The Pandavas were not the only ones to have suffered a huge loss in the game of dice. Turns out, an entire village in Tamil Nadu’s Theni district is reeling from the effects of Corona. And it's the same game of dice, which cost Pandavas their Kingdom many other things, that is now causing misery to these villagers.
More than 16 residents of Odaipatti village from Theni district have tested positive for COVID-19 after the family of a truck driver played the game with some of their neighbours earlier this week. The health officials, tracking a truck driver who had come from Chennai’s coronavirus epicentre -– the Koaymbedu wholesale vegetable market –- got alerted when he tested positive. He had returned to his home in the Odaipatti village.
As per the protocol, his family members living in Odaipatti village were also tested and five of them were found positive for the infection. When health officials asked who they were in contact with, a family member revealed they had played a dice game called “dhayam” with some neighbours. Resultantly, more villagers were tested over the last few days and a total positive 16 cases, including five women, have been discovered until now.
“We are now testing all 34 houses in the village and have asked them to stay in home quarantine with only a designated member allowed to step out to buy essentials,” said a health official. The truck driver, along with other patients, has been shifted to the COVID ward of the Theni government hospital.
Dhayam (or Dhayakattai) is a Tamil village game in which small sea shells or stones are moved on geometric patterns drawn on sand or paper after a throw of dice decides the move.
Here is a video showing the people playing the game as part of the Mylapore Festival.