Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where have these games gone?

Vacations and any spare time for children today means watching T.V, playing computer games, PSP and other audiovisual indoor onscreen games only for our children. I remember how different it was during our times. With no T.V or other present day gadgets our vacations were filled with lots of outdoor and indoor games.

Remember Hopscotch with eight houses were we had to throw a stone and hop? Lagori was another game were we had to pile up the stones, then hit them and run while the opposing team tried to catch us. Dog and the Bone, In the pond and on the bank, Hiding an object (when the person goes close to it saying it is a hot spot and when the person is far away then the place being called cold zone.) - there were so many that used to keep us busy and engrossed for hours on end.

I remember the game that became a craze during our time was something called Goldspot. I now wonder why it was named so. This game was played with all the players holding hands and going in circle chanting goldspot, and soon after we had to jump as far as possible from the persons on the other side. Then each one had to try and step on the person next to them by jumping forward while that person tries to avoid being stepped on by jumping backwards.

The other game was elastic. Two people would place this big elastic round their legs and the third person had to jump and do various acrobatics. After each successful level the elastic would be placed higher and higher. Then there was of course all time favourites like hide and seek, run and catch, blind man's buff, four houses and so on and so forth.

The list of indoor games were endless. Snake and Ladder, Ludo, Chinese Checkers, Brain vita, Tick Tack Toe, Name, place, animal and things, Card games, Carom to name a few. There were the traditional games of twelve houses where we had to play with shells. Then there were these four round seeds with which you play by flipping it on the palm and then throwing it up and catching the others one by one and so on. Another game was played using elongated shells.

These games did not cost anything and the only thing one needed were friends, a few household articles and a little space. But sadly somewhere down the line we have lost them. They have become obsolete and I feel sad about it. Traditional games have among others fallen prey in this era of technology. Have these games been lost forever?

2 comments:

Ganesh said...

Hi Shobhana,

Nice to see your latest blog on the traditional games......it brought back some nostalgic moments in my life too....we were very active in outdoor and indoor games....to add to the outdoor games...we had SALT...in which you draw 8 boxes in two columns and each opposition party person guards a row of two boxes each....we need to carry a handful of sand (SALT literally) from one end to the other by passing through these boxes, then we had simple games made out of the cover packs of cigaretters ...SALEM, MARLBORO had higher points, while PANAMA & BRISTOL were int he medium range, and CHARMINAR, GOLKONDA accounting for the lowest....then we used to play with the lids of cooldrik bottles too...make two holes in each lid, pull string thru them, tie a know, twirl them around and pull both the ends....then the lid would move in clockwise and anticlok wise directions....coming to indoor games, we used to play cricket by using the text book, one opens any page and the digit in units place would be the score, he gets out if its zero... I guess there is much to add to this list......thanks a ton for recounting your experience and also recalling all the good times you spent...I guess we were very lucky as those games used to keep us mentally and physically fit too.....these days its an unforunate scenario as the younger generation does not know (they dont appreciate/enjoy them too) the joy of playing those games...

once again, good to see your interesting article....hoping to see many more coming from your stable...

all the best and have a nice day!

ganesh shenoy

Shobhana Shenoy said...

Thanks Ganesh. If we all could recount and put together a collection of the games that we used to play during our times I am sure it will be a sort of record and maybe some of these can be revived too through our kids!!