Dayakattai - Shakuni at work
Lakshmi and I had a serious conversation today. It was about the game of dice and the state our mind is in when we play the game. This is not all about strategy or luck, this is about destiny. Lakshmi is a person who does not take to random theory very easily but knowing the game and having played it, we had this errie feeling that there was more to the game than just playing it.
So we sat down to analyze. Why is it that some guys always win, why is it that some guys always get dayam, why is it that some guys just never ever get it. The probability of getting dayam is reasonably high given that in 30 rounds of trial each with a few extra rounds thrown in there is a good chance. But this not resulting in a dayam even to the middle of the game leaving the person a dummy and starting to play yet, was a little too much to believe. End of the day there are only 7 numbers to play with, yet the number One never comes.
So we broke it down further, bordering on something way beyond our existing logical thinking. The diagram of the dayakattai, looks like a yantra with a lot of squares or "kattams". The four offshoots from the epicenter are in the four cardinal directions. Coins used here in the game are largely dry fruits or edible stuff. The players have a role to play as well, their nature has an impact on the game. The sticks (brass, steel or iron) also have a role to play in the destiny of the game, including even the choice of partners.
The dayakattai board didnt look any different from the horoscope charts they scribble on back home. Each kattam seems to have a value named after some star or force, houses some sort of energy and the probability of winning the game is high if a person knows how to play it right. Now taking the most renound player history has ever known, Shakuni, was very aware of how to play the game, maybe which direction to sit, the kind of coins to pick and the very dice to roll to win. He had it all very figured out, there was no room for error, the kauravas would never have lost the game.
As for the pandavas, they seemed to be the most willing goats to fall into the trap. Dayakattai is not just a game, it is a science I would begin to believe and to get it right would probably be a break through all that western science has tried to prove. I seriously think this game is quite something else.