Tag Archives: #SportingMemoriesOfYore

Sporting Memories of Yore

These can be memorable with, humour , joy on winning or sadness when losing.

In my youth, I remember a variety of games like cricket, hockey, table tennis, and even sticks and stones , marbles gilli danda, and daba dubi .

For a game of hockey , we played on a mud ground. It would be watered to reduce dust flying in the air . We were 5 brothers and some neighbours usually joined us. Captains of the two teams selected players one by one . Then the game would begin and the crescendo of the noise of hockey sticks and shouts of team members’ encouragement would rise . Occasionally there would be disputes regarding goals scored, whether they were offsides ( which was the rule in those days ) or not.

Cricket was another pastime. We used tennis balls rather than the season balls that are used in test and one day cricket .

Team members’ talents varied . Some were good batsmen , or bowlers or fielders . An amusing incident was when my brother was gifted cricket stumps. He would bring it out for us to play a match . If there was an argument about a decision during the game , he would take his stumps and walk away .

Another incident was when batting , I deflected the ball into my home window . I was very upset . With great apprehension I confessed this incident to my mother , but she graciously forgave me . The outcome of this was that the glass panel was replaced by an asbestos sheet to prevent a recurrence.

Another time , a neighbour joined us for a game . He was the wicket keeper. My brother who was batting, swung his bat to hit the ball and unfortunately hit our wicket keeper on the chin . That was the end of the game as he began bleeding.

Table tennis was played on our dining table with a proper net and table tennis balls. I remember my twin brother and I playing matches. If one of us won, then he would be ‘reigning champion’ and avoided playing again in case he loses, despite the other insisting on another game.

Sticks and stones , Gilli Danda and Marbles were games you will rarely see today .

Sticks and stones only required a stick and the use of the stones on the ground.

Gilli Danda required a ‘Gilli’ which was a piece of wood pointed at either end. The gilli had to be struck with a small plank of wood .

With Marbles you could have a variety of games like ‘pops and spans’, and ‘triangles’. These were played with coloured glass marbles. Some marbles were precious to us as they were of opaque glass and beautiful colours. The other marbles were of transparent glass and a typical double ‘S’ at the centre. Singles and doubles were played with ironies ( small iron ball bearings); a pair of small ironies would be thrown into a designated space against a wall and you had to strike one of them with a larger ironie.

Daba Dubi only required a ball made of stuffed cloth or a tennis ball. One had to get the other ‘ out’ by striking him with the ball.

Today I’m an avid follower of football though I never played the game. I have played tennis, table tennis and participated in athletics . The early experiences of playing hockey and table tennis later helped in representing school and college teams, besides athletics.

When and where will I see the rustic games of ‘Sticks n Stones’, ‘Gilli Danda’ and ‘Marbles’ ? These only require home made equipment and acquiring marbles.

Maybe when I go back in time !