"A few students were gathered around the carrom board."

Carrom Board
GNU Free Documentation LicenseCarrom Board - Credit: Timendum, Wikimedia
Carrom is a table-top game similar to pool or snooker, but using counters instead of balls. The aim of the game is to pot your nine "carrom-men" into the corner pockets before your opponent. The "carrom men" counters are usually flicked with the fingers, but variations have now developed which use cues.