By Bhavita Kukreja:
As children, I am sure we have all played a lot of games with our friends: right from cricket to hide and seek to a game of hopscotch. There were some games which I played as a child which others might not have. During our childhood we tend to play a lot of games if we find them appealing and all we are aware of is the fact that cricket is the most popular sport that is played across the country and is enjoyed by one and all. I was no different as a kid. All I did was to play games with my friends either at home or in school during our games period, without realising the importance these games hold as forms of sport in our country.
I would like to talk about one such sport; Kho-Kho. I wonder whether kids today even know what this sport is all about. It comprises two teams having twelve players each. However, on the playground only nine players go from one team all of whom are supposed to be seated. The seating pattern is very interesting as each player alternately sits in the opposite direction of the other. It is to be noted that only eight players are seated and the 9th player chases the player from the defending team. The chasing team stands at one pole and chases the player from one pole to another. In between, the chasing player can pass on his or her turn to the other player by passing and placing one’s palm on the back of the player without committing a foul and passing it onto the other who in turn starts chasing. Once the chasing team catches hold of the player, he or she is considered to be out of the game and the next player comes in. This process continues till the whole team is out or is done with their turn. The defenders have the freedom to move on either side of the central line which the chasing team cannot cross. When this lap is over, the chasing team comes into the picture. The games now organised for Kho-Kho are the ‘National Women’s Championship‘, the ‘All India Inter University Championship‘ and many more.
Kho-kho is misconstrued as a game that only children or girls can play. However, it actually happens to be a universal sport that can be played by children, men and women as well. The sport requires an evenly surfaced land and I remember playing in the verandas of our house as a little girl. I personally enjoyed it a lot, so did my friends: irrespective of their gender.
I believe that each one of us should take some time out of our busy schedule and play Kho-Kho only to see how enriching the game is. Moreover increases our physical strength as we need to run a lot while playing it, so it keeps you healthy and brings out the child in you. What more does one need?