Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Doon School Quiz

For me, two important events have passed by. The first was my last trip to The Doon School and the second was the Patton One Act Play Competition.
I've been going to The Doon School in Dehradun as part of the La Martiniere for Boys contingent ever since I was in Class 7. That year, I was the surprise selection of the Quiz Team for the Doon School Quiz. With me was the then School Captain, Arjun Puri and House Captain, Tirthankar Datta. That was a great experience for me, as it was the first time I was part of a senior quiz. We were runners-up to a brilliant St. James team led by Siddhartha Sinha, but for me it was the sheer quality of quizzing that made it a brilliant experience.
Since that time, I have been part of the School Quiz Team, and for us the high point of the year was always the Doon School Quiz, as the entire season came down to that quiz. In 2005, we had a really strong team, one of the strongest in years. Aryapriya Ganguly was one of the best quizzers we had for many years, and with the pair of Rohan Saha & me, it was a strong combination that had proved successful in the past. We won the Doon School Quiz that year for the first time since 1999, and that was a defining moment in my career.
I was appointed Quizzing Captain the following year, and I had been looking forward to defending our crown that year. Unfortunately, the quiz wasn't held last year, so despite our success, we weren't really satisfied.
I had already decided the Doon trip would mark the end of my quizzing career. I had been representing the school since Class 3, and I thought ending off with the Doon School Quiz would be a good way to bring to an end 10 years of school quizzing. I was already determined to successfully defend the trophy, but the fact that it would be my last quiz further strengthened my resolve.
It wouldn't be easy, though. The quiz at Welham Girls' had already shown us the strength of the teams competing in this one. The Doon School had won that quiz, and La Martiniere Girls, Lucknow, had beaten us there as well. This time around there would also be teams like Mayo Boys, Ajmer and Modern High School, Dubai to contend with. Sure enough, the qualifiers were difficult. We qualified onstage, but one look at the stage positions assured us it would be difficult for us - to one side of us was The Doon School and to the other side we had Modern High School, Dubai.
Sure enough, Doon took an early lead, and we were falling way behind. By the 4th round itself, we were 30 points behind Doon. With Modern High, Dubai also close behind them and having failed to score any points up until that round, it would have been very easy to panic. That's where experience counts. We got a lucky break in the Geography round which helped us open our score, and from that moment, we didn't look back. Sure enough, we scored our points in the Nature, Music and Current Affairs rounds, and in the video round too, we snapped up a few bonuses. Leading into the last Buzzer round, the scores read thus: Modern High, Dubai - 75 pts; Doon School, Dehradun - 70 pts; La Martiniere Boys, Kolkata - 70 pts.
Before the buzzer round, I told my team - "it's my last quiz - I have nothing to lose". My long-time teammate Debdeep Nath turned to me and said, "Chalo, we'll go for it," in his stoic, assuring manner.
The buzzer round didn't start well for us, though. We were late on the buzzer and Doon School snapped up three quick answers. Even Modern High, Dubai got one of them. That's when I decided to take a risk. The answers were following a pre-determined pattern which was shown on screen. The first letters of the answers in the buzzer round would correspond to the pattern D-O-O-N-S-C-H-O-O-L, and thus the next answer would begin with "S". The quizmaster only went up to "which member of the Nehru-Gandhi family..." when I hit the buzzer. I answered as soon as I was identified, "Sanjay Gandhi", and to no one's surprise, it was correct. The C & H answers were given by another school before Debdeep went for two excellent answers, one on Osho and one on Oncology. We were tied with Doon! The last question was to begin with "L". Here again, I took no chances and went for the buzzer as soon as I heard, "Who became President after the assassination of John. F. Kennedy?"...most did know the answer, but as I hit the buzzer first, I got to provide the answer "Lyndon B. Johnson". The teams onstage already knew the results, and we had already begun shaking hands with the Doon School team. They toyed with the screen results for a while but then they had to show it eventually: La Martiniere Boys, Kolkata - 110 pts; Doon School, Dehradun - 100 pts and Modern High School, Dubai - 85 pts. I had ended my decade long school quizzing career with a victory - and what a victory it was! The Dr. Banerji Memorial Trophy for the Doon School Quiz returned with La Martiniere for Boys, Kolkata again!
Coming up soon, the Padatik Patton One Act Play Competition.


Blogger trish said...

not too many 'careers' as you put it, end like that. congratulations.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Poker faced pervert said...

Yes too true, it was to put it, one helluva day!

7:11 PM  

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