Over the weekend, I stopped at one of our friends' place who have a 6 year old kid. I was surprised to see the PS2 and Wii at their place which were the favourite playmates for the kid and a great relief for the parents.. I saw very few "games" or "toys" other than this (well this is a huge investment indeed), apart from the great library the child had. Anything the kid wanted to play with me was hi-tech and needless to say, I suck at computer games with absolutely no interest and am ignorant about the differences between PS2 and Playstation till date.. Nor do I have any inclination to learn about it either.. Not that I am a great sportswoman, but I would definitely attempt catching a ball or even a moving my coin in a 'snake and ladder'.. I was told that I should try Wii since I put in the same effort as hitting a tennis ball or bowling, well virtually ! I just smiled at the games I used to play at that age. One of my favourite antique (!) games was "Paandi". You draw boxes on the ground and play with a piece of slab ( which ranges from a broken mosaic piece to one's favourite and lucky flat cement piece). Balancing was tested under all crucial events including hopping holding with the hand unbent, on the legs, on the head, on the shoulders, eyes closed and what not. And then came the novel playing on the sand (By now most of you know I love playing things with lesser physical effort any day).. Build those pyramids (which we call as temples) and build the tunnel to shake hands with the 3 other friends digging the base from the other direction. Adorn the temple (!) with those small shells and whatever else we may find in teh process of collection.. Pallaanguzhi ( I don't know if it has an English translation) was my most favourite and I used to go to all the neighbours houses carrying the board like a violinst (!) in my grandparents' place challenging the mami's to give it a shot with me. The rule is to not count or keep track, but I somehow always managed to track it without the opponent knowing and one of the patti's blessed me saying that I would come up really well in Maths making me beam with pride and joy. Then came the dhaayam(Shatranj?), which my mom used to not like much since the Pandavas lost their kingdom because of it. Nevertheless, we played and I always used to curse because the toughest part for me was the "1" in the dice required to begin the game.. By the time I enter, I see the rest of the people almost done with multiple "vettu"s and close to their destiny Hide and seek was always fun, the huge houses we had then helped a lot. Used to be even more fun when the elders show-us-off at times with their glances We invented a lot of games and gave them interesting names too ( one my gang called Gori-Gori) while not knowing how to kill time until they telecast "Vikram aur vethal" on a saturday in the golden DD-only days. We had other "economical" items too like the ring tennis, shuttle badminton ( a little hi-fy then).. In the place of the "hot" barbie dolls we used to have the cute little girl doll (often given out to one of our uncles' in the nalungu plate of wedding), to whom we apply Ponds' powder, comb the hair (ofcourse with Parachute oil) and keep a bindi using Shringar chaandhu and nobody bothered to save their investment then.. To all those children playing PS2s and Wii, I just wish you have some memories to tell your kids about your playtime..