Charu Smitha Rao and Neelacantan Balasubramanian, Bengaluru-based business partners have developed Devabhaasha, a Sanskrit card game with the vision of promoting Sanskrit. This game will soon be launched and sold all across the country.
The ideation of this game happened 18 months ago, around the start of the pandemic. Talking to the Times of India, Charu says
“We always thought about how to revive our cultural roots/language and have made games before to promote Kannada. My partner, Neel, was interested in learning Sanskrit and brainstormed with an expert in the language, and we developed the idea for DevaBhaasha”
The couple wanted to make the game for people who don’t have any familiarity with the language or its grammar. However, while building the game’s logic, they realized that picking up Sanskrit was difficult without knowing about the language’s grammar. Therefore, they made it with a ‘language-first approach’ which is aided by using a combination of colors, symbols, and patterns which eases the process of sentence formation for the player.
According to TOI, “The multi-player game requires the participants to draw cards and collect a set of words that will help them form a grammatically correct sentence in Sanskrit. The players also have opportunities to challenge each other and collect extra points to win.”
Both Charu and Neel work with multinational companies and they run a product/experience-development firm. They together started this new firm a few years ago when they felt that there are elements of our culture which could be reimagined to make them fun and interesting to outsiders. This would not only highlight Bharat’s culture around the world but also help Bharatiyas who are oblivious to the richness of their past.
For the launch of the game, the couple has readied 500 sets of the card game and it will be sold at a price of Rs. 1,700. The game was also one of the winners of the national Toycathon of 2021.