(Karthik Narayan)

Today’s quizzes are like masala movies – you look for a bit of everything; passion for knowledge, showcasing your mind skills, some fun, quizmaster’s wit, great questions backed by innovative, laughter inducing answers at times making for one evening of total enjoyment.
The gravity centre of Chennai seemed to slightly shift towards Chetput at Lady Andal’s school with high hopes pinned on their skills. The quiz was not exactly entertaining – the mix of questions were not heavy towards any particular topic but made it a dry affair even though we did have a few audios and videos. The Quizmaster Rajiv Rai’s body language did not suggest much of a variety in terms of reactions to answers (there was no real punch in his words or steps). It looked like he was going through the motions, cutting the formality to ease. I am a small time quizzer and have hosted a few QFI sessions and quizzes, and the first lesson I learnt was not to FOLD my hands in front of the teams or the audience. This gives a defensive kind of body language.

For those who think body language is for sissies, there was more that we as audience had to contend with – the font size,  colour (yellow is very hard to read with a lighter background and hurts the eyes!!) and the huge amount of text (one question actually ran into 3 slides of text and one visual) – all were not quizzer friendly. And there were too many rounds and hence too many questions, one felt. There was even a question for which the Quizmaster himself did not know the correct answer (he had to check his notes – pity).

There were about 100 teams that participated, quite a few stayed back to watch the finals, mostly hoping for a glimpse of the hero of the day – Vishwanathan Anand. The whole quiz was hosted for a great cause – for building a school for the underpriveleged children at Kotturpuram. We were only glad to be of little help by contributing by name of donor passes for this quiz.

But it was not totally bakkwaas – some of the questions were WOW factors. But one felt that there were too many rounds, the finals almost took about two and a half hours to end and we literally had to push ourselves to stay back.
Being senior quizzers who have won many quizzes – one felt the organizers could have done better on ironing some flaws out.

Mind you, this is the same team that brought us great quizzes like the Ceat Open and the Odyssey quizzes. So we are not expecting perfection but definitely anticipate great things from these guys.
The quiz seemed to be always a fight for second place since QED (Swami, Samanth and JK) were always in the lead right from the word go. It was nice seeing Dr.Navin Jayakumar participate as a quizzer for a change. Dr.Navin, his mom Saranya Jayakumar and Avinash Mudaliar came second with lots of goodies and a photo roll call with Vishy Anand!

The gift coupons from “Basics” were almost just given away on demand towards the end, especially to one side of the audience,  which was a huge let down. All the participating teams got back thamboola pais (Nathella bags with a notepad and probably an one rupee pen inside). Thanks organizers for that 🙂

Overall – a saturday evening that was spent for a good cause but not quite the kind of quiz that will stick in one’s memory for long…

Will try and get hold of some of the questions from the quiz (hoping that the organizers will share the questions even after reading this post!)