From susheel brides to wealthy grooms, this board game by a Pakistani-origin designer takes a hilarious dig at arranged marriages in India.
If you’re single and nearing your mid-twenties, you have our sympathies. Not because you’re lonely and cry yourself to sleep every night, but because you’ll soon be on the receiving end of ‘beta, shaadi kab karoge’ and a similar barrage of questions by immediate as well as not-so-immediate family members.
But if you’re already surrounded by photos of potential wealthy grooms or fair-complexioned susheel brides, your local rishta aunty is not going to stop until a match is made.
A New York-based Pakistani-origin designer, Nashra Balagamwala, is advising you to run while you can.
Or at least confront the struggles of an arranged marriage in a very lighthearted setting – through a board game called Arranged!.
Nashra grew up in a conservative family in Pakistan, where she was expected to get married to someone of their choice and have children at a young age. However, she left the country to live independently in New York some five years ago to become a designer. Using inspiration from her personal experience, she created this board game.
The game has three female protagonists and a Rishta Aunty. The Aunty’s ultimate goal, as usual, is to get the girls married. The more the girl fits her definition of ‘marriage material’, the closer she gets to her.
The girls, on the other hand, try their best to get rid of Rishta Aunty by doing everything she doesn’t want them to do – become career oriented, gain weight or roam around with boys in a mall.
They even blackmail her by digging her dirty secrets – like her 23-year-old daughter who is still unmarried!
This is when the Golden Boy makes an entry. He is the game-changer, and the women now compete to get his attention. Whoever gets to marry the ‘green-eyed, light skinned, CEO of a business with a foreign passport’, wins.
Through this game, Nashra wants to call out the hypocrisy of Indian society when it comes to marriage and provide a platform for people to discuss the issues that come with it.
She started a Kickstarter campaign to have sufficient funds to manufacture the game, and contributors have been pouring in since.