Kabaddi is a very common game in Pakistan. In every village or town Kabaddi is very popular. It is a very simple and cheap game. In fact is costs nothing. Only a flat piece of ground 90 yards by 20 yards is required and a line in the middle is drawn to divide the ground into two halves. The number of players and the rules of games vary from place to place.
I had a chance to see a Kabaddi match between Lahore and Shahdara teams on the bank of the Ravi. It was ten in the night and the full moon was shining bright. A large number of people had gathered round the ground. Most of them had climbed the surrounding trees and huts. Both teams came in procession and the crowd of spectators swelled to thousands.
At half past ten captains of both teams tossed. Shahdara team won the toss and selected the side of its own choice. The referee whistled and the match began.
There was eleven players on each side. The Lahore team was the first to sent its player. He entered the field of the opponents saying Kabaddi Kabaddi. He was agile and active and ran through the field like lightning. One of the opponents tried to hold him in his grip but he was too quick for him. He loosened his opponent's grip and ran to his own side still repeating Kabaddi Kabaddi. The Shahdara player was killed or disabled and the Lahore team had scored a point against the other team. Next came one of the Shahdara players. Dara by name. He was stout and strong but not quick of limb.
He went forward and backward. This way and that way and for one moment it seemed that none would come near him. But all of a sudden a Lahore player Shaukat darted on him and held in his iron grip. Dara tried to get out of his hold but all in vain. He lost his breath and his team lost another point. The spectators from Lahore raised shouts of joy.
The match continued for two hours. Three very interesting games were played. The Lahore team won by two to one. The match was finished at mid Night amid peals of laughter and shouts of glee. The match remained exciting throughout. The Lahore team marched towards the city in a procession and the Shahdara people went away quietly.