Keekli Book Club

Keekli Book ClubRitanjali Hastir, Associate Editor, 19th December, 2018, Shimla

Keekli Book Club members enjoy their first ever Treasure Hunt game to quench their thirst for knowledge. They explored the city in a way never before and ended being enlightened by seeing the town under a different light. The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery as the world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.

Your heart’s desire is to be told some mystery and surprisingly the mystery is that there is no mystery.

Keekli Book ClubMembers of KEEKLI Book Club as promised in the previous meet had a time of their lives today as they all gathered at Book Café, Takka Bench, Ridge, Shimla, for their Treasure Hunt game. Each one was excited about the game as this time they were expecting not yet another book discussion or story knitting session but to unveil the new mysteries.

The members of the group were divided into three different groups that comprised of Three Musketries — Adyut, Pritha and Ahar; Famous Four — Prince, Stavya, Dhruv, Gauri and Avengers — Baani, Jiya, Sara, Rudra.

Keekli Book ClubEveryone gathered at Takka Bench and were handed their first clues. This time to promote the native language, clues were given in Hindi keeping in mind that the game is not only interesting but also add to the knowledge of the members, as it is not always the books that teach sometimes one can even learn from observing too.

Each clue forced them to use all their senses and explore the town under a different glass which they have seen so many times yet never really seen. All the teams had a total of five clues, each out of which last two clues were similar for all.

The riddles for the treasure hunt were as follow —

TEAM A

1   उड़न खटोले ने ले ली मेरी जान | शहर में बहुत महशूर है मेरा नाम पर बरसो से ना देखि थी मेरी पहचान | अकेला स्तंब सा खड़ा हूँ मैं तुम्हारे लिए नई दिशा लिये |

2   ज्ञानी का हू मैं प्रिय स्थान बरसो से अपने अंदर समेटे दुनिया भर का ज्ञान | बच्चे बड़े मेरे लिए एक समान पर भूल रहे है सब मेरी पहचान |

3   खुले आसमान के तले ले कर हम अपनी टोली चले | कभी होता खुशी से लाल तो कभी जलन से काला | कैद जो रहता है मनमोजी मतवाला |

4   तैर रहा हू पानी पर मैं बरसों से धुप छाँव की छतरी लिए | है मेरा एक स्थिर साथी जो बांटे खुशियाँ हज़ार | नागरिक या पर्यटक दोनों आते है ढूँढते तुम भी खोजों इस से अपना अगला पड़ाव |

5   गोल है दुनिया गोल है गेंद | रंग बिरंगे पानी का है यह खेल | किसी को भाए मीठा तो किसी को लगे तीखा |  जीत की ख़ुशी या हार का ग़म एक ही जगह जा कर बांटे हम |

TEAM B

1   लाठियों से सिर तुड़वाया साइमन को भगाया | लाहौर से मैं लाया गया और 27 सालो में मेरा बुत बनया गया |

2   मुल्ले की दौड़ मस्ज़िद तक तुम दौड़ो गडरिये तक | कब से कर रहा वह तुम्हारा इंतज़ार झांकते हुए सलाखों पार |

3   सूरज के सात घोड़ो से हु मै एक | पल में रचता पल में छलता बनाता हु मै कहानिया अनेक | खेल रहा हु आज भी घोड़ो का खेल |

4   तैर रहा हू पानी पर मैं बरसों से धुप छाँव की छतरी लिए | है मेरा एक स्थिर साथी जो बांटे खुशियाँ हज़ार | नागरिक या पर्यटक दोनों आते है ढूँढते तुम भी खोजों इस से अपना अगला पड़ाव |

5   गोल है दुनिया गोल है गेंद | रंग बिरंगे पानी का है यह खेल | किसी को भाए मीठा तो किसी को लगे तीखा |  जीत की ख़ुशी या हार का ग़म एक ही जगह जा कर बांटे हम |

TEAM C

1   हिमाचल की एक बाला हुई अगवा देखो आज कैसे आज़ाद है नील गगन में | तुम भी आओ मिलो उससे अपनी प्यास बुझाने को |

2    कैद मे रही मै अंग्रेज़ो के भवन मे बरसो | जल्दी में भूल आये तुम्हारे मतलब का सामान वहां | जल्दी जाओ खोज निकलो मेरे अगवा होने है स्थान |

3 सात है दिन हफ्ते में है इंद्रधनुष के रंग भी सात | हर दिन है एक रंग का बुधवार का रंग ढूंढो अपने कोई साथी जो लाया आज |

4   तैर रहा हू पानी पर मैं बरसों से धुप छाँव की छतरी लिए | है मेरा एक स्थिर साथी जो बांटे खुशियाँ हज़ार | नागरिक या पर्यटक दोनों आते है ढूँढते तुम भी खोजों इस से अपना अगला पड़ाव |

5   गोल है दुनिया गोल है गेंद | रंग बिरंगे पानी का है यह खेल | किसी को भाए मीठा तो किसी को लगे तीखा |  जीत की ख़ुशी या हार का ग़म एक ही जगह जा कर बांटे हम |

The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don’t know. It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed — a lesson all the members of Keekli Book Club learned today.

There was a tie between the teams — Three Musketeers and Famous Four, and as a tie breaker a word game was played which was won by the Three Musketeers.

As a parting session there was a group discussion over the treasure hunt and how each child felt about the day, over some snacks and cold drinks. The winners were awarded with books autographed by Minakshi Chaudhary. As a special gesture, parents of winners too received signed copies of A World Within.

The day ended on a happy note as this beautiful time will be forever registered in their memories.

***

My Diary — Abhishek Prince Rohta

On 19th December, 2018, Keekli Book Club had its last session of the year. It was a Treasure Hunt. The entire idea was so overwhelming and euphoric. I started from home with the hope to win it. The hunt throughout was an absolutely amazing experience. All of us, the members were divided into three teams. We scattered around the Mall Road, Ridge-Scandal point area in search of the clues which eventually led to the treasure. The entire task would never have been possible without the mentors, Minakshi, Vandana and Ritanjali Ma’am.

They helped us a lot. The riddles were so well crafted and poetic. All my friends were simply incredible. My teammates inspired me out of bounds. Their enthusiasm was surreal. The competence I felt was exuberant. Everyone put their heart and soul to win this. The most magical part of this entire activity was the treasure of history and great heritage I came across. No matter if everyone didn’t win the prize, but I’m certain all of us took home the great knowledge about our own town, Shimla.

Isn’t it a matter of wonder that the Ridge is on a water tank! This place on where we stood is a place of great historic significance and royal Himalayan heritage. Each statue has a story to tell. Every monument is a marvel of rich legacy of the place.

Today, I felt like never before. It’s an everyday chore to walk around this touristy town, greet the commuters from across the globe. Though, I saw Shimla with a different set of eyes today. One of the clue unveiled, the hero of the city, Major Daulat Singh. I might have crossed this statue, a dozen times, but it never talked to me before. There we got closer to winning the treasure.

Now towards the other clue, which was the library, This place is a temple to me. It was easier to decipher this one. With every clue, the game got tougher. The thirst of winning in my peers was also at peak. Each and every one strived to perform their best. The entire activity was so well organized. We were enjoying it thoroughly. With every clue, it wasn’t just the answer we got, but also a great fact about our city. It was getting better every second. Finally it ended with team ‘Three Musketeers’ winning it.

Though I felt like a winner myself. Not just me but everyone in the Club. All of us had a grin of great joy and satisfaction on our face. Today all of us took home, great knowledge, wonderful experience and the passion to do more, be more. We gathered a quick bite at our most favourite place on the Ridge, The Book Cafe. Pleasantries were exchanged, mystery was solved. Santa came earlier, this time, giving all of us a gift of Keekli Book Club. Resolutions were made to read more during the upcoming year. We all wished each other farewell, A Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year. This way Keekli’s last session of 2018 was concluded. 

P.S. — Wishing you all A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Also the promise to meet up soon. Happy reading all!

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