Monday, June 1, 2009
Harsh makes Goa go 'whoa!'
A report on the 1st Chandrakant Keni Memorial Goa Quiz
I have been to many events over the course of more than 30 years of quizzing, but never have I witnessed a quizmaster get the kind of ovation that Harsh got on May 30, after completing the Chandrakant Keni Memorial Goa Quiz. And deservedly so. Gadgil mentioned to me midway through the event that, of all SEQC quizzes, he liked Harsh's ones best because "they have something for everyone". That's what made this one so good as well. It was a superbly put together quiz, which spanned the range of interest areas, challenging the champion and encouraging the dilettante, and even making the bhaile feel like insiders.
It was a saving grace for SEQC that one of our latest recruits, Leroy, took the crown with an emphatic victory, as he was the only representative of the club who made it to the stage. His team -- though he was the only one answering, so it would be safe to say that his partner Durgesh was a silent spectator -- romped home with 120 points, the next best team getting to 80.
Though Leroy's performance deserves some vigorous back-thumping, the day undoubtedly belonged to Mr Bhatkuly. It's difficult to imagine that the urge to hold this quiz had seized him by the vitals barely a week ago. Within this timeframe, with just a little help from friends such as Sunil Sardessai, he put together a high-voltage event that crackled and fizzed from the point the humongous audience began to collect at the Institute Menezes Braganza's Art Gallery.
Quizmaster Q9 holding forth, in the midst of his adoring congregation
A written elimination round of 26 questions pared the 150-odd participants down to six teams of two each. Before the main event, tributes were paid to the late Chandrakant Keni by Prajal Sakhardande and the writer's daughter (and Harsh's wife) Urvija. Kenibab's portrait was garlanded and a lamp lit in his honour -- Harsh was generous enough to invite Rajiv and me to participate in this ceremony.
Prajal paying homage to Chandrakant Keni; and the written prelims in progress
Then commenced the main event, with seven rounds named after Goa's rivers, including two rounds on a buzzer that Harsh had had flown down from Bombay for the occasion. It was a close fight till round five, when Leroy suddenly ran away with the competition, helped no doubt by two or three questions that had a heritage bent to them.
Teams on stage; and Leroy and Durgesh receiving the trophy -- yup, Harsh had managed that, too!
All in all, the Chandrakant Keni Memorial Goa Quiz was a very fitting celebration of Goa's Statehood Day. To borrow from Gadgil again, "as far as [quizzing] missionary work goes, this event takes the cake". Harsh da jawab nahin (luckily, his questions da jawab are a different matter)!
The final scores
Winner: Leroy Veloso & Durgesh Naik 120 points
Runners-up: Neville Monteiro & Gomakant Mhambre 80 points
3rd Place: Sayuli Pai Raikar & Raunaq Rao 55 points
4th Place: Cosme Fernandes & Manoj Kamat 30 points
5th Place: Tanvi & Shodhan Kamat Bambolkar 20 points
6th Place: Ramrao & Saheel Wagh 15 points