This winter has been a time of amazing road trips:
With all the excitement of the trips and the experiences therein, there is also the time in the car. Audio books and songs compete for time with games in the car. Playing games with children is an experience unto itself. Peacekeeping forces are deployed every now and then, council meetings to determine rules and regulations, are required. Who said the family isn’t a mini-government unto itself? In spite of all this, hiccups arise in the most unexpected quarters.
I remember the time we were playing hangman. I was wondering what the words were and how I was getting them all wrong before I realized that for playing hangman properly one needs to know the spelling of the words, and foneticaly speaking, that is a very different game for kindergarteners.
‘Let me give you a hint’, the toddler son said one day as I was waiting for a cup of coffee en-route to somewhere. He was trying his best to mask his frustration, since my A, E, S and I, had all gone to nearly hang the man. He then coughed and sputtered and then beamed up at me expectantly. Could that be C-O-U-G-H?
‘Yes! Very good amma,’ he said and added O at the second place. I was frazzled. He had 4 dashes laid out. What could mean ‘Cough’, but be spelt with 4 letters?
C? I got another very-good, and after that nothing. The G finally got the man’s throat and he gasped and croaked. After another few trying minutes, in which the brain felt fairly rattled, the fellow wrote C-O-F-F. Cough, see? He beamed rather freely at this, and the doting tween sister of his scoffed and ruffled his hair.
‘Scoff all you want, but cough up the dough for my coffee. ‘, I said to my unappreciative audience as I went to get my fortifying cup of coffee.
‘Would You Rather Coff Or Have Coffee? Get it?’, said the daughter and I rolled my eyes.
I was reminded yet again of a charming book written by Miss Read. The book, Farewell to Fairacre, written by Dora Saint, is based in the imaginary village of Fairacre in the English countryside. The protagonist and narrator, Miss Read, taught at the village school, and said of her children.
‘More worldly children require computers and video games to occupy themselves, but the children of Fairacre are quite happily engaged with paper and pencils’
I am glad we are able to derive our pleasures in simple ways still.
Then of course, if ever anyone wants to see how Rajinikanth plays Chess, you can come by and watch the toddler play chess with his imaginary friend when bored. If one has watched the old Tamil movies, one knows how villains attack Cinema heroes. The villains would stand around the hero. Cornered. See? Then, they’d go on to scowl, growl, grimace and crack their knuckles on the sidelines, touching their bald heads, caressing their unshaven beards and glaring like tigers given melons for lunch.
The hero stands there sizing them up and then one fellow comes and aah! He gets beaten up in a giffy. You’d think that would knock some sense into the remaining goonda pakodas, but it doesn’t. They all roar and then send another huge guy into the rink. Thulped. Another grimace and still no learning here. All fourteen idiots would go one at a time and get beaten up.
All known laws of Physics are also massacred in the process. Thermodynamics, laws of motion are all left begging for reprieve along with the band the villains.
Apply the same principle to the Chess board and you have the game: Every pawn comes one at a time and gets beaten up by the toddler’s side of the chess set. His shining knight battles on destroying his opponent’s pawns and his brave army thinks nothing of thumping Queens and locking bishops in with his own pawns.
Would You Rather be a Villain in a Tamil movie set or a pawn in Rajinikanth’s Chess? Get it?
Which brings us to the stimulating Would-You-Rather game (Part 2)