Aug 28, 2003

A newly installed carrom board at work sees some of us taking time off to strike a few coins now and then. I've played a few games when I was a kid, and can associate lots of angry moments with it: all the people I played with then were much better than me (blame it on them having the advantage of age) and the frustrations of not being able to pocket the easy coin is a memory that continues to simmer.

However, those tough lessons have made their mark, because my co-participants then were always kind to me and taught me the rebound, the shots-at-crazy-angles, and didn't have the easy routes of thumbing etc. I didn't become a great player, but I found that I can play a decent supporting role. My record so far in the two full games on the new board has been honourable. The first game we played, we lost 28-29 but not before we came back from something like 11-28 down. The second full game saw my team win 31-24. Not too bad.

The usual arguments over the rules led to a search for them on the Web, but the different sites (hosted by international federations) are hopelessly contradictory. But the people I'm play carrom with are not really obsessed about the technicalities, and their skills don't dwarf mine, so I can get away with my honour and temper intact.

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