In Part Two of R. K. Narayan's novel The Painter of Signs, Raman and Daisy visit a remote village, after which they return to Malgudi. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they need to spend a night on the road, Daisy sleeping in a bullock cart and Raman sleeping under it. The next morning, Raman discovers that Daisy spent much of the night in a tree:

Then he asked suddenly, 'When did you learn tree climbing?'
'We used to play Gorilla when I was young; whoever becomes a Gorilla must climb a tree and stay there. We used to play this for hours day after day, and that's been helpful. (...)'

Is this based on a real game or did Narayan make this up? If it is a real game, what were or are the rules? If multiple versions of this game exist (or existed) in India, I am most interested in a or the version played in the state of Tamil Nadu, from which Narayan originated.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.