Recently, I came across this toddler playing carrom with his dad. There was the carrom board with an assortment of carrom coins, no striker though. There was a plastic cap with some white powder in it and the two players.
It was a curious setting and the adult was clearly out of place.
The child picked up the cap and dabbed a bit of powder onto the carrom board. I figured out that it was the cap from the powder bottle – Dad did not want a mess and so the rationing.
The kid touched the powder on the carrom board and squealed in delight.
“You touch it,” he said to the man, who looked horrified. The man placed a coin on the board and struck it precisely with his fore-finger.
The kid imitated the actions and then swung his whole hand from the wrist towards a coin and off it went, all over the place. More squeals. The father patiently placed another coin and showed the kid how to hold his fore-finger against the thumb and again struck a coin with precision.
The kid put his palms on the board and rubbed the powder all around, squealing in delight.
“You touch it,” he told his father again. This time around, the man did not look horrified but was reluctant. Eventually, the child’s glee got through and the father touched the powder with his fingers.
“Nice?” the child asked.
The father nodded and put a whole palm on the board and started smiling. Then he put the other palm onto the board and both of them started rubbing the carrom board with their palms. The coins went from one end of the board to another and soon cheeks were smeared, and laughter joined the squeals.
I guess most adults do not really remember what it means to play – they just remember how to play it right and to what end.