Hop skip and jump was literally an everyday affair for children who played Hopscotch in their growing years.It was one of my favourite pastimes after school. We children used to gather in groups and start hopping on the neatly drawn rectangles with numbers. Be it under the sweltering sun or in the drizzly weathers, we indulged in the sport that we endearingly called “Stapu”.
Another one in my list was called Pithhu or the seven stones, one of the Indian traditional games that is hardly played these days, but decades ago, it was played in every by-lane of every residential area. It is really an interesting game in which one of the two teams takes turns to protect a pile of seven stones while the other team tries to bring it down. Almost anyone and every one could play it; the only requirement there was the right spirit.
Though “Kho-kho” seemingly requires a bigger team it can be easily played at a smaller scale. One requires to be agile to dodge the swift movements of the chaser. The element of surprise also adds upto the pace of the game. Marbles , Toy top and paper aeroplanes were also many games that were enjoyed in smaller age groups of children.
This playing time was an important part of my student life. The memories are surprisingly fresh in the mind for one more reason…. the involvement of many dear friends. We bonded over such interesting activites; the icing on the cake was the home made snacks that we devoured at the end of the play date. Our mothers collectively took care of us all and served delicacies at whosoever’s house the playdate was.
The TV time was limited if at all it existed. Today the scenario is completely the opposite and much has already been written about it.
As parents, though we cannot completely expect our children to imitate our childhoods, rather if we balance their exposure with introduction of traditional sports. It would benefit their overall growth tremendously. If we make it as our collective duty to take turns and introduce the children of our neighbourhood with our childhood legacy, it would help them develop exponentially. Apart from Cricket, they would find joys in the sports of our past, moreover it would encourage their social interaction for all the good reasons.
Let us all come out of our electronic devices and introduce to the future generations what the bliss of these traditional sports is… let’s pass on the heritage …the games that have the HUMAN TOUCH.