A stone's throw away(a paper airplane's throw away?) from the Pune Railway Station, stands Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College (BJMC) one of the most reputed med-schools in Western India. This august institution was the scene for the worst quiz I have ever won.
The notice for the quiz was put up on the COEP Boat Club one rainy day when i was in Third Year. It was the part of BJMC's annual fest(!!). The exact name of the fest presently eludes me, but it was one of Ganesha's names. I am always game for any quiz, so I enthusiastically called up the organisers and registered for it. The first omen was the non-availability of my regular quizzing partner, Neeraj. He had to go out of station. It however gave me the opportunity to team up with Saket, another classmate of mine.
Both of us reached BJMC. The scene of the quiz was a lecture hall that made COEP's M-13 look like the floor of a posh call centre. And anyone who has attended a lecture/PPT in M-13 will grasp the gravity of the comment. General din prevailed. the whole scene could have easily passed as the lower house of the Indian parliament. For some reason, the hall was littered with paper airplanes. Then we saw guys generally aiming those airplanes at girls!!
Anyhoo, getting to the quiz. First there were written elims. The elims sheet was cyclostyled!! Who cyclostyles anything nowadays? The questions were atrocious. A few samples
- Who was the first Indian to win the Oskar(sic) Prize(sic)?
- Which Indian woman recently achieved(sic) the Booker Prize?
- Name all four tennis grandslams
The highlight of the elims was the question - "Who was the first indian to win a bronze medal at Olympic Awards(sic)?"
While giving out the answer to this particular question, the quizmaster raised one hand up and shouted "IT WAS KHASHABA JADHAV FROM KOLHAAAAAAAAPUUUUUUUUUUR!!". A section of the crowd, no doubt from Kolhapur, starting banging the benches in glee, and for about 5 minutes there were several cheers in Marathi for a five-decade-old medal.
Anyway, I'm ashamed to say we topped the elims. Other teams on the stage included a team from BJMC (not their regular team), and two from our beloved AFMC.
The questions in the finals made the elims look great. They were as sidey as can get. Throughout the quiz, paper airplanes continued to be showered. A friend later told me, this is a tradition in BJMC.
Saket and I won quite easily in the end. One of the victories that you dont mention on your CV.