Malayali aano?” To the non-resident Malayali, the phrase is almost music to the ears. Call it telepathy or some good old magic, but one Malayali can always recognise the other. That innate bond, formed by the shared love for cinema, lip-smacking cuisine and political arguments, come quite naturally to the quintessential Malayali. Two ‘thani’ Malayalis wanted their fellow Malayalis across the globe to experience this nostalgia, and that is how the first-ever Malayalam card game — ‘Malayali Anno?’ was born.
“The game follows the format of the famed ‘Cards against Humanity’ which has an open creative licence. During the lockdown, my fellow ‘thani’ Malayali ended up playing the game, only to have her ‘Eureka’ moment that the game would be an absolute winner if we had the same in Malayalam. She conveyed the same to me and I resonated with the idea. Two years ago, post-Kerala floods, I’d wanted to inculcate Malayalam pop culture and create something that reaches out to people. The concept of a game made perfect sense,” says the co-founder.
The ‘thani’ Malayalis then binge-watched 672 Mollywood classics, overdosed on Malayalam memes and penned down everything that makes one a ‘thani Malayali’, all whiledealing with Covid anxiety and societal judgements. Nearly 347 video calls later, ‘Malayali Aano?’ was developed. Strictly for 18 years and above, the card game caters to Millenials and adults that relate to the cult Malayali things. “Every card in this box is a handpicked selection of what encompasses an individual’s connection to being a Malayali. From popular phrases (reel or real), characters, personalities, stereotypes, food, and curios, this game is a roller coaster of Malayali pop-culture, the things we love and things that make us cringe. While developing ‘Malayali Aano?’, we had to figure out the innumerable permutations and combinations possible,” says the other co-founder.
While the game has ascribed itself to be rather engaging with humour and nostalgia, it also initiates people to converse on ‘difficult’ topics. “Including cringe content prompts conversations on the ridiculousness of such dialogues in our movies, and helps us as a society to move forward. We wanted people to see the fun side while simultaneously paying attention and correcting their mindset. Certain phrases are a small step towards breaking barriers between generations,” they say.
The game has turned out to be an instant hit. “The response is overwhelming. Until now, we’ve sailed purely through word-of-mouth. We’ve even had orders placed from the USA, UK, Kuwait and Germany,” says the co-founder.
You can buy the game on the website www.malayaliaano.com. Instagram - @malayaliaanogame.
Playing ‘Malayali Aano?’
Prerequisite: Have to be a Malayali.
The rest is ‘valare’ simple.
- The card game comprises green cards containing questions and white cards with answers.
- Each round has one player asking a question by picking a green card from the box, and other players answer by playing their funniest white card.
- Eventually, the funniest person is declared a ‘thani Malayali’.
- The game can have a minimum number of four members and can be wound up anytime.
- The cards contain Manglish (Malayalam + English) with a glossary to help you wade through some pop-culture ludicrous humour.
- The founders recommend you enjoy this game with a drink in hand and some ‘touchings’ on the side — balanced, just the way all things must be.