Bengaluru’s day out with Gaalipata and Chowkabara

It is not often that you see families head out to the nearest playground for some games and fun. Families from across the city showed up to pull at the strings and roll some dice.

Batman and Superman can fly but have you seen a fish or a Ben 10 fly? Sunday morning sky at the Koramangala 3rd block, play ground was dotted with kites of all hues and shapes. More than 250 people from across Bangalore had gathered on 12 February to try their hands at kite flying, traditional games like pagade and chowkabara. The Gaalipata time was organised by Citizen Matters in association with Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) to celebrate three years in print in South Bangalore. The event was also co-sponsored by Bulldog Sportz and Printo.

NBF is an organisation working towards making Bengaluru a model city, be it in terms of well planned infrastructure, well laid out neighbourhood community models, or its people-driven governance measures. They are also working closely with the Koramangala community in many local initiatives.

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Both children and grown ups were excited about these games that are not part of their daily lives. "In our busy schedule we hardly find time to celebrate or to play traditional games. This event let me re-live the tradition in its original way. Moreover, I am really happy for my kid who is learning new skills now through these games" said Saroja who lives in Banashankari. For the uninitiated even the simple roll the tyre with the stick was an exciting game.

Some could expertly fly the kite and were thrilled to realise they hadn’t forgotten the skill from their childhood. Those who couldn’t fly the kites had expert help at hand. Kite expert and award winner Sabir Hussian guided the participants in kite flying. He even taught the nuances of making a kite and tying the thread to the kite. "I don’t know how to make a kite, neither do I know how to fly it. But today with the help of experts, I was able to fly a kite all by myself" said Tanmay R who had come from Vasanthnagar.

Hussain was happy with the opportunity to interact with people on kites. "I had fun at the event , I wanted to teach how to make a kite to every one but there was no time. But I am happy that people in Bangalore are still interested in kite flying," he said.

A number of amateur photographers enjoyed the opportunity to capture the colourful event. Debdarshan Panda has posted his pictures here. and Rupak Jena, a designer has posted his pictures here. Mahesh Venkitachalam, an IT consultant, shares his pictures here.

Traditional games like Pagade, Chowkabara, Aadu Huli Aata, Buguri (Tops) and Marbles, was hosted by toy store Kavade. Children and grown ups alike were excited by these games. Apna Complex, an organisation that makes software solutions for apartments management sponsored the Kavade sessions.

Vijay Krishnan, a customer of ApnaComplex and resident of Sri Sri Paradise Apartment, said his daughter Medha had a good time and looked forward to more such events.

Sreeranjini G S, founder of Kavade spent time explaining the rules of the games. "My family didn’t know how to play these traditional games. After the experts’ guidance, I do believe that these games help my children apply their mind unlike the aimless video games, " said Naveen S, private firm manager, from Indiranagar.

Besides just playing these games the participants also had the chance to own the games. "I wanted one such game at my house so that I am not detached from the tradition and stick only to technology." said Hema Mahesh from Jayanagar 1st block.

Kavade also had simple games like cup and the ball that many found tough. In a quick contest, Koramangala residents Rolland Santimand and S Bhaskar proved the fastest in this game, and won gift coupon worth Rs 500 each from KO Shop that makes unique silver jewellery.

Sreeranjini seem to have had as much fun at the event. "I had fun teaching people. Our goal was to expose them to these traditional games and improve their skills . Which I think we did through this event," she said.

Participants expressed their happiness and said Gaalipata time ‘brought in a sense of of community’.

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