By Sharon Thomas
Last Saturday, hundreds of Uno geeks gathered at Raasta in Khar, their hands tightly gripping the pack of seven cards as each rushed to get rid of them.
“What fun to watch people socialising over decks of cards in their hands,” smiled Vernon Almeida, manager of rooftop restaurant Raasta, where the indoor gaming was organised.
As he waited in queue to register his name on Saturday afternoon, Dhruv Talreja, one of the participants, said, “We wait for weekends like these and it just doesn’t happen every time.”
Jatin Varma, founder of Comic Con, which planned the indoor card gaming event, said in recent years board games and table-top games have made a comeback and they wanted to do an Uno championship for fans in the city.
“I thought I was insane with the kind of obsession I had towards playing Uno. Looking at all the people gathered here, I’m relieved I am not the only one,” said 34-year-old Gayathri Singh. As she counts the remaining cards in her deck, the homemaker adds, “I sometimes get lucky and ‘wild’ in it.”
With Bob Marley singing in the background, players went through their red, blue, green and yellow cards, with their game face on.
Renita D’Silva (12) murmured, “I want to play but I play Uno with my own rules.” Her 20-year-old sibling Rai D’Silva seconded her, “We make our own rules to play Uno. But this is some serious fun.”
According to one of the organisers, Abhishek V, Uno is a game battle, where people become friends over a game. “Uno unlike other card games is a representation of today’s youth and popular culture,” he said.
Medical student Harsha M came out of her study circle for the first time in two years to participate in the gaming event. “I am always studying. The only time I take a break is when I play Uno with my family,” she said, adding that the Uno championship is a novel platform to meet like-minded people.
Like her, Rachana Rautray, a 26-year-old corporate lawyer, said the game brought back her law school memories. For her, age difference is not a barrier while playing the game.
The restaurant had allocated four tables for the gaming event, each occupied by a group of 10. “The youngest person at the table begins the game, and that came to my advantage,” said Jean Fernandez (19), who won one of the rounds.
Restaurant manager Almeida plans to have more such gaming events in future. As twilight approached, the tables brimmed with crowd, each player trying his luck and using tricks to win the game. People who lost kept making smaller groups and went on playing, as the finalists played a final game to select a winner.
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