In the series of traditional games, we would this time cover the game of Rumal Jhapatta, now more commonly known as the Dog and the Bone game, which was a very popular game in the rural parts of Rajasthan earlier but now losing its charm…
‘Resham ka rumal gale mein daal ke’ — have you heard this song? Well, there might be hardly any Rajasthani who would not have heard this popular song sung by Ila Arun. But apart from the song, did you remember anything else? The words—Resham ka rumal reminds you of any long lost traditional game of Rajasthan? If yes, then give a High-Five as you are one of those lucky ones who have either played or witnessed the interesting and entertaining Desi and traditional game—Rumal Jhapatta.
Known as the Dog and the Bone game in English, Rumal Jhapatta was quite a popular outdoor team game in rural parts of Rajasthan and enjoyed by our parents, grandparents or may be earlier generations. Earlier, any picnic with friends or family outing was incomplete without playing Rumal Jhapatta. However, now our kids don’t even know about this game name.
So, what is Rumal Jhapatta?
A common game played in the rural parts of Rajasthan for years together but now losing its identity, Rumal Jhapatta is a very simple game that doesn’t need any expensive equipment except a handkerchief or ‘Rumal’ as called in Rajasthan.
The game consists of two teams having at least 5 players each or 10 or may be more. Typically a handkerchief (designated as the ‘bone’) is kept in the middle of the ground and a circle is drawn around it with a chalk. Then a challenge is thrown by the two teams to each other to pick the handkerchief first and bring to their respective side without being caught. For this, a member of each team comes forward and attempts to take the handkerchief. This is done by each team member of both the teams deciding a number for themselves and then the middle man calling out a random number and the two members having the same number coming in the middle to play the game. That team earns a point when the player of that team is able to take the handkerchief to their side. If the player is caught by his opponent before reaching back to his team, then the opposing team gets the point. The player who fails to take the handkerchief has to leave the game. At the end, the team having the highest points wins the game.
Here, it is to be noted that it is not necessary that you have to take the handkerchief at any cost and run, rather, it’s like a choice whether you want to do that or allow your opponent to take the handkerchief and you run behind him/her to catch it.
The best part is that people of all age groups can play this game and you are not stuck if you don’t have a handkerchief. This is because anything from a marble, bottle, stick or shoe can solve the purpose and you can play the game easily anywhere. What more? This simple looking game can not only provide enjoyment to your kids but can also help in developing their both physical and mental skills along with facilitating hand-eye coordination, planning, teamwork and motor skills.
So, this rainy season, if you are planning a picnic or trip with your family or friends, then do include this Desi game—Rumal Jhapatta in your kitty to make the most of your time and introduce your kids to this interesting game while enjoying the beauty of Rajasthan.