The generation of the “90’s Kids” has just come to a close. In fact, this is the year when even the 2000-born kids turn 18! (Amazing how time flies, isn’t it?) It’s the end of an era, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten the fun we had as kids, and given a chance, we would all go back to our childhood. We are a proud lot, and rightly so. We’ve lived in 3 decades, 2 centuries and 2 millennia, all before we even turned 18.
We’ve also lived in a time with no mobile phones or sleek laptops, when the only technology we knew of was crammed into a bulky contraption called a desktop computer (they were bulky then). We’ve seen the evolution of SMS language, video games, smartphones and all sorts of technology, know what a floppy disk and a videotape looks like, and have had our pictures taken in the film cameras (and actually had to wait to see how they turned out).
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But most importantly, we used to spend more time playing outside than inside. This may sound like something coming from those stereotypical gossiping aunties who say, “Oh! Aaj kal ke bacche”, while shaking their heads, but it’s the truth.
But we’re here to take you 90’s kids on a trip down memory lane. So get ready to reminisce as we present to you a list of all the games we used to enjoy as kids.
Often called ‘Tag’ in English, it’s a game which never required any resources, and one of the few games that can be enjoyed with just two players. There is usually a ‘denner’ (the person who does the catching, a requirement in almost every game) who has to catch the others, and the first person caught becomes the next ‘denner’.
Unlike most games which can be enjoyed in small groups, sakhli is the most fun in a group of more than five. In this, when the ‘denner’ catches someone, the two must join hands and try to catch the others. It’s a challenging to run while catching one person’s hand, but it gets really fun when three or more people are in the human chain!
A modification of Pakda Pakdi, it is (was) a typical game played in the streets (or colonies) with a lot of closed drains. The drain covers act as ‘safe zones’ where the denner can’t catch you. This can also be played among two people, but was always more fun with more.
Remember drawing little boxes on the road with chalk to hop in? Hopscotch was another favourite of mine because it was so challenging! Unlike all the other games which require at least two people, this can even be played alone. It involves hopping on one leg into the various chalk squares (arranged in a specific order) without touching the borders or going outside. Brilliant game for coordination of muscles at that age, isn’t it?
It’s a more creative alternative to Pakda Pakdi in which we often made our own rules. Basically, any person the denner could choose to be ‘locked’ in place until another player gave them a ‘key’. Since this usually means the ‘denner’ never changed, we would set a limit on the number of times a person could be ‘locked’.
They are both official Indian sports with tournaments and championships and medals, but for us as kids, playing them was just another way to have fun. We could explain the games, but since they are official sports, they have rules and regulations, and you’ll find everything on Google :P.
My personal favourite, this is one game in which we, as kids, took great creative liberty in the rules. I have played this same game in three different ways with the same group of people! One is, of course, the boring way in which everyone hides and the ‘denner’ finds them out (the first person found would be the next ‘denner’). Another version, which we called ‘Stop and Party’, was a little more interesting. The denner would try to find the other players, and say “Stop!” when one was found, but if one of the hidden children tap the denner’s back before that and say “Party!” the denner wouldn’t change.
The mandatory game everyone has willingly or forcefully played. Though the game is typically associated with girls, our tired guy friends made up good stories to participate too!
Well, these games were all we could remember. If this article took you back to a memory when you fought to not be the “denner”, or refused to be the father during Ghar Ghar, or when you actually did say “Uno” before your last card but you still got ‘caught’, and when you negotiated that your foot was not on the boundary in Langdi, we believe that this article has served its purpose. Cheers to the child in all of us.
A foodie and avid reader, she only discovered her affinity for writing when Engineering let her down. She loves surprises and adventure and dreams of travelling the world. Spends her free time browsing social media and drooling over videos of adventure sports.