Mostly Thoughtless

Tam Brahm, thank you ma'am

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Infinite Learning......part 3

(continued)

Actually speaking, Sunday wasn't a total disaster. But it came pretty close to being one. We actually managed to reach the Food Court in time for breakfast and had steaming hot Chola Puris. But that was about the only thing that went right that day.

The semis were supposed to start at 9:30 a.m. and in keeping with the tradition, they finally got underway by around 10:35. The guys who were organising the quiz were in a B-school but you wouldn't believe that that was necessarily true. They had rounds in the quiz that indicated mental capabilities of two year olds but we actually didn't mind that. We were of the opinion that anything was ok as long as we qualified for the Grand Finale which was scheduled for the evening. Anyways, the semis started off at last and we were grouped with 5 other teams. Three of the teams would qualify.

The first round was ridiculously simple but three of the teams were, if possible, even dumber than the co-ords. So, they muffed royally and at the end of the round, we found ourselves in the lead. The second round was where all the fun started. A total lack of imagination on the part of the organisers resulted in us having a round that said 'Identify the caption', where each team would get a caption and they would have to identify the brand being advertised. Simple enough, right? Except that it wasn't. We got like shit-level slogans and I think only one team managed to crack the slogan correctly and that too because of a majorly flukey guess. There were slogans like "Never mind if you can't carry it around" - Fa and "He came...He saw....He left.." - Godrej. Please make a special note of these two for they make a stunningly triumphant re-entry later on in the tale.

The next round was ok and we were placed second at the end of it. We knew that if the scores stood, we would be in the final, where, we hoped, Mr.Basu would have a more mature and workoutable quiz for us. The fourth round was of a slightly more complicated nature, however unbelievable that may sound considering the co-ords. It went something like this..

There was a grid made up of six squares, covering a photograph and six questions would be asked. If the teams got a question right they could choose for a square to be opened and then try and identify the personality underneath. We were praying that they'd ask decent questions for once but as usual, we were wrong. It was going to be good old slogans again!

This wasn't such a bad thing because, as things turned out, all the teams were getting the same far-fetched slogans that were hopelessly vague and so none of them were scoring, us included. Then the twin bombshells struck. One team got the slogan "Never mind if you can't carry it around". We weren't sure what was happening. Hello, didn't you ask this in the previous round? The team themselves, slightly amused, said "Fa?" and the organiser was like, "That's absolutely right! 10 points!". And they went on to identify the personality as well. We asked the quizmaster what the hell was going on and the best he could come up with was, "Well, that just their luck!" Even worse was that the next team got the question "He came...He saw....He left.." and needless to say, they too got it right (duh!) and also managed to identify the person behind. We were getting really pissed off by now but like good quizzers, we didn't embarrass the co-ords on stage but we decided that if those questions finally had made a difference, we would fight it out.

The last round was a rapid fire round and by this time, we were in 4th place, out of qualification if things stayed that way. The first question we got was "Which is the world's largest gum manufacturer?" My first instinct said "Wrigley's" but then sanity prevailed and I realized that the question had said 'gum' and not 'chewing gum', so we let that pass. We couldn't just take a wild guess because the questions carried negative points as well. At the end of the round, we were informed that the answer was indeed "Wrigley's". We were enraged. We pointed out what the question had said but the co-ord was like "Machan, chewing gum is understood da!". I'm terribly sorry, but it's not. Why do you think they call it 'Chewing' gum, you dimwit? We argued for a while to no avail. So, that was basically thiry points over two rounds that had come about because of shitty quiz organisation. And if you want to know the results, we failed to qualify by 5 points!

We were pissed and how. We fought and fought and at one point, the co-ord was like "I understand your problem and I know that you have a point but I'm afraid I can't do anything now." That was the last straw. We had spent about 500 bucks on the trip and we were just about to see it wasted by a bunch of nincompoops who were brilliant all the way up to their ankles! One hour of solid arguing later, we decided that we had had enough. We just went back to our rooms, packed our bags and left the place. We bought a couple of tickets on the unreserved compartment of a train back to Chennai and were back home by midnight.

To sum it all up, the trip had provided me with my worst ever experience in quizzing and I'm going to stop right here because writing this blog has put me in a really foul mood, not too unlike the one I was in on Sunday afternoon.

So, don't let it bother you, I'll be much pleasanter in my next entry. By the way, this concludes the three entries on my wonderful trip to Coimbatore and in case you were wondering, it was called 'Infinite Learning' because that was the motto of the college we went to. OK, let's not go back there. Till the next time, bye and take care!

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