The concept of arranged marriages is not old, dying one in Pakistan. Even though children are now allowed to voice their opinions, in many families marriage is still a decision made by the elders of the individual.
Working on the concept of arranged marriages, Nashra Balagamwala has created an amazingly creative board game. Nashra is a 24 years old freelancer. She specializes in game designing.
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Nashra was born in Karachi and studied in Rhode Island School of Design. Professionally she worked with Hasbro, Inc. She said, “I’ve been ‘designing games’ since I was a little girl. My cousin and I would buy several games, throw out the rules and then create our own versions of the game. I never thought it would be a career choice though until I took a game design class in college, and that’s when I knew it was the perfect medium for me to express my thoughts.”
On her experiences with the arranged marriage, she said, “I’ve been through experiences very similar to most Pakistani girls. Our parents have raised in us in ways that make us appealing to rishta aunties. We’ve all grown up hearing ‘don’t dress like that, don’t sit like that, everyone’s watching you etc.’ I was tired of being judged by the color of my skin, my ability to cook a perfectly round roti, or make a good cup of chai. So in an effort to vent my anger, I turned it into a board game.”
The game works like this
Now the game begins with a Rishta Aunty who is after three single girls. She wants them to marry less suitable men which include mam’s boy or a womanizer.
In order to get away from the Rishta Aunty, the girl draws from the deck of cards that is filled with unconventional things that can allow the girl to escape from the Rishta. This includes hanging out with male friends or photoshopping a picture in which she is drinking alcohol.
The Rishta aunty has her own cards that keep her close to the girl which includes “girl whose parents have been collecting dowry for 10 years” or the “girl with childbearing hips”
The game finally ends when all the girls are married.
Here is how you can buy this game