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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kreedaa Kaushalya - battle royale


The inaugural day, May 10 of Kreedaa Kaushalya, the celebratory Mela of traditional board games organized by Ramsons Kala Pratishtana (RKP)every year since 2005 was the scene of a battle royale with a six year old doing his best to beat his mother at Pagade by attempting to bend the rules a little.
The venue was the RKP’s Pratima  Gallery located above Aamarapali showroom on the Nazarbad main Road.
The six year old decided once well into the game  that he could make up a few rules as he went along  and caught red-handed by his sister, was about to be beaned with an umbrella by  his mother, sending onlookers into peals of laughter.
Then the beastly kid tried another tack. Play two games at the same time.
 The tigers and goats with his older sister and Pagade with his mother at the same time. Rules were flouted with impunity as the kid steam-rollered his way to victory that was suitably crowned by tap on his head by the umbrella wielded by his mother.
The sight of this family having a whale of a time was enough to encourage  another family to sit down and play a game of tigers and goats.
More chaos with  good natured squabbling lent an atmosphere of joy which soon infected other visitors.
The display of varieties of board games , from cloth based ones coffee tables that doubled as pagade and chess board, this was a feast for the ultimate  gamesman or games-woman.
Ranged alongside boards were Kalamkari game board sets of Aadu-Huli, Dash Guti, Chauka Bara, Snakes and Ladders , Solapur handwoven games board sets of Huli-Kuri, Aadu Huli and Chauka Bara, Batik Chauka Bara sets  as well as silk embroidery Chauka Bara sets, Solapur Hand woven Nine Mens’ Morris sets, Kalamkari Panchi sets, Solapur Hand woven Sepoy Mutiny sets and of course a variety of Aluguli sets in rosewood, inlaid onto to  miniature coffee tables and four-handed chess sets.
 This four handed chess set is attributed to Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar III, the Master of the Board.
There was also  a huge at least six feet by six feet chess set that could be folded into squares. The King, Knight and elephant were more than 10 inches tall while the pawns were about six inches tall. All the chessmen were intricately carved  figurines.
There were several other chess boards that were carved with inlay work onto smaller chess boards.
The exhibition and sale of these artistic traditional game boards will conclude on May 26.
Ramsons Kala Pratishtana hopes that the  the next year’s edition of
Kreedaa Kaushalya will include a board games tournament first at the Mysore District level, followed by State level and National level.
The Kreedaa Kaushalya al fresco tournament described at the beginning of this blog was not officially authorised by Ramsons Kala Pratishtana but such was the infectious gaiety that the mini arena does not exclude anyone from taking part.
The only credo is the love for board games  and the only language is the language of the games.

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