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These board games pack in fun facts about being Indian

From cards that call out social prejudice to Snakes and Ladders with karmic philosophy, these India-centric board games made their debut during the pandemic

Roll the dice, step back in time (Bharata 600 BC)

Caprisoned elephants, turbanned rajahs, shining swords, a quiver full of arrows, messenger pigeons and the glorious promise of war — you don’t need a magic carpet to travel back in time. Bharata 600 BC, a board game, will take you back to ancient India where many a kingdom’s fate was sealed by behind-the-scenes puppet masters.

Conceptualised by Cristina Maiorescu, ideated by Pallavi Nopany and illustrated by Ishan Trivedi, Bharata 600 BC takes players through a time in India where territories were enlarged via alliances, trade or battle. Played on a board that depicts the map of India in 600 BC, it shows the country at the end of the Vedic period, when 16 independent kingdoms were in power. Each player is assigned a kingdom and has to expand territory as the game progresses. Players choose their leadership persona and are then granted abilities to complement their personality.

Game of Life

This version of Snakes and Ladders includes folk art forms of Gond and Kalamkari, while introducing players to the philosophy of karma that the game was traditionally associated with

BENGALURU: Snakes and Ladders may not rank the highest on lists of world’s most fun games but this new version sure adds layers of creative complexity to it. Kavade, a city-based store that retails traditional games, recently launched two DIY kits for Snakes and Ladders. Children can not only assemble their own game but also learn more about the Indian art forms of Gond and Kalamkari. Each kit comprises a nine-piece jigsaw puzzle gameboard, 24 ladder tiles (which can be placed anywhere and changed around from game to game), snake templates (also movable) that need to be painted, dice, two pawns, and paints and
a brush.

GAMES OF INDIAN ORIGIN: their global presence

Cultures & traditions are living ecosystems. There is much to be learnt through respect & observation of indigenous cultures & traditions. In the last few centuries, we have been witnessing the growing hazard of homogenization of cultures- similar livelihoods, identical constructions, eating habits, healthcare, consumer goods, and entertainment. As Helena Norberg Hodge aptly says “Diverse cultures from Alaska to Australia have been overrun by the industrial monoculture. The spread of industrial monoculture is a tragedy of many dimensions. With the destruction of each culture, we are erasing centuries of accumulated knowledge, and as diverse ethnic groups feel their identity threatened, conflict & social breakdown almost inevitable follow”. If culture were placed at the heart of development policies, we will assuredly be making way for an ecosystem-centered, humanitarian & inclusive development.

Excuse my attempts at Tamil here but i shall try to make it sound as authentic as Iyer athu tamil.

Strategy, fun and one of the few things that really brings an iyer house hold together is the amazing game of dice. Its one of the most entertaining games i have ever played, with as much noise thrown in as linguistical enhancements to one of the ancient dialects of tamil. Yes, its entertainment for the next two hours from when the family gathers to play this deadly game of strategy, slaughter, war and victory.

Post brunch, after a filling 'sapadu'(meal) at 10.30 am, the family gathers together, mainly the men folk, the kids stricktly above the age of 4 (i guess) and of course our very famous pati(post madi business and puja) while thatha, the man of the house continues to snore in his easy chair hoping for silence. Yeah, so much for a peace in the house. haha

Board games were a definite past time for children and adults alike until the end of the last century when computer games started to rule the roost. And unlike the new-age and trending online games, board games transcend centuries and were supposedly said to be the favorite past time of even kings and queens. The Game of Dice was presumably one of the most popular among them and the marks of it can still be seen in ancient sites like the Hampi in Karnataka, Lepakshi in Andhra and Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. Many variants of Indian paintings depict the Hindu Gods and Goddesses playing these board games.

Nostalgic memories of summertime and school break. Just thinking about it brings a smile and happiness in me.

I grew up in Mumbai, then called Bombay. Every year we had summer vacations for two months - April and May. April would be passed anxiously waiting for exam results, yet with a lot of fun playing different board games, card games and badminton.  Board games we played, were drawn on the floor with chalk. We used shells for dice and game counters were either broken bangles or stones. The game was called 'kaach kaudi' in Marathi, meaning glass and shell… very similar to Ludo. It had two variations, 5 houses or 7 houses.

Kavade Attic came alive in a beautiful way last 4 days with the sweet sound of charakhas & innovative experiments. Immensely grateful to Madhavji for untiringly mentoring us.

Throwback moments!

Seeds of Change

The earthy remnants of rain are all around. And it’s the best time to go foraging… of a different kind

The monsoons have such a charm and song about them. With the rains come the cravings… the need for warm hugs and hot mugs. With everything becoming a bit slower, and more laid back, there’s an instinctive feeling to stay in for ‘feet up’ times.  

The art of spinning is coming back, thanks to the efforts of people like Madhav Sahasrabudhe

There is an air of peace and calm as you walk on to the terrace of Kavade Attic on 1st Main in Sheshadripuram. The cosy ambience is set up with cane mats on the floor and lots of charkhas (spinning wheels). Madhav Sahasrabudhe, a mechanical engineer from Pune, catches your eye.

Dressed in a khadi kurta and trousers made from the yarn he spun, the man is engrossed in spinning. Madhav is in the city for the recently-concluded two-day spinning workshop, organised by Kavade Attic. As he spins, the spinner talks about the art and the calming effect it has on one’s mind.

LEGO Wedo workshop at Lavender Lane, Kothanur

This workshop was based on robotics using Lego Wedo construction kit tool where we designed our own interactive machines and then programmed it. This is the base for children in their lifelong learning. The next Lego Wedo is on 24 April at Kavade Attic. Hurry Up!

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