Saturday, March 13, 2010

UTPT: A Chronology: Bisi

by Quizcorp's 'seventh year', Nishant Biswal Bisi.

So it starts with a resolve to not repeat the mistakes made at school: In my mind I was gonna quiz more often, come rain or shine. And as if to answer my prayers there was Uncle Sam, demanding my presence at the Freshers' Quiz. In terms of a marketing event, the Freshers' Quiz was spot on. The fundae were mind-boggling, eye-ogling even. (It kinda helps when you qualify on your very first attempt as well) So there were the Gods/Demi-gods. I must be missing out on names but think here was where I first caught a glimpse of Bulla, Raghu Ray, Kodi, Khoj, Gang Rao, Sandy, Gowda, Santosh, Cadambi--Legends for junies like me. I think Kodi gave the presentation and even played a video showing RV QuizCorp at The University Challenge/ Something to aspire towards for star struck junies such as yours truly.

Over the next four years, a combination of unwilling faculty (who were always ready to bombard me with attendance shortage) and sheer lack of talent meant that I never got to meet Siddharth Basu. But then again, those four years gave me memories that'll last a lifetime.

I think it was Thursday night before the UTPT of 2006. KK Praveen is busy dishing out heavy gyaan to Shyam on relationships. And Shyam could only smile back dumbstruck. In walks Chitoor and little does he know the tragedy that is about to befall him. KK latches on to Chitoor and gives him the full discourse that he'd already dished out to Shyam. And before we realize it he goes on to empty the contents of his stomach on poor Chitoor. Quite a night of heavy philosophy and fun (for those observing anyway).

A statue should be erected in the honour of one Mr. Arun Nayak. The man was single-handedly responsible for getting sponsors, running around for ground work and what not. He even had a mad biker crash into his beloved Santro. But that would deter only lesser mortals. Next day Mr. Nayak was back, in Wagon R this time. Over the years, shady policies of his department meant that he could afford to spend less and less time with RV QuizCorp. But his legacy of being the Superman of UTPT 2004 remains and I doubt if it will ever be equaled.

In my third year I was entrusted with the task of picking Amuda up from the airport. In his usual nonchalant manner, he ruled that I was headed on a route that would take forever and instead directed me to drive through a shortcut. All said and done we reach his house and I am just blown away by the racks of books that were stacked up all around his room. I guess I must've picked up something that day at his house, because over the next two years I had to substitute for him at the Corp Quiz. Thanks to Amuda I can now hold a mike and speak in front of a audience without the fear of imminent doom. During another stint, I was chauffeur to one Mr. Quant of Pembur Bridge fame. The Pembur Bridge story has obscure origins and has too many versions/prequels/sequels floating around for me to narrate here. But Mr. Quant knows his way around Rajajinagar. I had to navigate my poor old Zen through a "shortcut" that passes through cow stables and dhobi ghats. All this while I thought Quant had left behind some of his ultra-precious sci-fi fundae in a pen drive which was lying at his house. Turns out Mr. Pembur Bridge needed to take a bath. I had to drive through narrow alleys and cow-riddled lanes so that Quant could take a bath! Quant you cheaaaappp guy !!!

I've spent countless hours in Hyper's house setting quizzes. Somehow we always found the time to find a unique Koramangal Pandey level fundaa for the department fests. But sadly during our year in charge we never could devote adequate time for the Main Quiz. It will remain one of those regrets I'll always carry. But what I don't regret is the dinner this malnourished hostelite had the privilege to indulge in when at his place. I highly recommend the Dosa at Hyper's. Maybe when he comes down for his imminent marriage we can all invite ourselves over(@Hyper: No we are not ordering from outside).

And since we are on the topic of team-mates, I must mention Ze Lolitas here. No offense to Arpan here, but Hyper claims that Varuna was "stolen" away from us. Call it the clash of departments or of cultures but I personally had a great time sparring with them Lolitas. It's a treat watching them shut each other up on stage. You have the Iceman's alter-ego residing within Sneha. She is the epitome of coolness in the chaos that ensues every year during UTPT. And her ability to go into deep freeze in any air-conditioned surrounding is unparalleled. Mother Superior handled the press and the rest of her bachcha log with elan over the four years. Do not cross roads with her, 'cause she WILL ensure its the last time you ever do so. And Varuna was stuck in the middle of these two. I must convey my gratitude here for the umpteen lifts the great man has given this writer on his Scarlet Scooty. Judging by the size difference that exists between us this is no mean feat. Sadly that is how under-represented our year was with just the five of us from my batch. But with company like this the four years went by in the blink of an eye.

Here's Bisi's list of things you may want to do on or around UTPT so that you may be condemned to eternal damnation :

1. Change schedule without consulting anyone else.
2. Slime the rest of your outgoing batch and run away with the Best Outgoing Quizzer certificate.
3. Finish your finals ppt, hidden backstage, while the prelims are going on (In my opinion this is par for the course but some of your fellow QCorpers will lose hair over it)
4. Scream expletives into the mike (I think this is fun to do by the way)
5. Forget to arrange a splitter for the projector.

UTPT was once been bandied about as Underneath the Banyan Tree. I assure you we do not indulge in undergarment marketing here. We do however, break curtain rods in auditoriums; we do wake up the neighbours in Jayanagar. We fight with each other and think no end of ourselves and love blaming someone else for being late. But we patch up just as quickly. Scientist, my Kinetic rusts in peace now but it'd kick your Kinetic's behind anyday. Vikas Tiwari will never be forgiven for making me run around for a fictional Jiju George. Pondy's and Casillas' Amul round gets my vote for best round at a quiz ... EVER !!!

UTPT means many things to me. It provided means to escape from the drudgery of classes. It signaled a minor coming-of-age for me. It provided us a chance to catch Datta do his tipsy cycling trick. Pulling up banners since 2004 and getting to abuse King simultaneously. These are the small joys of life that UTPT affords us. And I am not qualified to judge the quality of fundae that will be on offer over the three days. Most fundae tend to fly way above my head. I can however, guarantee some dazzling revelations and moments of true enlightenment that can be obtained only Under the Peepal Tree.

Can't wait for it!!


Anonymous said...

well said , your tearness !

adi said...

And like I corrected everytime, its not the Main Quiz. There is no Main Quiz.

adi said...

and Varuna was NEVER stolen from anyone. He was ours, is ours, and will be ours.

Hyper said...

I must confess now... Tony/Arpan is a better quizzer.. He does not read wikipedia before quizzes.. he has actually watched that Esperanto movie, and is a true sports fan.. unlike the "water-god".

puneet said...

add another to that eternal damnation list.. arrange for rooms at sharda lodge for outstation teams.. anu n pingu would nod in agreement... sadly I think this is fast goin out of fashion...

Anonymous said...

Ha ha..had a blast reading this. Cheap Quant indeed! Hope to see some of you old timers at this edition.