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Get ready for localised Monopoly

entertainment Updated: Mar 13, 2011 13:21 IST
Megha Mahindru

As Mumbai’s real estate bubble keeps getting bigger, two city girls have taken it upon themselves to place Mumbai’s valuable property market on board. Designers Hiral Malde (25) and Rashi Parikh (24) have created their own line of Monopoly, which will make you wager on locations like Phoenix Mills, Taj Hotel and Linking Road.

“We started the company when a friend asked us to design a monopoly for his fiancée. It was a game featuring the girl’s favourite brands and locations,” says Parikh of Hatke Gifts. Besides reinventing this popular game, the duo has also dabbled in customising Snakes and Ladders among others. Monopoly, first launched in 1935 in the US, was introduced in India by Funskool in 1995 and its UK version remains one of the bestselling games in the country till date, according to a sales representative at Landmark, Phoenix Mills. With over 12 versions of the board game available in the country, the game has also spawned many local versions like Business and the Nava Vyapari.

Parikh and Malde’s unique city-centric spin-off makes sure that miscreants don’t just go to any jail, but Arthur Road prison. The most expensive property on the duo’s board is Mukesh Ambani’s colossal 27-floor building, Antilia (Rs 320) and the chance and community chest cards in this game give mention to everything from Koliwada, to Kalbadevi Khau Galli. Ask her why the suburbs take a backseat on their board and Malde says, “Since we design as per order, we can make changes if required. If someone wants an area-specific one like a Bandra monopoly, we would be happy to do so.”

The duo admits that they had problems placing landmarks like the Siddhivinayak temple on the board. “We knew we couldn’t ignore it and we couldn’t place it on the board as placing a religious site for sale would offend people, so we decided to incorporate it in the chance cards section.” About offending makers of the game with their home-run enterprise, the designers seem a bit wary. “We wouldn’t want to get into a copyright mess since ours is a small business. The game is not our novel idea, it’s just our improvisation to make it more fun for Mumbaiites,” adds Malde.