Saturday, October 06, 2007

Pacha Gundu

Last week I was at the Government Estate, on Anna Salai, where I saw these kids playing a game of marbles. They called it Pacha Gundu. The play area is that square, about three feet by three feet, drawn on the ground with 20-25 shallow pits dug randomly within it. One player stands about 10 feet from the square and tosses in three marbles so each drops into a pit. An opponent then asks the player to hit one of the marbles with a fourth -- the trick is not only to hit the chosen marble, but to hit it without displacing it from the pit.
The Government Estate is a huge wooded area with old and interesting buildings such as the admiralty house, banquet hall... During weekends the whole place comes alive as scores of kids gather here for fun and games.
Soon the State Government plans to build a modern assembly hall here. The fun and games and pacha gundu will be displaced and the kids will lose.