Gambler’s arrow

Sengchi and I searched for almost an hour to find this place in Shillong where Teer (Archery) game takes place daily. Since we missed the first daily event at 4.15pm, we decided to catch the second event at 5.15 pm. We ran across some slum areas to reach there atleast 10 minutes in advance, finally reached the venue just in time when the archers almost began aiming. I couldn’t judge the place or event with my fainted breath!  In 5 minutes everything was over and the result was published in another 5 minutes.

“Teer is a game, played with passion, in Meghalaya. It is a betting game and comprises archers on the one hand, and, on the other, persons who place their bets on the results, much like in horse-racing.A group of archers take aim at a target, called a skum, made of bamboo slats tied into a bundle and approximately four feet in height. Within 180 seconds the archers shoot their allotted quota of arrows at the target placed at a distance of approximately a hundred and fifty feet. If, out of a total of a thousand arrows, eight hundred and fifty implant themselves into the skum, the designated number for the shoot for the day is fifty. In other words, only the last two digits are taken into account.

One can bet against any number from double zero to 99. For instance, in this example, for the number 50, if one places rupees one thousand; in return one receives two thousand, that is double the stakes. Both as a pastime and as a sport, teer has become a part of the ethno-social identity of the Khasis.”

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