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Sreeranjini - Reviving Ancient Games

Sreeranjini is another of those inspiring Indian woman, who chose to follow her passion. She felt children needed something better than the plastic or noisemaking or battery operated toys that are easily available in the market. And that led her into the path of reviving ancient games, and that too in a unique way. She has created a toy store based on this concept, a space for people to relax with a book or a gameboard and now she is taking it even further!

Listen to this episode to know more about her, her journey and what it means to play ancient games!

Sreeranjini talks about how she has been actively involved in the revival of ancient games for the past 12 years and what led her to it. She clarifies, it is not about just Indian games, because games is a strong aspect of all of our collected cultures. In this episode, she gets into the importance of playing these games in every family and reexamining the notion of games as something to be played by children alone. She talks about how she set up the toy store and the play area, in Bengaluru and then how she took it to the streets. And it doesn’t end there…

Listen on..

What the New Indian Woman podcast is about

As you may already be aware, this podcast has 2 focus areas. One, We examine the challenges faced by today's Indian woman and propose ACTIONABLE strategies in the Indian context, on a wide variety of topics - right from identifying their passion to better productivity and parenting. Second, we meet women who chose to aspire or have a dream beyond their defined roles and facilitate sharing of what worked and what didn’t, for them. Today's episode falls in the second category.

And in the process, my aim is to help you, The New Indian woman, to realize your potential, chase your dreams and aspirations, utilize the wonderful opportunities available in today's world.

What's in this episode:

Sreeranjini starts telling us the importance of playing games, especially the games people have played all over the world over centuries. She talks about starting the toy store Kavade, that stands for cowrie shells. She goes on to explain the need for such a store, considering many of these games are played with items available in our ecosystem itself. The need for a store to ensure we do not collectively forget these games, in this fast paced world. She talks about Kavade as a space where culturally relevant gaming could happen. It's just a way of asking people to try to unplug, to discover different ways in which you can come together and stay together.

She explains the three principles that she works on for manufacturing any of the games at Kavade -it should be an ancient game, it is created as eco conscious as possible and third, this is made with artisans across the country, be it for the playing piece, or it could be the packaging or it could be the board itself. So there is one craft element that goes back home with each product.

She then takes an example of a very popular ancient game and explains how this has been done at Kavade.

We examine how all of us complain about everyone and especially kids being on devices, but none has created a store like this. But then she talks about how we tend to ask our children to go away and play when we are absorbed in devices and how it extremely important to show our kids the pleasure of slowing down, by getting to play ourselves.

She talks about how she started the store, the research that went into it, the people or experts whom she met to get her ideas validated and how the universe helped her make it happen.

She talks about the support and challenges, but the point is, she did not stop with opening a toy store alone. She went on to set up a play area, called Attic.

She explains this lovely concept, which makes us feel we should have this in every locality! She shares the kind of activities that are conducted in this cosy play area. And not just that, she has started taking these games to streets and even residential communities and common areas! We pause here, to explore more with Sreeranjini in the next episode.

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