The raucous, boisterous and fractious contingent from BITS Pilani (Goa campus – incidentally, why is this institution defined by the location of its parent body?Why not just BITS, Goa, like IIT followed by the place the particular IIT is located?) has added much colour, quality and chaos in the past few months that it has been attending SEQC quizzes.
For the April monthly SEQC quiz, the BITS gang was there in strength, and as usual made a big impact on the quiz, having among their numbers many good quizzers. And – wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles – their fractiousness was firmly in check, with no complex arguments over every decision by the QM. They have clearly accepted the spirit of SEQC – while we all quiz to win, it’s just a game, and the main point is to enjoy oneself! Besides, the quizmaster this time round was a BITSian himself, Ajachi Chakraborti, who maintained discipline with a firm hand, probably using tricks gleaned from watching his teachers at BITS in action.
Coming to the quizzing action itself, Ajachi provided an excellent quiz, with 60 questions, divided into groups of 30 each, with each group having its own theme-based connect. The questions were interesting, sometimes fascinating, and a good time was had by all. Both the themes were cleverly devised – logical, without being obvious. There was some patchiness in the quiz, with a few questions being absolute sitters. For example, the answer to the question about Alberto Fujimori, which covered the whole of a slide in fine print, was obvious by line 3.
But those are minor quibbles about what, by popular acclaim, a superb quiz. Ajachi said that he had devised it in 3 days, a claim that one is advised to take with a bucketful of salt. Okay, maybe he actually put it together in 3 days, given that his computer got fried on April Fools’ Day, but many of the questions must have been simmering in his head for some time.
The competition was sharp, and fortunes fluctuated throughout the evening. Team 6 managed to overcome the huge handicap imposed by the presence of Aniruddha Sen Gupta and triumphed convincingly, much to the credit of the other team members who had to cope with this particular albatross round their necks. There was a dead heat between two teams for second place, and the other teams followed close behind.
The young quizzers in SEQC have been put in a sterling performance as QMs – the quizzes by Amit Shet, Navin Pai, Srikant Subramaniam and now Ajachi were all very good – and the old fogeys in SEQC better put in some effort if they are not to be completely overshadowed. That the said ofs are feeling the heat is clear from the fact that monstrous Annie, who is the QM for the May monthly (the closing monthly of SEQC year 2009-10), has promised to deliver a ‘monster’ quiz. We can hardly wait, Annie – bring it on!
Meanwhile, as we move into the last lap of SEQC year 2, Annie has for the first time got his nose ahead of Rajiv on the leaderboard. Maybe this year Annie will be the champion, rather than Rajiv doing a repeat? This two-horse race is going to be a contest worth watching.