Walk of Life


The Walk of Life game is premised upon the ancient Indian card game called Ganjifa deriving its narrative from the ten earthly incarnations of Lord Vishnu called Dashavatar. The avatars are also considered as the evolution of mankind: from fish to amphibian to mammal to human, and to a deity. The gameplay manifests into an introspective exercise holding the players accountable for their actions and intent. It allows players to equalise their existing deeds of their Bad Karma with Good Karma. The act of playing the game Walk of Life is a reflective exercise by building a community that is vulnerable yet comforting.


Khoj International Artists Association, New Delhi, India

Manchester Museum, Manchester

Fed @ KCAD Galleries, Michigan

South Bank Centre, London

Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai

Vlerick Business School, Ghent, Belgium

Waltham Forest Council, London



1. Unbox the board game. Gather all the components to begin the game.

  • a - Avatar Cards
  • b - 2 Karma stamps and 1 Ink pad
  • c - Game Board
  • d - 2 Number Dice and 1 Yuga Die
  • e - 9 Avatar pegs
  • f - 1 Karma Record Book
  • g - Game Manual

Game Board Key

1. Yuga/ Avatar Milestones

The game is played in 4 YUGAS, marked by . Lord Vishnu seeks 10 incarnations called “Dashavatar” , in each Yuga to restore good world order. Positioned on the board as follows:

SATYA YUGA: an era of truth, the golden age

TRETA YUGA: virtue and morality starts to diminish

DWAPARA YUGA: an era of part sin-part virtue

KALI YUGA: an era of darkness

  • 120. Kalki - derived from Kal, meaning time is prophesied as the 10th avatar - will appear at the end of Kali Yuga.
  • 2. ACTIONS
  • Super Sin: an offensive act
  • Super Karma: good deeds, pious activity
  • Yuga Curse: curses-based on the 4 Yugas, that increases from Satya Yuga to Kali Yuga
  • Avatar Blessing: a favor, power, boon, mercy, benefit based on avatar narratives
  • Curse: an offensive, evil act based on avatar narratives
  • Immunity


A. Prerequisite

  1. Appoint a record keeper to maintain the Karma Book.
  2. Each player picks one avatar card at random and reads it out loud. Pick your avatar peg accordingly.
  3. Numbers (1, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96) on the game board after every 12 steps are avatar milestones.
  4. The Yuga Die is used to start the game. Only Satya Yuga can open the game.
  5. Afterward, use both the number dice to play from 1 to 108.
  6. The instructions about the actions at every number (1-108) can be read either on the board or in the game manual.
  7. Use one die to play from 108-120 (Remember to follow the instructions written next to the step you land on)
  8. You are safe from all curses/ sins on your immunity numbers (to be read on avatar card).
  9. You stay safe on every IMMUNITY IMMUNITY

B. How to Start

  1. Any player can start by rolling the Yuga die.
  2. If,
    • a) the player obtains Satya Yuga, you can roll the numbered dice together to begin the gameplay.
    • b) the player fails to obtain Satya Yuga, the next player rolls the Yuga die.

C. How to play

Phase 1 - Satya, Treta, Dwapara Yuga Number 1 to 108

  1. Roll the two numbered dice and move along the marked numbers on the board.
  2. If you land on an Avatar Blessing/ Curse/ Yuga curse/ Super Sin/ Super Karma actions follow the actions written on the board.
  3. Every time you land on/ cross an avatar milestone (1, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96), you perform Good/ Bad/ Neutral karma (refer to Karma Table)
  4. Possible actions: when you are moved by another player:
    • a) If you land on an avatar milestone: perform your karma in your next turn after rolling the numbered dice. Dice Dice
    • b) If you are moved ahead of an avatar milestone: you lose an opportunity to perform the karma.
    • c) If you are sent behind an avatar milestone: you perform the karma, whenever you cross a milestone later on your turn.
    • If you land on Avatar Blessing/ Curse/ Yuga curse/ Super Sin/ Super Karma, the action will be applicable to you.
  5. As you reach 108: pause, calculate your good/ bad karma.

Note: No karma is performed here. Now, read PHASE 2, for the second part of the game.

D. Phase 2

You have entered Kali Yuga - the age of sin, darkness, misery and ignorance. Also, our current times, where the vice is overshadowing the virtues. But, there is still hope.

Kali Yuga - Number 108 to 120, you can only play with one die now.

  1. Redeem your good/bad karma. Upon calculation by record keeper. If,
    • a) Your score is Positive, you automatically moves forward by the same number as good karma points and thereafter play according to the good karma chart. (click to view)
    • Your score is Negative, you play according to the bad karma chart. (click to view)
    • c) If your karma is balanced (0): you play according to good karma.

Note: Other players who have not reached 108, play as it is. No player from phase 1 can impact players in phase 2 and vice versa.

E. End of the Era

The first player to reach 120, destroys all darkness to restore the good world order as KALKI, incarnated as the 10th Avatar of Vishnu.

  • Instructions AS on GameBoard

    Satya Yuga

    1 - 11 Matsya Avatar

    Matsya punishes you with two bad karma for not bringing all the species onto the boat while helping Manu.


    Matsya Avatar Blessing!
    Cruise on the boat along with Manu and move to the next avatar milestone.

    12 - 23 Kurma Avatar

    Super karma
    You retrieved a boon from “Ocean Churning” to become a Chiranjeevi (immortal). You are immune from all curses.

    You poisoned (Vish) another player of your choice. Receive two bad karma.


    You have received the pot of Amrit which gives you immunity from one Yuga Curse.

    24 - 35 Varaha Avatar

    Super karma
    You can rescue a player who is lagging behind, only if you obtain more than 8 on the dice. That player moves by 3 steps and you get a good karma.

    Mother Earth has cursed you for not retrieving her from water in time. Drink at least 1L of water to dissolve one bad karma.


    Varaha Avatar Blessing!

    36 - 47 Narsimha Avatar

    Super karma
    The Universe didn’t forgive you for trying to kill your own son. It sent 4 bad karma your way!

    Super Sin
    Your devotion to the Universe has sent you 3 good karma.


    Demons Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha (brothers) are trying to kill you for being faithful. Hide yourself, miss the next two turns.


    48 - 59 Vamana Avatar

    Super Sin
    You have inherited the sins of your forefathers. Receive 3 bad karma.

    You are sent to the netherworld (patal lok). Go back 3 places.


    Vamana Avatar Blessing!
    You get to power jump 3 steps ahead of the leading player only till 108.

    People around you are becoming ferocious beings. You have become one too. Take one player’s bad karma on yourself.

    60 - 71 Parshurama Avatar


    Kamdhenu (cow) emerged from ocean churning. You are cursed to go back to Kurma milestone (12) for not saving her from kings’ army. Churn her again from the ocean.

    Super karma
    You restored cosmic equilibrium, move forward by 21 steps.

    Aggression and warfare have got you 5 bad karma.

    One Good Karma for training all players to become great warriors.

    72 - 83 Rama Avatar


    You defended your stepmother Kaikeyi, in good faith and got one good karma. But she sent you 14 steps back in exile.

    Super Karma
    Recite your avatar’s name 10 times to dissolve one bad karma.

    You asked a player to undergo trial by fire (Agni Pariksha). 3 bad karma to you, one good karma to that player for being faithful and obeying to you.

    Rama Avatar Blessing!
    Lord Hanuman fetched Sanjeevani (healing herb) for you. Dissolve one bad karma.

    Dwapara YUGA

    84 - 95 Krishna Avatar

    Super Karma
    You sacrificed all of your good Karma to a player of your choice. Move 18 steps forward.

    Power and Control corrupt the mind. You wish to destroy everything that comes your way. 3 Bad karma to you.

    You were silent while they disrobe Draupadi and incurred Krishnaʼs wrath.
    Plead with all players by giving up 50% of your good karma points.

    Krishna Avatar Blessing!
    You have the power to stop time. You can pause everyone but one player, choose your Arjuna, and move to Milestone108.


    96 - 108 Buddha Avatar


    Buddha Avatar Blessing!
    Closer to enlightenment now, move to Milestone 108.

    Yuga Curse
    All other players have caused you a lot of suffering (dukka). One bad karma to each player.

    Your ego is too inflated. Skip a turn to meditate for a minute (Dhayana).


SATYA YUGA (1-47) Send a player 3 steps ahead Send a player 3 steps back Miss a turn
TRETA YUGA (48-83) Send a player 6 steps ahead Send a player 6 steps back Miss a turn
DWAPARA YUGA (84-107) Send a player 12 steps ahead Send a player 12 steps back Miss a turn


1. SEVA: You just stepped on a hidden treasure and distributed it to the needy. Move one bonus step (+1) 1. SUFFER: Make real-life confessions about a sin (envy, theft, guilt, rage etc.) you have committed for two rounds. Move a step ahead only if every player agrees. If not, you must wait in suffering.
2. ONENESS: You have seen the truth. You wrote a book on the oneness of all religious teachings, spreading the message of peace and love amongst all. Move one bonus step. (+1) 2. REPENT: You used a bio- weapon to win the war and now you are repenting. Roll one number die and donate the steps to another player (playing in phase 2).
3. GOOD DEED: Spill the Good- Samaritan Beans. Tell everyone about one good deed you did for unselfish reasons to help someone and move a step forward. (+1) 3. MISDEED: Dishonesty, violence, and crime have made you a demon. Put an end to the player of your choice.
4. PEACE: You have found eternal peace. Keep smiling non-stop till the end of the round. Move one step ahead. (+1) 4. SPIRITUALITY: Not everyone has to suffer through their bad karma. You can seek the support of the cosmic consciousness, your 'god'. Your prayers are heard, from now you seek blessings under a good karma chart.
5. WELFARE: You donated all your money for social welfare. Move a step forward. (+1) 5. MISCONDUCT: You disobeyed your Guru, and hampered the relationship of Guru and Shishya. Miss a turn.
6. CODE OF CONDUCT: The universe rewards you for always doing good karma by making you move two steps forward. (+2) 6. DEBT: You want to do social service. Take someone else’s bad karma on yourself, thereby clearing all karmic debts. Now you both play under Good Karma.