Saturday, May 14, 2005

UTPT Nostalgia - 2

The first thing that strikes one about Ganj is that he's tall. Tall, dark and the symbol of understated coolness to all his peers, juniors and his many fans. His dream job is owning a library in the Caribbean, reading Rushdie on a hammock.... sipping a pineapple drink with that fancy umbrella. He's getting there.

The mentor to many a fletchling team, Ganj's discourses in front of the canteen made one realise as a junior that QuizCorp was much more than a bunch of guys in a car pool headed to the next college quiz. I have had differences of opinion with many seniors in QuizCorp, over many different issues, but, never with Ganj. In QuizCorp, Ganj stands tall.

This is what he has to say about his experiences at UTPT.

"Bib's article sums it all up...I cant write better than the professional that he is. But did inspire me to blab a bit....its the kind of rambling I do everytime I get all emotive about La Cosa Nostra ...............Quizcorp.

Most of the junies who were around when I was in college have probably been subjected to this yearly sermon of mine...... but I have so much to say and just cant keep my mouth shut. Apologies to those troubled souls (Khoj's, Jalan's and Panicker's batch) who had to sit through one of these....on the the canteen..or in the "hallowed" portals of that Teacher's college.

If you were to ask me what my role was in those fests was....I did a quiz each year....actually about less than 1/3rds of a quiz each year for my three years there. Now, I never was a flamboyant quizmaster (as in ..the types who floored audiences into a respectable hush when the funda was revealed)....I used to be better as a Quizzer...if I was awake at all. But the best I have ever pushed myself into being was as an Organiser at the Peepal Tree. I found myself heading what we decided to call, rather fancifully, the "Infrastructure" committee....which basically meant chairs, backdrops, mics, lecterns...the previous night's not-so-romantic-ugly-nitty-gritties.

The effort to the run up was monumental...three days without sleep, one meal a day usually at 3 am in some dingy KR Market hotel (the only one open in Bangalore at that time of the day...the Taj was never really an option). The chaos was wicked...I thought myself to be a John Constable in my attention to detail when I got the oil, the wick, the candle and the lamp all in place for that wretched formality of an inauguration ceremony.......hell.....we forgot matches. Sure as hell someone had a lighter. But imagine the respectable men in Safari Suits wielding one...the thought or rather the aftermath sent shudders. Run my the nearest shop.....all shops closed that early in the morn...well fly what if your stomach hurts and your leg aches...a corner shop a good half a kilometer later.......and a matchbox and a candle were positioned with a pronounced artistic angle on the lamp table just before the Chief Guest got to it (oblivious to the stifled gasps and sweaty foreheads).

Crop the visuals for the 8th question in the round while we are asking the fifth ..hoping the bitches on stage dont know the answer...buying time...biting nails...egging the man with a laptop and Adobe Photoshop on.

I think we have come a long way from that infant madness, but a dosage of it is required to make the boy a man and the occasional (quite unfortunately) girl a woman. The pressures, the sighs, the worries, the sleepless nights, the cruising over the stumbling blocks of people and their attitudes.....they are the stuff that maketh the man/woman. (clothes dont...the fest t-shirt...maybe an exception)

The feedback comes to you in all the words of a cribby co-organiser, a grumpy junior who didnt get a chance to reveal his balding forehead in the limelight, a spat with a best friend, a critical sponsorer, a generous NLS "enemy" who shook his head in disbelief, went upto the podium and declared he had never sat in a quiz fest as "Super" as this one, a senior who watched the whole three days and said "It was absolutely professional"...(I almost died when I heard that..the matches or rather the lack of them, had burnt me deep enough to think the whole event had been a collosal failure) and ofcourse your own weakened legs and weary eyes tell you that they will hold out for you just to make the moment last.

Plunge into it guys...what you will learn is something more than the fundae dairies of yours can take in.

Wish I could be there did I hear Ashanka wince at the thought of having to listen to another of my "moral lectures"? You bet....I did.

A very proud member of the family, Ganj' or (as I have always prefered to be called) Dhivakar Janarthanan."


jhgasuhvkjahklnsdlksnlknmlwvlckn said...

Hey! Neat blog you got pointed to it by Bib. Dont forget your senior QC people mates...any more tech or aero quizzes happening these days?


AI said...

I protest!,
everytime you embark on a "moral lecture", its stifled awe, not wincing and i you better believe it, i really miss that moralizing