The Ball Game
Talappanthukali is one of the major out-door games played on the occasion of Onam. The game is essentially a ball game and extremely popular one.
Preparing the Ball
There is a unique way in which the ball is prepared for Pantukali. Layers and layers of dried up plantain are wrapped in the shape of a ball. Some pebbles are also kept inside to give weight. Prepared mass is then covered with plantain fiber or coconut fiber and made into the size of a tennis ball.
To play this unique kind of foot-ball, players divide themselves into two groups. Talappanthukali is played in an open area. Natta (a stick) is planted at one end of ground and a line or boundary is drawn at the other end to mark the space beyond which the ball should not be thrown.
A player from the team playing from the side of natta serves the ball to the opposite team. Players of the opposite team try to catch the ball. If the opposite team is able to catch the ball, the player who served is considered 'out'. And, if the catch is missed the player who served, manages to get another chance. A player wins if he throws the ball at the stick and hits it.
Order of Service for the Play:
Talappantu - Turning towards the stick and serving the ball above the head
Otta - Holding the ball and then hitting it with the right hand itself
Eratta - Holding the ball in the left hand, throwing it and hitting with the right palm
Murukki - Gripping the right hand with the left, through the back of the body and hitting the ball with the right hand
Kalumkizhu - Throwing the ball with the right hand under the right leg by lifting the leg and hitting it with right hand
Indan - Hitting the ball with foot
Again the first item Talappantu
To celebrate the victory after hard labor, winning team make a circle round the planted stick. They dance with joy and sing in loud chorus.