1st: Gaurav Sabnis & Sarika Chuni
2nd: (jointly) Anand Sivashankar & Vibhendu Tiwari, B.V.Harishkumar & J. Ramanand
Other finalists: Shivaji & Vivek, Kunal Sawardekar & Meghashyam Shirodkar, Anupam Akolkar & Anand Ayyadurai
Quiz setters & hosts
Salil Bijur, Ganesh Hegde, Siddharth Dani & Kunal Thakar
Most good quizzes in Pune over the last few years have been extremely close races, and VIT's Quiz-o-mania was no different. Continuing from where they left off last year, the organisers put up an entertaining display. The elims (of 42 questions with the now obligatory DNA question wrapping it up) was well-crafted, especially in contrast to last year. Then many of the questions were unnecessarily longwinded, but this time they were to the point and many of them workable. The "Lagaan/Bhuvan Shome" question was particularly appreciated and we enjoyed unravelling the Pink Floyd one.
There was a most unusual interlude during the break - this must definitely be the first quiz ever to feature a special clip from a Mithun starrer "Gunda" where he proceeded to mow down an army of auto rickshaws (that's right, autos) with a bazooka. Followed by playing catch with a monkey using a baby instead of a ball.
Finalists were announced, lunch coupons distributed to them and the quiz began soon after lunch. Harish & I called ourselves the "World Karmic Congress" in attempting to lampoon the "V-is-for-Vishwakarma" bit and mock-threatened to sue the college for a pre-dated inspiration. Which in retrospect turned out to be a bad idea, for we would not score until the 22nd question, leading us to question whether to add an extra "I" or rename the name to "Karmic Congress of the World" and thus starting it with a "K" to in a bid to improve our karma. There was also a distinct Seinfeld angle, with "Yada Yada Yada" and "The Moops" being two other names ("The Moops" episode can tell you about the pitfalls of trivia quizzing).
Vibhendu & Anand were off to a flying start gobbling up all the India & Hindi F-M questions, while Sarika and Gaurav made sure they capitalised on their directs. BJMC, Kunal & Meghashyam & the VIT team made quiet starts, but in comparison Harish & I had a mute start and blank faces to accompany our score. A mix of bad luck in getting questions we had no clue about and not answering questions better than others kept us that way till a quarter of the quiz was over. This was a 80 question quiz, so we hoped we had the time to pull a comeback.
Comeback we did, but just pulled up short at the end. Anand-Vibhendu fell off in the 2nd half as the questions veered to the Eng F&M and tech sides. With round reversals, we were doing better as were BJMC. In the end, BJMC tied with Kunal & Meghashyam, and we tied with Anand-Vibhendu. But Gaurav & Sarika had a little extra to finish 10 points ahead, the smallest margin, with the "Round the World in 80 days" answer.
The turnout was considerably lower than last time for which a combination of Sunday timings, some quizzers being out of town and improbably a girls cricket competition outside can be blamed for.
* Too long: Not everyone likes 80 questions, especially audiences. The trend of late has been to have 40 to 50 questions in the final, so people aren't that patient these days. Personally, I didn't mind it only because it kept us in the hunt!
* Distribution of qns: Both halves were skewed in terms of question themes. So we had funny sequences of scoring. Could have been spread out better
* Good framing of questions, clean organisation, no hiccups in the presentations.
* A/V qns: Was there a conscious effort to avoid lots of connects and even audio/visual qns? Could have been a little more of it.
* There was some confusion over awarding half points, and what was expected of the answer in some cases.
Overall, an enjoyable experience and worth the distance.