate, nestling in his palm, began to get a little smudgy, and a little messy and soon found its way into his mouth. He was only “trying to see what it tasted like,” he claimed, having forgotten that he’d had half the bar only a few minutes earlier. Poor dear! Now that is what a chocolate can drive you to do.

Come full circle, older chocoholics have issues of their own. What if there is no chocolate in heaven? “I am not going!” declares designer Jane Seabrook. Getting down to more earthy matters, there have been serious campaigns to save the earth; after all it’s the only planet with chocolate. And, of course, we all know the anti-aging and mood enhancing properties of chocolate. Chocolate has also been doing the rounds in management circles. Experts recommend putting “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do. This will ensure that you get at least one thing done, and will be a great moral boost to get you started on the others. Finally here is a quick fix to simplify life – relax, take up yoga, ‘forget love, and fall in chocolate!’

The author is a freelance writer based in Hyderabad. She can be reached at

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