Recently Anjali pestered me to buy her a chess board and I did. Soon as we got it she pestered me to teach her the game and I did my best to teach her. She was a good, nay an eager student, and always came to me to learn her chess with great interest. She learnt most of the basic stuff pretty soon - how to place the pieces, what they do and how they move etc. Of course the knights caused a bit of a problem with their unpredictable moves but she kept her interest going and played a few games with me. Whenever she played with me or someone else, she did look a bit amazed at the planning, the deceit that could go on. For an almost-four-year-old, life must be pretty simple and straightforward and not all this.
I did not realise how much she differed with all the capture-the-king-to-win moves until I noticed her playing with her Chitra maushi one day. 'Look Daddy,' said Anjali happily. 'No killing in this chess. They are all friends here.' I saw the game. All the pieces were happily moving around, mingling with one another. Most importantly the white king was riding a black rook which was taking the king for a ride. I am sure the white knights must be taking the black queen out for a saunter too and the bishops counselling the pawns.
There was no doubt as to which game she preferred. She was much more happier with this version of the game, her entire face glowed. When we had played earlier, I could sense the distress in her when her pieces got 'killed'. Now that she found a nice way to handle chess, she was really happy.
I guess that is how God made us all when we came to this earth, seeking harmony, fun and helping one another along. And then we had to grow up and invent deceit, cunning, killing, conquest. Thanks Anjali for yet another perspective at looking at life.
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