GAMES THAT I PLAYED
‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ We have read and heard this proverb umpteenth times. The word ‘play’ generally infuses many pictures of running around outdoors, sweating in the sun and whatnot, in our mind. But when I think of the word ‘play’, it is more of games which did not involve so much of hard-core running or sweating.
It is not that I did not play any running games at all. Under the forced circumstances either by my PE teacher or friends, I did play them. I enjoyed them but didn’t prefer them. My inclination was more towards games which could be played while sitting around or suggested a minimum amount of moving.
In school, till primary level, our games class involved mainly group-games. Our teacher made us play games like kho-kho, drop the handkerchief.
Kho-Kho is a game where members of one team sit adjacent to each other facing opposite directions. The other team members are chased by one of the members of the seated team. To catch the runners the chaser can tag any of its team-member sitting on the ground. The winning team is the one who catches all the running team members in the shortest time interval.
The game is quite exciting but it needs a lot of alertness, especially when you are seated because you can be tagged anytime. And that was the root of all my problems. Most of the time, I used to fall flat on my face or lose my balance because my body was not in the alert mode. The chaser used to tag me with full force and instead of running behind the other team, I usually used to be on my all fours (Ah, so embarrassing!!)
Drop the handkerchief, is another type of tag game where children sat in a circle facing inside. The runner chooses its chaser by dropping the handkerchief behind the person who then has to run and touch the runner to make him out. Then the chaser becomes the runner and the game continues. To avoid any physical strain on my body, I had found a loophole in the game. The game wasn’t so bad if you started it because after getting caught by the chaser, there was nothing else to do other than sitting (And this is what I sought ;P)
Sometimes our teacher allowed us to play games by ourselves. Then we used to play- Making a chain, Hide and seek and Pick the color.
In ‘Making a chain’ the runner used to hold hands with the chaser after getting caught and catch the other running children. That is how the chain used to keep growing as runners used to become chasers. This game had no escape route as all the players had to run – either to catch or to avoid being caught. The only thing I could possibly do was to try other classmates to dissuade from this game and play something else. However, the success ratio of my voice being heard was next to nil.
Then there was ‘Hide and seek’. Although this game is a little difficult to play in an open field with only a few trees outlining the boundary of the school ground, the class still played. The trick was that if you were hiding, and you wanted to have the best of both the worlds – playing as well as resting, then you should always make sure to be not caught first. Yes, I came to this conclusion after foolishly trying to come in the vision of seeker within few minutes of starting the game. Though I could sit after I was caught, the disadvantage was that, as per the rules, the next turn would be mine as a seeker. Seeking can sometimes be really cumbersome when the other children are extremely good at hiding.
‘Pick any color’ is a nice game. The chaser was asked to pick one color which he wanted, and which should be from the surroundings where we played. After calling out the color the chaser will run to catch the other children. You were the next chaser if you got caught before you were able to touch the color asked for. As I was always a good observer, I used to spot the colors easily and that is why the game was easy for me. I rarely got to be the chaser in this.
In our neighborhood or along with my cousins I loved to play Hopscotch. I remember playing it for hours and hours during holidays. Balancing yourself on one leg and hopping across on different numbers till you cover all of them was lots of fun. Fighting over the lines, stepping on or not stepping on it used to take half of the time while playing. But still, I loved to play it.
I wasn’t very good with Marbles though. Taking aim and hitting the other marble with a flick of your finger was something which I couldn’t master even now 🙂 But as kids, we do not know the meaning of GIVE UP and so for good or for worse, I was always with my friends when they played with marbles.
I had another favorite game in my teenage days – Seven stones (pittu garam). Involving of two teams this game does have running around but the excitement of this game just blows your mind. Although I didn’t play it too often, so whenever we played it the experience and the joy was out of this world. The best part is that it can be played by any age group. Whenever there was an outing in our neighborhood or by our community; all the kids of my age used to be excited as we could play this game throughout that day. After searching for stones which could easily get stacked over each other and divide the teams we used to get started. One team used to strike and break the stack and the other used to run to put it back together without getting hit by the ball. It required dodging the ball, quickly stacking back the stones, alertness to do all this together. This whole frenzy made the game so thrilling that I used to forget that I am physically straining myself.
Now my games were not limited only to outdoors. In class, mostly during free periods, our favorite game was Tic Tae Toe. We also played joining dots to make boxes, Pen-fight, Thief-Police, and Book cricket. We used to up the level of these games by challenging the classmates to play them when the teacher was teaching. Those were some really fun moments!!!
As we grew older, I couldn’t play these games anymore. With the pressure of studies and busy daily routine filled with school, private classes, extra-curricular lessons- playing time became less and less. My games became more of indoor and with family. One of the games which I used to love playing with my family was Ludo. The four family members used to lock horns with each other in this game. All played to defeat others. Oh, how we used to try overtaking the tokens of others or throwing them out of the game. Many at times we used to be well past the dinner-time… but we didn’t care about. It was our favorite pastime during winters. Huddling in the same quilt, keeping the game in middle we used to play several rounds of it till late night. Laughing, cheating and bickering with each other over a small board of Ludo, we kept on making sweet memories.
Those were some of the games that I played. My memories of things in the past to make me happy in the present.
What were the games that you all played during your childhood? What was your favorite game in the class, home and outdoor? Would love to hear from you in the comment section below.
This blog post is part of #A2ZChallenge. My theme for the year 2018 is Memories. This post is for letter ‘G’.