It’s been two years now. Two years since something that I can truly claim, changed my life. Yes folks, it’s three years on, to the day, when my Cadbury Bournvita Quiz Contest episode was shot, at Kolkata.
It feels so odd, it feels as if it was just yesterday that I was getting fried on the sets of CBQC, the retakes, and all the action. And then again, it feels so distant. Also brings back memories, of how after blazing through as the champions in the Delhi region finals, we fell flat on our face in the TV rounds – all because of some trigger, er, buzzer happy stupidity by me. Certainly, my potential was much better. But, I’d messed it up.
CBQC was…so fun. The camaraderie shown among the teams, we never felt animosity towards each other, except when the cameras were rolling of course. ;) But over the period of just a few days, you really make quite a few friends at such places. I remember I’d not been able to see the first telecast, because of a freaking cable problem, but then I did get to record the later one.
It also brought Derek o’ Brien back to human status for me, from his earlier position of ‘God’. Behind the scenes, you get to know how dumb that chap is – hardly does any research himself and someone who probably made it big on the shoulders of his dad Neil o’ Brien. I also felt sorry for Barry o’ Brien, a much more talented guy who somehow got left behind. Most hate Derek that they call him Derek No Brain – I guess it’s a valid point. But then again, I also respect Derek, for getting quizzing in India out of the bookworm closet and into the mainstream, something to be enjoyed.
I’ve lost touch with most of the friends I met there, and then Orkut came to the rescue and now at least I know some more people through the CBQC Orkut community. It brings back the memories of all the pranks we played there, the partying in the hotel and the shooting locations, especially the Space Bar and the Flying Saucer. The hours we spent playing each and every game possible at the recreation centre in the name of ‘practicing for our shots’.
Another fun thing was that the hotel the teams were put up at, The Astor, was trying to make it to the Limca Book of Records for the longest Valentine’s Day card. I think it was a classic case of bad timing – with all the BQC teams making it their duty to fill it up with ‘We love Derek and CBQC’ type messages. In the end when TV channels finally did turn up on the 14th, they couldn’t shoot the messages! Just in case you think that ace quizzers are morons with no love life, I must point out that well, there weren’t any girls there (all teams were pretty disappointed – plus practically the whole hotel was booked for CBQC and some business conference, so no luck with external sources either…). Most of us (including me) did leave a few naughty messages for a particularly cute DoB&A representative, thought I’m not sure if she ever noticed it.
Getting associated in any way with CBQC is like getting brushed by the wings of the Pazuzu (movie quizzers like Rohan Jadeja please take note, does it remind you of The Exorcist 2?) – it definitely got me more interested in quizzing, to a point that now I sometimes want make it my career.