Of quizzing, and happy coincidences.

What have I been doing?

I conducted a couple of quizzes over the last month. Two of them were for IIT Kanpur, for their cultural festival Antaragni ’05. One (and a quarter) was were for IIM Indore’s management festival IRIS. They went off quite well, or so I would like to think. Met a lot of familiar and new faces over the trips. Happily enough, even the lych-worthy theme rounds were happily received, and that warms the cockles of my heart. ( That was just a figure of speech, I really don’t know what cockles are, and if they are associated with the heart, so whether they are warm or cool doesn’t really matter, because I wouldn’t know. Just saying…)

Though I am generally in varying levels of nervousness before a quiz I do ( the nerviness dissipates only when the quiz is halfway over, and as I reverse the direction of the questions, nobody faints or tries to lynch me.), there was one quiz in particular that made me shake in my shoes. It was the one I did for Class IV students, and it makes me sweat just to think of the fact that it required THREE tie-breaker rounds to figure out which teams got what prize. It is extremely unnerving for the quizmaster when he sees that someone who has answered his question (after standing up, and raising one’s hand even as the question is being read out) also breaks into a war-dance that would put a Native American Indian to shame. And that’s after every question, trust me. It also frightens me when students from Class III, when told that the round was going to be a flag round, start yelling “Eeeeeeeeeeeasy.” and proceed to crack every answer. Note to self – tougher questions the next time.

Did a comics quiz for the KQA yesterday. Note to self: scratch off one of life’s TODOs. Pretty good response, and really good answering by all the teams. Added to the already-generous official prize by adding a couple of comics DVDs/CDs as incentives. There, serioussam, that was me doing my bit for comics evangelism. Graphic Rampage ( for that was its name, precious) was followed by the Ganesh Nayak memorial quiz, conducted by tandavdancer, sonataindica, and their partner-in-criminally-good-quizzing Rajat. Blighters put paid to my no-excessive-geekery-in-the-comics-quiz rule by doing a seven question Sandman theme. One that I cracked at the fifth question, but refused to answer until Mother Teresa’s Racist Doglovers did so first. The propah excuse to make is that they were tagging behind our team by 5 points, and I didn’t want to upset the status quo. But the real reason was that other than Tori Amos, I could not figure out any way to connect the theme. How did I know it was Sandman? Because there is no way that Tori Amos can lead to anything ( or anyone) else in a quiz, other than Neil Gaiman. One of life’s little secrets, and the reason why I stayed away from Ms Amos in the comics quiz. Mwahahahahaha.

The whole question-setting/DVD-burning exercise added much to my stress levels on Saturday, which is probably the reason I fell asleep at 11:30 PM last night. One Perfectly Healthy Sunday night wasted – oh, the inhumanity of it all!

Frightening Coincidences Department

Ok, so last Wednesday night, I decide to read Miller’s Born Again arc off my hard disk. The reason why I hadn’t read this so far was that my Miller-Daredevil download, way back when downloads were at home in Hyderabad, comprised only issues 158-191. Managed to transfer the remaining issues ( 219, which I had owned and read way back, 227-233) from Sam when I was in Delhi, and yeah, so I read them at one go. Life was good, and the next day I came and checked out eBay prices. Just in case, you know.

Thursday Evening. A cursory trip to Magazines, Brigade Road’s gift to humankind along with Bookworm. (Blossom is exempted from the “gifts” category, and adds itself to the “necessary evil” part of the catalogue. ) Actually, I was on the way home from a trip to Bookworm, having bought a hardcover copy of Song of Susannah for a decent price, and Anthony Lane’s Nobody is Perfect, a collection of movie reviews and miscellaneous writings by the New Yorker reviewer ( trivia: where does the book get its title from?) Dropped into Magazines on a sudden impulse, and the guy tugs me by the sleeve and leads me to a corner stacked with Mojo and Uncut magazines, complete with CDs and astoundingly-high price tags. While I am still gasping for breath, he tugs at the other sleeve and leads me to the other corner of the shop, with the magic words “New comics.” And boy, oh boy, are they new or what! Get myself a stack of Supermans some two-three months old, a couple of JMS Spiderman issues, loads of Gotham Knights and Catwomans, when he brings out one more stack – which happen to be in packs of 5 each. I point out that because there’s no discount on the combo packs, he might as well open them up and display them as single issues – we comic-buyers always like to see what we are buying, right? As always, my powers of persuasion have the desired effect, and he slices open all 37-odd packs. At this juncture, I was about to go bill the comics I had selected ( along with a couple of Heavy Metal back-issues) when some familiar images peek out from the lot he’s diligently tagging. YES YES YESSSSSS! Issues 231, 232 and 233 of Daredevil, the ones I had read just the night before. More near-fainting spells ensue when I see the other comics in the lot – which include random issues of V For Vendetta, Elektra: Assassin, The ‘Nam, and Micronauts. (Yes, I love Michael Golden.) Had to pay 35 Rs per comic, but was worth it, really.

At the end of it all, I had to pay an auto-driver ten rupees extra to get the whole bundle back home. 99 comics, 3 magazines ( I totally ignored the Mojo/Uncut lot that evening), and two thick books. Now that was a night to remember.


15 thoughts on “Of quizzing, and happy coincidences.

  1. it was, good.. really…

    yeah, really… it was a good quiz… i think all of us expected to be slaughtered… wasn’t so bad.. we missed some sitters though.

    only crib: some of the qs were way too easy…. sabrina and sabu and all…

    • Re: it was, good.. really…

      I know, man. I just figured that some guys never read Chacha Chowdhary in their lives. I was wrong, of course!

  2. Sooper quiz, Beatzo-san.
    And about the Sandman theme, er…We personally felt connecting the Buddha with desire was kinda shady, but still, ‘Desire’ won over. *snicker*

  3. Your IV std. quiz reminds me of of an MnM quiz I conducted at Spring Spree. There were so many tie-break questions required that the last few had to be made up on the spot. That’s when I’ve felt most nervous in a quiz I think.

    • Tie-breakers are truly scary, especially if you are out of questions ( you are sure to be, it’s tough to get enough questions for a quiz…) and if you know some of the quizzers involved in the tie.

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