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Rediff.com  » Getahead » #Nostalgia: The games we played as children!

#Nostalgia: The games we played as children!

Last updated on: May 20, 2015 12:44 IST

You may have played them as a child (or not) but Abhijit Masih certainly seems to miss some of these wonderfully games he played growing up.

I reckon they would be called offline games in today's world of indoor gaming and overweight kids.

Children don't get to play outdoors anymore because of increasing academic pressure, shrinking outdoor spaces, and of course because of the options available in the palm of their hands.

The multi-screen platforms and endless visual content available on these platforms provides the entertainment today that was once provided by the simple games played in the long-lost gardens, maidans and un-crowded streets of a less sophisticated era.

Here's a nostalgic look at some of the games that kept the pre-IT generation busy.

Bull Dogs

One of the hidden secrets of many a school playground, this game could get a bit violent in the heat of things.

It was played with as many people as desired, preferably 10 or more.

It needs an open space, preferably an open square ground with enough grass to cushion frequent falls.

There is a 'den', who is the last person in a race from one end of the ground to the other.

The den stands in the middle of the ground; the rest line up on one end of the ground.

The den calls out one person from the crowd, whose objective is to run from one end to the other without being caught by the den.

The den has to chase the person running across, get hold of him - limb, lace or collar - and count till 10.

If the person makes it to the other side without being caught, he shouts "Bull Dogs!"

At this, the entire line-up charges to the other end. The den has to catch as many as possible during this charge.

Whoever is caught then joins the den's team.

This goes on till there is only one person left and he wins the game only if he manages to run across to the other side dodging all the others who now form the den's team.

This can get really nasty at times and many have had their collars and buttons ripped off; once, a friend was grazed from chin to toes because he fell flat on the ground in full stride.

Chains

This was an innovative form of the simple Chor aur Police. It had to be played in a demarcated area, usually a square.

The den chose a partner and they linked arms and stretched out as much as possible to catch the others within the playing area.

As they caught more people, the chain of linked arms grew longer, enabling them to cover more area and easing the task of netting more people.

The last person to be caught by the 'chain 'was King.

Relievers

Like most games played in schools, this one has been passed on through generations.

It probably owes its origin to some great mind who during compulsory study time thought of convoluting the simple game of Hide 'n Seek.

Like Hide 'n Seek, it has two teams. Whoever wins the toss gets to hide and the loser seeks.

But the team that hides has to first give the other team a task – the task of finding a particular leaf, obviously from a tree or plant on the campus.

The side that loses the toss goes in search of the leaf, while the other side hides.

After finding the leaf, the team has to seek out all the members of the hiding team.

When they find the hidden team, they have to produce the leaf. The other team checks the leaf and if it is not the right leaf, then the searchers have to go back and find the right leaf.

This game needs a lot of patience and time. Time we had, especially on a Sunday. A good knowledge of Biology helped too.

Kick the can

A variation of Hide 'n Seek, Kick the Can was played in a smaller, predefined area.

The den kept a can or mug inside a small circle which was visible to all.

The den then went in search of the hidden kids and called out the name of the person he had discovered. He/she had to then run back and touch the can.

If the person who had been discovered ran and kicked the can first, before the den, then he/she and everyone who had been called out before could hide again.

Steps

A broad flight of steps was required for this one. The rule was to hop onto the steps with both feet together. If you landed with one foot on a different step you were out.

You were also out if you landed on the same step as the den. The den starts from the bottom of the staircase and tries to jump on the same step as the others, who try and avoid him.

Kitty Kitty

This game requires two teams of 5-10 people. The den team has to make a plank by holding the waist of the person in front and bending down to form a level plank of backs.

The other team has to run and jump on to this plank, all of them, one after another.

The team that jumps must hang on to the other team and not let their feet touch the ground.

The team that is underneath, forming the plank, has to take the weight of the team over them and not buckle down.

Cricket variations

Innovations on the popular game of cricket included hand cricket, hockey cricket and French cricket.

In French cricket, the batsman could be dismissed only if he was caught or if the ball hit his legs. He stood in a small circle and had to jump and turn around swiftly as the ball could be thrown at his legs from anywhere and by anyone.

Photograph (used for representational purposes only): Sandeep Chetan/Creative Commonsss