For those of you who do not know- Parama Padam is the local South Indian version of Snakes and Ladders with a very Indian mythological flavour. The game is most popularly played by people trying to stay awake on the night of Vaikunta Ekadasi (an auspicious day – it is supposed that a person who dies on that day gets a direct access path to Heaven) . So the rule goes that people play this game which also gives the winner first access to gameboard heaven.
We picked up a brand new gameboard (made of cloth actually) but the traditional paper ones are way more interesting with a lot more characters (especially in the highest row- as you get closer to heaven).
Now almost everyone has played snakes and ladders and it is a given that during the course of the game you get tripped and pushed down by a minimum of a couple of snakes at least. But Parama Padam (especially as the only other time I played it was when I was about 7) seemed especially vicious.
Unlike traditional snakes and ladders all the snakes on the board have names of mythological ‘Asuras’ (monsters) thereby giving them strong personalities. Whereas some of them are almost apologetic about sending you a couple of rows downwards, there are others who are positively grinning in anticipation of eating you up.
Notice situation below
It was not long before Red met the same fate as the Blue and Green and landed up at the bottom.
Now if this happened once or twice I could live with it, but it was almost like being caught in a time warp and the three of us kept going through the same situation over and over again. We sensibly decided to stop before things turned violent.
I think I can understand how someone could have devised a game as cruel as this to make people stay up all night trying to finish the game. But if things did get violent and somebody did die, then they would get into heaven anyway, or at least that’s what the Anaconda says…….