Personal Reflections

HT InQUIZitive 2007 : The ‘Sixth’ Sense

The Hindustan Times InQUIZitive 2007, conducted by Siddhartha Basu, was held on Monday 6th August 2007 (Talkatora Stadium, as usual). Representing DPS VK were Varun (V S) and me.

A quick question before I continue. You get 42 points for guessing this correctly:
Why did DPS VK (almost) reach late for the HT InQUIZitive 2007?

  1. Sonu Mallik, the quiz club incharge, had forgotten to allocate a teacher and arrange for transport. She did it at the last moment on the day of the competition when the team reminded her.
  2. The driver was drinking tea when we were supposed to on our way.
  3. The van, er, the DPS VK ambulance in which we were being taken, broke down just 4.2 minutes after we left school.
  4. All of the above.

Correct answer:
d) All of the above. Yes folks, all of the things happened. The driver happened to be drinking tea when we were supposed to be leaving. And when we did catch hold of him, the ambulance broke down in front of Tagore International School at Vasant Vihar, a few minutes away from our school.

We did reach there, somehow squeezing into an auto – we had a teacher too, who kept on saying that she’d abandon us there in case it took any longer than 11.42am. Fortunately, this teacher didn’t ask the poor auto driver a bill, unlike what the teacher accompanying us last year had done.

The changes I noticed immediately on entering the stadium is that that thankfully, they were not playing A R Rehman’s Vande Mataram again and again like the do every year. Instead, they got amazing JBL speakers, and then intelligently used them to play exactly 4 party beats in a loop. The purpose of the whole thing was to show how good a bass the speakers could produce. Couldn’t even concentrate while listening to songs on my cell because of the cheering teams, so I finally gave it up. Noticed Ishaan Chugh and his sidekick Tejas a few moments later, and was surprised to see the IC reading a quiz book before a quiz. Anyway, the emcee was Sunit Tandon as usual, and boy does he have a booming voice these days (thanks to the JBL speakers with bass turned up too high).

The prelim round consisted of 30 questions with 15 minutes to solve it, and I didn’t like it. Imagine, the very first question being on Bollywood, something which I really hate and something which Varun has no clue about. Hell, there were MORE questions on Bollywood in the rest of the paper too, not a good sign for me. Spent the time after prelims discussing the paper with IC, Prateek V, and Millind G. MIS had 25 correct, DPS RKP 23, Prateek’s team 21, Springdales DK 22, St Columba’s 19, and our team 22. I really didn’t feel confident about getting through then.

Imagine our surprise then when ours was the second team name to be called out by Sid B! I think this’d be the first time DPS VK had qualified for the stage finals of the HT InQUIZitive. Slots on stage filled up one-by-one, but guess what, DPS RKP didn’t make it! Hell, I was hardly paying ANY attention at all in the first two rounds, for I was more engrossed in watching IC hovering around the research begging them to let him go on stage. Boy, did he go to great lengths to be let on stage. To be fair to IC, he did deserve to be on stage since there were teams with a lower score up on stage. Not only him, others like Prateek deserved to be up with us too. I can only say that the organizers did some shoddy work, but they do that every year. It’s a perennial problem at the HT InQUIZitive and Times of India Fun-Da-Mental – they’re always in a hurry to release the results and get on with the stage rounds that they never double check the team standings in prelims. Even I have faced the same problem earlier, including HT InQUIZitive 2006 where we had a good score.

Anyway, the stage round got on, with some teams getting really easy stuff. Our team totally failed to kick off though. Varun was hardly listening to any question at all, for what reason I have no idea. He kept on asking me after every question to repeat it, eating into the precious little time we have. That had me really irritated, and naturally, as a real good partner, instead of telling him the question I kept screaming at him ‘to listen to the bloody question’. At the end of the day, I gotta admit that the other teams put up a far better performance than what we did. I missed the buzzer round this time though, it wasn’t there. Springdales, Pusa Road won the event; Mothers’ International finished second with St Columba’s coming third. We ended up sixth. Which reminds me, we seem to have an affinity for the 6th position – DPS VK’s finalists in the Columban Open Quiz 2007 came 6th; my team in the same COQ 2007 came sixth in the semi finals (if I’m not wrong); and then this HT InQUIZitive! It’s good though that the club is at least making a mark right now! At least I got a cute little trophy to take home!

HT InQUIZitive 2007 seemed low budget though – no sponsors like earlier days, no national finals or anything, pathetic prizes and stuff like that. It almost seems as if the prizes this year were HT office supply surplus material. Then again, no major celebrities dropped in this time. Got to see Vir Sanghvi again after quite some time. Shit, has he become fat! I mean, he bears no resemblance to the pics of him that HT publishes every week. Maybe his Rude Food column is taking a toll on him.

In other news, our school’s quiz club team came second in the Mount Carmel Science Quiz, also held on the same day. The team was led by Topper Wale Bhaiyya, so I was disappointed that he didn’t get the first position.

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