Thursday, April 23, 2009

Inauguration of Kreedaa Kaushalya 2009

Well known Kannada movie director, Sri K.S.L. Swamee (a.k.a. Ravee) and wife Smt. B.V. Radha (well known actress) came into the Pratima Gallery on the late Friday afternoon of 10 April 2009. The gallery was decked up with beautiful display of game boards and game accessories which were created in 29 craft forms of the country.

Dr. C.R. Dileep Kumar explained the guests about the game boards and how to play them.

The couple were completely engrossed with looking at the beautiful kalamkari game boards, game boards on low stools and pawns. As they came to the main display of the exhibition, they froze in their tracks, struck with wonder.

A part of a traditional brahmin's house stood in front of them complete with all details. The jagali with a tiled roof supported by wooden pillars, clothes hanging on rafters, old photographs, traditional rangoli designs on the wall ('kaarli'), a doorway opening into a small room which had a old display case, a small altar and a corner stand gave an authentic look to this main installation.

Radha and Ravee were excited looking at the house; they stepped onto the jagali and sat down to play a game of dice on the Navalgund Dhurry which had a central pagade woven into it.
Ravee was well versed with the game while Radha struggled to outwit her husband. These light moments coupled with a lively conversation regaled the audience.

Thus the couple inaugurated the exhibition in unique way. A nostalgic Ravee spoke about his childhood, education and formative years in Mysore and was highly appreciative of the organisers for meticulous arrangements. Smt. Radha spoke later and thanked Ramsons Kala Pratishtana for inviting the couple to inaugurate the event.
Among the audience present were Sri R.N. Murthy of Rangsons Group, Dr. T.M. Gopal, Smt. Radha Gopal, Dr. Nagaraj Sharma, veteran journalist Sri Krishna Vattam and Sri M.B. Singh

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hot Spot of Mysore This Summer

The place one should not miss this summer vacation, in Mysore, is Pratima Gallery which is in front of Mysore Zoo. As one enters the beautifully carved old wooden door of this gallery, a flight of stairs leads down to the gallery. There inside, lots and lots of beautifully created game boards give a colourful welcome. There are games boards created in as many as 30 craft forms and also tastefully created artworks that are specially commissioned for this exhibition.

It is not just an exhibition but a time machine, indeed. A look at those gorgeous game boards is a sure-fire ticket to one’s childhood. As I was engrossed looking at the displayed games, I heard a familiar sound. It was the hollow sound of shells, a group of children were playing Chaukabara with cowries in the game parlour at the gallery; umm! I am dragged back in time and suddenly I was a school kid again. During summer and Dasara vacations, we kids were holding our entire road to ransom by playing hide-and-seek, marbles, shuttle-badminton, cycling, etc. When our cousins came calling, we played board games with them indoors.

The heap of tamarind seeds - for us kids it was a veritable treasure with which we played umpteen games, all of it is flooding back to me. The game of ‘Sari-Besa’ in which one has to take a fist-full of seeds from the heap and the opponent had to guess whether the fist contained ‘sari’ (even) or ‘besa’ (odd). The seeds are then counted and if the opponent had guessed correct, the seeds are his, if not, nothing. Unwittingly, we were learning the concept of ‘even’ and ‘odd’ much before being taught at school.

As kids we had learnt basic concepts of mathematics even before joining school all because of board games. We were so obsessed with games that, we created games out of pretty well anything which we could lay our hands on. For few special things we had to go looking for them; many a times, our gang surreptitiously lurked around bangle stores and hunt for broken pieces of glass bangles. One might ask why, and the answer is – to play.

Kids are very creative with things. They can devise games out of anything, everything, and play. The converse of this is also true. That is, kids who play a lot will become creative. It is a wrong notion that creativity is required only for artists, actors and writers, but the fact is, creativity is useful for everyone – politicians, engineers, tailors, pujaris, farmers, home-makers, teachers, etc., etc., etc. Creativity inculcates the ability to think out of box, which helps a person to devise solutions for problems in any situation.

So if you want your kids to learn while having fun and also if you want to keep those dreaded diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay (it has been proven that playing board games regularly helps avoiding such diseases in old-age), then drop in at Pratima Gallery. A whole new world of traditional board games opens up in front of you. Ramsons Kala Pratishtana has organised its third annual game exhibition ‘Kreedaa Kaushalya’ which will go on till 19 April 2009.

Here, play a game of Pagade (Pachisi), marvel at the beautiful pawns of Adu Huli Ata (Goats and Tigers), learn the rules of playing ‘Navakankari’ (Nine Men’s Morris), get surprised looking at the gold painted chessmen and silver board of ‘Chaduranga’, ogle at beautiful boards of Aligulimane (Pallanguli), go up and down the game of ‘Paramapada’ (Snakes and Ladders) and if you are still not satisfied, you can also buy gorgeous game boards and their equally attractive accessories.

What are you waiting for, fold the newspaper, get up and get going. Have a healthy dose of pure unadulterated Indian entertainment with your family. Don’t worry it is for entire family; kids, especially, will love it.

PS: Please carry an extra hand-kerchief or two, if your octogenarian parents are accompanying you. The exhibition is notorious for triggering nostalgic tears in senior citizens.

Kreedaa Kaushalya 2009

Ramsons Kala Pratishtana
cordially invites you to
Kreedaa Kaushalya
third annual exhibition and sale of traditional games of India

10 - 19 April 2009
10.00 am to 7.00 pm
Venue: Pratima Gallery
Ramsons House, In front of Zoo, Mysuru 570010
T: +91-821-2449121. M: +91-9880111625