February 11, 2004

We were playing Wargames

When I was a kid, for a couple of years, I lived in Jaipur. There used to be this empty plot at the corner of my block. Some legal trouble had caused the construction work in the to stop half way. They could only finish digging the foundation.

Emptry plot

The site was full of sand dunes and trenches giving it a battlefield look. Every evening after school, we ran to that site to play war”. To make the war” more realistic, we would make two teams — representing two countries that were fighting real ward with each other, or had fought a war in the past. It was hard to get the other kids to play the part of China or Pakistan. But I would love to represent these.

Hurling granades

I would hail Pakistan” and attack hated India. Our grenades were dried sand cakes that we found in the dunes. It would hit you and disintegrate into sand. Sometimes, I would play China. Shouting hail chairman Mao” I would jump on the evil Americans.

Hurling granades

In the end, I would be surrounded by the opposing army. They would ask me to surrender. I would refuse and call them names. I would be shot at and I would tumble down the dune, rolling all the way. I really enjoyed the rolling down part. After hitting the ground, I would hail my country one more time before valiantly dying.

We would play the other wars happening at the time - the Iran-Iraq war or the Falklands war. Our war would last a total of 20 minutes.

Hurling granades

After that, I would walk home with trepidation hoping that I could sneak in before someone discovers my sand filled uniform.

That was our war. It was fun, especially the rolling down part.

Real wars

The real wars are a mess.


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