Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My MICA Carnival

Had been to MICA, Ahmedabad with Hansraj for their Annual Fest Micanvas. Here is the long and short of the entire trip.

Quite an inauspicious start to our journey, as we were duped to the tune of a couple of hundred bucks by a conniving bastard, who promised us a reserved seat in the train. Something in me urged not to trust him, but the gullible side came to the fore and was duly duped. Will kick his butt, if I ever see him again.

With an RAC ticket in place, I and Hansie had to share a seat and slept in position 69. Fortunately, sideways. Woke up in the morning only to cuss each other for not getting toothpaste. Finally reached Ahmedabad station at 7 in the morning, smell-shocked but alive.

After some more haggling with Gujju rickshaw drivers, we reached this place called Bopal and checked in at Vijay Guest House. Quite a seedy place with walls adorned with paintings of amorous couples in not-so-uncompromising postures and the like. But, who cares. As if it was my honeymoon.

Lying on the bed...watching the ceiling fan and my failed attempt to count its rpm...the bloody lizard that refused to budge from its spot on the bathroom wall...listening to patriotic songs blaring from a loudspeaker nearby... reminded me of a certain Agastya 'Hazaar-Fucked' Sen.

Met my juniors Prasanna and Pallavi on reaching MICA in the afternoon. They were the only two from JBIMS and since most of the events required 4 members, they made me sit through the elims of a couple of strategy games. Had fun exercising my logical skills and all that MBA nonsense.

Quizzing time:
First up was the Biz Quiz hosted by Samanth. The elims was quite standard fare, but atleast all the teams got the same easy questions. Qualified for the finals and finished last. Mitesh Agarwal + Partner won by a narrow margin of 5 points over the IIM-A team. Have to admit, I was utterly disappointed with what was dished out. Stuff that was vaguely business...huge variation in the level of questions...very few good qns...but above all, a few were picked right from quizzes that had appeared recently on various quizzing groups. Coming from a QM like Samanth, it was all the more disappointing. Guess, I have to seriously contemplate hosting biz quizzes from now on. Any takers...

Got the news that we had qualified for the finals of both the strategy events, one of which was held at an obscenely late hour and hence, duly slept right through the finals.

The next morning was spent checking out of our dinghy guest house and moving in at the MICA hostel. Again the bugger juniors made me sit through the elims of some word-cum-number game. Being fascinated with word games right since I was 11 or 12 and in recent times with Sudoku, I obliged. Cracked the Sudoku within no time and shifted my focus on to crossword. Did a good job overall and got through to the finals.

General Quiz:
Hosted by Mastermind India J. Ramanand, this was much better than the Biz Quiz. Missed a few sitters and made a couple of wrong guesses. Quite obviously, did not make it to the finals, which was graced by the presence of some ace quizzers including Amit Verma, Samanth, Gaurav Sabnis, J Krishnamurti and Shamanth. The finals was hardcore quizzing at its best. Hardly knew 25% of the answers and had a tough time writing down fundas (unknown to me) on a piece of paper. Samanth+partner stood 1st defeating the Kunal and Abhishek pair from Pune.

And then, the cruel hand of destiny reared its ugly middle finger and I missed the elims of the Solo quiz hosted by J Krishnamurti. To make life more miserable, missed the finals as well. I'm still kicking myself.

But, yeah...I did what I had never done before. Attended the Parikrama Rock show without boozing. Main apne aap ko aaine mein kaise dekh paaonga??? Parikrama wasn't too great, especially because they refused to play a single Metallica song, even after repeated urgings. The most hilarious part was watching a few people head-bang to Joe Satriani. I mean, OK, he is a guitar legend, but head-banging... If Satriani comes to know, he might just bang his head against the wall.

Could not attend the finals of word game and one of the strategy games, since our train was scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, on our way back to Bombay, there were these three 45+ men seated near us. Weary though I was, could not help catching snippets of their conversation. Here is the gist or should I say conclusions that they themselves had drawn -
1. The recent Pakistan earthquake was an act of divine intervention
2. Why are cricketers provided fully-paid expensive treatment? Example cited was Nari Contractor.
3. Sharad Pawar and his lobby... did not follow much, since I have very little understanding of sugar-belt politics
4. Cussing everything about the current generation and repeated parroting of 'During our times...'
I mean, with arguments like these, what are the chances of them being crowned World Debating Champion. Minuscule, ain't it?
The only point I agreed with was their blasting off the Saas-Bahu serials (all-time punching bag).

Sutta and cutting chai at 2 o'clock in the night in what is called 'Chhota' Canteen...spending hours with people I had never met before and speaking with them about arbit stuff...watching Pallavi and Prasanna have a go at each other at the slightest pretext...listening to Hansie about his renewed interest in joining a residential b-school... all these brought back memories of my trip to IIM-Ahmedabad for Confluence 2004.

I did end up a bit poorer in monetary terms. But, made some new friends, met a few old acquaintances from my BMS days, competed against the very best in quizzing, etc, etc. In that sense, I am a lot richer...

PS: Hats Off to MICA students for their excellent handling of the fest and for the generous hospitality. Clap! Clap! Clap!


Blogger Gaurav said...

Amit and I were wondering where you were during the Solo Quiz elims, becauseyou would have definitely made it to the finals. I missed by one point, all the more criminal, since I rubbed out a right answer and wrote a wrong one. :(

10:34 PM  
Blogger Dhananjay Shettigar said...

Gaurav - You have been far too generous in your comment. I mean, with seasoned quizzers like you, Amit and Mitesh sitting out of the finals, what would have been the chances of a poor guy like me? But, yeah it would have been a good way of judging where I stand in comparison to quizzing giants of the country. BTW, do you have the elims qns?

10:33 PM  

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