Sometimes when I am doing random household chores and am not sure if I want to listen to music, but need music nevertheless, I end up playing antakshari with myself.
This is how we entertained ourselves for years. As kids. As college students. Especially on bus rides. I blame my giant and nearly pointless knowledge of 50s Hindi film music on antakshari. In fact, there were times when I hadn’t heard the actual song for years, having caught only the first stanza in the endless rounds of the game. Hopefully people, especially those young ‘uns in their early teens still amuse themselves with such games. All I can say is that people fought for me to be on their teams. I was that good. Really.
The good thing about antakshari – especially between teams is that your singing ability can be zilch. In fact, what is basically respected is your ability to recall certain songs, and remember the “real first line” of a song. As a sample – there was this song which was often used by hapless teams when they had to had to start a song with “H”.
“Hum tum ek kamre mein band ho“… They would start. And the other team would leap and say scream their protests. The song starts with a “
Andar se koi bahar na jaa sakeBahar se koi andar na aa sake“. The song starts with an “Ba” and not a “H”.
So playing antakshari with yourself basically involves switching the radio on. Wait for a song if it’s not already playing one. Count to 15 seconds, and pick the consonant. I do admit that after about doing 25 rounds with myself I get a little bored, but I make it more challenging by never singing Ramaya Vasta Vayya. For some reason, generations of antakshari players turn to that song when they are stumped for a “R”. And when they’ve run out of ideas. The minute I hit on Ramaya Vasta.. I move on.
Fondly thinking of the times when our young throats would go sore – flinging the first stanza of film songs at each other. Some songs abused, and others stolen from memory. Some even stealthily concocted. Some limp with overuse. Others a complete surprise.