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Check out these puzzles inspired by the spirit of Mumbai


Love the process, they say, the results will follow. As adults, with our eyes always fixated on an end goal, we often forget to enjoy the journey. Jigsaw puzzles, tucked away in the back of this writer’s head as fond childhood memories, made a return to remind us of the need to break away from the hustle culture from time to time, and check in with the inner child to keep the spark of creativity alive.

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Jigsaw Nation, a Pune-based firm that focuses on Indianising puzzles and promoting artists, has launched their latest designs, some of which take inspiration from the spirit of Mumbai. We tried our hands at three of these — Kaali Peeli, Bombay Meri Jaan and GSLV MKIII.

The puzzles are packed with minimal plastic usage

“Jigsaw Nation was founded after our board games venture, Bored Games Company. One of my brothers resides in the Middle East. When board games were not easily available in India, he would bring games like Catan for us. Now, it is very popular. But back in the day, our friends and relatives would demand him to bring a copy. We saw a gap in the Indian board games market, and launched the venture in 2018. Initially, we would only sell Western-themed games with required Asian/Indian modifications. In 2020, we started publishing our own games, as well as launched Jigsaw Nation,” says Murtaza Bookwaala, who co-founded the ventures with his brothers Aziz and Moiz.

Moiz, Murtaza and Aziz Bookwala

These puzzles, he says, are aimed at promoting the art culture in India. “We get artists to collaborate and design with us. By solving these puzzles, you owe an artwork that you have contributed to as well. This evokes a sense of connection with the artist, the artwork and the puzzle,” he shares.

The first puzzle we took up was Bombay Meri Jaan by Jit Chowdhary. The 150-piece rectangle design is a nostalgic ride around Mumbai — from Kaali Peeli and double decker bus, to vada pav, cutting chai, Mumbai dabbawala, and heritage sites like Marine Drive, Bandra-Worli Sea Link, BSE and BMC buildings, among others. We were impressed by the attention to detail in the curves and arcs of every element. It took us over an hour to solve this.

This writer suggests starting by assembling the corner pieces of the jigsaw puzzle first

“When we began our city series, the first one was Bengaluru. The next one had to be Mumbai because it is our second home. We have so many friends, family members and memories in the city,” Bookwala explains. Next in line was the tiniest and the most difficult of the three — Kaali Peeli by Murtaza Bookwala. This one came in a re-designed match box. Although it had 150 pieces, they were smaller than a fingernail. It took us two nights to solve it, and we lost two pieces in the process.

“I am an avid match box collector. In a country where languages and cultures change every few kilometres, so do the matchbox designs. I have always seen them as pieces of art, and decided to re-design them for our latest matchbox series. The next launch for these should be out by August,” Bookwala informs us.

GSLV MK III

With Kaali Peeli out of the way, GSLV MK III felt like a cakewalk. This one, we learn, was permitted to be released by ISRO’s official merchandise venture A47. The rocket in frame, Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, was selected as a launch vehicle for Chandrayaan 2.  We further discover that these pieces are made of non-toxic inks and 90&#37 recyclable material. “We avoid plastic usage as much as we can. In case we need to, we try to ensure it is in a reusable form,” Bookwala explains.

Kaali Peeli makes part of the venture’s latest the matchbox series. Pics/Devanshi Doshi 

With their target audience in their teenage years and above, the group aims to promote art and play through these puzzles. Another such popular series features artworks by iconic cartoonist Mario Miranda. They also facilitate custom prints of up to 1,000 pieces. These puzzles are a mix of appealing, theme-based original designs. Overall, they help you achieve your digital detox goals, and also account for a good brain workout. 

Log on to: jigsawnation.com

Also check out

>> Mumbai from space jigsaw puzzle with A2 frame
Cost Rs 3,050
Log on to indicinspirations.com

>> Bombay local, 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle
Cost Rs 3,499
Log on to surabhibanerjee.com

>> Mumbai puzzle, Kala Ghoda district (hand-painted)
Cost Rs 300 
Log on to knowyourart.in

>> Mumbai skyline India Bombay #30 jigsaw puzzle
Cost Rs 2,400
Log on to fineartamericaa.com

1,600
students made the largest jigsaw puzzle in 2011 measuring 14.8 x 23.20 m

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