Monday, June 19, 2006


CW's post on mahjong over at Ruminations got me thinking about another game I hadn't played since childhood: carrom.

Back then, the family would gather at my grandfather's house on Sundays, and while the adults gossiped or went shopping, the kids would be left to amuse themselves. We didn't seem to watch much TV back then (partly because we're talking about Singapore TV in the 70s), and it's hard now to fathom how we whiled away those long hot afternoons without PCs or even handhelds.

All we had was a gravel yard with a steam-roller and a couple of bulldozers parked in a corner which we were forbidden from clambering around on (so of course we did), and a monster deck of cards compiled from half a dozen incomplete decks - perfect for Bluff.

And the carrom board kept behind the door to Third Auntie's room. Cousin Charles appointed himself instructor and arbiter over us younger ones. The talcum powder would be solemnly (and liberally) sprinkled across the board, the black and white disks arranged, and then we'd Oh-Pay-Som to see who would begin.

We weren't skilled, but we were enthusiastic, as we'd flick the striker as hard as we could to send the little disks caroming off the sides of the boards and into the pockets...

Haven't thought about this game in a long time. Don't seem to see it around much either, except occasionally near Freo market of in an Indian grocery shop. Will have to get a set one day. JOOB will love it.


CW said...

You know, carom is one game I've never really played as a child either??! Yes I had a deprived childhood.. ;)

ToxicPurity said...

No one who grew up on books can claim to be deprived :)

If you want, you can get a carrom board from Prime in Northbridge (the blindingly yellow Indian grocery shop on William) for $130.

When we find a door that hasn't already got stuff stored behind it, we're getting ourselves a set. I can hear the little wooden disks going whack! already...