A Hyuk-hyuk-ey weekend

I was to do a quiz for IIT Roorkee this Saturday and two quizzes for MICA Ahmedabad on Sunday. Pretty hectic weekend, and all that. The flight to Delhi was at 10:30 PM, and someone from Roorkee was to come pick me up at Delhi airport. Everything hunky-dory. Reading material of choice for the journey was Sergei Lukyanenko’s Night Watch and Diana Wynne-Jones’s Collected Short Stories. Finished a third of Nightwatch on the flight, which was fairly on time. Got down, was picked up, and the nice volunteer escorted me to the taxi, which already had another passenger who had been waiting for about 15 minutes for my flight to arrive. A nice amiable guy named Cyrus Broacha. Heh.

Slept for quite sometime on the ride, but it soon got very cold, and the trust-nature-not-to-go-awry part of me had made sure I hadn’t packed any warm clothes – after all, it’s not even November. Shivered through a conversation with co-passenger, and with much relief arrived at the campus guest house at about five thirty in the morning.

The quiz started at about three, thankfully, so there was enough time to grab some rest. It went quite well, or so I thought. Followed it up with an anime DVD-burning session at the hostels. One of the organisers told me that my ride back to Delhi would, in all likelihood, have Shibani Kashyap as co-passenger. Much inner giggliness followed. Ah well, it so transpired that the lady threw a tantrum or two and then left for Delhi much sooner than expected. Which left Mr Broacha and myself to be co-passengers yet again. The man hadn’t eaten, and neither had the driver – later, we learnt the poor guy had been making Roorkee-Delhi-Roorkee trips the last two days without much sleep or food. Not too many dhabas open at 1 AM in the night, but the driver insisted that he knew a good place – “just five minutes ahead, sir.” With the amount of smog on the road, it took a good 30 minutes to arrive at the dhaba. Cyrus and I talked quite a bit – his new programme on CNN-NBC, the perils of a VJ-ing job, why quizzing should be taken more seriously, and how similar a software job is to that of a television executive.

Right. So Cyrus gets quite freaked out when I say I have two quizzes ahead of me in the next 12 hours and proceeds to give me the back seat of the car to catch up on some sleep. I wrap myself in a bedsheet borrowed from one of the IIT-R organisers ( Thanks, guys!) and plonk off. And am suddenly awake because there is a crash and a screech of brakes and I have hit my nose against the front seat. Get up groggily to find the driver careening rather fast through the highway – seems he hit a rickshaw, our windshield is cracked, and the rickshaw driver’s probably lying somewhere groaning to himself. Ah, well, at least the car’s moving, and because it’s late for my flight, we tell the guy to continue. We fall asleep again. It’s about 2:30 in the morning.

And I wake up again, to the sound of screeching. This time, the driver’s fallen asleep, and the car is kissing the divider. Rearview mirror’s gone. Guy wakes up along with us, and grins sheepishly. Cyrus looks at me. I look at him. “I don’t think I am going to sleep again.”, he says. Neither can I, I reply. It was four thirty. We spend the rest of the drive clenching our fists, looking at the watch, and making occasional small talk. Reach the airport in time for my flight, and Cyrus buys his ticket back to Mumbai. When I am in the queue to check-in my luggage, he comes looking for me. Quite loudly, says – “The driver sucked, no? We won’t ever travel with him again!” Half the crowd ( or maybe all of them, I didn’t really notice) gape at me as I crack up loudly.

The trip to MICA was quite relaxed. Matter of fact, any trip would be relaxed compared to the previous night’s experience. Had enough time to catch up on sleep, and the campus is peaceful enough for me to contemplate moving in. Of course, they would have to allow me to take my stuff along, too. The buildings reminded me of IIM Bangalore ( or, as a friend from IIM Bangalore put it later, “MICA is like the Commie version of IIM Bangalore.” Because the structures are made of red brick) and the guest house totally rocked. Had to do quite a bit of template manipulation just before the quiz – the sponsors wanted their logo all over the ppt and I had to change quite a bit of font colours and stuff. But all’s well that ends well, I guess. Both the quizzes went off without much of a hitch. Except for the fact that I had to scrap two questions because of minor ( yeah, right!) brain-damaged glitches on my part.

So this weekend, I’m off to Kanpur. Doing the General quiz and the Entertainment Quiz. The week after, to Indore, for the Lone Wolf Quiz, and to participate in Udatta’s A/V quiz. Quite looking forward to it, because it’s the first Uddu quiz I will be taking part in, after five and a half years. Busy busy busy, as you can see.

And Nightwatch is freaking amazing. I need to find out if Daywatch is available at all, and fast.


14 thoughts on “A Hyuk-hyuk-ey weekend

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would’ve normally asked you the “how’s-you-doing-now-post-accident-you-poor-thing” sorta question, but a line from the third last paragraph numbed my brain into just one probably question.

    WTH!!?? (Acronym edited for public consumption)

    (ref: or, as a friend from IIM Bangalore put it later, “MICA is like the Commie version of IIM Bangalore.” )

    I’m sorry but I kinda resent that. :|


  2. Anonymous says:

    Here come the courtesies…

    hey there,

    Funny how it turned out to be MICA rather than Hyderabad. Thought of dropping in later, but couldn’t get myself to wake up any sooner than 5 in the evening after MICANVAS :) Hope you had a good time.

    Psst: IIM-B?? Its a good thing u didn’t run into our director. He thinks he’s trying to model this place on the lines of the ‘other’ b-school in town. ;)


  3. Anonymous says:

    Dya need anything?

    I’m coming for a short trip to India around Christmas. If there is something particularly esoteric you want that you don’t get in apna des and want from the US, let me know. Will be glad to get it for you.

    Also, plizz to upload the quizzes somewhere.


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