If you are traveling through northern India, chances are you will see many men sitting around a table playing a game called Carrom.
What is Carrom?
Carrom is a form of finger billiards and it is highly addictive.
Carrom is a game that is played on a smooth wooden square table. It uses flat round carrom balls (shaped like checker pieces) to play with. Each player has 9 pieces that they need to sink into the pocket.
There are 9 black 9 white balls and 1 red carrom ball.
You try to put each piece into the corner pockets with the larger white ball called the striker.
The first person to sink all 9 of their colour wins.
The Extra Piece
The red ball can be sunk at any time and it gives you 5 extra points. However, when you sink the red ball, you must immediately sink your colour otherwise the red ball comes back out to be put back in play.
The game goes to 29. After each round, the person that wins gets points by the amount of their opponents balls left on the table. If they sunk the red ball also, they would receive and extra 5 points.
It is a popular game and there are even tournaments around India.
I gave Carrom a go and I have to say, it looks easier than it is. It takes some skill and practice.
The table is powdered down with Carrom Powder (it is like a talcom powder) to help the pieces move smoothly across the wood.
I was giving the honour of breaking the formation. It is just like breaking the balls in a game of pool.
I did a weak break but luckily my partner was a “Carrom Shark” and moved the pieces around quickly while sinking one after another.
I managed to have a little luck and sunk 3 of our 9 pieces. It was difficult to get the hang of shooting the striker with my finger. I wanted it to go one way, but it always seemed to go in the opposite direction of my aim.
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My Carrom Conclusion
Carrom was a pretty fun game and I can see why so many men play this game. We won our little doubles match, no thanks to me and I left the experts to play on their own. It looks like serious business and I am sure that the men are not thrilled with having a girl with bad aim join their party.
Who knows, maybe if I intrude enough, by the end of our Indian adventure I just may be a Carrom shark myself.