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Updated: March 22, 2014 23:01 IST

Now, you can build words in Telugu!

B. Madhu Gopal
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Viriyala Hareesh
The Hindu Viriyala Hareesh

Viriyala Hareesh of the city has developed two products on the lines of scrabble — ‘Jodinchu’ and ‘Tvaraga Jodinchu’

A die-hard fan of word game like Scrabble? Unhappy over non-availability of the word game in Indian languages so that you can play with your friends?

Viriyala Hareesh of the city has developed a new concept for representing and structuring Telugu, Hindi, and other Indian languages using building blocks. He has started ‘Out-box’ Edutainment Pvt. Ltd. in Hyderabad to produce the game board, building blocks, and other paraphernalia.

Hareesh, an alumnus of IIT-Madras, went for higher studies to the U.S. After specialising in market trade research in skiing, he landed a job there. During his visit to India in 2004, he wanted to play scrabble with his family members.

“My mother refused to join as she was not comfortable with English language. It was such a wonderful game, and I thought why it should not be in Telugu and other Indian languages. I knew it was available in over 30 languages, apart from English, based on my knowledge of the game and through observation,” he told The Hindu on Saturday.

The complexity of the script in Telugu and other Indian languages could have prevented anyone from venturing into that area.

“I saw a business opportunity in it. I went back to the U.S. and used my engineering/mathematical skills, statistical analysis on how many characters should be there. I realised that Indian languages had peculiar features ‘matras’ and ‘votthulu’, which is not there in English and other Western languages,” he said.

It took almost three years to develop a prototype. I quit my job in 2006 and spent full time on developing scrabble-like game in Indian languages. I took the help of linguistics professors, apart from using my own expertise in the language, and developed two products — ‘Jodinchu’ and ‘Tvaraga Jodinchu’ in Telugu and their equivalents in Hindi.

Out-box won the HYSEA (now ITsAP) award in 2009 for ‘Tvaraga Jodinchu’ word game product. NRIs in the U.S., have evinced keen interest in our products, says Hareesh, who now plans to popularise the game products in Indian schools through game tournaments on the lines of Spell Bee.

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