Episode 15 – that stubborn puzzle

We all know there are two kinds of people with regard to any puzzle – the first kind doesn’t even attempt to solve it, either thinking that they are too dumb to attempt it or are just not interested in spending time, effort and energy on something that they feel is below them. They also show a healthy disdain towards the second kind – the people who lose their sleep and spend all their spare time thinking about the latest puzzle they have been handed and who think – how can this defeat me? Who take this up as a personal challenge and who will literally not rest until they have beaten it.

Well, just letting you know that the same applies to the Grajonic world too. The same two categories exist there too. And where do you think our young Grajon, Shirke fits in? Well, obviously the second one. Of course, he was the sort who used to pick the puzzles that interested him earlier but as he grew older, he couldn’t resist any puzzle. Nah – he would not go searching for any random puzzles to solve when he was bored but would wait for some to randomly drop into his lap.

He had a few people who would search high and low to get him stuff like this – his mother and grandmother being just two of them. His grandmother, who lived o n the other side of the world, had chatted with her friends about this search and one of them knew a game designer, who could help. So, it was that one day, Shirke got a parcel from her.

He opened it to find a 10-dimensional puzzle. It was a special custom-built piece for no special reason. Shirke personally loved these sort of gifts. As if anybody wouldn’t. 🙂 The interactive puzzle had voice recognition, colour – co-ordinated, sensory pieces  and the game had multiple players. There was a story that was recited at the beginning – the hero had to design ways to defeat monsters and humans to identify who it was who was trying to capture Grajon and rule over them. After identifying the person(s), he had to devise strategies and plan how to make them redundant to ensure Grajon supremacy. Loss in this game would mean the Grajons being ruled and kept as slaves. There were several levels and you had to progressively move ahead till your goal was achieved.

To say that Shirke was thrilled was an understatement.He had been exposed to 5-dimensional puzzles only. He spoke to his grandmother conveying his gratitude and pleasure and got down to the task of making Grajon safe immediately. The first few levels were fairly simple and he was able to crack the codes with a little bit of effort. The trouble started about mid way into the game. Shirke was literally stumped – all his moves had intelligent countermoves, He didn’t seem to be making progress at all. He worked at it for a long time and then decided to take a break to come back with a fresh perspective.

It was a couple of days later during dinner that he suddenly requested for a 5 minute break and vanished into his room. He had identified a possible solution and had gone to test it. He came back all smiles. When his father asked him what was so urgent that it couldn’t wait till dinner was over, he expected that it would be something related to school and submissions. However the poor man got the shock of his life when his son talked about the evil stalking them and the threat to Grajons on planet Earth. When he recovered enough to get his voice, he asked careful questions to understand that the discussion was about a puzzle and how Grajon, because of Shirke,  would in all likelihood be saved.

Shirke’s father heaved a sigh of relief because one could never know when the kid was serious and when he wasn’t. He told Shirke with a straight face – “Son! I am so glad that we have you looking out for us. I hope the pieces don’t self destruct once they are solved so that I can have a go at it and match my wits against yours.” Shirke smiled and now had an added incentive to work harder because he was in competition with his father. He was lucky to have a weekend to work on it and was obviously successful. They all took a quick trip to their favourite treat store to celebrate their freedom and victory. Now, we just have to wait and see how Shirke’s dad fared. 🙂




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