Monday, May 16, 2005

UTPT Nostalgia - 3

The only time I have ever quizzed with a team other than Tonic was with Corrosion of Conformity (Mihir's team), at a KQA Open Quiz, two years ago.

Realised then, why Mihir was universally accepted to be among the best quizzers ever produced by RV QuizCorp.

"Hi Jalan,

How's life? The site is just great. Good job very well done.

Find below my comments/reminisces on UTPT for the blog-:

I had the pleasure and opportunity to be part of the organising committee for two editions of "Under the Peepal Tree" (2001 & 2002). It was truly an education of sorts but was not always enjoyable. I remember getting rather peeved with the rigorous internal bureaucracies for simple clearances like a bank account and venue,with the repeated delays and sometimes with the general situation at hand. But in the end its the good stuff that one remembers - all others are relegated to the background. My friends Siddhartha and Dhivakar have dwelt very well on the broader emotional and organisational aspects of the fest. I will focus my views on the core of the three day event-the part that I enjoyed the most- the quizzes themselves!

Quizzing is a fine mindsport,one that requires skills both on-stage (timely recollection,identification, speed and most of all a mental assembly of multiple facts to produce a single answer) and off-stage (a voracious appetite for books,movies,music and 'fundaes'). The basic attribute of any quiz that the quizmaster can pose questions from anything under the sun makes each quiz remarkably different from one another. A lot depends on the quizmaster's tastes, his subjects of choice, his mood while making the questions and his research for the quiz on hand. One can see this variety in styles right from Magnusson's Mastermind to the NLS Specialist Quiz (when they used to have one). We at RV QuizCorp had a style of our own. In most, it was an extension of the types of quizzes that we attended the most-the ones conducted by the Karnataka Quiz Association at trivial locations like the Mythic Society and the Canara Union. The basic premise of that style being-: the answer to a question should be able to be deciphered from the facts presented in the question with a reasonably fair idea of the subject matter in hand. If all questions in the quiz (in the Finals at least) were constructed with this premise in mind, invariably the best team will win. The only factors that might work against this planned result would be unbalanced scoring rules between rounds,and inopportune seating arrangements (despite a random draw by lots).

In my opinion, Under the Peepal Tree provided quizzers with the right platform to display and hone these skills. The basic split up of the fest into a General Quiz,a Science Quiz,an India Quiz,an AV Quiz,a Sports Quiz and a Corporate quiz meant that we tried to cover every gamut of human existence in the three days. The quizzes were structured in a way to include a large volume of questions and this meant that the sheer decree of statistics guaranteed the best teams in the top three places. No quiz master at UTPT ever devalued a question to cater to a broader audience. No substandard eighth question was included just to complete a round. No question from earlier quizzes was included in the UTPT repertoire. This might sound exaggerated but sitting through a UTPT Finals was the college quizzing equivalent of listening to Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue". It blew you away with variety and richness. This is where UTPT provided the participant with a different experience as compared to hundred's of other quizzes/quiz fests.

I spent a rather substantial part of my college life with UTPT and for the best parts alone ,I am truly satisfied.

Mihir Jayaraman"


Anonymous said...

(timely recollection,identification, speed and most of all a mental assembly of multiple facts to produce a single answer)

So true .. great blog dude.

tech said...

Thanks to mihir for that one. Its nice to read this blog and revisit things past.

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