By Neha Kulkarni
If you thought the song ‘Brazil’ by the group Venga Boys was only meant to entertain the audience at dance clubs, then think again. The members of Mumbai Suburban Musical Chairs Association have been using the song to play musical chairs, a game that has now been declared as an official sport of Maharashtra by the state government on Wednesday.
The game comes as a replacement sport for those children who find it difficult to indulge in other forms of sports. It has also been encouraged to be played in many schools, with Sharadashram Vidyamandir (Dadar), The Blossoms Sunderbai Thackersey English High School( Churchgate ), Kala Vidyalaya High School ( Malad) and many others integrating them in their day-to-day sports periods and annual sports functions.
Musical chairs is a group game played where chairs are laid out in a straight line, facing opposite side. The players then have to run around the chairs till music is played and occupy positions as soon as the music stops playing. The one who misses out on sitting, loses.
Rahul Waghmare, President of Mumbai Musical Chair Association, who thinks making it an official sport has given it more credibility and recognition, said, “This is one of the older games which we have been playing since our childhood. Thus, we made sure that we make this game a part of school’s routine so that children with different body capacities can indulge in it and have fun.”
Musical Chairs has also been played at national levels with regulations categorising participants according to their age and weights. The classifications for age include under-11, under-14, under-17 plus seniors up to the age of 25 years with body weights varying from 32-80 . Another variation in the game includes skating and playing musical chairs.
“This is a substitute for running, instead it makes you more active,” said Nikhal Matkare, sports coach for Musical Chairs at various schools in Mumbai. He adds, “It is a relaxation and exercise for all the students, including those who shy away from playing any game for various reasons.” When asked whether it affects the involvement of children in other sports, he denied it. “This is an easy, fun game which can be played by anyone. Other sports are equally encouraged,” he remarks.
Musical Chairs has been a favourite game to be played in most of the clubs, and at parties. The essential quality of this game remains that it does not require much investment cost and can be played on any surface.
“Generally fast beat and thumping music is required to increase the running pace of participants,” said Usha Shirke, Secretary of Mumbai Suburban Musical Chairs Association. “We also play trans Music and motivational Songs in the course of the game,” she adds. However Matkare thinks it is the theme songs, Pop, Rock and Punjabi Beats which can bring the rhythm.