Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The MELA Quiz | InFest 2024

Quiz: The MELA Quiz
Date & Time:
21 Jan, 2024, 10:30 AM
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Pune
InFest 2024
Format: Elims+Final
Ranajeet Soman

1. Prithwish Datta, Abhinav Dasgupta + Brajendu Bhaskar (draft): 129 (Team 1)
2. Vibhendu Tewari, Rajiv Rai + Omkar Dhakephalkar (draft): 123 (Team 3)

Other Finalists:
Debanjan Bose, Bedbyas Datta + Annanya “Dada” Deb (draft): 113 (Team 6)
Suraj Menon and Aditya Gadre: 110 (Team 4)
Annway Ghosh, Suvajit Chakraborty + Pranav Pawar (draft): 58 (Team 5)
Abed, Shashwat + Shubhankar Gokhale (draft): 40 (Team 2)

The second day of InFest 2024 began with the MELA quiz set by Ranajeet Soman. All the quizzes on the second day were team quizzes, and hence so was this. The quiz began with a commendable delay of only thirty minutes as participants trooped in on a Sunday morning after Saturday night shenanigans. But it was a balmy winter morning in Pune, the city ideal for morning quizzes and everybody was fresh in mind, body, and spirits.

After handing out sheets, and ensuring that everyone had seats, the quiz began with the elims. We had several new faces today, increasing the number of participants. The elims were a breezy and interesting affair. Ranajeet is known for his brusque no-nonsense yet interesting questions. This was a pleasurable elims, with all aspects of MELA (Music, Entertainment, Literature, Art) in both India and Unconquered Bharat well covered. There were 30 questions in the elims, and the cut-off was 20.

Six teams made it into the finals, with an additional three in drafts. This time the draft process was different from the usual, and it seems that the same will be the default henceforth. The members of the draft teams were asked to pick up chits with the teams they were joining. A special mention must be given to Annanya “Dada” Deb for qualifying for the drafts solo.

At this time, I will also say thanks to Pranav Pawar, who ensured everyone was served tea while the checking was finalised. For the finals, Arnold D’Souza was kind enough to keep scores on the venue whiteboard.

The finals started off with a written round as warm-up. Then there was a round of IR (infinite rebound). By the end of it, Teams 1 and 3 were already putting up their close contest (70, 69). Team 6 (51) was close behind while 4 and 5 were tied (40). The next written round gave a small breather before the deathmatch began. The second IR had its multiple -5s taken by teams on the wrong pounces, even a 7 and 3 as points were conserved on passing. The teams were neck-to-neck throughout though by the end of it, the negatives had got Team 1 from a comfortable lead back to a one-point loss over Team 3 (98-99). Teams 4 and 6 kept the heat up on the leaders while skirmishing among themselves (80-88). Then a written round, which did not change much, but this easy round gave some last-minute fuel to all the teams. In the concluding IR, the status quo remained. The questions were well-distributed difficulty-wise – where the players had to earn their points in the later half, but like a corporate HR, the QM was kind enough to throw in the written rounds as bonuses to keep us chugging along. It was thoroughly enjoyable and built up a good appetite for lunch without exhausting anybody. Much fun was had.

One thing to note is that the QM kept good time, such that we were done in time for lunch (of famous kathi rolls from Kapila) so that the next quiz could begin on time. Kudos to him for that too!


Report by: Omkar Dhakephalkar

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