When I don’t have anything to say, I conveniently pick up a childhood story. Here is a story of a game we used to play in childhood days.

Childhood days, I used to live in Jaipur, a city in India . There used to be this empty plot at the corner of my block. They had started building a house.

(the area we lived in)

Some legal trouble had caused the work to stop halfway. They could only finish digging the foundation. The site was full of sand dunes and trenches giving it a battlefield look. Every evening, after school, we ran to that site to play “war”. To make the “war” more realistic, we would make two teams - one team represented India and the other team played the enemy ( Pakistan or China - the two countries that India had fought wars with) . It was very hard to get someone to play the enemy as all the kids wanted to be India . I would love to be the evil enemy even though I knew that the unwritten rules of our war dictated that I lose at the end.

(the two armies facing each other on two sand dunes, throwing grenades at each other)

The “Indian” army would scream “Jai Hind (Hail India )” . I would hail ” Pakistan ” and attack the hated enemy. Our grenades were these harmless little sand cakes found in the sound dunes. It would hit you and just disintegrate into sand. Sometimes, I would play China . Shouting “hail chairman Mao” I would jump on the enemy. In the end, I would be surrounded by the Indian army. They would ask me to surrender. I would refuse and call them names. I would be shot at and I would hurl down the dune, rolling all the way. I would really enjoy the rolling down part. After hitting the floor, I would hail my country one more time before valiantly dying.

(the evil enemy surrounded by the good army and shot)

Sometimes, we would play the other wars happening at the time: The Iran-Iraq war or the Falklands War. The “war” would last a total of 20 minutes. After that, I would walk home with trepidation hoping the sand in my school uniform would not be discovered.

(walking home, leaving a trail of sand behind)

That was our “war”. It was fun, especially the rolling down part. Unfortunately, the real wars are not. People get hurt, People die. I don’t know how to stop wars or how to stop people hating each other. Many a times, we make someone enemy because we think of him as different - different religion, language or colour.

(bloody real wars)

We need to find similarities, not differences. I think if enough people try to find common causes, then we won’t fight. We may still go back and play war again at my sand dune. It is fun, especially when you get shot and you roll down the sand dune.