Games from My Childhood

Ah... Games from my childhood bring back such fond memories; being out on slides and running around in parks, terrified of losing! My favorite game used to be "Gallery". It was probably some unknown local genius' accomplishment because I've never heard of it outside of my Sector in Chandigarh. 

I sometimes find myself longing to play more physical games. Children in my Sector seem to have all taken to iPads and portable controllers. They still play in groups like we used to, but they're now playing completely different kinds of games. I can't say that the games they're now playing are bad-- these games are really engaging, but perhaps in following the most popular genre of games, they're losing out on some rare gems. Perhaps I'll go to the park and teach them to play Gallery today!

Here is a list of games that I used to play when I was young(er):

Hide and seek: What was amazing about this game was the thrill of hiding, trying to figure out new places that the seeker would not be able to guess. Sometimes it would be an absolutely new place, and at other times it would be at such a used place that no one would think to look there because it was so obvious that no one would hide there. The excitement of getting ready to ‘thappa’ the seeker was so great that it would become really hard to suppress giggles which would sometimes have me lose. 

Oonch Neech: The seeker would choose a ground- higher or lower, and any one who was caught in that state would become the next seeker. This game was inherently flawed: There was no motivation to go to the ‘avoided’ area, and a few children like me would avoid the area entirely, but the more adventurous ones would venture there (and often get caught). 

Monday- Tuesday: The seeker selects a day, which meant a particular step on the staircase. The players would have to jump from that step and then run around the swings while the seeker tried to catch them. It was exciting because the seeker would generally target the slower runners and I was one of the faster ones. It was fun as long as we played it, but I always felt scared of jumping from the highest stair. Quite a few of my friends got injured playing this game. 

Chain thingy: Anyone who was caught became a part of the chain of seekers. A broken chain could not catch anyone. The last person left was the winner. The beauty of the game lied in getting people entangled up, and so trying to get them to break up and to avoid getting caught. In terms of the seeker, you had to see what was coming and make sure the chain functioned the right way.

Gallery: Gallery consisted of a maze that players had to navigate through. The goal was to have at least one member of the team run through the maze till the end and then run back again without 'dying'. The maze was made up of 'galleries': rows of width of about 1 meter. These rows ran through the length of the maze. Then there was one row which ran right through the middle of the maze- this is what made the game special. Only 1 person could man the each horizontal row and one person who could run in the vertical row. This created boxes where team members could get holed up. If a member of the defending team standing in the gallery managed to touch a member of the attacking team, that member had to leave the maze. 

It is a beautiful game with equal helpings of strategy, skill and daring. As I write about this game, I find myself longing to play it once again...

Jivitesh Dhaliwal1 Comment