Monday, April 03, 2006

Who's/whose game?

I have fond boyhood memories of playing “Parcheesi” with my mom. I liked rattling the dice in the hard cups and spilling them on the cheap cardboard playing surface, moving the small wooden circles painted red, blue (especially blue!), yellow, and green around the board.

And some months ago, I was delighted to find that one my students’ favorite games is “Ludo,” aka “Pachisi.” So you can imagine my surprise to find, during a recent visit to Fatehpur Sikri, that the Mughal emperor Akbar played this same game using young girls in red, blue, yellow, and green dresses as pieces. If you look at this photo closely, you can just make out the board on which they played. (The man on the bench is in the middle of the board.) Such was the life of the idle royals.


1. Marked by a lack of action or activity: inactive, inert, inoperative. See action/inaction.
2. Resistant to exertion and activity: fainéant, indolent, lazy, shiftless, slothful, sluggard, sluggish. Informal do-nothing. Idioms: bone lazy. See action/inaction, industrious/lazy.