Tuesday, 27 August 2013

With a Dice, a Few Curtain Carriers, and Some Paper

The package of being a younger brother comes with its privileges. But there are certain inconveniences, too. Ask Omar. You can be treated as a meddlesome mouse, or an irritating fly.

“Leave us alone, Omar. We want to play, stop bothering us,” Saif and Zainab tell Omar who is eying their brand new games of monopoly, ludo, and carom.

There are many ways to handle an injustice of such proportion. Sulking and whining can get things done but it is, of course, not as effective as kicking the locked door, or trying the full might of your lungs.

Though Omar has nothing against testing the capacity of his lungs every once in a while, he has other ways of dealing with such discriminations. His classic response is: “Okay. No big deal. I will make a game like this for myself.” And he sets to work.

After an hour of concentrated effort, he emerges with a handful of all the equipment he needs to play these games.

Loaded with the equipment, which seems like a humble paper pouch, he asks me “Do you want to play monopoly with me?”

“Yes,” I say and look on as he takes out a paper and unfolds it. Then he fumbles inside the paper pouch and scoops out two plastic curtain carriers, and a dice.

We are sll set to begin the match. Obviously, Omar wins the game.

 After losing two rounds of monopoly, and feeling like a loser , I am subjected to more rounds of Omar’s ludo and carom. Seeing my dejection, and to make me feel good, he eventually lets me win one round of carom board. I finally feel the winner’s high.  

Omar has not just invented the portable versions of the games, he has also changed the established rules. For instance, in carom you just have to flick the dice in toward the centre circle. If it lands inside it you win. No black and white pieces, no striker, no queen. And you play ludo and monopoly with just two curtain carriers plus a dice.


Broadly speaking, Omar’s games can be jointly labeled as “Finding your way out of any labyrinth.” 

Omar's rules….well, they are about defying the established rules to unearth more interesting possibilities.