Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Quizzing Saga - II

This post is a continuation of Quizzing Saga - I.

The fellowship began to flounder. Yogesh left for MICA, SK went off in pursuit of his Army dreams, JK got busy in his journalism course and me being the unconventional play-it-safe types joined JBIMS to do my MBA.

Unlike the usual non-quizzing culture at JB, my batch had its bunch of quizzers as diverse as possible.
Kunal - I personally believe he is one of the best sports quizzers in Bombay
Acharya - His knowledge of literature put me to shame
Neeraj - COEP quizzer, who unfortunately quizzed very little at JB due to his Placecom commitments
Amit Pandeya - The best business quizzer I have met and arguably, among the top-5 in the country.

First year passed off with hardly any quizzing activity. Restricted to a few copy-paste business quizzes in Bombay, the year 2003-04 was largely forgettable. Also, Amit being from the part-time course, I hadn't met him till then. Wait. In fact, one image is permanently embedded in my mind. That of Sid Basu shaking his booty to the tune of some VIVA song at IIT-SOM. PRICELESS!!!

During our summers, had quite a letdown. If anyone is in search of a perfect example to support the 'Daaru Buri Cheez Hai' theory, then this is it. Kunal, Acharya, Rakesh and I had teamed up for University Challenge. Kunal was supposed to take the prelims from Delhi, and the other three from Bombay. Unfortunately, he got drunk the night before and ended up at the wrong place the next day. Our dreams of starting our IInd year with a bang got squashed.

It was at Armageddon 2004 (incidentally, hosted by yours truly) where I met Amit for the first time. The fact that both of us were from JB surprised us and left us cussing, "Why the FUCK haven't we teamed up?" So, just like that, we did team up for almost all the quizzes. And, we had the most rollicking time.

The first quiz we paired up for was BT-Acumen, where we ended up as West Zone winners beating the Sidin and Abhijit duo from IIM-A with considerable ease. What followed was a fully-paid air-trip to Delhi for the National finals. It turns out to be the only quiz where my objective was to finish second rather than win. The reason was quite obvious. First prize was a trip to Australia and some crappy course at some university, whereas the second prize was a cool Kinetic Laser bike. Now, tell me, who would want to come first. And, we duly achieved our objective. Though, I have to admit that Chandan Mohanty and Dev Menon from IIFT, Delhi were the superior team on the day. And this is how the guy who cannot ride a bicycle won a bike.

There was Confluence at IIM-A, where we once again rocked. I and Acharya paired up for most of the quizzes and ended up performing quite well. Won the Marketing quiz and ended up 3rd in a couple of other quizzes. Amit joined us for the big one hosted by, who else, but the Ringmaster himself, Siddharth Basu. The quiz was quite bad, with rehashed stuff and dhaaped qns. Fortunately, won it on the last question. Will try and narrate the last 10 minutes of the quiz in a different post altogether.

I and Kunal teamed up for the Sports Quiz at Mood I at IIT-B. Frankly, I'm not much of a sports quizzer and almost the entire quiz rested on the shoulders of Kunal. With an excellent team from Anna University and the ESPN School Quiz Winners from Abhinav Vidyalaya now representing Fergusson College, we stood very little chance. Especially, with a partner like me. We decided to just have a good time. Kunal went to crack most of the football qns, prompting a murmur from the FC bachhas, "Kaay he? Kasa yeta hyaanna?" (How do they know all this stuff?) Quite an ego-booster, I should admit. We were pleasantly surprised to end up joint 3rd with the FC team. The only other time I and Kunal teamed up was at IIM-C for the business quiz, where I had to shoulder the responsibility and ended up making a hash of it. Could not even qualify for the finals, which Amit and Acharya went on to win in style.

Next was Tata Crucible hosted by Giri. Amit and I won the Bombay regional round quite comfortably, but got blown away in the National Finals by Arvind and Praveen from ICFAI, Chennai. Had to be content with the runners-up spot. A low-point for us, because I believe we had quite a good chance of winning it. But, it just wasn't our day and Arvind & Praveen were much better prepared than us.

The biggest disaster was the IMA-IBQ Brand Guru quiz at Indore. Acharya and I got knocked out in the student round semi-finals because of a dickhead QM, who goes by the name of Harish Bijoor.
Buzzer Round.
Qn - Which Indian brand advertises with a bunny?
I buzzed and answered Lijjat Papad / Sri Mahila Griha Udyog. To my utter horror, we were awarded negative points and Harish gave the answer as Nutrine. The explanation given was Lijjat Papad uses a rabbit and not a bunny. WHAT THE FUCK!!!

In between all this, we organised 'KwizKraft' - the first ever open Quiz Festival at JBIMS. Considering the miserly prize money, it turned out to be quite a decent show, with around 150 quizzers taking part in the day-long fest.

All in all, it was by far the most prolific year of quizzing for us all. And, especially for me. Maybe, because I finally found an excellent partner in Amit. Within business quizzing, we both had our distinct areas of competence, which helped us complement each other very well. Not to imply that JK / Hansie / Yogesh / SK were any less quizzers. But, we all belonged to the same school of quizzing. We all were good in brand name origins and company history. Amit, in addition to being good in these areas, was awesome in current affairs and business trivia. Which is why, we were such a deadly combo.

In a lot of ways, my quizzing days at JB were quite similar to those during BMS. True, the prizes got bigger and stakes got higher. The competition got a lot tougher. Rather than local train trips to Churchgate and Vile Parle, we now traveled to Ahmedabad and Delhi and Calcutta and Bangalore. But, the underlying element of fun and enjoyment remained the same. It was a phase of our lives that we lived to our fullest. A phase that we can be proud of, because when asked what we did in our two years of MBA, we can hold our heads high and refer not just to copy-paste projects and assignments and exams and placements, but also, to creating a name for ourselves in the b-school arena and our endeavor to be the best in atleast, a particular sphere.


Anonymous Salil said...

I was there at the IIT-B Sports quiz. The FC team from Abhinav came 2nd IIRC.

KwizKraft was a nice event. Unfortunately for the last one my partner Kunal Sawardekar had to leave, so I partnered Acharya and missed qualifying by 0.5 points :(

9:09 AM  
Blogger Surya Ragunaathan said...

"INSPIRATION thy name,I bow my HEAD before thee" By the way, did u learn to ride the bike finally?

6:47 PM  
Blogger Amit Pandey said...

Perhaps the first time, I am thanking you (in writing !!) for nearly a great - year and half of Quizzing Experience as a Team.

Your mastery over business history still confounds me, not to forget your sheer breadth of knowledge( read - General Quizzing). What still beats me though, is why you never tried BBC's Mastermind ( Lucky for the three Ladies & 1 Doon Maths Prof )

BTW, you missed mentioning about the AIMA B-School Quiz we topped at NMIMS. Surely the after quiz experience takes the cake.

Do keep writing. Have been following your post for a long time.

NB: Don't ever ask the question about the " Indian Lead Actors appearing in Maximum number of roles", if you happen to be the Quizmaster and find me participating in it...

8:49 AM  
Blogger loveunlimited said...

hi dhanajay, the memory of u delivering a sort of lecture in open acces library to bunch of juniors....quoting ur words" that for a mere 1-2% increase in our scores we never left doing thing we love the most and thats armageddon" and this post of urs reinforces the spirit of actualy pursuing, respecting and making others like ur hobby in the most impactful way....may ur obsession keep producing excelent results for u and all!!!
smile, love and live

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Nikita Vaid said...

Hi Dhananjay, Am Nikita Vaid from the present TYBMS. Surya read out some of your posts to me over the phone the other day and I just want to say that your are an amazing writer. I like the way you write and the amnner in which you use the language. Surya has promised that she would read out every post of yours to me, so am glad i can read your blog at least coz i think this will be the first and the last time I get to comment on your blog coz i do not want to trouble surya to write comments for me every time(like am doing now). But I will always keep reading your blog. great going!!
(p.s: Hii this is surya, niki is just being too formal, u will recieve more comments from her, Aakhir main itni bhi lazy nahi hoon!cheers!!)

5:47 PM  
Blogger K.K. said...

I still remember the time and what stand out for me was when you guys came fourth in IIM-A confluence when still in BMS. Jyada tarifh nahin karunga :-)

8:16 AM  
Blogger Dhananjay Shettigar said...

@ Salil - Thanks for correcting me. We stood joint 2nd with the FC team. Kwizkraft was quite haphazardly organised. But, I am sure people loved the quizzes on offer, which is of paramount importance. And, I remember you missing by 0.5 points. Right after the elims, Acharya came up to me and said, "Mera Partner Tho Stud Nikla."

@ Surya - Thank you very much. comments.

@ Amit Pandey - You have been far too generous in your comment. Mastermind was just not my cup of tea. Had written the elims once, but the amount of current affairs questions just squashed my hopes. And, yeh I haven't mentioned quite a few quizzes. AIMA and IIPM to name just a couple of them.

@ loveunlimited - You still remember what I said that day. Man, that was quite a harangue. Anywhichways, thank you very much.

@ Nikita Vaid - Great to find your comment. Thank you very much.

@ KK - Hey! JK, SK and Hansie must be squirming with anger. Actually, it was they, who qualified at IIM-A Confluence while still in BMS. I had passed out, by then.

I am still awaiting comments from atleast a couple of more people. I hope you two get the message.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Acharya said...

The 1st quiz i went to with u was TISS. I guess that was the start. Though i am pretty sure, after that one i wasn't much use to you. In almost all the quizzes we won and participated in, you and pandeya carried me. Salil came close to doing it in KwizKraft. Both u guys seem to have forgotten that salil and i didnt miss out by 0.5 points....we lost on tie-breaker points.....and i stand by what i said then.."mera partner to stud nikla"...For u guys who have quizzed a lot, it might be just fun. But for me, its still a situation of win-or-nothing. The fun element comes later. Guess, i have a lot to learn. The best part of quizzing was the number of places we visited. Cant forget the kid on the cal train...nor the discussions u me and kunal had. Ahmedabad, indore, cal, Pune & B'lore.... that were th highlights of year 2 in JB....not placements n all. Wish we could do it all over again. Dil chahta hai!!!!!!

12:15 AM  
Blogger Dhananjay Shettigar said...

@ Acharya - TISS was quite a nice quiz and we just bullshitted our way to 2nd.
I still remember you and Rakesh sitting by my side in pin-drop silence throughout the Mktg quiz at IIM-A. Its a pity I had to share the 12k with you two :)
You remember the kid!!! All I remember is the hot Bong aunty whose kid you were babysitting. I and Kunal have still not forgiven you for jumping the gun and inviting her for a game of cards. How could you, Acharya??? We could have had the ride of our lives. Not being punny, here. You ruined the whole damn thing.
Yeah, I wish we could do the whole thing again.

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Jk said...

Oye fellow quizzing brother,

Really nice post...those were the days!!! (sob..sob...)

For all 6 of us - SK, Me,U, Jadya, Hansie & Aswin,QUIZZING was an obssession back then, it has become a passion..a religion!

As u always mention at the end of ur mails..

"May our tribe grow" - ppl who worship knowledge and learning and have fun doing it..!

Nostalgic and inspirational post dude...keep rocking...

11:13 PM  
Blogger Prasad Sawant said...

I don't know whether I am in a position to talk about quizzing when I am just a newbie.

After participating in few quizzes here and there, I have realized the kind of hard work you must have done for this.

Every time I feel bad about the way I mess up in quizzes, I come and read quizzing saga 1 and 2.

Thank you for giving me what I had lost during my college days.

3:38 AM  

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