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HT InQuizItive 2006

By on Aug 8, 2006 in Personal | 0 comments

The Hindustan Times InQuizItive 2006, the annual HT quiz (sponsored by Canon this year) was held today at Talkatora Stadium. As usual, it was conducted by one of my fave quizmasters, Siddhartha Basu, and his team from the Tree Of Knowledge (ToK). Suneet Tandon, as usual, was the MC, and there was a rare appearance this time by Anita Kaul Basu this time. Frankly, she handled it much better; and left Suneet Tandon feeling unwanted. Here’s the whole story…. May I know why is this school sending teachers / bus drivers / any other officials who DON’T know where the venue is? If they’re thinking of losing ‘this crazy kid too interested in quizzing’ (i.e., me), then it won’t be this easy. The team consisted of the President of the Quiz Club, Abhishek Mitra, and me, the Vice President. Only one team allowed at HT InQuizItive. Anyway, we did reach the venue, somehow in time, and had an amusing moment (I’m sure the auto driver thought that too) when our teacher asked him for a bill (she wanted to show it to the school I guess)! We registered, and went in to usual carnival-type atmosphere it has every year with 210 teams participating, and many schools sending in their cheering teams (ironically, always the ones with no hope of winning). My buddy, Ishaan of DPS RKP was right there, and it brought back those feelings of disappointment, anger and shock which I felt at not getting through there this year, because we both REALLY wanted to go to quizzes with each other. It’d have been a really strong team, both being the most experienced quizzers in their respective schools. It goes back to a older era (not when dinosaurs ruled, not THAT far back) when I became champ at CBQC 2004, and he came second. We’re really good pals, and yes, I wanted to participate with him. Coming back on track, first there was the judgment of the cheering teams and the banners (there was an embarrassing one from some school, which said ‘Read only Times of India’ that was promptly taken down by the HT reps), and the usual screaming they’re asked to do. The same boring old song they play every year (Vande Mataram, by AR Rehman…ugh), in a continuous loop, to get the adrenaline levels high. Irritates me every year. Then the usual ads and promo videos for HT (again, the same every year…you’re getting my point, aren’t you?). After a bit of dilly-dallying, we got down to serious business, the quizzing part – we had the written prelims for the Delhi finals. 25 questions, 15 minutes, no options given. Not surprising, this is what happens at every quiz (I’m trying to make a point for DPSVK quizzers here…). And it was tough. We both attempted all, and thought then it had gone really well. We fully expected to get through to the finals, where the top 6 teams make it. To our horror, we didn’t. All these years that I’ve been quizzing, I had an inkling about whether I’d make it or not, and this time I fully expected to go through. Later, as we found out from ToK researcher (after some pestering / flashing of badges), we were tied among the top 6 teams at the same overall score, and got out because of ONE tie-breaker question. That hurts; losing outright is one thing, making it so close and then going out, completely different. Happened to the exceptionally brilliant duo of Adarsh and Sohail from Sanskriti School (who made it to Delhi, and then national finals here) last year in the Times of India Fun-da-Mental Quiz (this one, by Derek o’ Brien, another of my faves) when they didn’t make it through to that quiz’s Delhi final, because of one tie-breaker. I saw a cheering team from my old school, and also the team. They were once under my guidance there; this time it was a different case. I had an interaction with them, and came to know the quiz club there is falling apart. Expected. Without me. Siddhartha Basu then conducted the Delhi finals, which had Sanskriti, DPS RKP (Ishaan and Tejas), Mothers International (Krittika, so far the only girl quizzer I’ve come across, she was there in CBQC 2004, at position 4, if I recollect correctly; and one guy who I don’t know), St Columba’s, Somerville School (dunno how THEY got through), and I don’t remember the last school. The rounds were good, but the scoreboard ended up pretty one-sided, with St Columba’s winning (on a tie-breaker; they got a Canon 4-megapixel digicam), and Sanskriti second (they got a Canon multi-function printer). The rest were gathered at the bottom on pathetic scores, except Mothers. Somerville, as far as I remember, didn’t get anything on board. And my pal, Ishaan too crashed out. Like last year, there were problems in the scoring system this year too, with the teams on stage having to point out to ToK that they were wrong about the scores. Funny, isn’t it, all the CBQC 2004 people there (me, Ishaan, Krittika) crashing out; we were also there in JSTS, me ranked highest among the three. There were numerous audience rounds during the quiz, in which we both won some (knapsacks; shirts; toffees worth 500, 500 paisa, that is). Better than the non-qualifying stage teams, they go home with...

Anoushka Shankar’s “Traces of You” India tour

By on Dec 15, 2013 in Reviews | 1 comment

Anoushka Shankar’s “Traces of You” India tour

Cradle Sports / Aagman Quiz

By on Jan 17, 2009 in Personal | 49 comments

The school and open quiz to be conducted by Cradle Sports was held yesterday. A brilliant quiz, and my first ‘Parnab’ quiz. I reached in the morning because I wanted to see the school edition of the quiz too (to get an idea about what was to come in the open quiz). At first when I reached the venue I was confused as to whether there was a quiz. I finally found that it was in one of the other halls in the Siri Fort Auditorium compound. The school edition saw a very enthusiastic response, going by the jam packed auditorium. And note this isn’t like Times of India Fun-da-Mental or HT InQuizitive where most of the people are cheering teams; these people in the hall that day were quizzers who wanted to be there. So it’s nice to see such a large turnout. I saw quite a few people I knew there. Unfortunately, DPS VK couldn’t make it because pre-Boards are going on and most of the quiz team is either in 10th or 12th. I missed the school quiz prelims but I got to see the school quiz semi-finals and final. Lots of DPS RKP teams qualifying, apart from the extremely capable team from DPS Dwarka which had Utkarsh and mini Ankit Sud. Also nice to see that Sardar Patel Vidyalaya find talented replacements for Vinayak Sapru and Pulkit Gupta. St Columba’s School is always a force to reckon with, and they proved it by winning the quiz (Chirag’s team). DPS Noida’s team also seems promising with Rishav except that he’s way too cocky to make it to the top anytime soon. Surprisingly, the open quiz saw lesser response than the school quiz! But it was nice to see a lot of school teams stick around and at least try the prelims. I was participating in the open quiz, teamed up with Prateek Vijayavargia, Chandan Shahi (runner-up of Brand Equity Quiz 2008), and Manazir Wasi. The prelims were tough with a large gap between the toppers of the prelims and the ones after them. Our team scraped through onto the finals. We totally got PWND at that stage. Except by the SPV team which didn’t score, but you gotta give them credit that they made it to the finals too. The finals had a lot of old Bollywood stuff which nobody on our team was good at. Between the other colleges teams who do bother to keeps tabs of that kind of stuff, the competition was quite close. That brings me to the question which people interested in quizzing would have been dying to know when reading this article – how was Parnab Mukherjee? I admit, I’ve ‘heard a lot of stuff’ about him in past on many quiz blogs but it was nothing like that! Look, I can’t talk about the past because without having been present at those quizzes I can’t pass a judgment myself. I can talk of what I saw at the quiz yesterday, and what I saw was an excellent quiz. I believe the attendees who were there will also agree with me. The questions were good and didn’t come across anything which was ‘outrageous’ in the sense that people talk of. It was an extremely well-balanced quiz, with no team getting too easy questions. Most of the questions were workout-able, which is the proper style to go for to get students interested in quizzing. Parnab Mukherjee’s feat is even more impressive when you consider that he’s recalling questions from his memory. If you’re a quizzer, you know exactly how difficult it is to recall even ten questions in succession at a moment’s notice. More so when you have to do a balanced quiz. As far as I gathered, the questions were not ‘made up’, as some people have claimed earlier about his quizzes. I randomly checked up a few questions which I remembered and I didn’t find one wrong. So as I said, I don’t know about the past experiences others claim to have had, but what I saw at yesterday’s quiz was a good quiz. After the quiz got over, I got to interact with Parnab a little longer over a late ‘lunch’ (if you can call it that) we had with the Cradle Sports team. (Prateek and Prashanth were there too.) Arindam Bhattacharya of Cradle Sports, himself a quizzer (he competed against Aditya Mubayi in his school days) is a really friendly guy. It’s a good thing that he sought feedback from the student community throughout the quiz. In Arindam and Parnab Delhi has two guys who are truly passionate about quizzing. We had a nice chat where Parnab spoke of how instead of preparing by reading quiz books students can learn simply by knowing more about their surroundings. He gave a nice example of how much history you can associate simply while going from point A to point B in Delhi. Prashanth, who’s from Hyderabad, asked him to show a similar example using a route between two places in Hyderabad – and Parnab came up a perfectly valid trivia question (which Prashanth admits is true). I hope in a future quiz maybe the Cradle Sports guys can arrange for Parnab to have a short talk before / after the quiz. Nobody is saying that you should prepare for quizzes only by zipping through Delhi roads, but the main...

‘Convent-educated’ guy

By on Sep 15, 2008 in Food For Thought, Personal, Stop The Press | 3 comments

Not sure whether there’s a Razzie equivalent of the Pulitzer, but one thing that definitely seems to be true is that media organizations are fighting a fierce battle to outdo each other in terms of stupidity. No other rational explanation seems to available why today’s Hindustan Times had a front page story saying that the mastermind of the Delhi (and earlier bomb blasts which happened this year in India) is a ‘…convent-educated, computer-savvy bombmaker…’. That doesn’t seem right, does it? Can’t say whether they got way too enthusiastic about writing in an English newspaper and translated madrassa into ‘convent‘. Maybe this will provide fodder for matrimonial ads – “Match wanted for psychotic convent-educated groom. Knowledge of bombshells bombmaking vitally necessary”. After all, HT’s caption for the photo says that he is ‘…currently the most wanted man in the country’. Read this whole paragraph again. Full of bad puns which had me cackling for a long time. It could only be a staggering coincidence by which the same page of the same newspaper on the same day also had the magic number on the front page, albeit in a less-than-humorous context. In other news, Prateek Vijayavargia was the runner-up this year at Siddhartha Basu’s HT InQuizitive 2008. School administrators didn’t believe me when I said buzzer systems could break down. One broke down during the inter-DPS quiz; thankfully, we had a spare. Even with a tree of knowledge to lean on, Mr Basu couldn’t conduct the buzzer round since one of them wasn’t working. Vir Sanghvi found it difficult to lift his arse up from his toilet seat (probably), so this year’s chief guest was Suneet Tandon. Promotion, ‘cuz that fellow is generally the emcee. I hear that it was a very close fight though, with the top two positions being decided by a tie-breaker. Surprisingly, DPS VK didn’t send its top team; instead sent some rookies to gain experience. Weird choice to make for the very biggest quiz of the year (now that Time of India Fun-da-Mental won’t be happening this...

DPS VK Quiz Club Intra, August 2008

By on Aug 8, 2008 in Personal | 1 comment

I know, haven’t been posting for a while. Mostly studying these days, and well, got bored of writing posts. A few movie reviews and other posts in the wings, but haven’t been written yet. I went to school yesterday to conduct an intra for the quiz club, and to discuss about organizing the Inter-DPS Contemporary India Quiz to be held in our school next month. Things have gotten ‘strict’ in our school ever since a bunch of guys walked into school last month on the pretext of meeting someone and beat a chap up. These days, they log all visitors in, click the photos blah blah. All useless, if you ask me. People who want to beat somebody’s face in may as well do it outside the school. The downside is that even alumni have trouble getting in these days. I had to call the vice principal, and Varun who came to help me also had to jumo through a few hoops to get through. The question paper I made was mostly pulled from HT Inquizitive and Times of India Fun-da-Mental archives, because I wasn’t really sure how many serious students would be turning up and didn’t want to waste time making a paper if that was the case. It happened with Varun and Rach the last time they went to conduct an intra. Still, the question paper has a few funny questions, rather, people giving funny answers so you might want to check it out. Click here to download the DPS VK Quiz Club Intra – August 2008 edition paper (with solutions) Update: There was a mistake in the first question, which Prateek Vijayavargia pointed out. The Football World Cup in question was not the first, but one in 1950. He knows, after all he was Delhi champion at Times of India’s Olympics Quest 2008. :) Narrowly missed out in the national...