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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How to Play Taabla


The above video is an instructional one by Ms. Anisha Kapdi from Ponda, Goa. (I came across this video on Youtube and posted it here. I hope this is not infringing on any copyrights. If it does, I will take it down immediately. Anyhow, I thank the persons behind this video for sharing their knowledge which is wonderful of them)

Ms. Anisha has shown a version of playing the Taabla which she calls as Taabulfale. It is a slightly different version from what I have come across in books.

At Kreedaa Kaushalya, we have introduced the game of Taabla in the craft of Silk Embroidery with pawns either as birds or elephants. The casting pieces (long sticks) are called as 'Kocchu' in Kannada and we have got them crafted at Channapatna.

Here's our game board of Taabla.



Taabla or Taabulfala is a forgotten race game which was played in the Uttara Kannada and Malnad region in Karnataka as also in Goa and south coastal regions of Maharashtra. It is called as Tablan in English.

Contents:
Game board  - 1
Counters  - 12 + 12
Wooden sticks /cowries  - 4

How to play

* The board consists of 4 by 12 squares i.e., there are four rows of 12 squares in each row. Fig. 1.
* Board is kept between two players and each player has twelve counters. At the beginning both players' counters are kept one each on a square on the row closest to him. In Fig.1, white and black counters belong to Player1 and Player2 respectively and they are placed on the squares nearest to their owners.

* Tablan is played with four stick-dice (called as Taabla Kocchu) which are painted on one side and unpainted on the other side. These stick-dice are flicked in the air, caught back and again flicked twice or thrice before they are finally allowed to fall on to the ground.

* Four cowrie shells can be used in the absence of these sticks.

Score obtained on throw of Stick-Dice or Kocchu
1 plain surface : score is 2 and throw again
4 plain surface : score is 8 and throw again
4 painted surface : score is  12 and throw again
Other throws do not score and sticks are passed to the opponent.

Score obtained on throw of Cowries
1 mouth up : score is 2 and throw again
4 mouths  up : score is 8 and throw again
No mouths up : score is  12 and throw again
Other throws do not score and cowries are passed to the opponent.

* The first move of a counter can only be made on a score of 2, though this score can be split into two 1s if required, and two counters can be moved one square each, instead of one counter moving two squares. Similarly, score of 8 can be split into two 4s and 12 can be split into two 6s.

* The counters move in the directions as follows. For either player, the board is laid out as 1st or home row, 2nd row, 3rd row and 4th or opponent's row. In the home row and 3rd row, the player's counters move right, and in 2nd and 4th rows they move to left. So during a game, opponents' counters move in opposite direction.
* As per Fig.2, the player1's white counters move as follows...   a to l, m to x, M to X, A to L (see dotted arrow in Fig.3). Player2's black counters move in opposite direction (Fig.4).

* The counters can only capture opponent counters when they are on the two central rows, or when displacing them on the opponent's Home row.
* Captured counters are permanently removed from the board during that game.

* Once a counter lands on a square on the opponent's Home row it is locked into that square; it is immobilised and cannot move again during the game. Also, it cannot be captured by the opponent.

* Opponent's home row is locked, one square at a time.

* A counter can move twice during a turn to capture two counters. In Fig.5 the white counter has captured two black ones after it got a throw of 2 which was split into 1 and 1.
* In Fig.6, white counter has reached the last square in its middle rows. Now if it gets a throw of 2, it cannot capture both the black counters because as soon as it captures the first black counter, it is locked and cannot move further. So, either it can capture the first black counter or the second one.

* More than one counter cannot be on one square any where on the board.

* At any stage of the game a player must and should use a throw, unless he cannot move.

* The player locking up most squares on the opponent's Home row wins the game.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Kreedaa Kaushalya 2019 Inauguration







Sri. M.L. Varchusvin S.S. Raje Urs and Dr. Dharanidevi Malagatthi I.P.S. being welcomed with bouquets of flowers.






A game of 'Four Handed Chaduranga'



Dr. Dharanidevi Malagatthi, Principal, Police Training, School, Mysuru, inaugurating the 8th edition of Kreedaa Kaushalya by lighting the lamp.

Sri M.L. Varchusvin S.S. Raje Urs offers garland to the bust of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar

Sri M.L. Varchusvin S.S. Raje Urs releases the newly designed Snakes and Ladders game board in Shivalinga form.








Chief guests playing a game of 'Men and Elephant' which is popular as Anay Kattu. At this moment an idea flashed into my mind. I renamed the board game as 'Mysuru Khedda'






Kreedaa Kaushalya 2019
8th biennal of traditional board games of India

Inauguration by
Dr. Dharani Devi Malagatthi I.P.S.
Principal, Police Training School, Mysuru

Chief Guest
Sri M.L. Varchusvin S.S. Raje Urs
Mathadhipati, Sri Manteswamy Matha Malavalli,
Adi-Honnayakanahalli and Kappadi Srikshetra

21 April 2019. Sunday 11.00 am

Venue: Ramsons
In front of Zoo, Mysuru 570010

Friday, April 19, 2019

Kreedaa Kaushalya 2019 Brochure








Ramsons Kala Pratishtana (RKP) presents the 8th edition of 'Kreedaa Kaushalya', the biennial exhibition of board games. Art and artefacts of board game play will form the central focus of this expo.

Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, and various scriptures, history, poetry, songs, dramas, folklore and all aspects of Indian literature abound in stories involving board games. Shiva and Parvati enjoy a game of Pagaday in Shiva Purana, while Krishna and Rukmini are described as playing Chaduranga in Harivamsha, and even a lonesome Seeta kills her boredom by playing a solitary game of Aligulimane in Ashoka Vana (Kamba Ramayana). This is gods at play. Tales from Bhakti tradition narrate how the Lord Almighty often descends from heaven and engages in a board game  with his earthly devotees.

Saint Hathiram Bawaji is a personification of devotion and love towards Tirupati Balaji. There are legends which portray him playing a game of dice with Tirupati Balaji. Thus stories use board games to illustrate the depth of adoration between the deity and devotee.

Outwardly, playing board games is a fun-filled pastime, nothing more. But the act of playing tricks the mind into an alternate reality and helps the brain to produce endorphins -natural chemicals that mitigate suffering, alert the consciousness and alleviate pain. They cushion our thoughts and general state of mind to help us face challenges in life. Playing any game brings about happiness, but the way of playing influences the mind either positively or negatively. The idea, construct and symbolism involved in the game subconsciously tone the thoughts and actions of a player in the real world.

Traditional Indian board games have an emotional connect, triggering nostalgia with the magic of old-world charm. They strengthen human relationships and thus create citizens who are good and compassionate.
For over 20 years now, RKP is passionately involved in learning, researching, documenting and recreating traditional Indian board games under the aegis of 'Kreedaa Kaushalya'. The game boards and accessories here have been created by skilled artisans from 30 craft clusters across India.

New additions: 'Kalamkari' game board of Snakes and Ladders in the shape of a Shivalinga. Chowkis and drawer boxes made from Nuwood and Rubberwood. Play counters in the shape of a tree, hoody dolls, cars and birds. Stick dice and Pagaday pawns as rattles. These have been designed at the design wing of RKP.

This expo is at our flagship store, 'Ramsons', in front of Zoo.

You can play and learn new games at the game parlour. Come, throw a die or two. You may win or lose, but playing these games everyone is a winner, nonetheless.


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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Seeta Devi Ata - 1

There are hundreds of versions of Ramayana and in one of the oral tradition of Ramayana, Seeta is seen playing a solitary game on Mancala (Aligulimane or Pallanguli) board. Probably she dug out 14 pits on the ground in the garden where she was kept captive by the villainous Ravana.

Now we know that an empty mind is the factory of devil. Seeta did not want to sit idle, for it will bring negative thoughts in her mind and eventually they will make her life more miserable than the life in Ashokavana, the garden.

Hence she gouged the earth making one row of seven pits side-by-side and another similar row right across the first row. Collecting round dry seeds of red-coral tree she started playing a solitary game in that board. She played on and on and the game eventually is called by her name as 'Seeta Devi Ata'.



This game was taught to me by late Shyamala Garudachar who lived on the first floor of my house. She was an Iyengar lady and her grand children called her 'paati' and we too called her the same. Paati taught me Aligulimane and Pagaday.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Seeta Devi Ata - 2

Seeta Devi Ata is a solitary game in Aligulimane (Mancala, Pallanguli). In oral traditions of Ramayana in South India, it is said that when Seeta was in Ashoka Vana as a prisoner of Ravana, she  played this game.

Mr. Shantaram looks on while his wife Mrs. Asha is teaching us the game of Seeta Devi Ata - 2
If you are alone and want to play a game on your own, this is a great pastime. The original version of this game (let us call it Seeta Devi Ata -1) is slightly different from what is shown here. Another version of this game was taught to me today (17 June 2018) by Mrs. Asha Shantaram. She learnt this game from her late mother-in-law Radhalakshmamma Addepali.  I thank Mrs. Asha and also Radha ajji.


'What is the name of this game?' I asked Mrs. Asha, but she did not remember. Anyhow I am calling this game as 'Seeta Devi Ata - 2'. I will soon post a video of how to play the Seeta Devi Ata -1 which was taught to me by Shyamala Garudachar (we called her paati) who lived on the first floor of our house.