I came across these four men while walking Maizy. They were happy to let me take pictures, but couldn’t explain the game very clearly since there wasn’t, they said, an English equivalent. It was played in pairs, two against two, and the number ten was important.
There was a whole line of men sitting in the benches on either side of that doing service as a card table. They lolled, legs outstretched, bodies inclined at an acute angle so as to get maximum benefit from the still-palpable heat of the dipped sun. There was much laughter and banter as the players groaned in despair or slapped the bench in triumph.
Fifty feet or so away across the tarmac, their backs to the sun, sat a smaller group of women in saris. Quiet, upright, their faces in shadow, occasionally inclining together as they spoke.
“Who won?” I asked as I passed the players again on my way home. “Oh, nobody. Nobody wins, it’s not that sort of game.”