…and I don’t mean in the sense that we reached the quiz on time (although we did). The Columban Open Quiz 2007, the biggest open school quiz of North India, saw the DPS VK Quiz Club firmly making a name for itself in the quizzing arena. Held at the St Columba’s School every year, it is one of the most prestigious quizzes around and I was delighted by the performances of our members.
The teams were:
Team 1 – Forty Toes (There’s an explanation behind this. ‘Forty Toes’ is a pun-intended take on Forty Two; and also, there are four members per team with ten toes each. Really good PJ, I know. I came up with this one, and everyone hated it.)
- Me (Ankur B)
- Topper Wale Bhaiyya (Indranil Chakraborty)
- Varun Jain
- Srishti Gulati
Team 2 – What’s The Team Name (Hell, I couldn’t think up any name, so I named this team ‘What’s The Team Name’)
- Varun V S
- Rachit Agarwal
- Ankit Sarkar
- Bhavika Aggarwal
Team 3 – The Mavericks (They chose this one, and reduced my workload, so they got a cookie and the right to keep their own name)
- Vivek Nair (who didn’t go because he was practising for a play)
- Shrug-Shoulders (V S Karthick)
- Arjun Attam
- Karan Gersappa
Boy, and then, our school’s transport department is getting better by the day. We’d been told we’ll be leaving around 8.42am with some other group going to the Russian Embassy. Being good kids who never bunk classes, we, of course, spent the whole time bunking class sitting in the Internet Lab trying out quizzes. When the time came for us to leave, we found that [drumroll please] that the guard and the driver had gone to drink fucking tea. We went to the transport incharge to find out about our bus, and he absolutely insisted that 6 children and 1 teacher had left the school at 7.42am for St Columba’s School. We got a new bus allotted, and found out that the other bus was actually the one which was supposed to go to the Russian Embassy. So we sat in the bus allotted, and then the driver found out it didn’t have CNG, so we were allotted a new bus again. And then [drumroll please] we were kept waiting because this time the conductor / helper had gone to [drumroll please] drink tea. I wonder whether the school canteen is giving them narcotics-laced tea, because they weren’t so enthusiastic about this stuff last year.
We reached St Columba’s School (henceforth, SCS), me screaming and begging the whole way requesting other folks to switch on Bluetooth (which everyone promptly turned off) if they had it on their cell because they were scared I’d do something nasty. Thankfully, we’d reached St Columba’s early, plus the whole thing had been delayed by an hour. We wanted to go to Nirula’s or some place, so me and Varun J went to negotiate with the teacher accompanying us, who refused. The team then ended up in the dungeon SCS calls its canteen. The sight itself is enough to take away any appetite you might have. Instead of the plural version of a popular mango juice known as ‘Frooti’, the canteen sells the singular version of the juice called ‘Frootus’. You can guess how good it is then. Braveheart Arjun, or maybe he was hungry beyond any definable measure, did go ahead and eat a sandwich, nobody else dared. I hear that he’s still alive, although I haven’t confirmed whether he had to visit the loo more frequently.
We were in group B at the Columban Open Quiz (henceforth, COQ), and we registered around 11.42am. They refused to change our team line-up, something which I wanted to do. Our team had a major debate on this, finally deciding to stick to the original teams. This was also the time when Ankit got bird poop on his head, which Srishti told us is lucky. In hindsight, she was right!
The COQ prelims were pretty good, we got quite a few of the questions, many of them which I had just written jokingly but turned out to be correct. And guess what? Forty Toes came first in the prelim! The shocker though was as the ten qualifying teams were announced, we got to know that ALL DPS VK Quiz Club teams had qualified for the quarter finals!
Quarter finals were good enough, and saw the Forty Toes and What’s The Team Name both qualifying for the semi finals, the second team in a sudden death tie-breaker. Damn, I was more bothered about my hunger at that time, but COQ doesn’t give refreshments and even the school canteen had run out of food. Whadev, we started the semis then, with Aditya Mubayi of Quizcraft being the quizmaster, as usual. The ten teams which were there were 2 from DPS VK, 3 from DPS RKP, 2 from Sriram, 2 from Springdales, and 1 from MIS. The main teams besides us were basically Ishaan-Bharat-Tejas-Shraddha from DPS RKP (Hum Do, Hamare Do); and Krittika-Milind-Bloke1-Bloke2 from Mothers’ International. Must say, the quizmaster was the only one who got the PJ immediately when we told our team name (he even suggested we should prove it!). I was in some sorta crazy mood, because I kept on going for funny answers instead of the right ones. Topper Wale Bhaiyya, Varun and Srishti were trying to come up with answers (and even got some of them), but I kept on shouting out funny ones. Much to the irritation of others. Ah well, anyway, What’s The Team Name did real well, special mention of Ankit ‘Birdshit’ Sarkar for an amazing answer on rats and bamboos. They qualified for the finals of the Columban Open Quiz at with the third position!
As for me, I dunno. I was in a real strange mood during the semis. Of course, I said ’42’ as the answer for some; shouted out ‘Lindsay Lohan’ as the singer for a 1930s song; got Chandigarh built on a $63.5 million loan from the US government; made Pratibha Patil the first governor of the independent state of Texas; made the Flying Dutchman (remember Spongebob Squarepants?) an answer too. Apologies, teammates, who were pretty distracted in trying to make me shut my nonsense. In fact, they did know quite a few answers, only to have them overruled by me.
A few years ago, DPS VK never even used to qualify. This year, all teams which went qualified for the quarter finals, one team one member down; two of them made it to the semi finals; and one team, made it to the finals. That, with members who were going for the first or the second inter-school quiz in their life. I’d said last year, that this is a bunch of people who have some real potential when I’d selected them. Now the QC has proved they’re worthy, at an event of the stature of the COQ. Well done folks, and I’m sure the DPS VK QC will do well at future events too.