It is the season of GAMES! But are you a true ‘Desi’ player or merely amongst those who knows of video games, mobile games, gadgets or at the max Cricket? Well, check it for yourself! Oonch Neech ka Papda, Kho-Kho, Sitoliya, Gilli Danda, Rumal Jhappata, Kanche...did these words or rather aptly put ‘GAMES’ strike any chord? If your answer is ‘Yes’, then definitely you are a Desi game lover who has tasted our tradition, culture and history in the truest sense. Don’t be surprised, we are not exaggerating.
Be it Lord Shiv and Goddess Parvati playing the game of Pachisi, Pandavas loosing Draupadi in a dice game or Mughals enjoying Chess, games have always played an important role in the culture and tradition of India. In fact, many ancient Indian games have given rise to the modern-day games which are now highly popular. Sounds interesting?
|Traditional games that originated in India
|Popular form at present
|Pachisi / Chaupad
|Snakes and Ladders
So, simply put, a piece of history, a bit of culture and a whole lot of memories are tied to these traditional games that were once played in every nook and corner of India and Rajasthan was no different. Some of these traditional games that required minimal equipment are now known as ‘Street Games,’ and are overlooked by the masses and obviously their mobile-busy children don’t even know their names. Thus, it is high time that we rewind, revive and relieve our traditional games and what can be better time than now when the Rajasthan Gramin Olympic Khel, 2022 are happening to give a boost to the rural games of Rajasthan.
In this series of traditional games, we would cover some of the popular ‘Desi’ Rajasthani games that are still played in some remote villages or hidden lanes of busy cities of Rajasthan. The first amongst the list is Kanche or now commonly called as Marbles.
Remember or seen that game which was played with the dark green coloured round glass marbles which were called as Kancha. Well, this inexpensive yet interesting traditional game has an equally interesting history. Origin of Kanche can be traced to the Stone Age when cavemen and ancient Indians used to play with small stones or pebbles. A game as old as that was still played by the youngsters of all age groups in the villages of Rajasthan or other parts of India until a few years ago. However, now it only exists in the faint memories of our grandparents, parents and may be few of us lucky ones who played it once or twice. So, now let’s bring this Kanche game to the foray.
While there are various versions of the this game from easy to complicated, popular is the one in which a player is supposed to hit a selected target ‘Kancha’ among other ones in the circle from a distance using his/her own Kancha and the winner takes all the Kanche of the rest of the players.
To start with, a shallow hole is made in the ground and a line is drawn, three feet away from the hole. Every player contributes 2 Kanche each (which are collected at the centre of a circle) to begin the game and then stands behind the line to throw his Kanche into the hole. The one who has his Kanche closest to the hole gets the chance to play first.
Typically, the Kancha is held tightly between the two index fingers. Then the left thumb is put firmly on the ground and the left index finger is stretched backwards with both index fingers still holding the Kancha. Then, the right index finger is released and the Kancha is shot. It is exactly like a bow and arrow position. The players take turns to knock Kanche out of the circle which are then kept by them. The game ends when there are no Kanche left in the circle and the one with the maximum number of Kanche wins the game.
It is time that you take away your kids from mobile games and gadgets and introduce them to Kanche as it can actually help to develop their mathematical and motor skills while improving concentration, focus, hand-eye coordination and aiming skills. For Kanche, age is no bar and you too can play this long forgotten yet awesome game with your friends and family and give a boost to the traditional gaming culture of Rajasthan in a different way.