I first saw Easter Eggs when I was about nine. We were in Allahabad at the time and father had brought this fancy large egg. It was white and it was hard, made with sugar, perhaps. The surface was beautifully decorated with intricate pink detailing of bows and ribbons, flowers and leaves. To the middle class kids if the 80s, who had not seen anything beyond the poultry eggs, it was nothing short of a wonder.
But what was it? Father later explained to us that this was something called the Easter egg. We were apparently supposed to break open on the Easter Sunday. Until then, even with my exclusive convent education, I hadn’t known anything about Easter Sundays, or Easter eggs.
Anyway, the egg was tended with a lot of love and care until Easter. My brother and I made it a point to protect it from the fancy free younger sister. We slept with it, and woke with it. When Easter arrived, it was broken with great reluctance – even though we were curious about the contents, it was far too pretty and perfect to be broken. What came out was even more enticing. There were candies and toffees, cholocate and gems, peppermint and sweet saunf . The shell itself was delicious (I can still taste it). I was certain I wanted to have one every Easter.
We, however moved from the city that year – or maybe the following – and were now in such a small town that even Easter was unheard of here. There went our dreams. I moped a little about the loss but, like all kids, moved on soon enough. The Easter Egg that had seemed inseparable part of our beings was quickly forgotten.
But, as they say, your children bring back your childhood. Mine did too. And one day, while reading a bedtime story to the girls, I was reminded of my beautiful Easter egg. As I read Winnie the Pooh and his friends going about their Easter egg hunt, dropping and picking them, losing and finding them, I was flooded with the memories of my own.
And so began my hunt for an Easter egg. Being in Delhi, I had expected it to be easy. It’s the capital after all. But however hard I looked I could not find it. I asked every bakery, every cake shop, checked at confectioners, and super markets, but found nothing. There were some available at fancy 5 stars of course, but I there was no way I’d spend thousands on an egg. Reluctantly I gave up.
Then, last week, just on a whim, I stepped into Wenger’s Bakery. And what I see are shelves full of Easter eggs — red, yellow, pink; made with marzipan and chocolate, hollow and solid. They were much gaudier than mine, but at least they were there.
And so, I went crazy in the shop, much to the shock of my girls. I bought the red and yellow eggs, and bonnets and hats, and bunnies, and nests. And now, as I protect them from my kids, waiting impatiently for Sunday, I feel like the 9 year old me has returned, if only for a few days.