Marrons Glacés 🌰

The woody scent of roast chestnuts fills my whole being again, after decades and so far away from Europe; I am at One Utama shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur; memories of my student days flashed in front of my open eyes like a collage of eventful occurrences.

It was my first winter in London.

In those times,the days were extremely short and dark.Snow piled up in heaps on both sides of the roads as my friend,Baba, and I struggled to pave our way to Holborn tube station.
Curbed into two,shivering under my winter coat, a whiff of browning nuts made me jerk. I turned to my friend and asked –
” What’s the scent?’
“Roasting chestnuts” he replied, as he gestured with his chin at a black silhouette in the corner of the street.
I could vaguely make out,in the distance,a man or a woman, shabbily dressed, occupied in front of a stove of burning charcoals.A light smoke raised as a cloudy mist around the stove, danced playfully in the icy air.
We crossed the road.
The alluring scent of roast chestnuts swelled my nostrils.
Baba bought a small paper bag of piping hot chestnuts and ceremoniously offered it to me.
I tasted the first roast chestnut of my life and I spontaneously became fond of this soft and delightful delicacy.

Baba took up a job at Knightsbridge for end of term and Christmas vacation.
Among other lovely Christmas gifts, which he offered to me,I found a luxuriously wrapped box of ‘marrons glacés’ from Harrods.

After our law studies, we parted. We did not keep in touch but I still love chestnuts,roasted,candied or steamed.

It’s amazing how the sound of music or the whiff of a scent can bring to our mind souvenirs of cherished instances that we carry inside us and which,possibly none of us actually knows is there.

Anita Bacha

Marrons Glacés

A Christmas Gift 💝

When I was five, I was baffled to open a wrapped gift under the Christmas 🎄 🎅 had offered me,my first children’s book ‘Toto et Titi’. The black and white pictures were amazing. I started to dream of a color picture book and a story about little girls, birds, flowers and fruits. I entertained a thought about a witch too! In those days, when we were a British colony, often there was no electricity in the night and children slept in their mother’s lap,listening to stories of beautiful princesses and ugly witches. No wonder, now a mother and a grandmother too, I have written a story book for children, illustrated with pretty, color pictures. The Princess and the Crow will make the perfect Christmas gift for a child if you, my friend and reader, is looking for a lovely book to offer this Christmas 🎄 Published by Austin Macauley Publishers London earlier this year, the book is available for purchase worldwide on Amazon.