Thursday, November 24, 2005

A history of the BC quiz club - V

Sancho joins in our series of articles on BC quizzing through the years with some reminiscences from '93 to '98. The previous articles on the topic are at: 1, 2, 3(All by Shrirang), 4 (Vishal Dalal)

I joined COEP in October 93. Ours was the year there was a series of court cases which meant that college started very late. Admissions happened on 27th sep and we started off on october 4th.

For my first three sems there seemed to be no quizzing going on for practical purposes. I know today that COEP was active in quizzing circles at that time with people like Srirang, Maya, Karve, Vishal, etc but i as a new comer simply did not know that they existed. I had quizzed a bit in school but had stopped totally in the 11th and 12th. i got to know first of quizzing when Akshaya, my batchmate, mentioned in passing that he had gone to AFMC for a quiz (he probably heard from Maya, his elder sister). At that time quizzing was, i guess, a very small clique which no one,outside of the clique had any real idea about. So, i missed out on a year to a year and a half of quizzing.

The first awareness of quizzing came in my fourth sem when Vishal Dalal put up a notice that there would be a quiz on the BC lawns, sometime in jan 95 on saturday at 12.30. I had just dropped into BC for my customary "special chai" after the day was over (college being from 8 to 12 on saturdays). I saw the notice and went over. Since i hadn't quizzed for almost four years i was not very sure how good i would be. I teamed up with akshaya and sat for the quiz which Vishal and Anand Arvindanan had set. We managed to come second, so i thought not too bad. It was also my first meeting with people like Shrirang and Karve.

The important thing was that at the end of the quiz, after the usual round of good shows, somebody suggested that someone should do the quiz for the next week. Akshaya volunteered and i said that i would help him out.That was really the first time i was to be conducting a quiz, BC or otherwise, and would be the QM. On hindsight, not really :) The original plan was for us to share the questions 40: 60 between us. I had formed my set of questions and handed it over to Akshaya on thursday or friday ( i don't remember why, probably because i was, at that time, not sure if i would make it on saturday). Now Akshaya realized that a number of my questions were actually questions already asked in intercollege quizzes the last year. So, he, quite rightly, got rid of a number of them. Since those were the days before cell phones, he couldn't let me know of that. So, when i turned up on saturday it was more like 15:85 than 40:60. So,he asked all the questions and i kept score. However, importantly, I think this was the first time I met Niranjan, who was down in India, on chutti from his MS At the end of that quiz, if i remember correctly, Anand agreed to do the quiz the next week and after that it was more or less a weekly affair for sure.

On the inter collegiate front - well, with so many people from COEP and with a general restriction on two teams from a college, those days, i didn't get through to any finals that year. Still, i was yet a novice in those days, i guess. I remember a BJMC quiz which i had gone to with Vishal- it was my first intercollegiate quiz. The first team in the elims was at 14, the second at 13 and we were third at 12.5. Just our luck that the other two teams were also from COEP (Maya- Shrirang and Karve-Anand if i remember... or was it Karve- Akshaya). Vishal had quite an argument with the organizers because we believed that we should have got at least 15. While i still believe that we were distinctly unfortunate there - well, the QM's decision is final. I remember Vishal was so pained that he left without watching the finals. It was also the first time i went to shyambhatt (which was always on feb 26th those days, i don't know why it changed. Can anyone clue me in on that) and got introduced to infinite rebound. Though it seems to be the standard nowadays, it was the first time i had come across it. Initially, for the first couple of rounds, it seemed vague but soon caught on to it. It's by far the best way i have come across of conducting a quiz. Srirang, Maya and Aniruddha came in second there, with i think an AFMc team winning.

While i didn't do great at intercollegiate quizzes that year, i did okay within college. There was a "gathering" quiz on film and entertainment which JV had organized and Maya and i managed to win that for E&TC. The quiz was a strong reminder of how the person who sets the questions should also conduct the quiz. Also on the value of the good handwriting :) We almost lost out, wrongly, because of that. Basically JV and a friend (i forget the name - Nagaraj, i think. Let's stick to that for now) had set the quiz - JV doing more of the hindi film bits and Nagaraj doing more of the english film bits. The elims (written) and the finals were on different days - i don't know why. However, between the two, JV fell ill (chicken pox, was it?). So, for the finals Nagaraj used JV's handwritten q and a's. The quiz was conducted in the evening after classes, so it carried on to almost 8 or 9 pm, and was on the steps, not on the lawns. Now there was a direct q to us on which was LP's first film and the year. I knew the film and also knew that LP's second film was Dosti for which they won the filmfare award for 1964. So i gave the answer "Parasmani" and guessed 1963. It was passed and people started guessing, Parasmani, 64- Parasmani, 65 - Parasmani 61 and so on. Thankfully, it passed off without a right answer and we got half marks. The answer given was Parasmani '69. As QM's decision is final that was that. At the end of the quiz we ended up tied (with mechanical, if i remember) and it went to tie break. I don't remember the q but Maya got it and we won. As was normal we adjourned for some chai. It was then when Nagaraj came back to the seating area in the BC that he saw JV's handwriting in better light and realized that it was 63 and not 69. Thankfully, we had won so neither Maya nor i got very worked up. Still, almost a miscarriage of justice :) However, probably the most memorable incident that year was Aniruddha being told of his admission in the US in the mid of one of the Saturday quizzes. I remember, right in the middle of a question, he went whooping and jumping in the middle of the air and some of us thought he had gone mad. Of course, bhajji and chai after that for that afternoon were on him.

In my third year, we decided to start the boat club quizzes in the first sem itself. Srirang, Maya and Karve had left to IIMB, IIT and the USofA respectively. But Niranjan was back after his stint in the USofA. And George and Kunal had joined fresh. I conducted the first quiz of the year and things carried on from there. The coming of George meant that I had someone to ask star trek questions. There are certain pet topics which lend themselves to tremendous trivia. Sherlock holmes is one such thing. Pink floyd is another. I always believed that Star trek - specifically the original tv series- was another such topic. But till George came there was no one to ask these questions to or no one to ask me such questions. That was a major plus, personally (george , q for you- spock's court martial in the menagerie would not be a valid court martial. why?)

Also george's presence and the return of Niranjan meant that there were other people who were good at hindi film and music- especially the old type. I remember i conducted a hindi film quiz in my sixth sem- which may well have been the first time audio clues were asked in a saturday afternoon boat club quiz. It was also the first time, after Nagaraj's quiz I think, that we moved from the lawns to the steps in spite of no rains- mainly because we needed a plug point for the tape recorder (i think that location is the standard nowadays, nahin?) . I had borrowed Anand ramesh's tape recorder from the hostel-he was himself quite disgusted to hear about a "hindi" film and music quiz but i think he had gamely turned up for the quiz. On Niranjan's insistence i had tried to put in a few q's on classical music while keeping it related to hindi film music. Sure enough, Niranjan was the only one who managed to answer those.

On the inter college front - Vishal was in his last year and decided that he had to win things he hadn't won before- so he won both silhouettes and shyam bhat-along with Akshaya and George. While i don't remember other names he generally won any other inter college stuff he went to. He also won a few of the within college quizzes. It was really his year and he quizzed with complete passion, his motto seemingly being "second is nothing". And he generally lived up to it. I made my first final at shyambhat, though i didn't place. But I managed to come in second at silhouettes

Quizzing continued in my fourth year. That year was probably one of the better performances COEP has put up in intercollegiate quizzing. We won just about everything- Shyambhatt, Verve, silhouettes, you name it- some combination of Akshaya, me, George and Kunal managed to win, if we were represented. And if there were two people teams we often ended up with a one-two finish. The high point for me was Shyambhat. For some reason, Akshaya couldn't make it but George, Kunal and I finally won. That felt good- after all , if i remember correctly,even Shrirang had not managed to win Shyambhat, though he had more final appearances than me. I still have the photo of me with the trophy.

Probably the low point of that year's quizing was Verve which was held in COEP that year. Now, people may not know much about quizzing in general but they know of Verve. Also it gets reported in the Indian Express. So people's benchmark of one's quizzing ability is based on how one does in verve. Not that that was a problem. Akshaya and George won and Kunal and I came in second. But to be judged by the population on the basis of such a benchmark is sad. It was a weird quiz with six teams in the final wherein a question would be asked direct for 10 points to a team, say team A. If incorrect, it would be passed to B for 5 points. If still incorrect, the QM would step in very kindly and tell us all the answer (wouldn't want everyone in suspense for so long a time as it would take for six teams to try and answer, would you. There might be people with weak hearts in the audience, after all).Basically, that meant that for every question there were only two teams listening. The others just signed off or talked to each other or whatever. Very weird.

The year was also important because, if i am not mistaken it was the first year when an person outside of COEP started to come regularly -Anand Sivashankar (i except Niranjan). He had, I think come a few times during my TE. But it was in my BE that he became a full fledged regular member and even conducted quizzes at the BC. I guess it was the start of the bcqc becoming more widespread. I think it was also the year that AIT started being more regular on the quizzing circuit - I think Kapil Dahiya had started quizzing that year along with a couple of other guys We had also, i remember, invited the AFMC guys to come over to the BC but they couldn't really make it on saturday afternoons regularly. Still, AFMC was always a force to reckon with in inter college quizzes. I wonder, do they make it nowadays to the BC, with things so much more widespread now.

Of course, after that year i passed out in jun 97. But before that I attended a quiz, somewhere in Symbi. I finally did not participate because GEorge and Kunal had registered as TE students, so technically, i was deemed to have passed out though i hadn't got my marksheet yet. I remember very little of that quiz except for the fact that the elims had some seventy five q's but the final rounds had some thirty odd. I found that really strange which is why i still remember something about it.

But that didn't immediately close my links with pune quizzing. I had been quite exasperated with the verve quiz. One of my batchmates in e&Tc (Sundeep) was fairly high up in eyf those days. I had told him what a horrible quiz they had done and that if they couldn't get anyone better they should get old coepians to do the quiz - i had suggested niranjan's name at that time ( i was still in coep those days, remember). Some sense must have prevailed and they asked me to do the quiz for 98. They were also probably happy that they were getting someone to do it free :)

However, everything can't be that smooth with Verve. I had sent across the questions to them and had also provided material for the audio and video questions. i landed up in Pune only on the day of the elims. I found that the audio and video questions had been completely changed. Why? Well they had lost some of the stuff i had given (What rankles most was the loss of a full recording of "spectre of the gun" an episode of star trek about the gunfight at ok corrall- awesome episode). From what was left they felt there was too much hindi stuff (bound to be; when you lose the english stuff) so they decided to change all of it. Not just add English stuff to my hindi q's but change all of it.

They also refused to let me conduct the quiz. For some reason they wanted one of their people to conduct it. i didn't want to fight too much so i agreed. Then they did not want to have infinite rebounds (this on the morning of the finals, after the elims were over) and wanted a simple direct pass system ("easier for people to understand and for audience to follow, no, Sancho") I had a heated argument on this. I think finally I told them effectively " listen boss, i know a bit of quizzing you don't. it's your quiz- do it the way you want but if you want a good quiz which both audience and teams will enjoy, go for infinite rebound. Otherwise it's your call." Luckily, Sundeep was on my side so he managed to convince the others in EYF to listen to me.

I had asked for some buzzers to be arranged for the quiz- to be used for the triads. Now, the girl who was conducting the quiz, on seeing the buzzers, quite fairly, assumed that there would need to be some type of conventional buzzer round, which she could not find in the questions. So she asked me about it and I explained it to her. Clearly, if she was not comfortable with infinite rebound, triads were not going to be easy- especially the negative marking. Still, she said ok. Before the quiz actually started, just before the teams were to be seated, she asked me to sit along with her at the quizmaster's table. She asked all the q's (and did a fairly decent job, i thought. At times I had to correct her on the infinite rebound but for someone exposed to it for the first time, it was quite a creditable job, i thought). Then we finally came to the triads. She announced the round and then turned to me and said - "why don't you explain this?" After the explanation, she was quite happy for me to keep asking the questions. So, in spite of EYF's discomfort, i did end up conducting at least part of the quiz. I enjoyed it. Hopefully the participants also did. For the record, I think George and Kunal won the quiz (don't remember the third person) with Anand S and team coming in second.

In 1998, I joined IIMA and went of to Ahmedabad. That effectively ended regular contact with the boatclub. I have come back a few times and met Shrirang, Niranjan, George, Kunal again. Also met people like Ramanand. I have met Anand S a few times in Bombay... but it all seems so far away now. I have always maintained that the two high points of my four years in COEP were the punt formation in FE and the study tour in TE. The BCQC never had that sort of bursts of highs in it. But for sheer sustained involvement I don't think it could be matched.

I guess that rounds off my memories of active quizzing at the BC. I cannot claim 100 per cent accuracy in all that i have writen above - it has after all been a long time since i passed out. Many people have been mentioned above and many of them might remember things slightly differently from me. Please do feel free to correct me, if required. If i feel it was not required I shall certainly respond :-) The memories have at times become a little personal also- so it might be more a "Sancho at BCQC" rather than a "BCQC from 93 to 97". My apologies- i hope it will still give others a flavour of what went on during those four years.

Here's to keeping the flame alive
:: Sancho

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hayekian Quizzing

Quizzers familiar with my "imaginative" connects can breathe easy. I am not about to ask a connect related to Salma Hayek. Instead I want to speak a bit about the ideas of Friedrich von Hayek and the concept of Spontaneous Order.

I, like all strong believers in the virtue of the free market system, swear by the concept of spontaneous order. Spontaneous order means emergence of an order out of what are seemingly chaotic or disorderly circumstances, and oput of a natural process. It is believed that things that benefit society the most are the product of spontaneous forces that are beyond the direct control of a single man. It is this principle that is used to argue in favour of a laisse-faire capitalist system sans any top-down "regulation" as against a state-led/state-controlled/state-regulated economy.

Though Hayek's ideas are used mainly in the field of economics (he got the Economics Nobel in 1974), they can apply to any situation or scenario which involves a number of human beings interacting with each other, and having some kind of activity in common. In economics, it is transaction. For us, it can even be quizzing.

The Boat Club Quiz Club is an excellent example of spontaneous order in a non-economic domain. It illustrates the "invisible hand" principle at work. The BCQC started off as a spontaneous "organisation" when a few COEPians interested in quizzing decided to meet every saturday. Since then, for over a decade, the BCQC has evolved only "spontaneously" rather than through any constitution/order/authority. What's more, there hasn't been a serious effort to "take charge" or impose some sort of a hierarchy. Yet, at any given time there are 2-3 members of the BCQC whom the others look up to for leadership/guidance/inspiration. That's leadership which has evolved naturally rather than being straitjacketed "constitutionally".

COEP has over a dozen student clubs for various purposes. Almost each and every one has a set "process" and a set "hierarchy" in place. There are elections or selections and then a leader is foisted on the club. Quizzing, thanks to a happy accident, has been out of these "processes". There is a Debating secretary who is supposed to be in charge of quizzing too. He leaves us alone and we leave him alone.

Over the years BCQC has evolved rapidly. First there was a norm of two people getting a large number of questions, it moved to one person. Earlier it used to be an exclusively COEP affair. Over the years though, "membership" of the BCQC has been very diverse, with people from other colleges and even other cities becoming part of it. There are no set rules at the BC.

Now people with a rudimentary understanding of socio-economic ideals might feel I am praising and advocating a communist-like ideal.


Actually I am advocating the diagonally opposite idea of maximum freedom and minimum authority. That precisely is the beauty of this club. Rules and norms evolve naturally. There is no malice towards anyone, neither is there any "bleeding heart" compassion. Like some clubs, we don't go out of our way to attract members and retain them. At the same time, we are not exclusive and reclusive. We like to quiz, we come to quiz, and we go back happy.

In addition to the immense fun I have at every BCQC session, there are two things that make it such a successful example of spontaneous order.

One, the diversity in its membership, as I said earlier. People from different colleges, companies, cities, backgrounds, come together, quiz, and go back. It's like a free market which has no artificial entry barriers, and no artificial sops. Second, the fact that even after existing for more than a decade, there hasn't been even the slightest whiff of "politicking" or factionalism.

BCQC will keep evolving naturally. Yes, there will be ups and downs. But overall, like the statistical trend line of a growing entity, it will keep going higher and higher.

With due apologies to the MTV liftman, what sort of a club is this? There is no building. No secretary. No bearer. No soft drink even!!! I WANT TO BE MEMBER OF THIS CLUB!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Shyam Bhat Quiz 2005

(a.k.a Pune's Oldest Quiz) Date : 12th Nov.
Venue : Dewang Mehta Aud, PSPL.
Conducted by: Major Brijesh Nair

Results :

1. Major Shankar, Sudarshan Purohit (SuperSub : Niranjan Pedanekar)
2. Vasukeshav Sharma and Chandrakant Nair
3. Ganesh Hegde and Ashish Chauhan
4. Anand Shivashankar and Meghashyam Shirodkar
5. Aditya Udas and Anupam Akolkar
6. Safal Mohammad & Vivek Philip
7. Siddharth Dani and Abhishek Nagaraj (a.k.a Dhoni ko kaun Taal sakta hai ? )

Smart Ass Comments:

Niranjan added another feather to an already burgeoning cap by becoming the first ever substitute in (pune?)quizzing. Thus becoming the superest sub since the super one, replacing Major Shankar midway through the quiz. Please contact the partners-in-crime for exact details of the time, nakshatra and positions of planets when this happened, for future reference.

This quiz saw the forging of a new 'harlem globetrotters' in quizzing. Herald the age of the ANNAarchists.

And yes - Brijesh Sir, did a great job - toughest elims in a long time (cutoff 6/50), lots of new topics (photography, architecture, travel journals) and and also some stuff which I may call arbit, some may not.

PS : Pls. comment as to the quiz - I'm sure there is lots more to be said.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Niranjan's thoughts on Nupur's post

Context: Read this

This [the post] is an excellent summarization of what went on at the BCQC from the perspective of the 'oppressed' ;)) Bravo! I do think that these things matter to some extent. But yet, I do not fully agree with the main theme of Nupur's post, and would like to convey my personal point of view in this matter. I know that Nupur has been seriously interested in quizzing and a fairly regular quizzer. Therefore, whatever I want to say may not apply to her in specific, but to the issues she has mentioned in general.

I remember the first few encounters of Shrirang, George, Ramanand, et al (and even me ;)) at the BCQC. These could not easily be termed as friendly. I clearly remember Ramanand being scoffed at in his first quiz, I don't know whether 'even' he remembers it ;)) George has mostly been an adamant rogue, but an object of ridicule at times ;)) But yet, these guys continued. I think that was because quizzing happened to be one of their first loves. The quality quizzing at BCQC that we can boast about these days, is primarily becasue of a bunch of people for whom quizzing has been very dear. The minor deterrents such as the ones mentioned in Nupur's article have not bothered them to that extent, mainly because their priorities were clear.

Nupur says that "Looks like the effects of the first 2 points have reflected in the fact that there are hardly any students from COEP itself in the QC. Most are from other colleges." It perhaps makes my point more clear. People who are really interested come to BCQC from as far as VIT, AFMC, AIT. Whereas traditionally, many casual quizzers from COEP want to pass some time, since they have nothing to do at the hostel, or have some more time to spare after their Saturday lectures. I think, the idea behind the BCQC is participation of those who are interested, and not proliferation by extending courtsey to part-time enagagers in the hope that they may turn into die-hard quizzers one day.

The in-jokes, ridicule, rushing people are (however abominable ;)), a part of the game. It happens because it comes naturally to people. I don't think, people do it on purpose. I don't think the BCQC world conspires against freshers, as raggers do (which I do object to). What fun is a joke if it has to be explained to a bunch of people? For example, most of the stuff I say, I feel compelled to say because I find it funny. Ususally, only a couple of people understand it, mainly because the others are not used to that kind of humour, and/or are not familiar with certain references. But I don't think that this should keep me away from making such jokes and losing my own incentive in attending the BCQC sessions, where I know that I find some people who are on the same wavelength as me when it comes to humour. I would lose all the incentive behind the spontaneity, if I keep on explaining the jokes.

Extra efforts in terms of making a particular species comfortable are not needed, IMO, if one wants to keep an informal atmosphere. Ideally, in a scenario like the BCQC where creativity/intellect/sharpness are most important, people are best off as individuals. Group dynamics and formalities take a back-seat in such a scenario. Their taking a back-seat is what prevents notorius incidents such as the misfired Chakravyuha from happening. Ideally, no one is helped out and no one is specially cared for. People do what they want to do, they express what they want to express, they discuss quizzing paradigms openly, and even agree to disagree. If they do not like what is going around them, they either be more assertive or get the best out of it or leave the scenario. This is very natural, and to me, it means the survival of the 'dedicatest'. And this dedication is to the pursuit of personal quizzing interests and not to any collective cause.

I am not saying that casual participation is not welcome. In fact, it is more than welcome. I am merely saying that no special attempts need to be made for induction of people to increase the mass and prevent people from getting turned off. In my personal opinion, the BCQC need not be viewed as an institution that is meant to last the tests of time. We assume and hope that the BCQC needs to continue standing with the same vigour at all times. But, I think there always are ups and downs, when you look at such collectives. At times, the enthusiasm is more than what is required, even accompanied by shades of mediocrity ;) There are times when the only member that turns up on the boat-club for the Saturday session is the one-eyed cat. This would vary from batch-to-batch, people-to-people, year-to-year. IMO, this is very natural.

In fact in retrospection, IMO, it has helped to have some people 'survive the factual harrassment' at the BCQC. That's why today we have quizzers, who make trips from Mumbai on weekends to attend quizzes at the boat club. And we have some like me, who spend office time in writing long pointless articles, even if they are watching the death of a deadline in the system clock ;)))
:: Niranjan

Thursday, November 10, 2005

November (League) Quiz

Date: 5th November 2005.

Venue: Dewang Mehta Auditorium.

Organised by: Abhishek Nagraj, Kapeesh Saraf, Aniket Khasgiwale (I hope I spelled that right) & Gaurav Singh.

Main Quiz Results:

1st: Shamanth Rao + Kunal Sawardekar.

2nd: Anand Shivshankar + Meghashyam Shirodkar.

3rd: Maj. Brijesh Nair + Manish Manke.

Also: Gaurav Sabnis + D. Dharmendra; Niranjan Pedanekar + Sudarshan Purohit; Shivaji Marella + Ganesh Hegde

Picture Quiz Results:

1st: Niranjan Pedanekar.

2nd: Ganesh Hegde.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The BCQC: Its downfall and rise

The following is by a now expat member of the group, Nupur, who was at COEP a few years ago. This also reminds me that the story of the BC quizzing scene was last told until the mid 90s. We need someone to push it till '97 as there are many of us who can take the story ahead from there :-). This post is a little provocative for members of that era, so comments are more than invited.

I think the Boat Club Quiz Club was strategically flawed.

These are my views on what I had experienced 2 years ago at the BCQC and I think I kind of understand why there was a major dip in the QC population (and popularity?), in the year 2002. These are my views on what I think was going wrong. I do not know how true it is now.

Explaining the answers: I think this was the #1 reason why many people lost enthusiasm to attend the QC.

Lets take an example.

(I recall this one clearly)

The question was: "What comes in 6 'flavours'. Top, Bottom, Up, Down, Charm and Strange".

The answer was 'Quarks'.

Now this was a 2-3 times repeated question. So the seniors knew it. And they waved it off even before the answer was given . "Ya ya, chalo next question", they said.
I looked around and at the new students, and saw a bewildered, lost and helpless look on their faces. They, obviously, had no idea what was going on! I turned to the QM immediately and said "Please explain it to these guys!!", but it went unheard in the conversations around me.

This is an oft repeated mistake the QC did. The QC was so in-itself, everyone expected the new students to 'pull themselves up to the seniors'. No help was offered, though.

This led to a lot of people losing enthusiasm to come for the QC. I think that the QC could be more sensitive to the new comers and gather a larger crowd. One could argue with the Quality over Quantity issue, but then, the more the merrier right? And once the answer is explained, if someone still doesn't get it, then they will filter out automatically. But one must make it a point to get the answer out AND explain it if possible. I have been, many times, put off completely because some answers (like connect questions) were not explained.

: Newcomers or "kaccha players" were made to team up with the really really good Quizzers, with the view that they will learn something.
In fact the effect was the opposite.
The amateur quizzer never gets a chance to think, since the experienced quizzer has already got the answer even before he finished reading the question. Also, suggestions/attempts made by the newbie, get shot or go unheard by the better quizzer (and this leads to a lowering of self confidence while attempting questions..... its actually a vicious circle, get it?).

: I have NEVER won a prize. I am not a good quizzer, just really enthusiastic. But now when I look back at the way some BCQC quizzes were conducted, I feel that I should have protested. No its not the money obviously, it's the principles. The participants had to put in Rs 10 per head or so (I remember Swapnils quiz had Rs 50 per head). The top 3 teams got all the money.
Now I know where I stand. I am never going to win a quiz. Never.
So why should I pay when I know the money is going to someone else? and more often it goes to the people who decide to keep a fees for the quiz! So if I was a regular quiz winner, what difference does it make to me if I put in a couple of tenners? I will get it all back (and more) sometime or the other! Of course, this reason is not a crowd deterrent, but yes, I have felt disdain sometimes, over a period of 4 years.

Here I feel compelled to insert a comment (which was sent to Nupur earlier): "I would like to dispel (and I think you would agree) any notion readers may hold that money was involved on a regular basis. The purpose was merely to make occasional sessions at the BC more competitive and most importantly, provide people with a chance to set first-rate quizzes, because that was the time only collegians got to organise official events. I rather think that met its purpose and lifted an otherwise moribund time to more purposeful pursuits. We haven't done it in a long time now, mainly because now there are many more quizzes being organised which take care of that. As you may recall, participating was totally voluntary, and the amount won was usually and promptly spent on refreshments for the participants. It was just a token issue and nothing was really intended there. People who haven't been to the BC may not quite get the setting. (And I'm not mistaken, the fee at Swap's wasn't as high as that - I don't think any quiz in Pune then would have charged that much, let alone a poor, amateur grouping :-) " :: Ramanand

    Not including everyone: In the jokes. However trivial this sounds, it definitely had an impact. In fact most of the jokes cracked at the QC were ones you could understand only if you knew the person well and/or existed at a particular place/time. No effort was taken to explain the joke. The attitude was "You did not understand, you're dumb". This evidently, alienated a lot of people.

    Female repellent: The less said the better. It took me 2 whole years to get friendly with the QC. First 2 years, no one made any effort to mix around with the few girls (read me) who used to attend. And yes, if a girl answers the question, all heads turn "huh! she got it right??!!". But that's more male mentality than QC. So forgiven (temporarily).
    But I must mention that I never felt that any extra effort was taken to make the girls feel comfortable. In case someone at the QC is reading this, and feels that they did try, do let me know.

    Politics: Frankly and thankfully, there wasn't much of this at the QC, because we all wanted the QC to stand through all the storms, and thought of it above and beyond ourselves. Yes, we do have the occasional story's a couple of guys had cooked up for the chakravyuh (yes, you two, if you're reading this, I knew it all along :-) )

      Looks like the effects of the first 2 points have reflected in the fact that there are hardly any students from COEP itself in the QC. Most are from other colleges.
      I believe that the QC could have been more assertive than aggressive. They were aggressive towards the learners (what I was all along); its just that I persisted because nothing else in COEP was even close to as value adding as the BCQC, I felt. But I also saw a lot of talent move away because of the attitude of the QC.

      And no, I don't have anyone in mind while writing this. :-).

      If you were at the BCQC and feel differently, please feel free to email me at nupurgtATgmailDOTcom

      :: Nupur

      Nupur also wrote in to add a comment sent to her by one of the BCQC seniors: "This is what I feel should be done : [The post] revealed the disadvantages of not having a structure to the BCQC. We are failing to realize in our quest to keep the BCQC informal, that it is very important to document facts and information (that's why the notesandstones blog has finally come up). We need to keep a database of who all attend the QC, who all took a quiz, when, how, where, Who won? etc. If not all this, we should AT LEAST have a database of people who have attended the BCQC in the past."
      Shyam Bhatt Memorial Quiz 2005

      Shyam Bhatt Memorial Quiz 2005, the annual quiz organized by the students of Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune will be held this weekend.

      Date : 12th October, 2005, Saturday
      Time : 5pm
      Venue : Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Bhageerath building, Persistent Systems Pvt. Ltd. Behind Domino's Pizza, Senapati Bapat Road
      Participation: Open quiz. Teams of max two members.
      Entry Fee: Rs 40/- per team.
      Cash prizes to be won.
      Contact: Major Brijesh Nair - 93120-62615

      Saturday, November 05, 2005


      Sanjeev "Sancho" Chandran, one of the old stalwarts of the BC during his engineering days at COEP from 1993-97 wrote in w.r.t the posts on Connections to mention something known as triads. Here's what he had to say on it:

      I seem to remember we used to run a version of connexions called triads which did not find mention in your post. i don't know if it still exists - it was never very widely done because it was a little complicated (especially to explain in a mail, as you will see below) but good fun when done in practice.

      The basic funda is as follows. there are three distinct clues for something say 10122, 79, 34 or pc barua, saigal, dilip kumar (these might not be very good q's - i am quite rusty).

      let's say the q is to be asked to team A.

      Normally the teams are first told what the answer is expected to be (a person, an event, a place, a book etc). this is however optional and the QM may choose to give this or not depending on his feeling of how difficult the q is.

      They are told the clues one by one. they are given a chance to answer after each clue with points reducing after each clue (say 10,8,6)
      A has two choices, say "next clue" or answer.
      if they answer and it is correct they get the points.
      If they answer and it is wrong it passes to B who has the same choices. if it goes all the way through without a correct answer the next clue is given to team A.
      A can of course, upfront say "next clue"
      Whenever a team asks for the next clue, any other team can say "overrule". (in a bigger quiz you could actually have a buzzer for this)
      e.g in the above case say after pc barua, A says next clue. Everyone is quiet. So, then the clue saigal is given. A again says "next clue". however, team D might think they know the answer, so they say "overrule".
      Once any team says overrule, Team A is obligated to answer.
      If they answer correctly they get the 8 points or else it passes to B. Since there is an overrule, B too is obligated to answer for the 8 points.

      This continues till a correct answer is given or it reaches the team which called the overrule (D). Now, if D answers correctly they get the 8 points on offer plus a bonus 8 points. The next triad is, as per infinite rebound, asked to E

      If D answers incorrectly, they get no points and lose 8 points (which were on offer) as a negative. the question passes to E. E can now ask for the next clue or choose to answer for 8 points (in some variants once an overrule was in place all six teams had to attempt before the next clue could be given)

      If all clues are given and all teams cannot answer then the QM provides the answer and as per infinite rebound the next triad is asked to team B.

      It does sound a bit complicated but i used to find it good fun. People like Anand S, George, Kunal Vaed might remember this format. you could also ask them.

      :: Sancho