When Young World (the Youth/Children's supplement of The Hindu was launched in the early nineties, it carried a regular quizzing column called Mindsport. The aims of the column was to introduce young minds to quizzing of a higher level, with the unspoken spirit of "workability" and interesting facts. It also explained the methods of going about cracking such kinds of questions and applying well-known points to such an effort. Impressed by it, I began a regular collection of the clippings of MS.
It wasn't until I started quizzing in real earnest (after I came to COEP in 1997; before that I had participated in exactly 2 inter-school quizzes in all of my schooling) that I got to experience the "quizzing at a higher level" that was articulated in the columns of Mindsport many years ago. One of the reasons I could make the transition without discomfort (I wasn't conditioned by the fact-based school quizzing routine since I hadn't been part of it) was the spirit engendered by these questions from the old Young World issues. Things tied up nicely when a couple of those facts appeared in my first ever low-scoring Mensa quiz in January 1998, which I could answer, enabling us to come 2nd. Sujay & I had finally made it to the top 3 of a significant quiz after coming very close earlier that year.
Rajiv Rai was the guy who contributed the questions to Mindsport and provided a glimpse into a better and more enjoyable form of quizzing that has had me hooked on for a while now. Before writing this post, I leafed through the list of Mastermind India participants to see if Rajiv Rai had been on it before. He had, but to my surprise, I also found that he was the first participant on the first edition of MMI. His entry reads:
Rajiv Rai, Marketing Executive, Chennai, The Oscar Awards, 23 points