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Not Just A Game

  • Niladry Sabir
  • Niladry Sabir
  • 11 Aug 2019

Search every household and one shall find at least one of these collecting dust in a forgotten cupboard now. There are kids roaming around as adults now to whom these meant the world. And girls who dreamt of climbing up the ladder of life once they grew up playing ‘Shaap-Ludo’!

What were these, one may ask. Here are the top 5 Bangladeshi board games:

 

Ludo

The objective of this game is to ensure that all the guti end up inside the box in the middle of the board. To do this, one has to depend with their sheer luck on a pair of die, move their guti forward until it circles the entire board and makes it home. On the way, there are several ‘safe zones’ and a maximum of three enemies chasing the same goals, ready to eat your guti with theirs. The players always pray for two sixes to give them a boost whenever their turn came.

 

Snakes & Ladders

Similar to Ludo, this game has an element of danger. On a numbered board, the player has to reach 100 before anyone else can, surpassing several snakes that will swallow them several numbers down, and praying for their guti to land on a ladder to take them up the several digits as a shortcut. Those who get a ‘one’ always get the head start.

 

Chess

Locally referred to as daba, this is the game of intellectuals. Rather than seeing a lot of people playing this game, one would find two facing off, usually the elderlies of the family, with their supporters behind them, cheering them on. There is a reason why this game is an international sensation.

 

Monopoly

This game is famous for breaking friendships and making enemies. In monopoly, you get to become a business moghul for a day, buying/selling land, and forcing people who can’t afford the rent to enter into dubious contracts with you. The Bangladeshi version, tailored to Dhaka, brings about the sense of power. Who can forget the surge of dominance they felt when they bought the land of Gulshan and dominated over Motijheel?

 

Carrom Board

This was where all the real action happens. This real-time physical game was the most competitive of them all, with players using their fingers to flick the striker disk to shove the carrom men into one of the four holes in the corners. It wasn’t just about fun; this game was about strategy and precision as well, where each player is on their own.

 

Board games gather people and entertain them. They shatter dreams and give hope. At the end of the day, these are what make childhoods, and in some old-school households, they still do. Being a Bengali, you’re bound to play at least one of them or do, if you haven’t already. In a country where there are only limited playgrounds and more challenges for women playing outdoors, this is where it all started.

Girls took inspiration from the board game wins aspiring for a life different than moms and aunts in the kitchen. And now when these girls even achieved that life in all the amazing work that they do just like men, these are some nostalgic memories that they live looking at all these board games.

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