I looked at my cousin as his fingers moved effortlessly across the mobile screen. His vision fixed. His posture straight. Concentration level infinity.
"Yessss!!" he exclaimed silently. "Candy Crush. Kaafi addictive hai," he said sheepishly looking at me.
I smiled back. I knew what it felt like to be addicted to a game.
After all, I belonged to an era that had experienced Saanp-seedhi and Carrom.
They might be called board games but that was the one thing they always managed to save us from. Getting bored.
To a generation dealing with Candy Crush requests and online Poker, these board games might come across as an aberration. But back in the day, we were more hooked to these games than Game Of Thrones.
The fact was that these weren't just board games. They were life lessons in dealing with heartbreaks and anxiety. Back then, they taught us that life isn't always fair.
Yes, we have many high-end video games today. We have the latest Playstations and the graphics look almost human.
But kids these days will never understand the jubilance of getting a six in a game of Saanp-Seedhi or Ludo.
Kids these days won't understand what it feels like chasing the rani in an intense game of Carrom.
They'll never understand the agony of going to jail in a game of Monopoly.
No IIM could've taught us business better than the board game, well, Business.
More than half the 90s kids owe their vocabulary to Scrabble while the reason why we hate Candy Crush is because we've already played Chinese Checkers.
And can we thank Life enough for giving us a glimpse of what our adult lives would look like?
What made all these board games all the more endearing was the fact that they helped generate an unparalleled amount of camaraderie amongst family members and friends.
They brought families closer. Unlike games today that, more often than not, alienate the players from their surroundings.
I recently tried to play the digitized versions of these games. Yes, they are available online. The graphics were nice, the rules were the same but unfortunately, the warmth and the nostalgia was missing.