Eye spy teep the den
Don’t ask me what it meant
Attli battli foootli
Is a phrase in Hindi
Arre bhai, copper hain tu
This actually meant, where are you
Dabba gul, your turn again
We played it with a coconut head
Lock and key, chor police
Different names, same strategies
Ringa, ringa roses was
Ring around the rosie
And the word ashes was
turned into husha busha
These are just a few of them
Weird phrases we used back then
When we were young, little kids
Around the age of nine and ten
Image courtesy:- Pixabay
Click here for today’s prompt.
My dictionary to certain terms:
Attli battli footli was used when we kids ‘kicked’ the coconut resulting in the repetition of a person’s turn to protect his/her ‘den’ while playing hide and seek.
‘Copper’ was actually ‘kahaan par’, meaning where? One of our friends struggled with the Hindi language and would end up squishing two words into one resulting in words like ‘copper’.
Dabba gul was another term used whilst ‘kicking’ the coconut shell. Dabba means wagon or a box or casetc. Gul means lost. So ‘dabba gul’ loosely meant ‘lost coconut.’ Yes, we used a lot of coconut shells in our games. They were freely available considering our neighbour had a coconut tree in their garden.
As for ‘Eve spy teep the den’, I honestly still don’t know what ‘teep’ means.
Writing this poem has brought back a lot of wonderful playtime memories for me. Majority of our holidays were spent running around in the park, playing hide and seek and other games in various forms. If it wasn’t a school or an exam day, we were out there in the sun, ignoring the blistering heat and just being kids.