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Cadbury Bournvita Quiz Contest 2004 : Two years later…

By on Feb 12, 2007 in Personal | 10 comments

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Derek o' BrienIt’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’.

Cadbury Bournvita Quiz ContestAnother 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.


  1. achyuth sanjay

    February 12, 2007

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    we also qualified in the same year for the CBQC (i very well remember the Astor Hotel)
    weren’t the prelims held in Sardar Patel Vidyalaya?
    and i thot we topped the Delhi round beating all the teams
    Achyuth Sanjay
    formerly Cambridge School Noida
    but now
    DPS Noida

  2. Great Quizzard

    February 12, 2007

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    Nopes, I think you’re talking about CBQC 2003. Because that was the one in which prelims were held at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya. For CBQC 2004, it was held at Don Bosco School. We’d come first, followed by DPS RKP. And as far as I remember, it was Mothers International on third position.

    Anyway, it’s so nice to hear from other CBQC participants! :D

  3. Rach

    February 12, 2007

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    Pretty nostalgic shit.

    But, what was that last line? What the f*#k is a Pazuzu? Rohan tells me he didn’t quite get it.

  4. Great Quizzard

    February 12, 2007

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    Oh, you both haven’t been brushed by the wings of the Pazuzu then? :p

    Why don’t you and Rohan get your brains together on this one and find out! And not only WHO the Pazuzu is, but also it’s/his relation with The Exorcist 2. Lemme see how long it takes you both to do that. And then let me see whether you get the joke or not.

  5. Great Quizzard

    February 15, 2007

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    Oopsies! Big goof up! That should have been ‘two years’ afetr CBQC, not three! Because even though it was CBQC 2004, it was shot and shown in 2005.

  6. Kareenaberry

    March 16, 2011

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    The Quiz is returning! Or atleast that’s what the grapevine says. Apparently, the heads at Cadbury want to relaunch the BQC by popular demand… I wonder if thats the actual reason… Maybe it’s because there isn’t too much intelligent TV on nowadays and they felt the lack ;-) well in any case, I’ll be pretty happy if they bring it back.. it’ll be like a piece of my childhood being returned to me!

  7. kramaki

    March 17, 2011

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    This week’s television guide should be framed for posterity. The absolute drivel that constitutes children’s programming these days is embarrassing. Any future generation that delves into what our kids are subjected to these days, would be horrified at the entertainment, we think is interesting. I think we were in a better place just a few years ago, when shows like the Bournvita Quiz Contest and ESPN school quiz were reigning supreme. Atleast, these were educational: a learning experience in a fun format… Despite what you say, Derek O’Brien got my heart racing in the “Buzzer round” Everytime! Why doesn’t edutainment make a comeback? The BQC is a good example of intelligent programming… they should bring it back.. and fast! Before our brains rust, along with our kids’.

  8. bindra

    March 29, 2011

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    Childhood friends and a nostalgic conversation over tea brought all kinds of latent memories to the surface and interesting conversations to the table. Right from old flames and tree-houses that we built, to TV shows watched together amidst shrieks of excitement. In fact, the one that usually got us the most excited was the Bournvita Quiz Contest, a TV show with a purpose. I still remember the healthy competition it brought out between us: we pretty much had our own BQC session at home. Now that I think about it, that session was what encouraged us to pay attention and learn so that we would know the answer the next time. I wonder why they stopped the show… it was such a sure-shot way to get children to develop their mind without it seeming like too much work… I really would enjoy it if the BQC returned – better for us and better for the next generation.

  9. Dude I was there as well. We lost to Apeejay School in the quaterfinal which later went on to win the finals. I still remember that last few tense moments, the competition having narrowed down to the last question. They answered, and we, rather I, goofed up, not even waiting to discuss it with my partner. I still facepalm when I think of it. It’s almost as bad as the regret the guy who cums twice in his pants in American Pie might feel recollecting the incident, if not more.
    I suddenly realized today I had no evidence of this very significant part of my life other than the certificate. And it pains me to browse through numerous webpages hunting for any pictures or videos without getting any. Those guys could at least have uploaded one from each year. Or maybe all of them. :P
    And I totally agree, in this age of Bieber and Black, BQC is necessary to neutralize the effect. I hope they bring it back.

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