Play, preserve, pass
Kreeda Games is on a mission to extensively document traditional games and experiences of people playing them by passing 20 journals around the country
KOCHI: “For years now, we’ve understood that it is not just enough to revive traditional Indian games that our ancestors played. We must also understand the spirit in which the games were played. Stories of play tell volumes about how people lived, interacted, built relationships and loved,” begins Vinita Sidhartha, founder, Kreeda Games.
In a humble effort to capture and record people’s early experiences of playing these games, Kreeda has come up with a travelling journal. “Kreeda used to visit old-age homes and document people’s experiences of the games they played. With the pandemic outbreak, such interactions have become more difficult. Also, the logistics of documenting games played across the country has always been a challenge,” she notes. Sharing a couple of stories from their visit, Vinita recalls, “An old lady remembered playing pallanguzhi (traditional ancient mancala game played in South India especially Tamil Nadu and Kerala) on the banks of the Kaveri.
As the river lapped the shores, it carried the game pieces away, and she had just won the round. It is a memory she laughs about even today. We talked to a granny the other day. She had four cowrie shells tied to the pallu of her sari. They are the one thing that reminds her of her grandchild she doesn’t have a photo of. She had lost touch with her family. Memories of a game form a powerful emotion; they bind us across space and time.”
As part of the project, 20 vibrant journals will begin their journey next week to different parts of the world, from person to person, allowing them to document their past memories of games played in writing, as drawings, paintings or sketches, or in any other form. “We’ve identified people across the globe through our clientele. When a person receives the journal, they use a two-page spread to detail their experiences. Families can assist senior citizens in doing this. Once they complete their share, they pass it on to the next person. This goes on till the journal is full, and when it is, it is sent back to Kreeda. Kreeda tracks the journals and provides updates from time to time,” she elaborates.
Every journal has pictures of a specific traditional game, interesting trivia about it and bookmarks for keepsake. “I’m expecting all journals to be back by June 2022. It’s a passion project to commemorate 20 years of Kreeda. The idea is also to get other people to start thinking about traditional games. The journals are free of cost and more people are welcome to pen their memories. It will help us research, develop and revive traditional games of India,” assures Vinita. If you would like to share your memories and scribbles in their journal, contact: 9841748309 or mail to email@example.com