Thursday, October 13, 2011

A cricketing theory of Indian quiz groups

The great thing about analogies is that they seldom have to make sense. Often, the seed of such an exercise is in misplaced induction: you start with one element that coincides with another, and then you construct, induction step after step, a cathedral of pure imagination. Here is one such anal-logie, an attempt to equate Indian quizzing groups with Test cricketing nations.

Pune: this is where it began. One day, I realised that New Zealand cricket had much in common with us (the BCQC). In the quizzing map of India, we are a small but committed quizzing city. We tend to suffer from a very tiny pool of quizzers, but don't let that affect our creativity. We tend to be garrulous about our quizzing opinions, but are usually easy-going (and no one really pays much attention to us :-) ). Yes, we are (were?) a cold city; some of our quizzing happens outdoors and in picturesque settings (at least when we had the Dewang Mehta auditorium!). It can also be argued that the BC is a multi-purpose arena, where quizzing has to contend with other sports. And we have had reasonably good individual success at national events.

From now, everything is, as I put it, "illegitimate shoehorning":

Kolkata: This veteran quizzing city is the Olde English Test team. History records it as fostering quizzing in the country. The style is old-fashioned, and the rest of India seems to practice a different form these days.

Bombay: These guys are the New English Test team. Largely made up of talented expats (from South Africa? see below). Competitive like crazy. Have won some big quizzes recently.

Bangalore: My vote goes to Australia as their isomorphic peer. Why? The KQA sets the standard when it comes to quizzes, formats, and quizzers. Perhaps the Australian Test team of a few years ago ;-)

Chennai: Should they be Australia? Or should they be South Africa. I hope no one tries to "choke" me for this. Maybe they are Victoria and New South Wales; two sides of the same Face/Off coin.

Goa: The guys at the SEQC will throw theirs stereos at being typed as the Windies; both have great locations to quiz, drink, and relax, but certainly do some great quizzing. Makes me think: why take quizzing (and such analogies) all that seriously?

There are many more quiz clubs and cricketing nations; scope for more mad connections. Are the guys in Delhi the Pakistanis (unpredictable "Northies" with flair; not ageless, I hope)? And what about the Sri Lankans and the Zimbabweans?

And who are the India of quizzing? (or are we all?) Is it time to ask the Belgians?

Written as a companion piece to this video, recorded by Sarat Rao, who is making a documentary on Indian quizzing (shot on the sidelines of the last BCQC Open)

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