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Ajit Kumar Pradhan

By Phool Singh Narvaria . Translated by Bhavesh Kumar and Anand Mahanand
Pagemaker Publication, Bhubaneswar, 2014, Rs. 60.00


Let’s solve the following riddle! Green was when young But turned red in old Just a small size girl But does many things bold. (Answer: Chilli)   Have you ever pondered the pleasure and excitement of solving a riddle? Would you like to explore a book on riddles? Riddles for the English Classroom is a unique collection of fifty-seven riddles by Dr. Phool Singh Narvaria, who is an experienced teacher educator from Gwalior, India and has documented numerous folk forms to use in the language classroom. Anand Mahanand is a faculty from the EFL University, Hyderabad and Bhavesh Kumar, a research scholar of the same university. The book has an appealing cover page, a foreword by Professor G. Rajagopal and a succinct preface by the translators. All the riddles have been presented in a unique pattern, where the original riddle in Hindi is provided first, followed by the English translation. Each riddle is accompanied by a picture.  Riddles are an integral part of every indigenous community’s speech and people generally use riddles for their daily communication. There is a need to use real life speeches and forms of communication like riddles in the classroom for the enhancement of language learning and teaching. Further, there is no doubt that learning should be a pleasurable journey. Riddles appeal to the students  ‘…because they offer an opportunity to experiment with language in unexpected and unusual ways’ (Buchoff, 1996). Almost all the riddles of the book are interesting and challenging. Here is an example: Ek bahadur aisa veer Gaane gakar mare teer. As brave as gallant a warrior around Pierces arrows with humming sound. (Answer: Machhar/ Mosquito) Riddles enhance cognitive and literary skills of the users. The book provides a wonderful platform to improve listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of the learners. After going through the riddles of the book, students can be encouraged to recollect their favourite riddles and explain logically how the riddles are their favourite ones. Further, students can be encouraged to create new riddles and/or write stories based on riddles. In this ways teachers can enhance literary and thinking skills.  All the riddles have been taken from the cultural background of the Indian readers, which make the riddles familiar and interesting, and also challenging. Here is an example:  Baap bado beta bado Nati barho amol, Pai panti bhaav Do kaudi ko mol Father is costly, so is son ...

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