When we all went back home the day before the quiz (Saturday, Aug 22, the official birthday of Madras), we were quite satisfied with the final output. All that remained was to give it the final touches. All those hours of research would finally pay!! Everyone kept pouring the questions in, so that was a really big help. We did not have to go around fishing for questions at the end. As is the general trend, we did keep 4-5 questions in reserve for current happenings on the eve of Madras Day. Later, I reminded myself to go through the newspapers of the entire week – there was too much to read and note down. Maybe use it for next year!!

Well, we all had our moments on the eve of the quiz, it did not really go all that smooth as people may think!!

On D-day, Sanandan wanted us all to go traditional, to wear kurta-dhoti to give that ethnic feel about the whole thing. On hindsight, I wonder what the audience might have thought of that one – “ethnic”, “cute” or “outrageous”. I was a bit apprehensive about this idea; I would have loved to be there in a kurta-dhoti, but wanted to check with the others if they were okay for it. Patrick had never worn one in his life, so it was practically out of the question. Plus, one wardrobe slip might have converted the carnival into a comedy.

Besides that, overnight we were informed that we had to coordinate with the hardware suppliers ourselves!! This brought about a shift in our priorities. All along it was said that we would be hosting the quiz and need not worry about the background work, and now we had to start calling people, get things organized. A fall-out of this later shook us more on D-day in the form of the audio jack!!

 It was a matter of time before we settled things, but some scary stuff prevailed. The jitters started to shake a few of us a bit, a few minutes before the start of the prelims, the projector guy informed us coolly that he had not brought the audio jack! Of all the nerve!!

 Once the audio jack was set into place, we immediately did a test run, and we were all set to go! From there it was Sylvian Patrick all the way… He kept his nerve throughout the prelims and finals, made the stage his own and conducted it bravely considering it was his first OPEN quiz. Patrick carries with him a rich experience in terms of college quizzes, but my personal opinion about any quiz is that every quiz helps us learn.

The Madras Quiz would not have been possible without the aid, help, mentoring etc of a lot of people. The following list was not and is not intended to be part of an Oscar winning speech.

Sakthish Kumar who came all the way from Andhra to be part of the team was sent to run around looking for the audio jack. Simultaneously I got in touch with Vincent & Revathi of Mylapore Times. Vincent was almost like – it’s a Sunday, can you sacrifice all your audios and do alternative text questions. All of us did not know how to react to this. Big heartfelt thanks to both Sakthish Kumar and Kathir (of Mylapore Times). Without their timely help, it would have been a big flop show – with a lot of audios and videos at stake.

A special mention must go to all the members that helped out with this quiz: Hantan and Vijay for taking care of the prizes, coordinating with the Chief Guest of the day; Raji aunty for the timely help and brilliant questions and being part of the quiz at the venue; Murthy for his patience, his antics and scaring us with his “my laptop is not working” at the venue but eventually for his efficient scoring. Sridhar, Matti for helping out with the questions, giving valuable suggestions and coming to the quiz inspite of having other priorities (Matti was sick and Sridhar had his research studies to do). Subhashri, Sanandan and Vinod Hariharan for their great questions; Yaggy and Priyanka for helping out with correction of prelims and last but very importantly, our sponsors and Mylapore Times who gave us this opportunity to host the quiz.

Positives to take away:

We learnt a lot from hosting this quiz. Would like to share some out here for the benefit of everyone. 

  • Quiz started and ended on time.
  • Content was King
  • Great effort by Patrick to pull it off – his first OPEN quiz and he did a great job!! There were some issues with the hardware, but he remained calm and carried the show through…
  • Got good positive feedback.

Some stuff to work on: 

  • Need to check audios for the quality before using – the PB Srinivoss question did not come out perfectly. Trivial but very important in an OPEN quiz where stakes are high.
  • Need to involve audience more by having small talk. Sometimes a “great answer but not right”, “YES” works well rather than a simple NO.
  • Guy handling the slides to be more alert, need to follow the QM before moving to the next question (this is for me, I was the one handling the slides)
  • We had nearly 35-40 questions that were long textual qns. Need to see how we can reduce this to save time and effort of reading. Else READ ONLY the key words in the question.
  • Most importantly – questions are to be READ clearly and carefully. There was a hint of urgency in the way the slides were run + the quizmaster read the questions a tad too quick.

Overall a brilliant effort by the entire team; IQL is making rapid strides. We promise to do an awesome-er job at India Quiz 2010.

We hope the quiz was good, we did our best to make it look good on all counts – to cover all facets of the ever-growing city of Madras and at the same time to give entertainment and quality to this annual event that has grown from strength to strength.

Please do give us your feedback on the quiz. We would like to know how well we did, where we can improve and improvise.