Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Those were the days .............What are we missing now???

(Thanks, Pic courtesy-Facebook) (

Many of us who grew up during the  70's 80's and even the 90's would concur  with my  viewpoints.

When I was young, we never had computers, televisions or video games.  All that we had were friends and more friends who were in no dearth and would collect in a place for their daily quota of play.

There were no gender bias. All can participate in any game according to their tastes or form the cheer squad.  The schools did not run in shifts as they do today.  So, almost all the schools used to get over by 4 in the evening and we used to assemble for the daily show at 5 pm prompt.  After the exchange of the daily news and views, the game of the day begins.

It usually begins with a warm up of just running across the length of the streets (mind you, there was not much traffic in the sub-streets).  The game selection depends on the season too.  Be it cricket, Gilli-danda, Pambaram or the top, Hide and seek, 7 stones, Pallankuzhi, Snakes &  Ladders, Ludo, Carrom board, Making boats during monsoon etc etc. The list is endless.

We had to very very careful during the play of some games like "Gilli danda" and cricket as we have broken many a panes and reprimanded severely sometimes.  Teams for cricket are divided according to the capacity of each player.  Three sticks would serve as stumps and a carved bat of wood with tennis ball would complete the cricket kit. 

"Pambaram" or the "Spin Top" was one of my favourite and those lovely colorful tops of wood bought from the Corner shop used to be real fun. The top comes with a long thread which is wound on the grooves  and then pulled with a jerk and tossed on  the ground.  The top keeps spinning for a long time and the one which does for a long time emerges a clear winner.  Again, we used to spin the tops in the middle of our palm too. 

During the game of Hide and Seek we can see the most of the girls hiding behind the huge trees or behind the compound wall but the boys invariably will be on the tree top hiding behind the lush green branches or sometimes on the house top.  Making boats out of newspapers and making them float on the channelised rain water on either side of the streets is fun. 

Snakes and Ladders used to be a favourite during the Vaikuntha Ekadasi day when the local daily  used to give a free supplement of the game alongwith the paper.  We used to be awake the whole night playing and visit the nearby temple's 'Sorga vaasal' (Gate to Heaven)  the next morning. The spirit and the excitement were abundant.

The games used to extend till the daylight fades and each one gets a call from their mothers to get inside the house.  The end of play is mostly determined by the switching on of street lights.  Although we used to play for long hours, still we used to sulk while returning back home and would not disperse till we decide the game plan for the next day.

Once home, after a quick bath, still there was enough time to do our daily studies before a sumptuous simple home cooked dinner.  

Its a pity to see young children running around to tuition classes, filled with heavy homework sessions , project works etc., thus finding very little time left to play.  If at all, time is available, can see them either with their parents mobile,  playing games or sitting in front of the television.  No doubt, competition has become multi fold nowadays, but still the childhood should not be lost.  

Half hour of outdoor play will clear the stress and anxiety in a child developed during the day.    The child will be able to focus more and of course stay healthy too.  

Hence, the debate continues whether Technology and its advancement is a Boon or a Bane 
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