BANGALORE: As many as 20 exuberant players wearing bright coloured t-shirts and track pants, jumping with childish excitement, straddling across the playground, aiming at their targets, gauging their opponent’s moves amidst cheers and shouts from the audience — sounds pretty familiar doesn’t it? But, when the participants in question are women above 50 years and it is a traditional game like ‘lagori’, it is sure to turn some heads and is indeed something to cheer about.
Games like Lagori, Kuntepille, Aluguli mane, Chauka bara, Channe Mane are games which were part of our lives, long before the craze of video games and electronic gadgets caught up. And if you are in your forties, these are the games you may have played with family and friends at some point in your life.
To give a second life to some of these scintillating games, Spurthi (Hanumanthnagar) and Keerthi (Uttarahalli) Women’s club, which has been in existence for the past 23 years, organised an event to celebrate these traditional games, of which we would have otherwise heard from our grandparents. They had also entered the Limca Book of World Records in 2008, for being the first women’s club in the world to hold a cricket tournament for mothers and grandmothers. And they are not going to stop here. They have plans to conduct similar tournaments, compete with women’s clubs around the state and
create more records.
What was most striking about the event was the electrifying atmosphere and high energy levels among everyone present at the sports event. They were women belonging to the age group of 20 to 70 years, but the enthusiasm was unparalleled, no matter how old each one was. For some of them, it was much more than taking part in a game. It was about having an identity outside the four walls of house and breaking the monotony of their daily lives. “With the advent of nuclear families, people have forgotten these traditional games. They not only help you bond with your family, but also improve concentration and keep you away from family politics,” said one of the winners of the ‘Lagori competition for women above 50’, Prabhavati, a regular participant in traditional sports.
One of the chief guests at the event, S K Umesh, Police Inspector, Jayanagar police station, said, “I feel this is a great platform for women to get together and do what they enjoy, irrespective of their ages. I have been associated with the Women’s Club for the past 2-3 years and conducted workshops on ‘Crime against woman’. And, I have thoroughly enjoyed my stint.” Another participant Premlatha, who is also a yoga teacher, said, “You feel younger with these games. Most of these games do not even require physical strength. All you need is the right spirit and family support.” Many women opined that most games are said to be ‘played only by boys’ and they were happy to break such stereotypical notions, that too at an age when one is expected to sit at home and narrate stories to their grandchildren. One of the oldest members of the club, aged around 68, admitted, “We might age physically, but we will always remain ‘18 till we die.”
About the Club: Both Spurthi and Keerthi have around 1,300 members. Women above 18 years are eligible to join the club too. The members meet once in a month (second Saturday) to discuss ideas and attend workshops ranging from yoga to cookery. Interested people can contact Jayashree Sridhar on 9880949094.