Friday Review

Divinity now child’s play

The board game designed by T. Sampath. Photo: T.R. Sudha

The board game designed by T. Sampath. Photo: T.R. Sudha

For many, playing cards is just a pastime. But now, we have cards with a devotional twist! This one is on the 108 Divyadesams. What does Divyadesam have to do with playing cards? Well, Srimaan Card Game, a pack of 52 cards with engravings of the 108 Divyadesams, is the answer. And it is the brainchild of 36-year-old T. Sampath.

Behind each card, one can see the tremendous work of Sampath, an MCA-holder, who has given up his comfortable bank job to pursue his passion. He is quite well-versed in Vaishnavite rites and rituals. So, he could infuse a divine touch into what otherwise would be a run-of-the-mill card game. Clad in a panchakacham with thirumann on his forehead, Sampath strikes you as a simple man. “The game, if played frequently, can lead you on the path of devotion. Also you can learn all about the Divyadesams, he explains.”

The cards, which have images and details of deities at each Divyadesam, the Azhwars and the hymns rendered by them, attempt to enlighten players on Vaishnavism and the Azhwars. The inscriptions are categorised as Chozha Nadu; Nadu Naadu; Thondai Nadu; Vada Nadu; Malai Nadu; Pandiya Nadu and Melai Nadu.

How does one play the game? To begin with the cards are distributed equally among the players, varying from two to 12. “An extensive exercise, but it helps the players get familiar with the details about each shrine,” says Sampath. To proceed the instructions given on a separate card are followed.

It took Sampath three years to finish this innovative project. Beginning with the distribution of just 50 cards, the number gradually swelled up to 250. Sampath took care of designing, formatting and texting the cards, besides bearing the cost to bring out the finished product. Till date, he has distributed 3,000 boxes across the globe. His customers are found by word of mouth and through email. Even schools are listed on his customer index.

Ploughing the profit back into the pursuit of his passion, he has now created ‘Srimaan Paramapadha Yathra,' a board game with 132 squares, based on the traditional Paramapadam game. The snakes and ladders found in the original game are replaced with arrow marks in green and red with numbers on it. The game is for six people with the youngest one beginning it.

He also hit upon the idea of creating ‘Bhagavathkripai,’ the Monopoly-type game, which is in its nascent stage. Apart from these, he is also trying to design a game based on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Besides, Sampath has designed an online almanac, which gives the exact time of birth (IST) of a baby on furnishing the correct global time and nakshatram. He is planning to design it in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam, as of now.

To achieve these, he solicits financial assistance. For donation and other details contact T. Sampath (9790923211) or Srimaan Trust, Srirangam, (Ph: 91504 03470). Log on to www.srimaantrust.com.

His other initiatives

Sampath utilises his computer skills for web designing. He has created a portal bearing details of utsavams, upanyasams and religious activities, to be held at the Vaishnavite temples around the city. The details are sent through SMS once the dates are keyed in. One has to register as a member by paying an annual subscription of Rs.300. Sampath can be contacted through email srimaaninfotech@gmail.com for registration.


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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 9:56:52 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/divinity-now-childs-play/article6422720.ece