March 24, 2008
While in Calcutta, I went for a litquiz with Aishwarya and Pradipta. Despite four self-overrules in the prelims, we qualified; and despite a Bong-funda heavy first half, we ended up winning the quiz. I think the margin of victory was at least three questions, and probably four or more. Apparently, it’ll be reported in the Telegraph’s equivalent of Bangalore Times and stuff.
Pradipta informs me that this is the first time in years that anyone has ever beaten the runners-up (a team called the Inmaniacs), and that this will therefore cause ripples of shock and awe across the Calcutta quizzing circuit (such as it is). This was of course prophesied long ago by davenchit:
The Jin in the time of Genghis Khan were noted for their many defensive walls- rotting, all but useless against true foes, these were symptoms of inner decay. The infrastructure of Calcutta resembles that of the Jin- reflections of past glory. Reckless drinkers, weakened by the Irish influence, they are ripe for conquest. Securing this key littoral will complete the preparation for the final assault: Bangalore.
Indeed, the shock that is currently reverberating through the cul-de-sacs of the City of Dretful Night is comparable to the
wounds North India suffered after the initial Turkic and Persian invasions, the crippling blows to society faced by Great Britain after the Viking raids, and the sack of Rome by Attila the Hun. A mere raid has exposed the society’s decay and corruption; annihilation and conquest cannot be long away. Soon, Bombay and Bangalore’s quizzers will overrun Calcutta, grabbing pole positions in every quiz that takes place, crushing the locals, and hearing the lamentations of their women and children. The old order of sleazy pubs and Ambassadors shall be shattered, as new watering holes and real taxis spring up to serve the needs of Calcutta’s new masters. The Pax Quizzica shall return Kolkata (faugh!) to the state which it was always meant to be: Calcutta for the Marwaris!
November 22, 2007
One of the disadvantages of making a quiz is that the people who’ll attend my quiz tend to also read my blog. So, you can’t link to really awesome stuff you find because it’ll tip them off to your questions, or at least the source of your questions.
One such awesome thing which I can reveal now that the quiz is done is a blog called Round Dice. There’re very few posts, and the author stopped blogging altogether this February, but all the posts there are most awesome.
Posts from this blog which eventually became questions include one on kolams, one on the tribhanga pose, and one on Bhaskaracharya’s Lilavati. The tribhanga post is especially awesome, because it manages to link Chalukya sculpture to structural engineering, the Vitruvian man, and Anna Nicole Smith. Read.
There was also one post which didn’t really have any question-worthy funda, but which I particularly liked. It’s on the difference between being traditional and being conservative:
As I see it, a traditionalist is someone who uses the past in his/her daily life. For a traditionalist, the past is neither dead nor inaccessible. If a particular tradition no longer works — slavery or foot-binding or burning widows — it is modified to make a new tradition. The modification is usually a series of minor changes: a sari may be exchanged for a salwar, a particular dish may no longer be cooked, a man may go to Lamaze class, a Bollywood movie may include a gay character, etc.
In contrast, a conservative’s relationship is not with the past, but with the future. The conservative does not love the past as much as he fears the future. The Shiv Sainiks flip out on Valentine’s day not because Urvashi never sent a “I heart you” to Pururava (she did), but because their version of the future only permits docile women. The actual past is quite irrelevant for a conservative.
November 15, 2007
I’ll be conducting my first ever quiz for the Karnataka Quiz Association this Sunday. It’s a ranking open, with a History, Geography, and World Culture theme.
(The World Culture has been thrown in for the sole purpose of letting me sneak in general questions in case I run out of history and geography fundaes).
Before leaving for work this morning, I had 31 questions made, which leaves me with 59 to make by Sunday afternoon. Difficult but doable.
In case you’re in Bangalore, and interested, drop by. The prelims start at 3 p.m., and the finals at 4 p.m. The venue, as is usual, is Daly Hall on Nrupathunga Road.