Suburban commuters up their (board) game

People have taken to forming groups to play ludo or rummy on their phones to kill time during their long post-work commute

Published: 29th June 2019 06:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2019 04:59 PM   |  A+A-

Commuters use office bags to make a makeshift table

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Long hours of train journey after work is no longer a drudgery for these 30-something people. They gather all their fellow men and make a makeshift table with office bags. While one would expect a pack of cards to emerge, one of themturns on his phone and puts a game of ludo on the table instead. 

A 90-minute journey sees the regular board and card games reinvent themselves for older players. “It takes us 45 minutes to finish one game, and gives us enough time for one more,” said Vicky, who boards his train at the cantonment with his friends every evening to travel to Bangarapet.

Others like Kamlesh prefer playing rummy on their phones to kill time when there are not enough members to play the game. “Our group is originally from KGF, but we work for different 
businesses in the city. The only time we come together is during the train journey,” he said, amid much cheering for winners in the game. 

Much like cricket, neighbours also come over to enquire about leading players, and involve enthusiasts across all ages and social backgrounds. “These are hyper social games and make for an easy setup. Also, instead of sitting next to each other, we can play with someone on the other side of the world too. Just like free chats, these games have become easily available.

It’s not like the trend has just started, but it surely is catching up with more of traditional games being added to the list after ludo, rummy, carrom and snakes and ladder. Flashcards is another game that people are yet to tap into. It is one of the first games that was supposedly set up to keep busy during a famine,” said James N, a game designer based in Mumbai who has seen a similar trend in Mumbai locals as well. 

“These are easy games that can be easily picked up, which makes the target audience universal. A lot of people are trying to monetise the games,” said entrepreneur Sudeep S.

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