As kids in Bombay, way back in the 1960s we used to play a variety of games, which have virtually disappeared now. These included – in Bombay’s unique Hindi-mix – langdi, vitti-danda, chor-police, hututu and goti. So it came as a big surprise to me in Dubai, nearly three decades ago to find some local Arab kids in the old Bastakiya neighbourhood playing gilli danda ( as vitti-danda is also known). I photographed them and featured it in the Sep 13, 1991 edition of Khaleej Times. Of course the major difference was that we did not have any cars in our neighbourhood in the 1960s, while the Dubai kids were playing in a parking lot, an unheard of concept in Bombay in our days.
Incidentally, vitti-danda was played across the sub-continent and even in parts of Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean islands.
Sep 5, 2020