(Karthik Narayan, on behalf of the IQL team)

Every year I am part of the Madras Quiz for the last four years – all those years have been as a participant in the quiz. I eagerly waited for the day when we would get to host this coveted quiz. Sylvian Patrick shared the same thought with me last year when we teamed up for this quiz. That thought lingered, I promised Patrick that we would go on to host an OPEN quiz in the city of Chennai, if not the Madras Quiz, one of our own. Well, we did the India Quiz in January this year, and now when I asked Vincent, he was more than happy to let us do it.

Ever since we got the okay from Mylapore Times to host the Madras Quiz 2009, all of us at the IQL were quite excited. This is a quiz we have grown up on, have taken so many potshots at and most importantly, something close to our hearts and where we play to our strengths.

All of us got going and started compiling questions over the last 40 days or so. In the beginning it was easy; we had to just keep the questions rolling over and consolidate it as a database. But as we moved on, exchanged notes and compared our database with the questions that had already been asked, we realized our tasks had not even begun. There were so many questions that had been asked in previous editions and we could not afford to repeat questions at all.

The grueling strategy of eliminating repeated ones and making new questions started all over again, with less than a month to go. Every week all of us met and every time we grunted when told some of our questions had already been asked!!

The challenge did not stop there. Having been part of 4 of the first 5 editions of the Madras Quiz, we had a feel of the level and diversity of the participants – ranging from school going geniuses to aging yet agile sharp-shooters. These were people who had varying interests – from serial and soaps to Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, were crazy about cricket and kaapi yet spoke in American accents at work. So we wanted to cater to all of them, yet make it answerable by all. I thought we did quite well, considering we all have our day-jobs all through the week and all the time we got was during the weekend.

In between missing great Vijayakanth’s latest movies and making unusual excuses to our families for skipping lunches and dinners, we endlessly worked on our PC’s even on weekends and put up the extensive hours of research that showed up in our questions. We had our eureka moments that left us on a high, but the job was not done until we had covered all the topics. So we published a self-prescribed list of topics to ensure we had questions to cover each topic. Now we sit back and wonder how we did it all – ahh, leisure is now an available commodity that’s become cheaper again.

For a change, we got all the questions done well ahead of the quiz itself. We had quite a nightmare on the last day of the India Quiz, plugging questions into the quiz at the very last minute.

(To be concluded)

Prelims questions are attached below:

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