The ancient game that saved a village
The green paint on the walls of Marottichal’s village teashop had started to flake, like coin scrapings on a scratch card, exposing a light blue tone of a bygone era. Perhaps this was once a rowdy bar or beer shop. But not anymore. Mr Unnikrishnan, the teashop’s owner, sat opposite me at one of the wooden tables, his dark eyes fixated on the chequered board that lay between us with an intimidating intensity.