For the boys it was playing in the rain with cycle tyres and goli (marbles). For the girls it was hopscotch.
For me in Malaysia or Malaya as it was called in those days, it was playing with bottle tops. Although I wasn’t good when it came to athletics and such like, I was pretty good at games like this. There was no costs involved. We just had to wait till we got enough bottle tops. Crumpled ones were no good though. The top surface had to be smooth. When you stacked them up they had to sit neatly on top of each other, otherwise you couldn’t catch them once it was thrown up in the air. So whoever opened the bottles had to do it carefully so as to not bend them. Once we had enough which was 5 apiece, that was it and away we went. We practised and played for hours. I tried to teach Kavitha when she was young, but it never caught on. The Internet is wonderful isn’t it. I just googled games with bottle tops and guess what I found? It looks like it is still a popular game in Malaysia. It seems like even the rules haven’t changed.
Childhood games will not be complete without talking about hopscotch either would it. Apparently it was a game played by Roman soldiers thousands of years ago. I used to try it out at Kavitha’s primary school playground when no one was watching. That was almost 25 years ago. I had a practice run today and it looks like I can still do it.