Monday, November 26, 2007

Township Tales - Games we played.

We were a lot of us in the colony, and there was hardly a boring moment. We played a huge variety of games, adding and subtracting rules, making variations - never ever tiring of it.

Running and Catching - Of course, the old favourite. And we played it with many variations.
Sudden Touch - where, the moment you are caught, you lash out and touch the person again, and she is out again, and then she touches you immediately, and you are out, and this could go on unless one of you dodges your way to safety.
Short chain, where you are safe if you hold on to someone else when the person who is "Out" comes to catch you. Long Chain - When the "Out" person catches you, you join hands with her, and together catch the others. Then you catch the third person, and the three of you go as a chain to catch the others.
Lock and Key - When somebody comes to catch you, you say "Lock", and you are Locked, she cannot catch you. But you remain "Locked" until someone else comes and touches you and says, "Key".
Tree Tree - We had lots of trees in the Lawn, and in this game, all of us gather at one tree, and the "Out" person names a tree, to which you have to run without getting caught. You are safe as long as you are in contact with any tree on the way, or in contact with a person who is in contact with a tree. We even had names for the trees - Fatty, Thinny, and so on. By the time I left the township, Thinny was very fat indeed!
We played variations of Tree Tree too - Pole Pole, Bush Bush, and when our dads bought cars - Car Car.

Then there was my pet hate - Hide and Seek. The problem with this game was that if you were "Out", you go around the colony looking for hidden people, and you have to find every single one of them. But before you found a person, if he jumped out at you and hit you on the back and says "Dubba!" you have to go back to be out. When I was Out, I was always Dubbafied. Along with that insult of being Dubbafied, was the physical hurt - my back stinging with the resounding slap of Dubba. So whenever I was out, I used to wait until everybody hid, then run back home and curl up with a book. And then my friends would come looking for me. Ha! Some kind of indescribable joy that was! I then decided that it would be kinder to just not join in the game!

There were other girlie games, that involved a lot of clapping and hitting shoulders and thighs and chanting stuff. I think I enjoyed them. There were other Statue games, where you shouldn't move or you are Out. These were for hot afternoons.

There were other games - variations of Dog and the Bone, and something called Crocodile Crocodile which involved colours.... we also played Kuntebille (hopscotch) quite a bit - with a small piece of asbestos sheet that we called "baccha".

Badminton was another favourite. We would emerge with our rackets, and since there were so many of us, but only one shuttlecock, we didn't play matches, as they would take long. We played a kind of Round Robin game, where you have to stop playing if the Shuttlecock hits your racquet and falls in your own court, and another girl takes your place, and so on.

But invariably, the shuttlecock would get stuck in the jacaranda tree. Then we would waste half the time trying to retrieve the shuttlecock. We would throw one chappal into the tree. The shuttlecock would come down, and the chappal would get stuck. So we would throw the second chappal, and - you guessed it - the second chappal would get stuck and the first would come down. After a lot of effort, we got all our belongings down, along with a shower of pretty mauve jacaranda flowers, and then the game would continue.

We played a unique game of football - boys vs girls. Our Lawn had a waist-length hedge. The gap in the hedge on opposite sides of the lawn were the goals. The moment football was announced, my friend Su would run home and come back in an old Jari Langa(traditional silk long skirt, with a zari border). She would be the goalkeeper, and would stand at the goal, and spread her legs wide, so that the skirt was stretched taut, and covered the entire goal. Any prospective goal was foiled by the ball bouncing back promptly from her skirt. The girls always won. The boys protested. "Not fair. Su is wearing a langa." We would chorus, "If you want, you also wear and come, who asked you not to?" And then we would roar with laughter. The boys would fall silent. After a while,they stopped playing football with us, what a pity.

We played cricket sometimes. My knowledge of cricket was even worse then, than it is now. Despite being in the batting team, I would field, and I once accused the umpire of not taking a catch. Well. I was that bad. But I could hit a mean sixer. And that was perhaps the sole reason they took me into their teams. And no, I haven't broken any windows.

Next: Fads


Shammi said...

Ha, that brought back memories allright! :) You just made me recall "Crocodile Crocodile" the next line of which is "What colour do you want?"

But I dont remember how the game was played after that...

Sushma said...

Didn't you play Land-River-Sea-Ocean???? That is also a girl game reserved for hot afternoons...

Unknown said...

You never played Hopscotch (Kunte bille)?!?! Being a guy, I could beat my girl-cousins in Kunte Bille and and they used to hate me for that!

Aparna said...

hey shruthi.. even before i read ur blog .. its such a coincidence that a while ago hubby and me were discussing about the games we played as kids.. of course.. all the games that u mentioned.. we also used to play ... maggi games..( maggi club members would know..).. business.. chinese checkers.. also... lots and lots of carroms..snakes and ladders.. dodge ball.. lagooooooooori...!!! ah those were the days...

Abhipraya said...

Hey Shruthi,

This is darn interesting :) 2 days ago I blogged about the games I played as a kid. I come here and and find that you have been on a nostalgic trip too. Those days were fun!

Abhipraya said...

And hey whats this "tree tree" game?

Anonymous said...

How very cute!!!

Leaving a comment for the first time. But I have been reading your blog since last few months and have enjoyed reading.Must say that am a big fan of yours and also your writing :-)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. Took me back the memory lane! My friends and I would go to a park with broken merry-go-round and slides and play lock and key, crocodile-crocodile, chinese knot, kallo-maNNo.

Squiggles Mom said...

I laughed so hard at the 'langa' goalie :)). No wonder the boys stopped playing. V funny

Wunderyearz said...

My GOd you just took be back to my wunder years.......

We had a few more games added to it like "Lagori ","Crocodile"and ofcourse during vactions when the temprature really rose we would stay indoors with "snake & ladder","cards","carroms"etc.,

You just inspired me to do a post on one of the best stage in life"Childhood"

Gr8 going!!!!!!!!!!

praneshachar said...

great memories back tracked you have so much varieties in run and catching it is amazing. nicely carved out as usual awaiting for your next one in the series curiously
keep going


Zahid said...

A nice walk down the memory lane...
I extremely loved the lock and key game.....but we used to call it current shock or fire-water...

And cricket...apartment kids would all collect and luckily we din break windows either but had a diff time retrieving the ball form the drainage...Lolz..

Nice post!!
chk me up !!!!

Shruthi said...

Shyam, it went, "Croc, croc, can we cross the golden river?"
"No, unless you have a certain colour"
"Which colour?"
Then croc would mention a colour, and then if we had it, we would hold it and cross, and we are safe. If not, you ran across, and croc would try to catch you!

Sushma, no, how is it played?

Prathibimba, oh we played it.. do read the post again :)

Aparna, dodge ball! We played that too. great fun, huh? :)

Abhipraya, I know, I read your post :) This post was already ready by then, so I didn't copy :D :D
Oh, I have tried to describe the tree-tree game.. do read the post.

Gomini, thank you so much! :)

Anon, chinese knot! I loved that game!

Squiggles mom, :))

Wunderyearz, looking fwd to read that post!

Pranesh, thank you :)

Zahid, fun days, huh? :)

charu said...

Poison-medicine was another equivalent of lock and key !The chain game is called ' Saakli' in Maharashtra. what about hopping ?Hopscotch is called Paandi in mumbai and we used to play with bits of broken tiles !frisbee , flying saucer were also games we played when we didnt want to run around too much !Kho-kho was played when we had big groups !Did you have any concept of kachcha limbu and pucca limbu ?ie. the younger ones would be kachcha limbus and wouldnt have to take their den.what about saying- time please when you wanted to catch your breath ?
hey, keep writing. just love reading your blogs.keep telling purvi and anu that too


Prashanth M said...

enjoying the series... Hide & Seek is on of my favorites... But a different name - I Spy - pronounced as ice-paise :p

other games in fav list - Lagori, Marakoti aata, kallu kutaani.. list goes on :)

Anonymous said...

Ahh.. nostalgia.. your post takes me back to my own childhood days

Suvarna Joshi said...

It took me down the memory lane.... Unforgettable days were those.... Feel like "God! pls can we have those days back again...!!"

And in this post u cannot miss to mention the "Madame may I? Yes U may".... remember??? :-) Well there were many more to mention but this was again a funniest...

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