Choose your favorite arena among yellow, green, red, and blue, roll the dice, wait for a six to start the run and do-or-die for your four tokens. When was the last time when you played the famous board game- LUDO? I played it a few days ago in Dubai at Tea Junction Cafe & Lounge. It was humorously stress-busting. Trust me, for once I felt I was a child again. When we were young, my cousins and I would play it for hours in the hot summers at my grandmother’s house when the adults retired for the afternoon nap. And I remember my Nanaji telling me that Ludo was a modern name to our ancient Indian game called ‘Pachisi’.
I had no clue where were we headed until they parked the car near this cafe. I aren’t a tea person but this Tea Junction looked interesting and inviting. We wanted to sit down and chat and the open-air seating arrangement seemed just right for I wanted for the evening. We chose a cozy corner and stretched out. The weather was absolutely lovely. In November-December, Dubai reallu sells like a hot-cake among travelers because its very cool and pleasant at this time of the year. When I looked around, I could see the famous and the highest one, Burj Khalifa from the table. This beautiful, iconic structure watches upon everyone, everywhere in Dubai.
My friends from AND EVENTS live in Dubai and thus they often explore new places to chill out and relax. This is their new find for chai and games. They call it the new adda. Their fondness for this place was quite evident because they din’t even have to refer to the menu to go for the orders. Kesar chai, bread pakodas and garlic chicken was ordered almost immediately saving a lot of time. By the time, our food arrived on the table, we chatted around personal and professional things. The comparisons between India and rest of the places and the political scenes can never be missed out if Indians are meeting in any part of the world. We do not forget our pains anywhere. In a little while, the conversation zeroed in to our mundane lifestyles. When food arrived, we took a break, forgot about our worries and got back to our cheerful selves. I told you food does that too everyone!
The tea was really good and the chicken snack was yum. I also dug in the bread pakoda. Just then, Neha said, lets just play Ludo, we often do that here.
Ludo, Really? It sounded absolutely familiar but no less, a thing of the past. It had been ages since I had played it. The moment the board game arrived, I was nostalgic. It reminded me of my cousins and our childhood plays. The ludo made of cardboard was replaced by a steel and magnet one. It looked quite colorful and jazzy but we did not approve of it because it had no stop-points. We told the guy to bring us another one because this was not the one we had grown up playing. Soon he was back with another one, (top most picture) and we jumped in to start a real game. And we couldn’t stop hence-forth…
After two consecutive rounds of running around on the board game, I curiously walked inside the cafe to have a look -around. In the inside, I was surprised to discover that it had lots of space to itself. Quite contrary to the tiny tea points, I could see that this place celebrated tea and beverages grandly. The comforting couches and the appealing décor exuded comfort and warmth.
While I was back, a new game of Ludo was already on our minds. Keeping all our thoughts and stress at bay, we rolled the dice and played non-stop for a total of 5 hours. Believe me, it was one thrilling. We played our strategies to come first, ganged up against each other and even took double rounds to chase each other. Half way down the journey, when someone stepped on the same block, it really hurt to return home and start again. But this was almost like a lesson for life, that one should keep trying even if you have to start from scratch again and again. The take-away for the day was that we laughed like kids and rolled in laughter. I had no clue that game of Ludo could be one amazing stress-buster. Trust me people, just go and buy a ludo and play it with friends and family on weekends. You will thank me later.
Since we played non-stop, the tea was ordered once again. This time we asked for some puffs too. The tea was definitely a winner once again with every ingredient distinctively talking about its own existence, the puffs were not that great. Overall, the cafe menu promises some interesting coffees, fruit juices, and tea based mock-tails. I could see it thrive among the Indian and young audience. Most tables around us were taken by tea lovers. Some were working on their laptops and there were many inside the house enjoying sheesha. After 4 games of Ludo, we turned the board and revisited memories of another famous childhood game –Snakes and ladders. It was super-fun!!
This game was equally addictive and refreshing. We left our minds behind and only played with the sole aim to win. Every time we rolled the dice, it gave us new hopes but at the end it was the dice which decided the course for each one of us. Yes, that’s whats we called luck. The vicious circle of life was quite evident in here. We climbed up through the ladder, rejoiced with an extra turn and then were bitten by the snake – forced to come down to start again. I am amazed to see the reflection of life in these board games. They had so much to teach us. Anyways, lets not get into this because this. I just want to emphasize on the point that the evening turned beautiful because of the board game. And we not only played but we fought, we shouted and laughed in the great company of the each other. It bonded us more and for the better. So next time when you see a kid playing snakes and ladder, just jump in to play!!!
Tea Junction Cafe, Oud Metha, Dubai which happens to be at a T-junction definitely wins my recommendation. I will distinctly remember it for the milky brew of its tea and for being our cozy den that evening.
This post could also be dedicated to
#InternationalTeaDay or #Stressfreedays