Time to roll the dice

Time to roll the dice

Submitted by alvin on Sun, 2016-10-23 09:13 Bengaluru: Board games are making a comeback after suffering years of decline. Avid board game enthusiasts are now trying to revive interest in this ancient art, whose languid grace was an obsession with kings but stood no chance in the fast-paced modern world which prefers video games and smartphones to board games such Snakes and Ladders, Pachisi, Chowka Bara or Pagade. Chaya Nisarga, established in 2000, is one of the many artist groups working to revive board games. Artists at Chaya Nisarga work with coconut shells, coir, jute, handmade paper and cotton fabric to create boards used in games such as Snakes and Ladders, chess and others.   Ravi Shankar G, who runs the organization, has been making handmade craft items for many years. “Traditional games can be used to learn and have fun. They motivate children to develop their cognitive skills, analytical and problem solving abilities and reasoning power too,” he says Chaya Nisarga is also working on new designs such as hand-made cloth that replaces cardboard along with wooden pawns. This cloth can be rolled and slid into a pouch. The board occupies minimal space and is easy to carry. Apart from this, the attractive and colourful game boards can be hung on walls as well. They can be washed and ironed too. Different designs such as ‘hase chittara’, ‘warli’, folk designs and ‘madhubani’ in fluorescent colour schemes are used in making the games. Artists say the use of vegetable colours for the art and the cloth boards makes the board look more attractive. Tools used in Aliguli Mane are made of pine wood, maichelia champaka (sampige) and other woods.   Board game enthusiast Prasad, a resident of Bengaluru, says such games take him back to his old days. “I have bought Aliguli Mane to teach my kids as they don’t know what it means. I want to teach them something new,” says Prasad.