Is it also a game?
The game has been an integral part of human evolution. It is seen not from a few years but from numerous centuries. If we try to observe history, it would be too difficult to delve into it to find when the game came into our life. Though the game has not been consistent throughout human life. There have been infinite changes in the colour and shape of the game. A couple of decades back, we use to play gulli-danda. Now, we play candy crush. And somehow, we have believed and vehemently encouraged others to believe that the joy of crushing candy is the same as hitting gulli with a danda. As we evolved with time, few people started playing a game of games, some people preferred to play the game of life, and some people chose the game of death.
This is the story of a small province in India. In the small society of the village, there were two boys. The name of the first boy was Hariya and the name of the other was Dhania. They may be around 12 years old. As they come back from school, they rushed to the pond which was at another end of the village. It is also said that the pond was dug during the time of Zamindar Hiramal. In the early days, the pond was gigantic. Some people say, “It spreads in fifty-two bigha.” With time, it got narrowed down to just one bigha. Someone says it happened because of the continuous rotation of the earth in its orbit. Zamindar Hiramal was also fond of many games. Among all, the most favourite was hunting wild animals. It is also said that he goes hunting at least twice or thrice a week. The wall of his house was covered with the hide of tiger, cheetah, dear, and wild boar. He was known for his valour throughout the state. His favourite possession was an AK-103 assault rifle, which was dearer than his wife and even children. It is also said that he eats drink and sleep with his rifle.
On that day, Hariya and Dhaniya were on the bank of the pond. It was the month of Sawan. The sky was loaded with a black cloud. Though it was just 4 PM, the cloud made it appear as if the night is knocking on the door. Despite the darkness, Hariya and Dhania had no desire to go back home. There was a large crowd of frogs on the surface of the pond. The ambience was filled with the incongruent croaking sound of tarr… tarrr. They were just welcoming the cloud and enjoying the black beastly cloud. All of a sudden Haria lifted a small pebble, stretched his hand back and threw it on the surface of the pond. Pebble jumped over the surface as if it was playing hide and seek and finally sank into the water with a blip sound. Dhaniya found it interesting. He lifted another one, pulled his hand back and threw it on the water. His pebble has crossed through the crowd of frogs. The speed of the pebble pulled the body of a frog also. Both the boys started giggling.
It was Hariya’s term. He had again thrown a stone but could not make any mark on the water. This time Dhaniya chose a large stone, and it tattered the body of five frogs. The situation had enhanced the confidence of the Dhaniya and so did the pace of killing. There was panic among the frogs as well. Some had run away and hide under the water. Some of them without being scared kept observing the beauty of the cloud. The situation was reported to the king of frogs and an urgent meeting was called to discuss the course of action. Within a couple of minutes, the tattered bodies of frogs were strewn on the surface of the pond.
The king of the frog had been staying on the floor for some years. His body was almost half feet under in the mud. He managed to free himself from the mud. He crawled and jumped in front of the children. The monstrous size of the king frightened the boys. The stone they were holding to take a shot fell on the land. The king of frogs, while looking into the boy’s eyes came further closer. In a slow voice “what you are doing?” Dhaniya watching at his medal, giggled again, “Don’t you see that we are playing a game.” The eyes of the king went down, “What kind of game is this where other animals are butchered.”
Let’s look around—what kind of game are we playing? Are we playing games of life like doctors and nurses who are sacrificing their lives during the time COVID pandemic to save the life of fellow human beings? Or are we like Zamindar Hiramal who is under the shadow of the false ego of valour and butchering the life of the innocent animal? Or we are just acting as part of a society that failed to educate their child that there is no such game in which other animals are killed.