Games we lost!

Girls playing kabaddi

Few days back as a part of CSR (Corporate Social responsibility) activity by Cisco India, our team went to a local school for underprivileged children to spend some quality time with them by interacting, learning and playing together.

We thought of interacting with children in usual way of teaching them something or quizzing them with fun questions, so that they win exciting prizes!

Umesh interacting with children at school

But to our surprise, the NGO that was helping us with this initiative had also called up people from Ima recreations. Ima, the creator of Ima recreations, has an expertise in using classic games as a tool to facilitate  team building, strategy building and socializing with any age group.

Few games we played

Getting to be a part of some of these traditional games was a breath of fresh air. It is difficult to express in words how much fun it was to re-live those childhood experiences of group and board games.

This reminded of all the games I used to play as a child and how these days my niblings can’t come out of their digital devices. Although, I have been a big fan of digital games and wanted to be a game developer at one point in time(that’s a separate story), but we can’t deny the impact over use of digital devices has on the human mind (specially children).

So, in this new year, I’ll be teaching my nieces one new game every time I visit my hometown and see if that can reduce their screen time.

We played a few games which I had never heard of, like 9 men’s morris, Kalah/Pallan Kuzhi. If you know more such games, please comment below. I am looking for more suggestions of games suitable for 4-12 year olds.

Moving code related blogs to CodeSmith¬†started with the intent to share my knowledge (whatever little I gain over time) with the world, to document my learnings, so that people don’t end up re-inventing the wheel and waste their precious time on following all the paths that lead to a dead end. It also was a way for me to write about my experiences in life, whether it is with music, sports, technology, languages or even the philosophy of philanthropy (more on that some other time).

As the number of visitors increased, the maintenance cost for this blog also increased and I thought of putting a few ads which could fetch me enough money to pay for the domain and hosting space. The ads, did start to pay for the domain, but I always felt weird about putting ads on a personal blog. I think that a personal blog in itself is an advertisement of oneself and then putting extra ads on top of that is just not fair.

So, I have decided to write all the technical, code related articles in a separate blog, by the name of ““. It’ll serve two purposes.

First, it’ll be a revenue generating blog. A place where I can share my knowledge and don’t feel guilty about putting a few ads for some profit, so that it pays up for both and itself. Secondly, it’ll provide a space to few of my friends who wanted to write about something but did not want to create their own blog for that purpose. will only have articles that are related creating software, everything else that I ever want to write will be here on this blog and going forward, I will remove all ads from this space.

Must Know Kannada Words

A lot of people (mostly software professionals) move to Karnataka(mainly Bangalore) everyday for job or business related purpose. Although most of the people here understand and speak English, still there are times when you are out in the market or with some Kannadiga (hailing from the state of Karnataka) friends or trying to explain your watchman/electrician/maid etc about something and you wish if you knew a bit of Kannada. I have been in Karnataka for almost 2 years now and have found that life will be much easier if one knows a few Kannada words. Below is the list of Kannada words that one must know, with their English meanings.

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