Sunday, March 14, 2010

UTPT Nights

This post is intended for first year QuizCorpers. Congratulations, in advance, on your first “Under the Peepal Tree”. If marked a few truisms which you all might want to take a look at.

“Why do we need to stay over at night?”

That was my initial reaction when we, fresher QuizCorpers of 2004-05 batch, were asked whether we were going to spend the night, so to say, at R.V teachers auditorium on the eve of our very first ‘Under the Peepal Tree’.

I was happy to do my share of the work but why would I want to sleep on an uncomfortable plastic chair when I had a perfectly good, warm albeit empty bed waiting for me at home.

Sleep. That’s where I got it wrong.

For 3 nights of UTPT shut-eye would be a luxury. When there was so much fun to be had, so much work to be done, so many questions to be set and so many co-corpers to be chided, ridiculed and abused, where would one find the time to sleep?

Unfortunately, with internals happening the next day after the fest, I did not stay over during that UTPT, something that I regret to this day. I would only hear the stories of what happened during those nights – why you should always complete your lab records before UTPT begins, why the stage table is concave shaped and why, if a senior asks you to drape yourself with table-cloth, to run fast and hide.

Learning 1: Never make the mistake of choosing Internals over Nights. Mathematically speaking there is a maximum of 72 internals in 4 years but only 12 nights of UTPT. Too little of a good thing.

You always remember your first time. The first time a fundae, which you’ve researched and peter-proofread, goes up on the screen. Doesn’t matter if it’s easily crackable or a trifle too arbit. Your count has begun.

The next year I made it a point to stay for all 3 nights. There are some rituals you follow every year. First- attempting to hang the UTPT banner over the main gate. Usually assigned to the most ungainly bloke who has more chances of falling down. Second- suspending the RvQuizCorp banner over the projection screen. No mean feat, this requires advanced engineering minds with ingenuity. Then comes the mundane task of sticking posters on the walls. All these tasks made even more difficult, by our chronic cheapness when it comes to buying rope/tape.

Anyway if you fail at any of these tasks there’s always Bisi. He’ll do it.

Then comes the more delectable part after all the hard work. Ordering from Kebab Magic. A daunting task assigned to the bravest of first years. Forget any order and you might as well not return. If you have any doubts about the ruthlessness of your seniors, take a minute off to watch them devour 3 plates of kebabs with bones, you may well be inspired to join PETA.

Learning 2: Always order more Kebabs and Biryani than you think are enough. Shyam doesn’t share.

There may be a few bad habits that you could pickup at UTPT nights but if you are true to yourself and your principles you can last a whole 3 hours before diving right into it.

UTPT 2007 was a special one. My first year in charge of a whole quiz. As the kind of person who looks at responsibility as suspiciously as Shahid Afridi does a white cricket ball, this was a big deal.

Boy did it take a bite out of me. Things did not go as smoothly as planned. The computer (oh how I loathe that contraption) on which we had collected all our questions, pictures, videos crashed the day before the quiz.

Through some quick search and download we managed to collect back 70% of the raw material. But with 12 hours to go the quiz was yet un-PPT-ized and there was still the issue of the other 30%. But I still made it to the audi the night before the quiz.

And I’m glad I did. Corpers might be some of the most individualistic, opinionated people you will ever meet but nobody can ever accuse us of being self-serving. Shyam made half my ppt, one hand on keyboard other holding a kebab, while later on that night Tony took yours truly and King back to his place where the 3 of us assembled the remaining of the quiz in time for the next day (well not exactly, but at UTPT we are always fashionably late).

Learning 3: Kebab grease makes the keyboard slippery. Don’t be cheap with the napkins.

The final year nights were the most grueling. It’s when you are in charge of logistics that you realize how “free-spirited” some of the younger corpers can be. Datta, I mean you.

But it was the one of the smoother UTPTs I have ever been a part of, not that I take credit for it, but when you’ve been through 3 earlier extravaganzas, where we make it a point of proving Murphy’s law every single time, there’s very little than can surprise you.

And that’s why UTPT always turns out so well. There’s never a crisis somebody hasn’t seen or learnt from in the past.

Learning 4: Keep your eyes and ears open especially at night, when it’s the hardest. It’s when you learn the most. That’ll come in handy in a few years.

Screw sleep. That’s what classes are for.

It’s after writing this post that I learn that RVDC won’t let people stay back at night. Do I feel like an ass. Anyways that makes ‘Learning 1’ all the more significant for the next 3 years.


Bisi said...

Its on my resume "Hanging banners and posters - since 2004"

Blindo said...

The fact that I was compiling the finals while the prelims was going on and that Jose had to run to the nearest cyber cafe to find an answer which the two QM's conveniently forgot , gave it all the characteristics of the opening quiz.

Scientist said...

I was asked to put funda in my interview :). It really helps fill the resume.

PS - Wiser QCers note: If Shyam comes close to 10 meters of any biryani of any sort - a suite shall be filed against him.

Please be there live to see the ensuing felicitations.

Bisi said...

I vehemently oppose this no staying overnight rule at RVDC ... Their dentality ain't quite right ...

Hyper said...

Cannot forget how Shyam ate all that biriyani from Ebony/13th floor... That was the year when he was new too.. Ahhh.. how did we let that happen now..

Shank said...

The year we had that gigantic screen and Tiwari set it up for gaming... Kickass..