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We all have heard of this sport, maybe even care enough to know that it is our national sport. Sadly though only a handful of us know how to play it and that too, is doubtful!

The sport is popularly known in our country as Hadudu, which is on the verge of extinction amid competition from other sports such as cricket and football. As the new generation is more inclined towards playing such international sports, which by no means is a bad thing, nevertheless, this is wiping out the very existence of Hadudu. People living in the cities; portray such sports being only played by the villagers. However, the popularity of the game has spread as far China and Japan in the east and England and America in the west even though it has failed to stay on in Bangladesh.

Kabadi is a very simple sport as far as rules are concerned. It is played by two teams of 12 players each on a 12.50 metre by 10 metre rectangular court in which a player, while holding his breath, dashes into the opponent team's area, touches some players and wrestles out to come back home safely without releasing his breath and thereby scores point for his team. The team consists of 12 players each but only seven play in the court and the rest stay outside as extras. While intruding into the opponents' area the player clearly and audibly repeats the word 'kabadi' without break and without releasing his breath. This is called cant or 'dak' (note). The time for the match comprises two halves of 20 minutes each and 5 minutes break in between. A team earns one point by throwing out one player of the opposite side. Two extra points are added as bonus when all players of the opponent party are out. The team that earns the greater number of points in the stipulated time wins the game.

Kabadi is a sport that tests not only strength but agility as well. It is really entertaining, which blends raw strength with humor. Seeing the raider chanting 'kabadi kabadi' continuously, swing his arms wildly to tag the opponent players while they form a chain, trying their best to capture the him, is enough to send anyone laughing to the floor. A common technique most players usually apply is to put on oil on their skin so as to avert capture from the opposition. This makes the wrestling part hilarious; the more the opposition tries to grip the raider, the faster he slips away.

So, on this Bangla Noboborsho, where we try out everything Bengali, ranging from Baul music to 'panta illish', maybe we should try out Kabadi too. This would surely make us more Bengali than ever; we just have to make sure that we don't go back home and switch on Foreign TV!

Sources: Wikipedia Banglapedia

Math box

By Nishita Aurnab

The Kelpie is a shape-shifting water spirit, haunting the rivers and streams of Scotland. They are horses with backward hooves and could change between horse and water. It is said that the horse would mate with a mortal horse and it's off spring would have golden wishing hooves. However when you approach the offspring it would suck you in and drown you. Also said to help water mils and dispose of trash in the sea. Kelpies may hate humans for ruining there home. Some myths say that if you mention Christ's name after being trapped then you will be thrown off the horse.

The Kelpie is also known to lure humans, especially children into the water to kill and eat them. It usually does this by encouraging children to ride on its back, where its skin becomes sticky almost adhesive and it then drags them to the bottom of the water and devours them - except the heart or liver. A common Scottish tale is the story of nine children lured onto a Kelpie's back, while a tenth keeps his distance. The Kelpie chases him and tries to catch him, but he escapes. Commonly known as spirits of the dead, Kelpies are not benevolent creatures. There is one way in which a Kelpie can be defeated and tamed; the Kelpies power of shape shifting was said to reside in its bridle, and anybody who could claim possession of it could force the Kelpie to submit to their will. A Kelpie in subjugation was highly prized; it has the strength of at least 10 horses and the endurance of many more.


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