A visit to Aaji home is always eventful.Today, as I watched my 4.5-year-old play “nagolchu”, known more generically as “pithu”, I was touched. Nostalgia is what I felt, first. Slowly the emotions unfolded and I could recollect moments from my childhood. I vividly remember the game, the players, the audience as I grew out of it. This game was my only connection to a bunch of kids in my community/block, without which I wouldn’t have even spoken to them. One always finds solace in these small worldly things, that now we call “local” games, “local” food….”local” festivals. This game was a common ground. Didn’t need language, or any connection. Just a ball, and seven stones.
Generations later, as I see a bunch of children struggling to find the 7 stones ( the parking area ground is cemented now remember?), I realize how easy it had been to collect the tools of this game! Anyways, the kids manage. One child has never played the game, surprisingly enough, it takes all of 4 minutes for him to catch up! Hours go by…the game goes on. the excitement mounts…and I hear a familiar voice scream “nagochu nagochu” that is my son, singled out for the language difference, for being the outsider.
How many of us consciously are trying to expose our children to the games we played? Where? There is no coaching for that..no academy for that. No Olympics for that. What is it that we do to add some sense and sensibility to our community living? Do schools provide that groundedness that we sought for in our domesticated life? Way too many questions..seek your answer!