Written by: Deepa Venkitesh

Riddles are fun. Learning Hindi language riddles is no different. There are many types of riddles or ‘pahelis’ in Hindi. Words are often twisted or synonyms used to challenge the listener to find the right answer to the riddle.

Brain Teasers

A Hindi paheli is similar to riddles in other languages. Children ask each other riddles in school which helps to improve critical thinking and increase knowledge. Riddles also serve as healthy entertainment. Riddles in the Hindi language are very popular.

There are many types of riddles in Hindi. In some types, the letters are twisted and the answer lies within the words. These resemble the cryptic clues in a crossword. In other types, the functions are described, which gives a hint about the answer. There are both simple and complex riddles. The simple ones are usually about objects like the clock, newspaper or lock. The complex ones involve philosophical thoughts or religious concepts. Riddles are still relevant in Hindi literature. The Hindi teacher, often, asks riddles to keep the class lively and test the I.Q. of the students. Learning Hindi language in classes can be made more interesting with the help of riddles.

A Question about Time

पैर नहीं हैं,

पर चलती रहती,

दोनों हाथों से अपना मुंह पोंछती रहती।

{ घड़ी। }

I do not have legs/

but I run always/

I wipe my face with my hands.

Answer- clock.

This is a simple riddle for young children. Hints can be provided to help them solve the riddle, which will increase their self-confidence. The children can also be asked to write down the words of riddle to practice spelling.

Daily News

सुबह-सुबह ही आता हूँ,

दुनिया की खबर सुनाता हूँ,

बिन मेरे उदास हो जाते,

सबका प्यारा रहता हूँ।

{ अख़बार }

I come in the early morning/

I give news about the world/

without me, all are sad/

I am dear to one and all.

Answer- newspaper.

Newspapers are known as ‘akhbaar’ in Hindi. News is ‘khabhar’. This riddle has been in circulation for long. This riddle falls into the simple category with straight clues. Students can be taught small details about newspapers, in general. Students who are not native Hindi speakers can also be taught the pronounciation of words.

When the ______ Blows

मुझे उलट कर देखो,

लगता हूँ मैं नौ जवान,

कोई अलग न रहता मुझसे,

बच्चा, बूढ़ा और जवान॥

{ वायु }

Turn me over/

I become young/

no one is unfamiliar to me/

be it a boy, old man or youth.

Answer- wind

This riddle involves a play with words. A young person is known as ‘नौ जवान’-youth. This word is not a direct clue because the answer is a synonym of ‘नौ जवान’- युवा. The synonym should be spelt in the opposite way to get the right answer, which is वायु or wind. The last line – ‘बच्चा, बूढ़ा और जवान’ indicates that there are universal factors common to all people.

How Many?

तीतर के दो आगे तितर,

तीतर के दो पीछे तीतर,

बोलो कितने तीतर।

{ तीन। }

Two birds before one/

two birds behind one/

tell me how many birds are there?

Answer- three

A simple play with numbers is done to test the ability of the child to solve the riddle. There are a lot of riddles in this category and the characters are usually animals or birds, which children find it interesting.

Sing Along

आदि कटे तो गीत सुनाऊँ

मध्य कटे तो संत बन जाऊँ

अंत कटे साथ बन जाता

संपूर्ण सबके मन भाता

{ संगीत }

Cut the first part and I become a song

cut the middle and I become a saint

cut the end and I become a companion

in my full form, I entertain all.

Answer- Music

The word, sangeet-’संगीत’ or music in Hindi is divided into small words. These words are the clues which the person should join together to get the answer. This riddle is fairly easy to solve.

The Safety Check

कान घुमाए बंद हो जाऊँ,

कान घुमाए खुल जाता हूँ,

रखता हूँ मैं घर का ख्याल,

आता हूँ मैं सब के काम,

कोई बताए मेरी नाम॥

{ ताला }

Turn my ear and I will close

turn my ear and I will open

I look after the house

I am of use to all

tell me my name

Answer- Lock

A riddle of recent times, it uses direct clues like safety, house and turning the ear to help the person to solve it. Words like, ‘ख्याल’-care, can be used in sentences to explain the concept more clearly.

Spilt Milk

ऊपर से नीचे बहता हूँ,

हर बर्तन को अपनाता हूँ,

देखो मुझको गिरा न देना

वरना कठिन हो जाएगा भरना।

{ .द्रव्य }

I flow from top to bottom

I take the shape of the container I am in

take care not to spill me though

I cannot be poured back

Answer- liquid

This riddle belongs to the new category and is inspired by simple science. This riddle can be used when teaching children about the properties of solids, liquids and gases.

Healthy Entertainment

Poetry is held in high esteem in Hindi literature. People spend their free time by asking each other riddles in the form of poetry or composing short poems, known as ‘shayari’. Riddles, in the Hindi language, can be used to learn new words and concepts. They are enjoyed by all people, especially children. The internet has helped to increase this form of entertainment, which helps sharpen brain power. There are a number of sites and forums that include old and new riddles. Members are also encouraged to make up new ones. Typically, riddles are classified as easy, moderate and hard.

References

बृजमोहन गोस्वामी, ‘ पहेलियाँ ही पहेलियाँ ‘ , http://hindi.webdunia.com
‘पसंद ‘, © प्रेमलता, अव्यवसायिक-चिट्ठा, http://pasand.wordpress.com

Read more: http://www.brighthub.com/education/languages/articles/124075.aspx#ixzz1X5Ux9wAy