Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer games

The summer holidays are here, and my daughter and niece are bored. School is closed but it is too hot and humid to play outside. There's only so much television they can watch. So the girls are holed up inside the room, with nothing to do. The airconditioner is going at full blast.
"Let's play Monopoly", says my niece suddenly. All at once, the mood in the room changes, and the afternoon seems filled with new promise.
In a few minutes, the board is set up, and "money" allocated. Within the first thirty minutes, the girls are transformed into real estate barons. Ha! I got Park Street, says one, as she pays for the property. Tchah, says the other, I have Bond Street!
When the rivalry gets sharp, I announce lunch. They give up the board reluctantly. "We're going to continue after lunch", they tell me.
After lunch, the game quickens. By now, both sides own sizeable chunks of London. There is gleeful gloating, as rents are levied. The girls keep a sharp eye on each other's wealth. Fortunes are made and lost, and the fate of London's real estate swings wildly in the hands of two girls competing for giddy sums of money.
As I watch the game, I am transported to a scene from my own childhood - my sis and I playing Monopoly in the summer holidays. We compete fiercely, but I always seem to lose, while she makes infuriating amounts of money. It is the same with any game of chance - Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, cards - I always try hard, but she always wins.
My daughter interrupts my train of thought.
"Do you want to play with us?" she asks. I smile and refuse.
"But why? It's fun!", says my niece.
I decide to confess. "Because I'll lose", I say to my niece. "I'm no good at this game! Your mom and I used to play this game, and I always lost!"

The girls look at each other and grin. "I'm going to win this one", says my niece. "No way!" says my daughter, and they go back to the game.
I watch them competing, hunched over the board, and I smile to myself. I remember my sister, and the intense concentration of our summer games. I'm glad some things just don't change.


Anonymous said...

For someone with the blog Mumbai-magic, the kids should have been playing the Indian Monopoly with Dhobi Talao and Churchgate Station!!.

Sweta said...

Deepa, I love reading your blog. It really makes me want to visit Mumbai soon and hire you to show me around.

Another fun game that your daughter might like is Taboo. I don't know if you can find it in India though (I live in the US). Also I have heard good things about a game called Apples to Apples although I haven't played it yet.

Are you planning on taking any vacations with you daughter? I went to Goa in December it was so fun, I bet she would enjoy it.

Swatantra said...

Hi Deeepa

I am a food technologist and was doing some internet search on Khari Baoli, and reached to your world! I really appreciate many words in your blog..

This post i really liked, as i felt connected to it.. we use to play many games like, gitte, pichoo with our cousins!

Nice blogs! Keep writing!

Compulsive Dreamer said...

I am reading you blog for the first time and I absolutely loved it. I love what you do with the Mumbai walks... and I really wish I could do something like this myself.

Scoobie said...

nice blog! must say... being a tamilian i did have little trouble interpreting some words.... but with some efforts really had a heartly laugh!!

really nice!

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