04. the extinction games

04. the extinction games

Among the many theories concerning the decline of Inamgaon, one remains particularly prominent. Archaeologists across the subcontinent have come to agree that the civilization fell to a flood in the Bhima valley.

While this postulation might indeed hold water in geological evidence, given the propensity of the Bhima river to flood, the bodies at Inamgaon seem to suggest otherwise, for they betray no signs of drowning or death by water. The rich collection of artefacts, weapons, utensils, toys and trinkets found in the excavation site that have remained unmoved through the many swellings and sinkings of river tides, further deny this claim.

However, something has indeed been caught in the waves, for there is a complete lack of clocks, calendars, chronoscopes and sundials in the remnants of Inamgaon. All of which have existed in civilizations that have both preceded and come after. Time itself seems lost in the undertow.

This apparent absence of time-keeping devices, however, reveals a complete miscalculation of how the denizens of Inamgaon perceived time. For them, time was not an object to be grasped and measured, but a flow that was meant to pass.

And they had many games to pass the time.

They played games of  स्पर्धा (Spardha), or ‘competition’, designed to build personality and cultivate character.

Games of मौका (Mauka), or ‘chance’, that called to attention the many surprises their world had to offer.

Games of नक़ल (Nakal), or ‘mimicry’, in which they invited both relationships and repetition.

and finally, बवंडर (Bawandar), or the game of dust storm. A game played at the distant borders of what the modern mind construes as rationality. Caked in the mud of ages as they appear to us today, the ancestors of Inamgaon had no notion of such borders and willingly surrendered themselves to dust.