I was interested to discover the article "From Courtly Craze to Coasters: A Catastrophic Chronicle of Ganjifa Cards" in Thespian Magazine (Vol 4 Issue 1) online. The article bears a different emphasis from my own interest, but I am, in a modest way, doing my part to revive interest in Ganjifa cards and their use. It is stated in the article that "no-one knows exactly how to play Ganjifa anymore", and indeed, while a few descriptions of the game have been preserved in writing, none of them are detailed enough to serve as a comprehensive guide to play. To this I would add that there never was just one way to play Ganjifa. As the rules were passed from player to player during the centuries when the game was popular, innovations would have accumulated with every generation, and in this way every village evolved its own variation of the rules. We know from our experience of life that nothing survives unless it is always changing, and so it is with games. From this I conclude that if we wish to revitalise Ganjifa, it is not enough simply to restore that which existed in the past. We must use our creativity to invent new versions of the game, being guided by the past but not constrained by it. We must also play these creations and adjust them whenever we see that they may be improved. Only then can Ganjifa once more become a living tradition. I have created two games for Ganjifa cards. The first, drafted in 2011 and perfected in 2015, was designed for a 96-card Mughal deck and is entirely my own invention. The second, drafted in 2016 for Sunish Chabba's "Guru Ganjifa" project, was designed for a 120-card Dashavatara deck and is my attempt to capture the spirit of the traditional game while adapting it for a modern, global audience. The latter game is a work in progress, and I am eager to hear from anyone who owns a Ganjifa deck (preferably Dashavatara) and is interested in playtesting it and providing any feedback you might have. In case any Thespian Magazine readers are interested in this, details can be found at https://outerhoard.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/ganjifa-revisited/ and I can be contacted through that page. Perhaps some will disagree with my approach to revitalising this time-honoured game. In that case, as the saying goes, let a thousand flowers bloom. Whether we, as individuals, are more interested in the artistic, historical, religious or entertainment value of Ganjifa cards, I sincerely hope that Ganjifa enthusiasts around the world can find ways to work together on our common goals.
Thank You Bivas, giving me this opportunity . This is my first publication. Best wishes for you and your team.
The present issue of the Thespian Magazine is an excellent repository of amazing writings which are conducive to giving birth a culture of academic discussions and debates.
এবারের সংখ্যাটি পড়ে বড়ই আনন্দ হচ্ছে। আমার বন্ধুবর রবীন্দ্র দা সহ বেশ কয়েকজন পরিচিত লেখকের লেখা পড়তে পড়তে মনেই হচ্ছিল না যে আমি অনলাইন পড়ছি। অনলাইন মানে এমনই হওয়া উচিৎ। পুরো টিমকে বিশেষ করে আমার অতি প্রিয় বন্ধু বিভাস কে অভিনন্দন। শুভেচ্ছা। উত্তরোত্তর শ্রী বৃদ্ধি হোক।
Professor of English, Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB). (On lien from Khulna University, Bangladesh)
Assistant Professor of English, Directorate of Open and Distance Learning, University of Kalyani, West Bengal, India
M.Phil Scholar, Deptt. of English, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan
PhD Research Scholar, and MA Graduate Student, Graduate Program of Language, Mackenzie Presbyterian University (UPM), Sao Paolo, Brazil
Assistant Professor of English, Vijaygarh Jyotish Ray College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
B. A.(Hons.) and M.A., Department of English, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, West Bengal, India
Dalit writer/activist, M.A. in English Literature, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, India