The favorite sport of the adult Muslim population. Malakhro matches are held on holidays and Fridays and are a feature of all fairs. Rich feudal lords and influential maintain famous malhs (wrestlers) and organize matches for them.
The next place among the region’s most favorite forms of amusement is given to cock, partridge, and quail- fighting. Grand cocks are bred in Sindh and they are the most obstinate fighters among the fighting birds. Grey partridge are caught young and become wonderfully tame. If they turn out to be prize fighters, they are worth much money. An added attraction of bird-fights is the (illegal) gambling which is keenly followed.
The playing-field is 60 ft. long and 30 wide. At the end, two circles of 5 ft. are marked. Two players play at one time, standing in the circle. In all, ten players take part in the game. One player will attack the player who is standing in the circle and will try to catch him. The other player will defend himself. If he is caught the other player is declared successful. At the end, the first player (attacker) will occupy the second circle and the other player will occupy the first circle. The referee will be standing by all along to watch that no irregularity takes place.
For two teams of four to eight players. What required is an iti, a piece of wood pointed at both ends, half an inch wide and up to one inch long; a dakar, a wooden board two to two-and-a-half feet wide. The winner of the toss to determine who starts may take his turn first or later. The iti is thrown at the dakar if the thrower misses, or if the iti is caught by a member of the Opposite team, his turn is forfeit. In another version, a player from each team throws the iti, the distances are measured, and the side with the longest throws wins.
The playing-field is 67 ft. long and 24 ft. wide and is marked with six daris or bans, each 24 ft. long and 2 ft. wide and set 11 ft. apart. In the middle of each dan is the wanjh, 2 ft. wide. The tournament lasts one hour. There are six players, each of whom in turn tries to run the length of the field without being touched by any of the others while on the daris; two referees supervise proceedings. Wan jhwati is a traditional sport and cultural heritage of rural Sindh. The life of villagers is very simple and they derive a great deal of enjoyment from playing Wanjhwati, particularly because there are no expenses involved.
A kind of handball. The kheno (ball) is made of cotton twisted round a betel nut and covered with leather; there are seven players on each side. The game starts with a toss. At a distance of fifty yards, the place is marked which is considered the winning point. Even the ladies do not disdain to display their grace and agility when using the kheno, hence it has merited frequent mention in the love poetry of the country.
This game is played in villages. Two posts (known as palas) are made with pieces of red cloth in the middle of the playing field at a distance of 25-30 yards on each side of the palas. A player of one team attacks players of the other team by passing through the palas. During the attack, he utters the word Kodi-Kodi continuously while holding his breath. The condition is that the attacker has to touch any one of the players of the opposing team and come back during his one prolonged breath. Thus he scores one point for his team. If he is caught or takes a breath, the other team scores a point. The team which scores the higher number of points is the winner.
Dhara or Dice
These are four-sided pieces of ivory, about two inches long and one-third of an inch in diameter. These sides are marked with an ace (pan), a deuce (duo), a cinque (panjo), and a sice (chakko). A set of three dice is generally used, and when not combined with any other game, playing with these is called jua. No skill is required. When the bets are arranged, both parties throw the dice and the highest number wins. Hindus are fond of this kind of play, but good Muslims avoid it as in their religion, it is considered the worst species of gambling.
A board game. The board is divided into twenty-one squares and each player has four men (saryuan or gitiyun) and the same number of cowrie shells. The latter are used like dice at backgammon to decide the number of squares to be moved—the cowries are thrown, and the numbers that land slit-side uppermost determine the number of moves.The game may be played by either two or four people; the winner is the first to reach the centre square. Whenever a piece is in a crossed ghar (square), it cannot be taken by the opponent.
Tug of War
Everything is fair in love and war’ is an old dictum. There are twenty-two players in the game, in two teams. The rope is twelve inches thick, and at the centre of the rope there is a red cloth which is considered the boundary line. All sports have the same objectives—recreation and harmonious development of the individual. Different sports were introduced at different times, and all have their own peculiarity and individuality. The tug of war develops strong physique, determination, and a sense of responsibility. It does not require any costly costumes or equipment. Each team pulls the rope with full force. The team which succeeds in pulling the red cloth to its side is declared the winner. It is quite a thrilling game, and is famous throughout the world. Very recently, there was a tug in Taipei where the arm of one player was detached from his body after the rope unexpectedly broke. Some eight hundred people took part in the game, including the mayor of Taipei.
Two players sit on a thick wooden stick which is fixed on wooden pillars erected for the purpose. The players hold pillows in one hand and fight each other with the other hand. When one player loses his balance and falls, he loses the game.
In this game, the players stand in a line with their arms tied behind their backs. Julebis a kind of sweetmeat are hung from a pole above their heads. The winner is the first person to catch a julebi in his mouth.
Thread and Needle
A needle and thread are provided to each participant. The first player to successfully thread the needle is the winner.