If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Jan 29, 2008

Tennis Anyone ?

Archie and Jughead would be nice to Veronica’s Dad so that he would let them use his pool and tennis court. We would nice to everyone [when our parents were around]. But nobody let us use either pool or tennis court. Because nobody had one. If you wanted to go swimming you jumped into the sea at Carter Road. Or waited for school to organize a trip to the Mahatma Gandhi swimming pool at Dadar. With it’s always broken down filtration plant. With frogs that jumped out of your way while you emulated Mark Spitz. { tried to.} With showers that left you feeling grimier than when the trickle of water first emerged. Then St. Stanislaus opened their pool. Which had been shut down aeons ago. Because someone was supposed to have died in it. And quickly shut it down again because water was too scarce. So between the time that St. Stanislaus shut down their pool and the Dmonte Park recreation centre opened their’s [ approx. twenty years.] We played Gilli dandu. Gilli dandu and seven tiles and Atti Patti and Jack and the monkey and blind mans buff when it rained. Up and down the staircase with acrobatics normally seen only in Apollo or Gemini circii.
Tops and marbles. Tops for which we made flat spikes. A spike being the point your top spun on. We’d take carpentery screws to Bandra station. Place it on the track and wait for a passing train. The train would have flattened out the head of the screw. Leaving the threads intact. It would have also sent the screw flying and you had scout for the screw between tracks and passing trains while doing your best to stay out of the cupboard near the cycle stand.You then filed the flattened edge down to a knife like sharpness. This was then threaded into your top. And when you cracked you top down on your opponents tops, it would split them like a ripe mango that slipped thru the jowla. { Net bag used for catching mangoes } .
Marbles we could play at home.[ When grounded]. Cement tiles were easy enough to make a gull in. A gull being the hole into which you had to get your marble from a pre determined distance. You could only play marbles when Mummy was asleep or out. We’d drilled the gull below the sofa. And the inhabitants of Alcatraz would have been proud of our skill at concealment.
We’d play table tennis on the dining table. With books opened out on edge to form the net. War and Peace made for a good section of the net because it held up to hard smashes. The Readers Digest’s tended to foldover with even a little topspin. If you stamped the ball it squashed. To unsquash it you had to boil it. God help you if the powers that be found you using the milk chatti for this.
Your place at the game was determined by a game of rounders. Which had to be played without waking parents who were indulging in a Sunday afternoon siesta. So you ran around the table on tippy toes. Trying to keep the ball in play longer than assorted siblings and neighbours. Neighbours whose dining table was positioned against the wall or who had that all time classic . The folding dining table. The Wibledon open was never as keenly contested . The only reason play would be abandoned would be if the squashed ball refused to come unsquashed and all the water in the milk chatti evaporated.

6 comments:

Karl said...

Hahhaha!! Great one Clem. I bet most of the Bandra Buggers are saying "been there, done that" ....... wow I can relate to every one of those games, brings back good memories. It's a pity that Kristian and today's kids will never experience these times, all they will say is how they won on PS2 or Nintendo Wii or how they been so engaged with tuitions and studies. Suckers!!!! Lol 

David said...

Hey Clement!
It sure was a good read, brings back memories about the old days. I forget what atti pati was can you enlighten? Also how about a mention about Ada Pada and Kitty Gotia. It would be fun if you got into the details of Gilli Dandu, do you remember how the game goes?...la Noel

Floyd said...

The boiling water trick, always the savior even today.
Had some kids over the other day. They were using the Ping Pong Balls( as it is called in the US)like I had a factory. Smashing them against the table with the Stiga Paddles( try convincing them that it is called a bat). Of the 12 balls we had 10 were smashed in some way. So I had to resort to the boiling trick. Was the hero of the family.

David said...

Hey Clement! Saw your mail, okay let me see if I remember it very well, having three brothers Andy and I grew up like tomboys. Ok for Gilli dandu you have a thin stick with which you scoop and then you have the dandu (thick stick) and ofcourse the main thingy the gilli. You scoop the gilli from the gull then if the opposite team hops it you are out but if they don’t hop it they have to throw it on the thin stick now kept over the gull to get the person who scoops it out. Then if it does not touch the thin stick kept over the gull and it falls near the gull if it is one span and one thin stick away from the gull then the person is out RIGHT???? Ok if the gilli does not go anywhere near the gull when they throw it then you start hitting the gilli with the dandu (thick stick) if you hit it twice while in the air you get double points there after I forget how it went. Question! What do you measure with the dandu and then we would have a Gatti do you remember what the Gatti was? My memory fades out here....Ok Karl let see if you know what happens after that...let me see if you are as smart as moi...La Noel

Karl said...

Hahaha la Noel all this Dandu talk is reminding me, what a gandu u r eh !!! Dandu-Gandu !!!

If you spent more time with your nephews “Dinesh and Dhiraj” at Montevideo you would not be asking all these questions. We would have taught you Gilly-Dandu, Kitty-Kitty Gota, Atti-Patti, Andia-Bondia, Party Lundi, Salts, stick and stones, L-O-N-D-O-N, seven tiles and even doctor-doctor!!!

If you hit the gilly – double, triple, chobill (four) times, you multiple you’re Dandu measure from the Gilly to the Gull by that number. For the Gatti you have to hop on one leg.

And Gandu I recommend you take the Course – "Solid Majaa men – 101", you will be taught all the games rules and terminology.

Dinesh Alexander D'Souza said...

Ah..! Those were the days, Karl. We always had fun - at forty one