A report on the February 2009 Quiz by Harshvardhan Bhatkuly.
What an evening that was! (silly me, that I can't include the OTR dinner bit in this reflection as I had to leave early). The February '09 version of SEQC is widely looked upon as the magnum opus for this season. What with Anniruddha – SEQC's leading quiz light doing the honours at his Porvorim residence. In tow were the gracious hostess – wife Anjali and the four four-legged members of SEQC who are yet to feature on the leaderboard – Bhalu, Hero, Jaya and Chipko. As promised, the quiz was a heavy dose of audio visual extravagance. Annie would have stretched for another hour or so, if not for the time restrictions that some members had.
The session started well on time and went on for a mammoth 2 and a half hours. The length of a standard Hindi feature film. Yes there were song and dance too – albeit among the questions. Annie's forte as the master quizzer comes to fore, when you realize the body of subjects that he attempts. And there were usual Annieisms – the first question for instance (the answer being ANNIES) which was lapped by the eventual winning team led by Rajiv with Sunil, Renuka and young Jayant in tow who incidentally gave a cracker of a 'Papua New Guinea' answer.
Another aspect of the quiz which had everyone eating out of the QMs was the quality of questions that had answers in the 'aaha' factor into it. Annie also wonderfully meshed a supplementary question when he thought a question could have something more hidden into it. The 'Who dis? Wat that?', 'Flag March' 'Other Lives' and 'A sense of Place' were extremely interesting, interactive (remember Josef Mengele and the lost/removed 'one'?) and educative. All at the same time.
The quiz had some serious firsts. It had, as mentioned earlier, broken the humans-only barrier; there were more people in the room than ever before at a SEQC event; the lengthiest quiz so far; the only all visual quiz, the use of J L Baird's Idiot Box as an interface – a welcome change from the laptops or chits. Frankly, this is the quiz to beat. Annie has raised the bar of the club and more power to him.
Also let me welcome on board all the newcomers Devinder Nagi, Smita Kaushik, B.S. Nagraj, Ulrike Rodrigues, Esperance Rolt and Rohan Rolt.