‘If you carry your childhood with you, you never get older’ is a very popular saying. It reminds us to keep the child inside us alive and kicking. How do we do that? Let’s take a walk down memory lane and relive some memories including playing games such as Poshampa, Lagori, Kabaddi, Kho Kho etc.
Our childhood shapes us. It defines the kind of humans we become, the kind of adults we turn into. Our roots, culture, and traditions mold us into the human being we are today or eventually become. No wonder that we revere or miss our childhood so much. The days that went by made everything seem so simple and uncomplicated. Reality is far off from that! Gone are the moments of being carefree and reckless. We now have 100 things on mind and 100 things to do before we can even breathe freely. Nobody has the time or energy to be a child. Even in our free time all we want to do is rest and relax. Who can blame us honestly? The stress and pressure are just too much to handle. But maybe that is exactly the reason why we should indulge the child within us! Being free, calm and comfortable is more than a state of mind. It requires us to truly let go and accept our reality. This also means we have to lose control sometimes. What better way to do that than play some good ol’ childhood games? What was your favorite as a kid? Do you miss the high-speed nature of Kho Kho? Or is it the team spirit of Lagori you want to relive? Who can forget the chants we sung during Poshampa?
Nobody knows where these games originated from. Some games have history and a connection but most games are random. They have been played by Indians for generations and handed down over the years. Of course, the rules have been modified and changed to suit our convenience. There were some silly ones indeed such as crossing fingers. Crossing fingers would mean you were not out or didn’t lose. Another funny rule was ‘Time please!‘ It signaled the player needed a break and wanted to take a time out. It did come handy when your mother called for you or you had to go to the bathroom! But a lot of players took advantage of these rules as we know. Did you have any particular rules or versions of popular games?
One really popular and easy game was Poshampa. A simple and fun game, this required 5 or more players. Two players form an arch by locking their hands above their heads. The two players have to then sing a song. The other 3 players have to pass below the arch or the bridge. When the song gets over, the players bring their hands down and grab the player passing through. The captured player is then declared out. Another version includes asking the captured player a question. Depending on his/her answer, he is then put in Team A or Team B. Once all the players have been divided into 2 teams, they hold a tug-of-war to decide the winner. Players have to be really nimble and anticipate the end of the song. Some versions include pauses or let the players forming the arch decide when to bring their hands down. The Poshampa Song goes something like this-
Poshampa Bhai ha Poshampa
Dakuon Ne Kya Kiya
100 rupees Ki Ghadi Churayi
Atthani Ki Rabdi Khaayi
Ab Toh Jail Main Jaana Padega
Jail Ki Roti Khaani Padegi
Jail Ka Paani Peena Padega
Ab Toh Jail Main Jaana Padega
Poshampa Bhai Poshampa
While the basic lyrics remain same, kids often add their versions instead of the conventional one. For example instead of ‘Rabdi’ (an Indian sweet) they might say Chocolate or Ice cream. The melody of the Poshampa song also differs as people often adapt any melody they think works or sounds better.