Kuttiyum Kolum - a forgotten Sport

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

‘Kuttiyum Kolum’ – is a traditional game of Kerala that was very popular till a few decades ago. It is similar to an ancient game found all over the Indian Subcontinent with different names, such as Gilli- Danda in North India. The game possibly originated over 2500 years ago. Later, it just succumbed to the influx of the other stylish sport events. It was a cool game. No sophisticated equipment required. Just two sticks – freshly cut from a coffee plant, the one called ‘Kolu’ - about three quarter of a meter in length, and the other called ‘Kutti’ - just about 7-8 inches long. As far as the players are concerned, it is too flexible – a minimum of two, and the maximum could be anything! You don’t need green grass, or prepared grounds – just a few yards of level ground is enough! The trees and bushes around did not matter - it only adds to the difficulty level. It is an ideal game to play these days – where you don’t get too many sportsmen on the field - as most of the youngsters are glued to the mobile games like ‘PUBG’ or the ‘Pokemon Go’. The counting steps to ‘Pattam’ - Saadu, Muri, Naazhi, Aytti and Aarenku – all used to be played in different postures – with a slight variation in the styles at different regions of the state. The loosing team had to run the ‘Pattam’ – without breaking breath, and that also used to be real fun! I tried teaching my kids this wonderful traditional game – they observed my demonstration like it was just an episode of a Mr Bean show - and continued playing the ‘Asphalt 8’ on their smart phones!

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