Romit and Surbhi were upset when their summer vacations began. Their parents had decided to take them to their native village in Punjab. It wasn’t just that, the village was not internet friendly and they were forbidden to take their phones along!! As they had grown up playing games on their phones, messaging, and staying in touch with their friends through facebook, they saw no reason to actually go out and interact with people. Wasn’t it simpler to Google pictures of the village in Punjab? What was the need to travel to a place they had never heard of? Furthermore, their parents decided to undertake a train journey!! Flights go to Amritsar and thereafter one can travel by road….but a train journey!! What a repulsive thought it was for them.
But, this train didn’t seem all that bad. The view was different from the one they generally saw on their phones. The green fields with yellow sunflowers offered a pretty sight. After the train journey, they hired a cab to the village. Surprisingly, this village had concrete houses and was well equipped.
“Not a bad beginning”, said Romit.
“Yes,” agreed Surbhi, adding, “But, there is nothing exciting to do here.”
The sound of birds chirping woke the two up the next morning. They looked out of the window and noticed some children playing outside. But, the two had no inclination to join them. The day passed with nothing much to do and by evening they both became irritable. Life was enjoyable with their phones, but now they just did not know what to do. So, they decided to take a walk. As they stepped out, Romit tripped and fell on Surbhi. This was enough to anger her, and the two soon ended up quarrelling. Had it not been the intervention of their mother, they would have continued to do so till the next day. Mother forced them to return home and stop the squabble. But, before they returned, each picked up a stick….for future encounters.
Next day, forgetting about the fight, they went out and met the children who played outside their home.
“Sat sriakal”, said a small chubby boy.
His name was Rupinder. Soon they were introduced to Harminder, Prabhjeet, and Sukhvir. The new friends noticed the sticks Surbhi and Romit were carrying.
“Oh, wow!!” exclaimed Rupinder. “Now we can play Gilli-Danda.”
“Gilli-Danda?” asked Surbhi and Romit together. “What is that?”
“It’s a game played with two sticks of different sizes,” said Prabhjeet.
“The bigger one is called Danda and smaller Gilli. A player uses the raised end of the Danda to hit the Gilli and flip it in air.”
Then Harminder continued, “While it is in the air, the player strikes the Gilli, hitting it as far as possible. Having struck the Gilli, the player is required to run and touch a pre-agreed point outside the circle before the Gilli is retrieved by an opponent.”
“Phew, this was confusing,” said Surbhi.
“No harm in trying though,” said Romit.
Then the play began. After half an hour, it became exciting. After an hour it still continued with all players playing intently. Then after two hours it became addictive. Finally, they all had to be called back home by their parents. When Romit and Surbhi returned home for lunch, they were covered in mud, had bruised knees, but were beaming with pleasure. This had undoubtedly been a fantastic day. They were convinced that this vacation would be the best and most memorable one for them.
- encounter: meeting
- opponent: challenger
- retrieve: recover