There was a host of board games with her. We could choose board games from SPY, chinese race, memory etc. The biggest hit was the Mine a Million. Here we purchased our own barges, boats, trucks and mined away the ore to a distant country for earning maximum money. This some how was a big hit with the gang – mostly because we knew the theme while the others were little tough to get through our bird brains.
There used to be mine-a-million session starting from morning 10AM ( we had brunch before starting off and this was good with grownups around the house) and ended somewhere round 4 or 5 pm when somebody won the game or there was a dispute of sorts. This non-stop nonsence used to puzzle the elders but kept thier grins hidden as it kept the entire gang out of trouble with neighbourhood.
When Mrs MuthuLakshmi found that we were in no mood of even thinking of returning the boards, she put in a word with my padma aunty. These boards have come from Africa to be given as presents to one of the cousines in chennai. Would we be good enough to return those? Off course wasnt I the land lords son? People those days feared and respected the land lord while the land lord feared the rent control act.
I hurridely cancelled the game session and went into a hudle well away from the regular play room into the opens and behind the usual Govenment School grounds. We all had fallen in love with the board game and somebody removing that meant a big void. Only a child will know how precious the game is which is usually otherwise measured by cost by adults.
With tears, we wanted to go and hand back the games to Mrs Mutu lakshmi. I hit upon an idea. Why not replicate the game? After all it was a cardboard stuff with plastic entities. The idea was a instant hit!
We decided to pool our resources and decided to have a go at it. We never shared this secret to anybody lest they laugh at our idea. I promptly went with all the board games to Mrs lakshmi and requested for 2 more days to return the mine a million alone. She too laughed and said OK, keep it for a week if you want but surely I need to send it with my husband to Madras this week end.
We planned the project eloborately. We drafted the writing skills of Sudheera, the colouring ability of sumantha. Umesh was the scissors man – cutting lorries and barges. I was the site supervisor providng gum’s, sketch pens. I also took 4 old calanders and 2 of them put togather became our poor mans board.
After lots of painting and drying, the game written by hand looked like the crude cousin of the original. We copied all the hand bill details, the notes etc. We used the gulugangi – a red coloured small thing as replacement for ore in cardboard barges and trucks.
After ensuring everything was dry and usable, we purchased a big set of dice from Bhavani Bangal stores on DVG road and returned the mine a million with zillion thanks to the owner.
The dry run of the session was very good. Everybody got back to their original ways and the elders at home were amazed at our dupilcating skills.
One highlight of this entire excercise is – it was a team effort. We all pooled our resources and never bothered about ownership. Since the heavy calander was difficult to transport, we just rolled and pushed it under of grand fathers cot! A bata shoe box doubled up to hold all other things like currencies, play cards, dice and gulugangi. What I later learnt in corporate trainings in terms of teams was practiced by us to perfection in our childhood days!
Holidays are numbered again. Like all good things and bad things – these end too. When it was just 10 days left for 5th standard to re-open, I had to sit and write the copy writing for 2 months in kannada!!! We were expected to write one page per day.This was a pain – a literal pain in the hand. The elders curtailed our mine a million times until we finished the quota of atleast 18 pages per day – as calculated by padma aunty so that we break even on the school opening day!
A new year means many new things – Uniforms, Shoes, Socks, Ties, Belts and off course those brand new books which are difficult each year.
A new teacher Gayathri took over the 5th standard chaps. First day itself we found out she was inexperienced.
to be continued….