The Ball Game:
Talappanthukali is one of the major out-door games played on the occasion of Onam. The game is essentially a ball game and extremely popular one.
Preparing the Ball:
There is a unique way in which the ball is prepared for Pantukali. Layers and layers of dried up plantain are wrapped in the shape of a ball. Some pebbles are also kept inside to give weight. The prepared mass is covered with plantain fibre or coconut fibre. The ball has the size of a tennis ball.
Players divide themselves into two groups to play this unique kind of foot-ball. Talappanthukali is played in an open area. Natta [a stick] is planted at one end of ground. A boundary line is drawn at the other end. This marks the space beyond which the ball should not be thrown.
A player from the team playing from the side of natta serves ball to opposite team. Players of the opposite team try to catch the ball. If opposite team is able to catch the ball, the player who served is considered ‘out’. But, if the catch is missed the player who served, manages to get another chance. A player wins if he throws the ball at the stick and hits it.
Order of Service for the Play:
Talappantu:- Turning towards the stick and serving the ball above the head.
Otta:- Holding the ball and then hitting it with the right hand itself.
Eratta:- Holding the ball in the left hand, throwing it and hitting with the right palm.
Murukki:- Gripping the right hand with the left, through the back of the body and hitting the ball with the right hand.
Kalumkizhu:- Throwing the ball with the right hand under the right leg by lifting the leg and hitting it with right hand.
Indan:- Hitting the ball with foot.
Again the first item Talappantu
To celebrate the victory after hard labor, winning team make a circle round the planted stick. They dance with joy and sing in loud chorus.
All Onam Sports:
Onakalikal, Talappanthukali, Kayyankali, Attakalam, Ambeyyal, KutuKutu