Traditional games Entertainment

Back2Bachpan brings traditional games to the forefront

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Back2Bachpan seeks to revive traditional games that are on the verge of extinction

The commotion caught his attention. Boisterous cries, running feet and the euphoric hoots as the ball finds its target were disturbing Hidayatullah, a morning walker, who was enjoying the morning breeze at Chacha Nehru Park in Masab Tank. Intrigued, he craned his neck to find that the hullabaloo was created not by a bunch of youngsters but from a group of middle-aged men. He sat bolt upright and tried to make sense of what was going on. To his pleasant surprise, he found the men engrossed in lingorcha, the game of seven stones.

At a time when the bat and ball or video games rule the roost, could someone be playing ball with a pile of stones? The 50-plus Hidayatullah pulled himself up and headed towards the boisterous crowd; soon he found himself drawn into the game. With a neat throw of ball he knocked off the pile of stones. “Wah chacha, wah....” full-throated hoots rent the air.

If you are in your 30s or more and want to regain your adolescent days and play gully games, here is your chance. A group of childhood friends have hit upon the novel idea of resurrecting what they call ‘dying games’. Several traditional Indian games that were popular in every region a few decades ago are now on the verge of extinction. Except for cricket, tennis and perhaps to some extent, football, there are no takers for games like gilli-danda, goli, chor-sipahi, uchak-billi, maar-peet, dal-daudi and chikri-billa.

“Those born in the 70s and 80s or earlier, have played these games. We just want to revive them; they cost nothing and lead to bonhomie,” says Syed Younus. His friends Abdul Khaliq and Mirza Hamid Baig and he, who are into social service, have so far conducted three matches under the banner Back2Bachpan. The matches were a huge success — if the sheer fun and excitement is anything to go by. Anyone is welcome to join them provided they are aged 30 and above. There are no winners or losers here. And the game is not played strictly by the rule book. What’s more — you can cheat to your heart’s content as you unleash the child in you. The idea is to let your hair down, enjoy yourself and play as you did in your childhood.

“The games are intended to act as stress-busters. We are all leading a mechanincal life and there is no time to unwind. The games we play now are mostly on the mobile phone. If parents and children play these outdoor games together, there will be better understanding and bonding,” says Khaliq, who wants parents to encourage their children to play these games. While at play, the participants can also pick up orange peppermints, disco-murkulu, khopra-mithai — stuff one used to feast on in the good old days.

The threesome has come up with catchy team names for a local flavour. The match played last Sunday was between ‘Charminar Chichas’ and ‘Miyabhai Masab Tank’. In the forthcoming matches, they plan to use more such terms which have an immediate connect with Hyderabad and its syncretic Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb. Perhaps ‘Barkas Baingans’ will clash with ‘Punjagutta Pindas’. The Back2Bachpan founders have drawn up a list of 25 traditional games they want to revive. They hope that in future, women will also participate in the games. However, their immediate plan is to rope in the inmates of old age homes and orphanages, who lead lonely lives; these games could usher in positivity and bonhomie. Employees of the corporate sector may be approached too.

To contact Back2Bachpan, 8125797935.

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Printable version | May 20, 2020 4:38:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/back2bachpan-seeks-to-revive-traditional-games/article27147539.ece

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