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"Taleemi Tash" is among the best sellers at NCPUL’s Urdu Kitab Mela in Malegaon

Taleemi Tash Malegaon Version is among the best sellers at NCPUL’s Kul Hindu Urdu Kitab Mela underway in Malegaon since Saturday December 18, 2021

Wednesday December 22, 2021 1:06 PM, Aleem Faizee, ummid.com

Taleemi Tash

Malegaon: It was in my childhood when I first noticed my elders playing around with a pack of palm-sized cards. On one side of these cards were printed Urdu alphabets in attractive calligraphy and on the other side was an eye-catching design. In a group of 2, 3, 4 or 5, and even 6 or 7, they will sit playing for hours. In between, they would sometimes cheer in joy, and at some other time, retreat in dismay.

“This is Taleemi Tash”, I was told.

Taleemi Tash is called Urdu version of Scrabble, but Muslim households would encourage and push it on children as an alternative to rummy, poker, bridge and other card games that are considered “haraam (forbidden)” in Islam.

“Playing with Taleemi Tash would test your Urdu language vocabulary”, parents used to say their children.

Fifty years later when everything is dominated by IT, and games are being played virtually and online, the Taleemi Tash is still in demand. In fact, its Malegaon Version is among the best sellers at NCPUL’s Kul Hindu Urdu Kitab Mela underway in Malegaon since Saturday December 18, 2021.


“We have sold more than 400 copies of Taleemi Tash in the first 03 days of Urdu Kitab Mela”, Shaheen – the owner of Atfaal Book Depot, Malegaon, told ummid.com.

Atfaal Book Depot is among the first book sellers of Malegaon which went on to become a leading publisher of the city. This happened when Shaheen did a specialization course in printing and paper technology from a reputed institute in Mumbai.

Besides giving a new shift to his father M Yusuf Ansari’s decades old business, Shaheen also worked on a number of novel and innovative projects notably among them the launch of “Shaheen Islamic Calendar” and now the “Taleemi Tash” – both followed a thorough research on market demand and consumer need.

Taleemi Tash was originally introduced by a Delhi publisher about 100 years ago. In his version of Taleemi Tash, Shaheen kept the original concept intact but gave it a more colourful look.

Moreover, Shaheen re-designed it in a way which makes it not only more attractive but also more helpful and informative.

“The original Taleemi Tash carried only Urdu alphabets on cardsheet paper. We used glossy paper and included photos and images matching the alphabets along with sample words on each card to give the beginners a hint on how he or she should play this card game”, Shaheen Atfal said.

Watch: Taleemi Tash in Shaheen Atfal's own words

“The inspiration behind my Taleemi Tash is actually my father M Yusuf Ansari. It was he who wanted me to re-design the Taleemi Tash so as to make it more useful and education-friendly for the children”, he said.

“So, as the children play, they simultaneously recognise in early age Urdu alphabets and letters, and also start making words from alphabets and framing sentences”, he said.

Also Read | 'Who killed Karkare?' among the best-selling books at Malegaon literary festival

The other challenge that parents are facing today is the extended time children are hooked to mobile phones. Shaheen believes that the Taleemi Tash which was once used by parents to keep their children away from haraam and forbidden card games can now be used to divert their attention from mobile phones.

Meanwhile, the sales at NCPUL’s 24th Kul Hind Urdu Kitab Mela is slowly picking up after a slow start on the opening day. As per the sales data provided by the NCPUL, the Kitab Mela has registered a total sale of around 8,21,000/- in the first three days.

Interestingly, Atfaal Book Depot, thanks to the huge demand of its Taleemi Tash, is among the top 03 book sellers so far.

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