Always eat your veggies. Say “please” and “thank you” when needed.
Those are the rules that most people learn at a young age, but that was not the case for me.
To enter a token into play from its yard to its starting square, a player must roll a 6.
My nanu (grandma) taught me those rules when I was 10 and I am reminded of them every weekend when I visit her.
They are also known as the rules for the game called Ludu.
At first, Ludu was merely a way to feed my competitiveness, even if I was only competing with my grandma.
The feeling I felt when we had to see who would get the highest number on the first round always made me jealous because that meant my nanu would get a head start.
Then, I became obsessed with which token I should move during my turn.
The laughter that came from my nanu’s mouth after her token caught up to me always made my heart feel close to hers.
After a while, I found myself playing this game whenever I was uncertain.
The game became muscle memory and eased my nerves before every big event.
Each spot on the game board made me reminiscent from a previous game I had played with her.
Every time I lost, my grandma bathed in her victory for a quick moment until she told me that these losses were only setbacks.
That was a new feature that was unlocked from the game.
And that’s when I saw the square shaped board was more than it could be.
childhood, family, culture, all tied into one
It was that type of game.