Collections - 2 [Marbles]
Now that we have started talking about my collections, the next thing to talk about is - Marbles[kanche in hindi]. Yes, those small round balls with which kids play on streets. I had a fascination for them, loved them, collected them and treasured them. More then two jars were filled with them - hundreds of them.
They are simply beautiful. Having transparent outer shell covering and with fascinating multicolored beautiful designs woven into them, they sparkle with life if you hold them with your thumb and finger and watch them with light falling on them from the back side. It seemed that each marble had its own story to tell, with it's unique design and color combinations. They came in all varieties of colors and color combinations - red, blue, purple, orange, green, pink to name just a few. Pure or totally white marble, like a small ball of homemade butter, was very rare, considered lucky and was expensive too. It was aptly called the makkhani.To me its was extremely beautiful and I could easily exchange it by giving five or more ordinary marbles. The other rare variety were very small, round or oval marbles which were called chiddis or piddis owing to their sizes. They too formed a part of my collection even though they could never be used for playing.
There was a shop nearby where an old uncle used to sell everyday-need goods and had kept big transparent jars of chocolates, toffees, chewing gums and of course marbles on the front glass showcases of his shop, to lure innocent kids like me to buy those items from him. His trick always worked, at least for me. I used to watch those marble jars whenever I used to go to his shop to buy something and if I could locate a few beautiful marbles on the top of the jar, I was desperately scouting for 50 paise or one rupee to buy them to add them to my ever increasing diverse collection. I always used to buy marbles from him only because he was the only one in the market who let me choose the marbles I wanted to buy.
The other way to acquire those gems, was of course, to win them. Definitely,a harder and more laborious and risky task then just buying but nevertheless extremely enjoyable and joyful. Two types of marble games were most popular at that time - goli pill and ticha.
Goli pill is played by two or more kids. A small hole called pilley, roughly the size of a ping-pong ball is dug in the earth.It should be easily able to hold just one marble. Digging a good pilley in itself is an extensive work of science and art. One kid then stands on the pill with one foot on it and throws the marbles collected from each player after juggling and mixing them thoroughly in his hands. The kid whose marble goes furthest away from the pill gets first turn and then the second furthest and so on and so forth. The task is very simple - you are supposed to first hit any other marble by your marble and then subsequently put your marble in the pill or vice verse, by placing the thumb of your hand at the location of your marble and using the first finger and fingers of other hands for hitting. If you do that the marble you had hit is yours else its next guy's turn to try the same .
Ticha is played by drawing a line on earth - mostly by a sharp stone, standing behind it and throwing the marbles collected by all players further away. Then while standing behind that line and without bending forward you are supposed to hit any marble on the ground. If you hit it, its yours for the taking and you get one more chance to do the same. Otherwise its the next guy's turn.
If you lost all his marbles while playing, it was considered a big disgrace and all the other kids used to laugh at you saying - 'poda ho geya tera'.
Needless to say, I was good in both - Ticha and Goli pill. The filled jars at my home were testimony of that.
Imagine me as a young kid, lean and thin, short curly hair, wearing spectacles with oval glasses and thin black frames, in white shirt and dark grey pants and playing Ticha and Goli pill. The feeling of unlimited joy and happiness after winning a marble as if I had conquered a country and celebrating it with a wide grin and pumping the fists. The sorrow of loosing a marble as if I have lost a fortune. In those days the life rotated along such uncomplicated wonders. Imagine me playing Ticha, taking an aim at a marble on ground by holding two marbles in my small hands, close to my face, clicking the two marbles to hear the sound of the click, not satisfied, taking out another marble from my dirty pant's pocket, clicking again, adjusting my spectacles at my nose, by the tip of my little finger and then finally hitting. Or slowly walking towards home, sad and dejected, with head sunk low - after loosing all the marbles that I had brought to play. Or desperately trying to brush off the dust and earth from my dirty clothes after the play in order to avoid a scolding from my mother. Trouble was, hands itself were dirty, so there was always a dilemma whether the clothes were getting cleaned or more dirtier.
I used to take out all the collected marbles once every fortnightly or so, sitting on a bed, with soft sun rays falling on the entire bed from a nearby large wooden framed open window and see all of them glittering and shining in a falling sun rays. It was a wonderful experience. Then I used to count them slowly and remember the count, so that, if my younger brothers [twins] had dared to steal them, I would know. While counting I used to hold the beautiful ones up across the sunlight and enjoy its beauty for a while. The whole exercise took hours to complete but who was worried about time then.
Slowly I grew up and stopped playing marbles but was not ready to part with my collection. My mom used to ask me to give them, at least a few, to my younger brothers and other smaller kids, as I had no use of them now. But, I was stubborn and always said no. One fine day, I don't know what came to my mind - I took out all of them and gave 50 each to my younger brothers. Still there were too many left, so I just called up the younger kids of my neighborhood and distributed all the marbles to them without keeping a single one with me. The joy and satisfaction in seeing their smiling faces was greater then the sorrow of parting with my beloved jewels.
Hence came an end of a fascinating, beautiful journey and the story of me and the marbles.
I did not know at that time but realized later that it taught me very profound Lessons of Life. Learn to play the game. Learn to play it better then the others and then play it without cheating or using unfair means.Success will be yours Enjoy the learning process, the game and the earnings and then finally let it all go. Give it away. Give all away.Give learnings to others. Give earnings to others. Find a new interesting game. That's all there it is.
To be continued.....
milte hain break ke baad..ding..dong..ding..