Game for Life

Gaming is in its best phases. Stunning graphics and stupendous sounds make for an amazing experience. But as we tap away on our PSs and Wiis and not to forget PCs, we forgot what joy and thrill of gaming is. The joy and thrill only a video-game could provide. Yes, the very humble predecessors of today’s gaming monsters. Nothing beats the simplicity of game-play and sheer satisfaction that these 2-D games provide. Here is a list of things that form a collection I fondly call ‘Hall of Game’:

Oh Mario!– First he walked into video-games, then into our hearts and now he also comes in 3-D. Mario and his brother Luiggi have become the face of the gaming industry and the Mario Bros. game has become an all-time classic. Easily the best game I have ever played, it is the boundless possibilities of the title and the surprise-element it offers that makes it a memorable game. (Try cracking the 7th level….)

What to do? – No directions here! Unlike today’s games which come fully equipped with directions and tutorials, games of the yesteryear were mysteries until you actually played them. I still remember frantically tapping all the keys on the game-pad on my first brush with Contra. Which reminds me….

Contra Craze– While the Mario brothers were hogging the limelight another twosome were making ripples. These gun wielding, bare-bodied cousins of Salman Khan were on a rampage, literally. Contra caught our imagination with its flair, awesome action and never before seen sequences. And the game-play was captivating to say the least. The double-player mode was a revelation as well. Subsequent titles kept the flag flying.

Para4 9999999– Have you ever seen a name ‘Super Mario 9999999’? Well, this is one of the numerous crazy titles that you find on a game-cartridge. We kids used get really excited on seeing such names, only to find the same old game, what a dud!

Green Chaos– As we grew familiar with video-game consoles, to break open the cartridge cover came naturally to us. The little, green circuit boards were easier to carry, hide, and share sans the bulky cover. I still find it hard to believe that I could recognize exactly which game-cassette (the local name) has which game, when I was young.
These memories are hard to forget.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot the honorable mentions. These did not make it to the list but are worth a mention:
-Islander game series (Beautiful game environment and brilliant colours)

-Plug-pins (12 pin and 36 pin plugs were more common to us than the table-fan plug)

-Gunman (I still don’t know how those game-guns work….)

-Jumbo-Combos (Go ahead and press any and every key and brace yourself for a move never seen before)

Do you have any fond memories of your halcyon gaming days?

Drop a line then!


Last Annual Day

It was my last Annual Day in the Middle School and I was excited to be a part of it. But all forces of nature seemed to be against this. I was feeling full, and that was obvious as I had gorged myself on any and every thing that was edible. By 5pm, my head was feeling wobbly.

I and my friends were discussing the taekwondo formation that we were part of. And suddenly,
A blue rabbit jumps out of thin air with a grey carrot in its mouth, glowing butterflies, psychedelic patterns, monkeys playing banjos, nana na na nah nana na nah……..

I wake up leaning against the backstage wall. “We are due in 3hrs….” one of my friends mumbles to me. “Don’t worry.” I said. I tried my best to keep up, but I wasn’t feeling good. My stomach was odd and bouncy (bouncy??). I tried talking to my friends, trying not to think about my tummy. But it was useless. I was wishing my friend luck for his next act when
Four white crows flew in and perched on my head, crackers, blue rabbit’s back, goblins, turtles running fast. Why? Seagulls, pink fishes, Daffy Duck, Justin Timberlake, goofy, oh shit……
Pretty face….. I’m on the lap of the girl I had crush on….in seventh heaven, ma’am talking to me….asking to quit…..yeah…..WHAT?! I can’t quit. Oh great I back to my senses.
After a long argument with my teacher (well not exactly an argument but something a shade milder than that) I went in for my performance. We were good. Nobody messed up his or her moves and the act went smoothly. After the usual indifferent clap for the bored audience we came back, and I was the man of the moment. My friends and teachers congratulated me for being able to carry myself well on stage. After the event was over, I rushed to parents and the very next second I was in their arms.
While returning home in our car I sat at the back soaking in all the praise for my courage. But why is Dad wearing a sky blue Santa hat. Oh shit….

Eyes that never opened

I can’t. I simply can’t carry on writing if each finger tap feels so heavy. But I will continue….
It was a rainy night when Kiki came into our lives. And we were in awe.

I mean, the kitten was an infant! Jet black fur coat and a white belly, Kiki was so adorable, you could cuddle it the whole day. How she played with the small fur-ball, with her even smaller paws….

Feeding her was the best part of me and my sister’s day. Kiki would move her head this way and that ways as dad fed her milk with an eye-dropper. The sound she made when she made when she meowed while gulping the milk was so funny that one could not stop laughing! Kiki was the light of our lives. But good times were short lived….

With time Kiki developed a sort of raspiness in her meows. Dad said it was nothing. But deep down, even he knew that Kiki wasn’t well.

I was the first one to wake up that day. I always had the habit of checking her belly if it was breathing. That day she was breathing heavier than usual. I rubbed her coat and called softly (I choked), hoping that she would turn a blind eye to heavens gate and return to us, her family.
Kiki died. My sister was inconsolable, dad was gloomy, I secretly cried to myself. Even my mother, who was always a bit edgy about pets, wasn’t upbeat. She had left a large void, impossible to fill. But not before she taught us many things. She taught us to sleep soundly on a rag, she taught us to enjoy stale milk as if it were the grandest of feasts. Kiki taught us to be more humane than we can ever be, to enjoy the little joys of life. TO LIVE.

By the time I am writing this sentence I am almost in tears. I had promised to myself and to Kiki that I would write about her. And now that I have fulfilled my promise, my heart feels lighter. Kiki is and will always be the closest to my heat. I will never ever forget her. NEVER.
Goodbye, Kiki!