Where have all the games gone?

I wonder how many children of this generation have played or have even heard of the games that were played  even two or three decades back. Oh, they were so varied, laid stress on mental and motor skills and most of all were great fun! They were truly games of the children, by the children and for the children.

Sadly, today most kids miss the exuberance of those games. Why, some parents even scold their children for wasting time if they catch them playing those fun games! In a fit of nostalgia, I recalled some of the games we played as kids, which has been published as a guest post on The Little Red Box.

I am sure you will find it a nostalgic trip down memory lane and the younger ones can learn about a game or two that the ‘oldies’ played!


…..Equipment was rudimentary. Cricket needed just a bat, a ball and some sticks for the stumps. If sticks were unavailable, three stones or bricks did the duty. Present day umpires with all their hi-tech slow-motion replays and such, could take a lesson or two from those little arbitrators for being fair while judging the dismissals based on nothing but their eyesight and commonsense that told them if the ball had touched one of the ‘stumps’ or gone through it.

 Read the full post here…..

Homepage image courtesy: childfund.org.au


  1. This brought so many memories. I read it a while back and it kindled so many memories that I decided to read it out to my family today. My husband who also had so many games to recount including a game called Gobar danda ( a variation of Gili danda) . I had forgotten about London and Be quick !! Thanks for sharing this post ! This was a treasure. I think we played one called Vish Amrit.. Don’t remember the rules clearly now though…Nadi Pahad. We also used to play a variation of the Ghost where we would troop into somebody’s house.. One person would be the ghost and hide in a dark room. The others would go one by one to the dark room. It had no specific objective than running out screeching and screaming at the “ghost” 😀


    1. That’s a sweet thing you did, Asha! Sometimes it just takes one article somewhere to bring out all the forgotten memories of good times, especially of our childhood, right? I am glad mine did that 🙂 I was smiling as I read about your ghost game – screaming our heads off, for no reason is definitely part of childhood fun. The nadi-=ahad game was kalla-Manna (stone or sand?) in our time. We played many games with Tamil names too as Nagpur had lots of Tamilians and our school was also south Indian. Thanks for sharing some new games in your comment 🙂


  2. people born in mid 80’s got chance to experience both desi games and games belonging to modern era.am one of them who lived life to the fullest by playing every game.

    our social strata too played major role in dividing people like which game one has to play and with whom we should mingle or play.parents were always divided based on their socio-economic status and they classified games as poor people games and rich man games.

    i was never influenced by this discrimination, i played marbles and its all forms like court, ring and thoka tomba nuka. haha thats telugu way. i have won lots of marbles and sold them for 110 rupees and it was huge pocket money for me. gilli dhanda was called chilla kattey in telugu where you have to hit gilli in different postures like tong, brang ,mushti, goda, kona ,aankhi penki. then there was lagori and a game called VEEPULU SAAPULU(smashing someone’s back) which evolved from lagori. this game is played with more than 2 players with a lemon size rubber ball.whoever gets hold of ball has right to smash someone’s back,it used to help kids who has inner grudge to take revenge and its really a deadly game or grudge game.kids were scared to be part of this game cuz they used to return home with red patches on their back. whenever i played all these games,my family doctor and friends used to look at me as if am doing great mistake and degrading.i never bothered about their opinion.

    frequent power cuts gave kids a chance to find games like chor police,hide n seek .there were games like statue and release,the game BLUE was like whenever someone says blue you have to show blue mark on your palm,if you miss or forget to have blue mark on palm,then you lose a point.so kids used to hurry for pen whenever they come across their partner with whom they were in game. games mentioned in this para never interested me except hide n seek cuz i felt them lil silly.

    we played all those tamarind seeds and sea shells games during summers.people who could not afford shells used tamarind seeds as best alternative. we made phones out of match boxes and a thread dipped in salt water and dried used to work as phone cable.then you have paper rockets,paper planes for summer,paper boats for rainy season..we made chainsaw from coca cola caps and thread .then you have sling shot using rubber band and copper wire to target monkeys and stray dogs. some/myself used this sling shot few times to burst balloons of balloon sellers by hiding on roof top. hahaha most naughtiest thing. there are hell lot of games we played in my grandma village and it gets longer to write..

    modern game like cricket came into our life when we were in 2nd grade.cricket is like cocaine and you will get addicted to it once you start playing and you will forget all those desi games which you played at less younger age.you will play desi games on a day only when you don’t have a cricket game and you start leaving all those games one by one. carrom board replaced shell/tamarind seed games with time during summers.we made cricket bat out of palm and coconut tree branches and tennis ball suited best for these bats.only later we got branded cover and oil bats like BDM, SS, DM.

    coming back to my cbse public school with 28 acre campus .i was introduced to totally new set of games like shuttle badminton,ball badminton,football,volleyball,basketball,baseball and cricket as major where you play with all cricketing gear. if you play baseball after playing cricket,you will get damn bored and feel how americans play such damn boring game. out of all games,cricket is most aggressive and brings best of your aggression when you are a pace bowler and batsman.

    playing all these games and politics involved in all these games like day-scholar or hosteler for captain instead of skill/merit makes you psychologically evolve faster and brings more patience into your life.

    our childhood was like ocean where we have seen almost everything and lived life to the fullest.this brought greater magnitude of wisdom and patience into our lives.

    when it comes to this generation kids,most of schools don’t have playground and they live in congested apartments with no space and scope for any kinda outdoor games. childhood of contemporary kids is like swimming pool, stagnant and diminutive.not to blame them,the world has shrunk with globalisation and rampant materialism.


    1. Those were some interesting games indeed. Best of it all is that such simple games let children be children and enjoy their childhood.


  3. Hopped and left the comment there 🙂


    1. Read and replied 🙂


  4. Nostalgia! I always enjoyed langdi taang and hopscotch (we used to call it stapu). And yes in our school we often played kho-kho…In small-town India such games are still played, but who knows for how long this will continue what with infiltration of smart phones and computer games etc…


    1. Why small towns, even metros have these pockets with small-town feel and look where these games are played, as in our housing society. But parents are increasingly looking towards organised sports as the only thing for their children, dragging the poor kid, sometimes as young as 3-4 years old to one class or another.

      I remember stapu too, but in our predominantly Tamil neighbourhood, it used to be ‘pandi’ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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