Wednesday, April 15, 2009


played chinese carrom with cue stick?

conventional carrom board made by a student





back in the kampong days, when i played carrom, it was the chinese variant, played with a cue stick. the board was raised and had legs, and it had pockets at the four corners too. unlike the game played today, you cannot play it with the board flat on the ground. the cue stick was slimmer and shorter than the billiard stick.

unlike the conventional carrom, you placed the seeds, not in the middle but, at the opposite sides. your opponent would try to pocket the seeds on your side and vice versa. the striker was a plastic piece, about 4mm thick but the seeds were actually the round pieces that we used for chinese chess. there was no extra piece, like the red piece (queen or match-maker) in the carrom that is played today.

the winner was the one who put all the opponent's seeds into the pockets first. the player remained on his own side all the time. he was not allowed to move over to his opponent's side to do the potting. at all times, he had to use the cue stick to propel his striker to hit the seed.

in the pictures above, we were playing in the staff-room during our free periods and recess. try it today and you will be threatened with a poor grade in your epms.

those days, we did not have the luxury of an air-conditioned staff lounge. these days, they have air-conditioned staff lounges but the teachers do not have the luxury of own time and so the lounges are largely under-utilised.

i used to play with my kampong neighbours outside the compound of the house. whenever a chinese wayang was staged at the neighbouring lorong sinaran kampong, i recalled seeing such chinese carrom tables being set up for children to play. of course, you had to pay a small fee to play for a limited time.

may be i have found the reasons why we teachers then were hardly ever on medical leave: stress level was low and we looked forward to be at our place of work where we could interact with our colleagues in a cogenial environment.

we did a lot of things together as colleagues. we had inter-session ( a.m. session versus p.m. session) games among the staff. we went for picnics at sentosa (pulau blakang mati then) and changi. we went hiking, usually at macritchie. we had barbeques, usually at the government chalets or bungalows at changi; the loyang bungalows were not in existence then. we also made trips to mersing in johor to fish.

carrom boards made by technical students

7 comments:

Seen This Scene That said...

Used to play carrom with fingers. can't imagine using a stick to poke the seeds.

nah said...

These old black and white photographs, bring back many fond memories. There is always a feeling of nostalgia when we see our images of the past. Looking at these pictures, reminds me of the good old times when we were young. Like you mentioned, life was full of fun. We played games together, had picnics, barbecues, went hiking, fishing, even in faraway Mersing.
Take me back to the years …when life was carefree.

Lam Chun See said...

I think I played this type of carrom before, but cannot recall where.

kiatsan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kiatsan said...

I don't even know that Carrom game can be played with cue stick. ha interesting. Ü

yg said...

kiatsan, it was more powerful than using your fingers to flick the striker. of course, power was not everything; you still need skill (accuracy) to win the game.

kiatsan said...

Yah. It is like playing a pool game if using cue stick. powerful.

Correct. accuracy and technique is important in carrom game. Last time used to play Carrom during my army days. haha