Part of the aftermath of every quiz I conduct is the proliferation of questions-that-should-have-been. I kid you not, it’s almost like Nature unburdens herself with a deluge of quiz-worthy information just to spit in your eye and rub it in about how much your quiz sucked and how better it would have been had you just read this bit of news one week ago, or if only you thought of that particular theme topic, or…
Ah well, the trick is to ignore all of the self-loathing and move on in life. As far as I am concerned, I just finished a quiz, and it went well, according to the organisers and quite a few of the participants. It was the Entertainment quiz for Nihilanth 2008, organised by IIT Bombay. Nihilanth, for those who came in late, is an inter-IIT-IIM quiz festival that has been around since 2002. In theory an annual event, it suffers from frequent lapses in its agenda; not without reason – the selection of venue and time of the year in which to conduct the fest is a humongously complicated process that involves blood sacrifices under the full moon, tactical maneuvers fought with eldritch weapons and followed by much lamentation of women. Uh, complicated process, don’t bother. But doing a Nihilanth quiz has always been fun. The first one was my first ever professional outing as a QM, one that brought me into contact with quite a few interesting people, set in motion a frenzied quiz-outings across institutes throughout the country and also ensured a steady supply of Sino-Japanese-Korean content into my hard drive. This one had zero effect on hard drive, but was fun all the same.
What surprised me the most this time when I entered the hall was the number of familiar faces in attendance. Quizzing folks I remembered meeting from quite-a-few-years-ago and who I was pretty sure would be off the college circuit by now. Then I realised the bulk of them were ex-IITians who were now IIMians. The Prelims went by without a hiccup, and because there was a lunch break before the finals, I got some time to polish up the slides for the Finals, sat back and read Warren Ellis’s Thunderbolts until the quiz began at 2. Apart from a bit of confusion in the middle of the finals where some of the videos did not show up on the projection screen – I had to exit the presentation, which in turn crashed Powerpoint and forced me to reboot the laptop – the finals went pretty much on time and in synch with whatever expectations I had. A long visual connect in the middle caused an incredible upset in the rankings because the IIM Kozhikode team ( which included LVC veteran Shamanth ) cracked it early on. IIM Indore maintained their lead throughout the quiz. Quite a few teams from IIMA were in the finals, and I believe one of them came third. Because there was a bit of time left and also because IITM weren’t anywhere around, I snuck in my second long visual connect as well. I had put it on hold the day before because udupendra told me there was something similar asked in this year’s Saarang, the kind of information that forces hasty rearrangement of slides and much heart-burn.
The trip was pretty hectic because I wanted to be back early on Sunday, and the only other quiz I managed to attend was Shamanth’s Lone Wolf quiz. That officially makes him the first quizmaster+participant in Nihilanth history. Scheduled to begin at 7 PM, it began at around 11 PM, not for any fault of the organisers, apparently there was a clash of venues with another event. This brought back good memories of late-night ( or early-morning, depending on how you look at it) quizzes of yore, but my biological clock just could not handle the sleep-cycle shift and I crashed at around 2:30 AM.
Hold on a second, you ask. Wasn’t I supposed to be off quizzing? Well, yes I was. I guess this stint officially ends my sabbatical. Oh yes, world, I am back. ( You can be Mozart, if you want.)