Fun to pose, exciting to solve and either way entertaining a prospect in informative rendition or otherwise, riddling is yet one of the many ways in which the human being has furthered its own inquisitive desire in such capacity that occurs as intelligent and leisurely a charting out of its multiple fancies. With the pun intended evocation quintessential to their characterisation, riddles are always a device employing of the innate human residing in wit and cognition, drawing upon such expression of its nature to devise again for itself such a mode in engagement that is by now an art established indeed within the considerations of the human again existence. No wonder everyone is always up for the challenge of deciphering the answer to a good riddle and in such display of enthusiasm and interest that does not belie for sure the underlying assertion of human beings as curious indeed characters of the world.
Often ambiguous in their way of presentation which is what makes it challenging indeed to decipher its true intention, the putting forth of a riddle as a word puzzle and not always in the form of a definite question but also as a statement or a phrase with however the quizzical annotation more than palpable in that entire description of what captures the mind is like most things of greater cultural relevance an ancient and global phenomenon.
In fact riddles dominate oral traditions and folklore of different cultures and existences the world over, something rather perceivable as a facet of continuity of this also as essential literary exploration. Of course there is no surprise that riddles make up for a substantial chunk of expressing and relaying or alluding to ideas and impressions across the fore of literature. The effect of it in arousing the mind and leading thus the readers to even more actively engage with the contents of what they are already occupied with is what makes them so frequent encounters across the pages of books and along the lanes of other social and cultural depictions as well.
As a plot therefore in piquing the interests of its audience through its expression across the narratings already captivating of the mind, riddles reveal their nature as one of instant clicking. But beyond this scheme in relating, riddles also are oft employed agents of effectiveness due to their encompassing of something mysterious almost in the ambiguity of what they dwell in. Of course to expect a sure shot solution out of such questions posed in riddling manner might be and is in fact very often the intention of it. That however isn’t the only reason why riddles are so evoked a technique in literary connotations, carrying in it all the charms of which the world having a way with words is known to be so fluent in.
Within their puzzling but otherwise unassuming premise riddles also harbour scope enough for the allure of the unknown to play through. Revealing sometimes as metaphors or hinging otherwise on the quaintly captivating deliverances in allegory or through imagery, not alluding to any one specific response but concealing instead within its concise length a certain character in open endedness, subtle in its pursuit of eliciting responses but defiant still to not give away in absoluteness the actual reference of it, of which sometimes it itself might not be dedicatedly avowing by, riddles can be riddling indeed beyond their regular repertoire of simple challenging. And it is by virtue of such deep digging into the ever absorbing crevices of the human imagination that riddles venture out of their ordinary understanding in concrete stirrings of interest to earn for itself a seating in the greater context of the arousing.
That route of the leisurely kind that riddles glides along in stimulating the deeper reaches of the human understanding by affording them the luxury to envision and interpret and derive their own basis in such contexts that allow enough space for it isn’t however the general way in which they are perceived. For in common knowledge, a riddle is an essentially fun question posed such to challenge the audience as a means of educative entertainment or as a resort to either of them individually without any serious intention of sorts. But even then, riddles still do end up strengthening one’s ability in critical thinking and reasoning, in contemplative deciphering of its solution as well as in yielding to its demand for greater concentration.
Operating through the incitation of intellectual humour, riddles surprisingly but surely offers itself as the premise for furthering interest in the very area of knowledge and rather effectively in its somewhat informal and fun tone of ‘communicating’. For riddles indeed are a way in communicative rendition as well, efficiently ‘instigating’ the involvement of one and all in its challenging to such displays of intellect that validate also the correct responder of it. That might not seem like much of a gratification to dwell in but for children whose formative years necessarily run along the lines of appreciation and achievement of whatever measure, solving riddles, much like other similar exercises in engaging tend to be much worthwhile ploys in their development.
Of course this different approach to what can be veritably termed as some sort of learning, perhaps even more significant in its applied basis in this context, presenting riddles to children whether by parents and family as part of their bonding activity in much quality or instead as part of the formal curriculum at institutions serves great purpose in their intellectual development. Engagement indeed is one thing to consider but also equally effective is the impact that it has on young minds, calling upon them to reason and analyze and concentrate to be able to dish out the exact answer to it. So phenomenal in fact is the effects of riddling on cognisance and brain development that leads to a child’s higher score on the Intelligence Quotient as well.
But while intelligence might be more likely to be understood in such terms of what one associates with more concrete concepts say in scientific leanings of the mind, riddles happen to be a more wholesome rendition in their intellectuality. For the process of solving riddles also inspires creativity in the brain in their abstract working around ordinary concepts of real life by leading the mind to such deliberation that does not rely on just a measure of wisdom. It also is the ability to relate as well as the tendency to think out of the box that riddles help further in their non linear for sure way in hinting to the ultimate answer to it.
The whole dynamics that make riddles such entertaining pursuits in guessing however do not just avail out of any ordinary manifestation of it. For framing a riddle is as much an art as the process of pondering over it itself and for riddles to command the attention of the audience, it is imperative that it be presented in such a manner that is curiously evoking of the human interest. To that extent, riddles perhaps are as much a form of literature themselves rather than being only a device of it. With a host of such elements designed to further challenge the audience with its ambiguity or at least in multiple possibilities of its exact dwelling, such as an underlying double meaning tone or rhetorical figures as well as seemingly obvious but actually deceptive clues and cues in not the ultimate intention, and also in comparisons and derivations and evoking of similarities and presentation in uniqueness, the whole act in ‘receiving’ and comprehending riddles is one demanding of involved and active participation.
To delve into the origins of this invigorating exercise in amusement and information and fun and games and common sense alike would be a proceeding in some ambiguity, much like the very nature of what a riddle is like. As a long continuing, ever present mechanism of expression in oral storytelling and folklore, riddles are no doubt as old as human civilisation itself. And that perhaps is what makes it all the more curious an agent in universal resonance and eternal relatability, even more adept in simultaneously residing along the ploys of wit and humour and guesses and assumptions and more such similar ideas of what inherently appeals to the boundless expanse of the human imagination. But even in such universality of them, riddles have not always been the same through the ages.
The basic classification of riddles in two types of the enigma and the conundra might be a drawing upon their distinctive nature in presentation. But the way riddles differ is not the just the structure of their detailing or the manner of its presentation in posing a puzzle. While riddles generally intended for fun and/ or imparting some practical information by virtue of its real world dwelling on objects and things for instance occur as descriptive sentences in alluding in characteristic roundabout fashion to the essential idea of them. But riddles that have long found their esteemed place in the passed on traditions of tales and folklores and the like tend to be more metaphorical explorations in leaning.
As adages almost meant to pass down the generations realisations of such essential concerns that deal with the abstract issues of life in general rather than concentrate on the ‘mere’ physical existence of things or beings, these more enigmatic renditions of language are art indeed in their own framing. That though is not to say that modern day or what we can very well call ‘contemporary’ riddles are any less profuse in their artistic abilities. To weave indeed into a singular something so many of the elements of what captures instantly the rather prejudiced place in which the human imagination of all intelligence choose to fancifully reside is what epitomises the supreme assertion of art and to declare therefore riddling as an art in human conveyance sure sums up the truest essence of it, no matter the exact origins and specific grounds upon which it unravels its journey in baffling humankind to their own avail as well.