Do kids play as much as we did in our times? I doubt it. Well, I do see kids running around in family-dos and other social gatherings, but they seem to be doing only that - run around. But do these guys play the games we used to? 'ice-pice', 'laal pathar', 'satkhopdi', 'kith-kiththa'(essentially a girls' game) and there are so many others. I know most of these games by their hindi/bihari names, but am sure they are the same for kids all over the country. Oh, what fun. And we used to enjoy playing these games in summer and especially on a moonlit night. 'Satkhopdi' was a favorite with us guys. Also marbles. And oh yes, tops.. we used to call these crazy li'l things lattu. I remember once my father had made one such top for me. He'd taken great pains to make me one and boy, were the other guys envious of me. See, as kids the novelty or pride was not in the sleekness of such toys but the crude, home-made kinda feel. They'd gun me for my top, borrowing every now and then...made me feel really special. And then there was this neighboring kid who had a real 'clint-eastwood'ish toy pistol. It had this really long barrel and was metallic black. *sigh*, I don't mind owning one like that even at this age (only the cops and anti-terrorist squad would be on my trail now). And those kite flying sessions. Sheer pleasure. Having lived in a colony, we kids were a real close-knit gang and always upto something or the other. We'd climb trees, walls and steal fruits and we'd wait eagerly for festivals when we could really test our limits as mischief-mongers. We had a great time with all these games. I for one, wouldn't have imagined a childhood without these. We had so much to look forward to.
And then came the TV.