Let’s start with an anecdote.. There was an Indian king who had the habit of plucking hair from his beard! In order to get rid of this habit, the Queen invented a game of cards to keep the king’s hands busy. Thus, India’s fascination with cards dates back a long time! Why are Indians so fascinated with playing cards and where did rummy come in the picture?
The Influence of Indian History and Culture on Card Games
In the Indian epic – the Mahabharata – the Kauravas won over the empire and all the riches of their Pandava cousins over a gambling game. The game caused much anguish among the two sides and lead to the political and financial bankruptcy of the Pandavas. This in turn fueled the epic battle in Kurukshetra. Indians have always believed in ‘fate’ and have been eager to give ‘luck’ a chance.
No wonder then that we love playing rummy to see what ‘fate’ cards may have in store for us. Will we get lucky and get a really good set of cards or has our luck run out?
Coming back to the battle in Kurukshetra, did you know that it was fought much more with strategy than with sheer strength? The stories of the politics involved and the strategies used have been famous for generations. Ever wonder why Indians love strategizing? For years, Indians have loved playing games that involve strategizing and anticipating the opponent’s next move.
That is exactly the thrill that rummy presents. So, while ‘luck’ would determine what cards we receive when they are first dealt out, we could turn a game around by our sheer wit and calculations!
For centuries, Indians have put in efforts to find solutions to boredom. We are used to dealing with large crowds everywhere. So, while waiting in a long queue, what do we do? Games have always been invented to beat boredom. India has one of the longest rail networks in the world. When on a long train journey, many of us carry a deck of cards to beat boredom.
It is not uncommon to see a group of people playing cards till the wee hours of the morning on a train. And now with internet connectivity available almost through the journey, online rummy keeps people entertained for hours!
India’s love for card games is not restricted to the urban areas alone. Visit a village and you will not be surprised to find people getting together in the evening to play cards. A whiff of their hookahs from time to time makes the game even more fun!
Indians love card games because it is the simplest form of recreation. While poker is a more popular game in the West, rummy has maintained its charm with Indians. In fact, our country has its own version of rummy, called Indian rummy.