A man once wrote a book called “The play-ground of Europe”. He meant the Swiss Alps, where so many go to enjoy the dangerous but exciting sport of mountain climbing. In this sense, we have many play-grounds in India-the Himalayas for mountain climbing, the jungles for tiger shooting, great rivers for fishing, the plains for pig-sticking, and so on. But I suppose I have to describe something much more ordinary, the playgrounds of our school.
Our school is well off for playgrounds. First, we have the play-ground-a large, bare open space at the back of the school, where we play in the intervals and during the dinner hour. There is nothing in it, except at one end a horizontal bar, two sets of parallel bars, a vaulting horse, a see-saw, and a couple of swings. Before school, when we are waiting for the bell to ring, and in the intervals, many of us play here. When the bell rings for the interval, we all rush out shouting into the playground, glad to be able to run and jump and shout after sitting still so long in the classrooms. Some run off to the open-air gymnasium, and do gymnastics on the bars, or swing, or jump; but most of us play different games in the open play-ground, such as kabaddi and other games like that. Others run about any-how and tease each other, and some walk soberly around chatting. But all of us are sorry when the bell rings again, and we have to troop back once more to the classrooms for lessons.
But there are other playgrounds for our more serious games, which we play in the evening after school. We have a football ground, a hockey field, and a cricket field, besides two tennis courts for the teachers and older boys. These grounds are full of life every evening, for even when we have no matches; we are practicing these different games. And during tournament matches, the grounds are crowded with spectators, and there is great excitement.
In our school, every boy has to play some game or other, because the Headmaster says that physical exercise is necessary to keep us well and strong. So the masters, or some of them, are generally on the playgrounds in the evening to see that we all play.