Update for week ended 24 June 2011
The shouts and shrieks from the little playground near the house was both deafening as well as pleasing. I don’t need to further describe deafening, but pleasing came from the sheer energy the children displayed; and in this day and age it was quite amazing to see the 10-odd year olds actually playing a team sport in the park – which was not cricket or football; but a perfect childhood game that many Indians grew up on. The play area was well defined – it was a large open space with imaginary elliptical border, staked at places with footwear of the children. The centre of the play area held the attention of all – it had stones perfectly balancing on top of another; seven in all. The team with the tennis ball in hand was spread around the periphery while the guardians of the stones were in the centre, yet at the start, keeping their distance from it. The game commenced, and the team leader with the ball aimed perfectly at the base of the seven stones, and down went the pile, as the ball bounced off to the other edge of the ellipse. The shrieks started, as the children in the centre scrambled around, picking up the strewn stones and quickly trying to recreate the seven stone mini-pyramid; while their opponents rushed to grab the ball and “re-aim” at the building stone stack to bring it down again. The kids from the centre team, were shouting out warnings so that the children in the centre don’t get “out” by a ball bouncing off them, or have to restart the stacking if the ball hits the stone creation once again. It was high energy, tension, high decibel, frayed tempers, trembling hands, nimble feet, strong shoulders all merging into a moment, repeated at least a dozen times in quick succession. After a while, when the team at the centre managed to successfully keep the seven stone stack standing with no wobbles or support; they yelled as they had scored a point, and now it was time for a team role reversal.
The D Boyz were reliving their childhood once again. They have done it in the past a couple of times (The Disappearing Children’s Parks that are making a comeback, Teenage Anxiety – from childhood to adulthood!) and they did it this week too. So if on Monday, one group of the Boyz aimed the ball onto the seven stone carrying SENSEX, tumbling them all down (the SENSEX fell 550 points during the day, that day), the other Boyz on the street tried their luck at restacking the stones, sorry! restacking the stocks. They could not manage it that day nor on Tuesday nor Wednesday – as anxiety over their European friends, some news from sunny Mauritius, some from stone owners (company owners) who had oiled the stones causing them to keep sliding off ( i.e. leveraging their stocks such that the D Boyz could not restack their fallen SENSEX). But on Thursday, they managed to get the base stones into place (approx 1.5 stones on Thursday -150 points) and on Friday, as global oil prices fell as people stayed away from it; the Boyz could relax that their stones (stocks) were no longer slippery and hence they could quickly put together their seven stone pyramid( the remaining 5.5 stones on Friday – 550 points); rejoicing as they restacked and won this round. So at the end of the childhood Seven Stone Game week – the SENSEX had restacked 2% to it by ending at 18240. There was rejoicing all around and a general happy feeling.
As the evening wore on, and dusk descended, the children went back to their apartments, and broke up into smaller groups – some playing hopscotch, while others deciding to play hide and seek. But they all resolved to meet again the next day to play another game from the past – Dabba Express or pronounced Dabba Ispice!
So what is your favourite team sport – outside the commercial world? Seven Stones, Dabba Express, Hee-Haw Hurrah, I declare a War against (country name), Crocodile Crocodile Can I cross the river? Please do share with me some of the games you played or still play. And have a nice and safe weekend.