Game of seven stones – I was around 12 years old and that was about 50 years back in 1970, we were playing seven stones with my neighborhood friends. Seven stones is a traditional game played across the country. It is played by boys in the age group of 10 to 14. A tennis ball, seven stones, 2 to 4 players in each side and a playing area.
The game begins when the stones are knocked over by one team with a tennis ball and the second team will get the ball and try to hit the players from the opposite team - below the knees. The other team has to assemble the seven stones without getting hit by the ball. The game is played with speed and intensity.
It was like any other day when we were playing the game on one occasion when I had the ball in hand, threw aiming below the knees of my opponent team member. Because of my misdirected throw, the ball left my hand, hit the eyes of a girl who was watching us play. She was my neighbor living 3 houses away. Her eyes got red and she had enormous pain. I panicked !!
I went and said sorry to her. She just said that she would tell her father about the incident and went home with her hand covering her eye and crying. I was feeling jittery. After 7 pm that day the girl’s father came to our house and called my name loudly. I was petrified since I thought that he would beat me. He stood 6’2” tall and he ordered me to come to their house at 8 pm. Saying this he left. I went to their house at the appointed time and was waiting in the drawing room. I could see the girl’s father talking to his friend whom he had invited over for dinner.
I was made to wait and since I had nothing else to do I was listening to their conversation.
From the talk I was able to make out that both of them were old friends from college days. They were talking about the wedding of the 2’nd daughter of my neighbor that took place a few months back. He had 7 daughters. The girl who got injured was the 4’th. I heard the guest asking my neighbor how he had done the weddings of his 2 daughters so lavishly with another 5 more weddings that were yet to be conducted !!
Weddings conducted at Abbottsbury (presently Hyatt Regency) was seemingly difficult then – only the rich could hire the expensive hall.
My neighbor told to his friend something so profound which I still remember vividly. He said that he had been investing all his earnings in real estate properties – by buying a piece of land in several places in the city. For each wedding, he said that he had an appropriate property to sell and that would come in handy to perform each of his daughter’s wedding !! He concluded saying, “if God wishes” I would be able to implement my plans.
His friend was astonished, he complimented my neighbor and after several pleasantries and dessert said Good night and left. I had learnt something that would be never taught in schools and colleges - about investments in real estate. Once after his friend had left, I was expecting the girl’s father to give me a nice admonishing reprimand. I was terribly wrong !! One more occasion to understand that perceptions are not real !! He was kind and understanding, he just asked me about how the game of seven stones is played much to the chagrin of his 5’th daughter !!
When I was 29 I bought my first real estate property and bought many in subsequent years. I was able to quit all commercial activities at an early age of 52, thanks to the game of seven stones !! I could begin a life of service in the Theosophical Society and Sri Ramakrishna Math on an honorary basis and it is about 10 years since…
It was just not for me alone, I had advised many of my friends and all my relatives who have all got benefitted by investments in real-estate at an early age.