A few months ago I was introduced to PubG by a family member who visited me in Delhi. The cousin in question is a successful and accomplished doctor in his thirties who would relieve the tension of this South Korean fighting game every night that he played live on the phone with his younger brother in Bengaluru, another cousin in the Middle East and my niece and her boyfriend in two different parts of Mumbai.

Absolutely not interested in the game, but very fascinated by this new means of communication, I have done my best to work according to a certain interest and I have failed.

You can see the Claedo family playing here.

A special games evening, organized by cricket legend Sunil Gawaskar (left), allowed him to play board games with his son Rohan and grandchildren Vivan and Reya. There’s a Claedo family playing here.
(Shivangi Kulkarni)

I express these thoughts while sitting in the house of cricketer Rohan Havascar in Mumbai. We are gathered here for a special game night for a family synonymous with Indian cricket. The legend Sunil Gavascar, 70, his son Rohan, 43, and his two grandchildren, Ray, 14, and Vivan, 10, are present in the room.

Calendar: no online games at all; only card and board games tonight!

All love

It takes me back to my younger years, when there was no television or other entertainment at home, so at weekends, the older children played Rammy and the younger children pulled Paanch, the teenager of Maharashtray (three times two times five), Sunil Gawaskar said. When we did cricket tricks – and on those days we travelled by train – the older kids played cards on the lower beds and the younger ones on the upper beds and listened to them, because even when they played cards they were always talking about cricket!

I think your grandchildren are your best stress reducers. I’m just thinking about what they said about my blood pressure! -Zonil Havascar

Rohan has his favorite games. As a child I played a lot of Ludo and Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit, says Rohan, but I try not to get into the dissonance with online games. That’s evolution, he says. Check out the graphics published by FIFA on PS4: so real and breathtaking. There is a thriving gaming community all over the world, and there are so many people making a living from it. Of course it is important to find a balance between screen time and a real sport or board game that honors your mental capabilities.

(To the right) Sunil Gavascar, Rohan’s son and Reya’s grandson, and Vivan spoil each other with a verbal game called Fletter, which Reya prefers to play with another game called Quicket (Shivangi Kulkarni).

Today’s game is a card game called Qwicket, designed for two players taking turns hitting and bowling, Sunil explains: I would describe the Quiqueta as a fight between a bowler and a drummer. I’m not saying fast bowlers don’t use strategy, but the general impression is that they only use violence. However, spinners use a strategy for each delivery, and it’s a battle here. Whichever side you’re on, you’re trying to think about what your opponent is going to propose and what to resist.

At the age of 10, Vivian invented her board game. If you reach the place where you fell in love, you will lose immediately! Ha-ha-ha! -Rohan Havascar

If the oldest Havascar explains the game well, after a few minutes of playing with the family it is clear that the real champion is the youngest Havascar present in the room. Vivian Gavascar, all 10 years old, has the family record for most Qwicket victories! And that’s not all: We learn that Vivian invented her own board game.

It’s a great game, Rohan said, every piece of proud father. It’s a bit like snakes and ladders, and you take turns doing a few laps around the track like a fool. But there’s a place where you fall in love and have to miss six moves at once, which largely means the game is over for you and you lose! Ha-ha-ha!

Cillian Mbappe is my favorite [soccer] player [even more than Messi and Ronaldo]! The others are older, and as soon as they leave, everyone will be talking about Mbapp! -Viwan Havascar

Rohan mocks the beautiful spirit that only a ten-year-old can have, but here we see a brilliant game. Between the shoots Vivaan beeps a magic cube and decides in 10 minutes or less. Who’s your favorite soccer player? Messi? Ronaldo? We’re asking a little soccer fan. I prefer Kaylian Mbappe, he says. The others are older, and as soon as they leave, everyone will be talking about Mbapp!

Raya is certainly more interested in Quiquett than most girls at their young age. But it also plays Fletter, which is a verbal game, and White Pucks, which is a mysterious game, Rohan said. You see a clear difference in what these two children want to play.

Sharp as a razor

Some kind of game is for the mind. It makes you think strategically. Other games like Candy Crush which aims to kill time. How do you respond to that?

Sometimes I wish there were video games when I was growing up. There’s eye-hand coordination, even when you’re playing on the screen, and as with a racket, it’s a skill that needs to be sharpened. -Sonil Havascar. -Sonil Havascar.

Rohan comes first and chooses pragmatism. There’s room for both, he says. There are times when you want to use your brain a little and play Scrabble, but there are also times when you want to sit in the airport lounge and play something like Candy Crush!

Has Sunil surrendered to these sometimes ill-considered online games?

Sunil Gavascar, son of Rohan and grandson of Vivaan and Reya, poses for a funny family portrait
Shivangi Kulkarni

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I sat with Vivan and watched him play against FIFA, even though he didn’t play against FIFA himself, Sunil Gawaskar said. When I see them playing, I wish they had these games when I was young. Hand-eye coordination is also present when you play on the screen, and just like with a racket, this is exactly the skill you need to refine your game to improve it. I’m not saying it would help me become a better athlete, but even with these video games, you should be able to respond quickly to different situations, while being able to respond to the person you’re playing with. As long as you’re not addicted to these games, they can help you keep your mind sharp and even develop a competitive instinct that is never bad in life.

Packing joker

What family traditions are so closely linked to Havascars, apart from the games and game nights?

We all travel honestly, so we try to make the most of birthdays and festivals, Sunil said. Theme birthday parties are the right thing to do. Reya had a very good case where everyone had to disguise themselves as a fictional character whose name begins with R. Now Vivian is thinking of doing the same, but I think V would be a little harsh.

There are times when you want to use your brain a little and play Scrabble, but there are also times when you want to sit in the airport lounge and play something like Candy Crush! -Rohan Havascar

The Havascar family also has a tradition of Secret Santa Clauses, we’ll find out. We choose the boys and have to receive gifts for the family member whose name we get, Rohan explains, and then laughs: The craziest gift I received last year was from my brother-in-law, who practically reused the gift without realizing that I had given it to him the year before.

Then Rohan reveals another habit of the Havascan family: Halloween!

We love the festival. We dress up, we scare each other and it’s so much fun, Rohan said. I think Halloween was Dad’s idea. For as long as I can remember, he’s always had the pleasure of scaring people. He’s been buying scary masks for 30 years! It doesn’t even have to be Halloween, it can appear out of nowhere with a mask and a white blanket to scare someone. It’s in his nature!

Father, Dear Father

Sunil Gavascar laughs. He’s guilty of the charges. Let’s put her in the spotlight. How is the joy of being a grandparent different from the joy of being a father?

I think the Halloween tradition in our family comes from my father. He’s been buying scary masks for 30 years! ” -Rohan Havascar

I think grandchildren are your biggest stressor, and I can tell you about the incident that could really prove it, he says. I went to the doctor for my annual checkup and the doctor thought I had high blood pressure. You have to wait, he said. I have to go back and continue my research. Meanwhile, I started thinking about what Ray and Vivan were talking about last night. The doctor came back after about 15 minutes and checked my blood pressure again: it was absolutely normal! Even the doctor was surprised!

Sunil Gavascar signs with his son Rohan in a new card game called Qwicket.

Sunil Havascar deals in a new card game called Qwicket with his son Rohan
Shivangi Kulkarni

He says it’s different to be a father. When Rohan was young, Marshneil and I traveled a lot, so the honor for his education goes to my parents, family, daughter-in-law, etc. I must say I’m very grateful to Marshneil for his training. I watch Rohan and Swati as they spend time with my children and I realize that I did not spend time as a father during that time. They’re both such loving parents!

And finally, what advice did each of the two gentlemen give his father?

Rohan begins: Mom and Dad always told me that dreams come true. Whatever you want to achieve, no matter how big your dreams are, they have the potential to come true, so never give up.

Sunil Gavascar continues: My father gave me the conviction that I must defend what I think is right. There were moments in my cricket career when I could cross the line, and he told me about it himself. He says: See, you did it because you thought you were right then, and because you were old enough to say you were wrong then. I’m looking forward to it. He showed me that loyalty to oneself and to the career one chooses is ultimately the most important thing!

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From 16. February 2020