Saturday January 20, 2018

Ganjifa, an Indian Card Game is revived by Sunish Chabba of Sydney, Australia

The Sydney resident considers the game as an important revival technique for making Indian ideas reach to millions

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credits: dollsofindia.com
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  • Ganjifa is known to exist in the times of European renaissance in the land of Persia
  • The initiator attempts to get off the concept of revival and bring in a combination of form and function
  • The Dashavatara form is recognised in the west being sold in the west as modern paintings

Sunish Chabba an inhabitant of Sydney has tried to rebuild the lost Indian Card game. Ganjifa, an ancient form of playing cards in India, is inspired by the mythological figures of the country. It has religious connotations and is making comeback through kickstarter, which is considered the best platform for crowdfunding throughout the globe.

sunish chabba
courtesy: linkedin.com
  • It is believed that the game existed in the 17th century “as an idea for a design challenge to revive lost or almost forgotten traditional arts & crafts (of India) while pursuing a course on Design thinking/Human-Centred Design.”
  • The initiator attempts to get off the concept of revival and bring in a combination of form and function. However, he aspires this mythological realm to regain its lost identity.
  • Ganjifa is known to exist in the times of European renaissance in the land of Persia. The game reached to many parts of India acquiring new forms. The Dashavatara Ganifa is the most popular one played in most of the south-Indian states. It is based on the different reincarnations of Lord Vishnu.
Ganjifa
credits: craftandartisans.com
  • Ganjifa-kishor.com states that: In Maharashtra and Orissa, it was a widespread Brahmin pastime. A later Brahmin rationalization of this pursuit was the notion that the performance of the game is pleasing to God. Around 1885 Hari Krishna Venkataramana argued that by playing the Vishnu memoriser game, sins are washed away. It is said in the Bhapwatam that by invoking the name of Vaikuntha by gestures and even by way of joking or abuse, sins are made to wash away. If the name of God is used during the game saying “your Rama did this” or your Brahma did that” or “your Narasimha lost and my Matsya won” then, by this repetion of God’s name sins are remitted. “

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  • The Dashavatara form is recognised in the west being sold in the west as modern paintings. Thus, Sunish has created a programme to bring it into the vogue. The project addresses collectors, card players, artists, Indian mythology and history enthusiasts or students.
  • The project is to make every effort in making the art form familiar by designing  a deck of 130 cards illustrated with various mythological figures  and Madhubani paintings.
  • It claims highest quality standards on a premium Casino graded card stock making it a true collector’s delight and pledges worldwide free shipping.
  • With the funding goal with Kickstarter Sunish will be able to run his first stock in print. The campaign is planned to wrap up by the 21st of June. One can visit the following for a greater knowledge: Guru Ganjifa – A Beautiful deck of Playing Cards
  • One can also help Guru Ganifa, the project, by contributions starting from $1 AUD. The entrepreneur, Sunish can be reached at guruplayingcards@gmail.com for any other queries about the campaign.

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About Kickstarter: “Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that helps bring creative projects to life. Think of Kickstarter as a place where you can help support a project like this and in return you are offered a series of rewards depending on your pledge. Once you’ve chosen what type of reward you would like to receive, Kickstarter will ask you to register in order to record your pledge. They will safely set up your payment but you will ONLY be billed at the end of the campaign IF this project reaches its funding goal. Remember, if the project isn’t fully funded during our Kickstarter campaign, you won’t be charged a dime (and, unfortunately, the deck won’t be published). You can always go back and change or cancel your reward level before the campaign ends.

by Megha Sharma, a freelance contributor at NewsGram. Twitter: meghash06510344

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Kickstarter is a really good platform to promote your ideas. It encourages all ideas and helps you propagate them through.

  • AJ Krish

    With many more games of our past coming to light, our culture is in a way being revived.It seems that people are looking into the past for ideas and that is music to my ears.

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10 Facts about Madhubani Paintings which will blow your mind

Recently, Madhubani painting style came into limelight after some artists decided to renovate the Madhubani Railway Station by painting a huge Madhubani painting on the walls of the railway station.

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A Madhubani Painting in black and white. Wikimedia Commons
A Madhubani Painting in black and white. Wikimedia Commons

Madhubani Paintings, also known as Mithila Paintings are the quintessence folk art form of Mithila Region of Bihar. The art form is incredibly old and the name ‘Madhubani’ which means, ‘forest of honey,’ has a lineage of more than 2500 years.These paintings are the local art of Madhubani district of Bihar, which is also the biggest exporter of Madhubani paintings in India.

Recently, Madhubani painting style came into limelight after some artists decided to renovate the Madhubani Railway Station by painting a huge Madhubani painting on the walls of the railway station. The painting spans across an area of 7000 square feet and is expected to attract tourism to the Madhubani District. Madhubani art has received international and national attention in recent times.

Paintings and art are a reflection of the culture and tradition of the place from where they originate. Madhubani paintings are an important part of the Indian Culture. Madhubani painting in black and white are some of the oldest and most beautiful art that people can witness and admire. The style, which was losing its importance earlier is once again emerging as a major art form.

A modern representation of Madhubani art form. Wikimedia Common
A modern representation of Madhubani art form. Wikimedia Common

Here are 10 facts about Madhubani paintings which will blow your mind :

  • The history of Madhubani paintings dates back to the days of Ramayana. The history of Madhubani paintings dates back to the time of Ramayana when king Janaka asked an artist to capture the wedding of his daughter Sita with prince Rama. He commissioned craftsmen to decorate the entire kingdom with Madhubani art on the auspicious occasion of his daughter’s marriage. That’s one of the earliest mentions of Madhubani paintings that can be found in ancient scriptures and text.
  • Madhubani Paintings have 5 distinct styles to delight our eyes. Madhubani art has five distinctive styles, namely, Bharni, Katchni, Tantrik, Godna, and Kohbar. In ancient times, Bharni, Kachni and Tantrik style were done by Brahman and Kayastha women, who were considered ‘upper caste.’ Their themes were mainly religious and depicted Gods and Goddesses, flora and fauna. People belonging to lower castes including aspects of their daily life and symbols into their paintings.Nowadays, however, Madhubani has become a globalised art form. There is no difference in the work of different artists of different regions or castes.
  • Madhubani paintings are done using different kinds of everyday materials. In past, Madhubani painting was done using fingers, twigs. Now, matchsticks and pen nibs are also used. Usually, bright colours are used in these paintings with an outline made from rice paste as its framework. These paintings rarely have any blank spaces. Borders are often embellished with geometric and floral patterns. These paintings use natural dyes. For example, Madhubani paintings in black and white often use charcoal and soot for the black colour.
A Madhubani Paintings can be made using different materials on different mediums. Wikimedia Commons
A Madhubani Paintings can be made using different materials on different mediums. Wikimedia Commons
  • Madhubani art is characterised by symbols and figures. Madhubani paintings are characterised by figures that are prominently outlined, like bulging fish-like eyes and pointed noses. The themes of Madhubani paintings usually include natural elements like fish, birds, animals, turtle, sun, moon, bamboo trees and flowers, like a lotus. Love, valour, devotion, fertility, and prosperity are often symbolized by geometric patterns, which is another important feature of this art form.
  • From Mud-Walls to Canvas. Earlier, Madhubani paintings were made by women on freshly plastered mud-walls of their houses during religious occasions. The skill has been passed onto from one generation to another. Today, this artwork can be found on an international platform on mediums like cloth, paper, canvas, paper-mache products, etc.
  • Discovered and brought to attention by William G. Archer. Madhubani paintings, though prominent in India, were unknown to the outside world until a colonizer, William G. Archer found them. While he was inspecting the damage after the massive earthquake of  Bihar in 1934, Archer was amazed when he discovered the beautiful illustrations on the interior walls of the huts. He decided to bring the attention of other colonizers to this art form and introduced it internationally.

    Madhubani paintings are made without sketches. Wikimedia Common
    Madhubani paintings are made without sketches. Wikimedia Common
  • Madhubani is an Instinctive Art Form. Madhubani art is created without the use of sketches, they are made instinctively by the artists. This feature not only makes Madhubani paintings unique but also incredibly exclusive.
  • Madhubani painting also prevents Deforestation. Surprised? This folk art is not just mere decorations on the wall, it is also used for worship. Artists in Bihar draw paintings depicting Hindu deities on trees and those who hold strong religious beliefs, prevent others from chopping those trees down. This plays a big role in preventing trees from being cut down.
  • The Connection with Feng shui. Madhubani paintings use symbols and geometric figures which have a strong association with the Feng Shui philosophy. The use of flowers, especially the lotus, birds,  fishes, and turtles which we find in Madhubani paintings, are closely linked to the concept of divinity and spirituality in Feng Shui. Madhubani painting is believed to bring with them, the benefits of Feng Shui as well.

    Madhubani painting rarely has any spaces. Wikimedia Common
    Madhubani paintings rarely have any empty spaces. Wikimedia Common
  • The Importance of Sun in Madhubani. Since ancient times, the sun has always been an important symbol of nature worship. The Sun also occupies such an important place in the Madhubani paintings. There are paintings wholly dedicated to the Sun, in which it can be seen painted in different moods and colours. Every Madhubani home has one painting of the Sun which they worship daily.