Published: 19th October 2020
Here's how Bengaluru's Kavade's bringing back traditional games and toys to people in urban areas
Sreeranjini, Founder of Kavade, speaks about her traditional toy house that is involved in popularising traditional games and toys in Bengaluru for more than a decade
These days, kids and adults restrict themselves to technology and the various content available on it when it comes to entertainment. But what about those traditional games that can also serve as a mode of entertainment and help you spend quality time with family and friends? Reminding you of these is Kavade, a Bengaluru-based exclusive traditional toy store. Founded by Sreeranjini GS in 2011, Kavade provides you with all types of traditional games including Chowka Bara, Ali Guli Mane, Adu Huli Aata, Buguri, Bhadrakattam, Navakankari, Sonaikattam and much more.
Curious to know what these games are about? Sreeranjini's kids too felt the same way when she introduced them to these games. They ended up playing Chowka Bara almost every weekend with their parents. Sreeranjini explains, "When I saw happiness and curiosity in my children, I felt happy. That's when I decided to create awareness among people about these games. Unlike games like chess which is played to improve one's IQ, these games are played for pure enjoyment. Being the first store in Bengaluru to sell these traditional games and toys, we have always stuck to the essence of it. Usually, in such stores like mine, people provide other traditional products like food, clothing, etc. But I didn't want to deviate the focus from games and toys. The only collaborative work we have done so far is in bringing out some beautiful books that go well with what people buy from our shop."
Being in this business of selling as well as creating awareness about traditional games, Sreeranjini has seen that people's interests have picked up well. She says, "I see a lot of other people selling board games on different platforms, which is a good thing. It shows that a lot of people are taking interest to learn what our ancestors played." While Kavade has a collection of many traditional games, Alu Guli Mane, Pagade and Chowka Bara is what most people love to play. She explains, "There are many people who don't know the names but when they see it, they recognise it and buy from us."
Apart from entertainment and fun, kids can also learn Math skills from these games. What also makes these games more fun and unique is providing them in different materials. "For instance, Chowka Bara comes in canvas cloth, khadi and embroidered silk. Similarly, ali guli mane comes in neem wood too," she says and continues, "There are some games that people have forgotten about completely like Bhadrakattam, Sonaikattam, Ganjifa playing cards, etc. But we want to revive them all."
Not just reviving traditional games, they also source these materials from artisans from North Karnataka, Kanyakumari and other traditional hubs across our country. The board games made from different types of cloth materials are all handstitched by women in the rural areas. Similarly, the wooden boards are designed by carpenters. These are foldable and can be carried anywhere you go. Most of these games are available in various sizes. Kavade also sells uniquely designed and painted toys like kickboxers, cycle rickshaws, autorickshaws and trucks.
Sreeranjini has not only involved herself in selling these traditional games and toys, but she has made some huge installations in parks, school grounds and apartments in Bengaluru. "I felt that people can play these games instead of playing the usual swing, slide, see-saw. A recent installation of games was done at the Jakkur lake park on the outskirts of Bengaluru. These installations include all kinds of board games and they are done using the local materials available around the premises," says Sreeranjini who has carved a niche for herself when it comes to traditional games.