Has your mommy ever told you that when you plan for something, and prep really hard, you kinda don’t get it? But when you don’t plan, and don’t think too hard about it, you do??! No?! Okie, screw you, my mommy told me that. I don’t think I care about this theory of hers, but for once, it did turn out to be that way.
Two weeks ago, I asked a friend, Sayanee (I met her at this refining innovation workshop) to join me in participating at the TATA Crucible Quiz in Singapore. I am not surprised you haven’t heard of it – yes, it is not Who wants to be a millionaire? But it is rather popular among young quizzers in India, and I had watched few clippings of this quiz on television (yes, it is a TV show, unlike Education City Quiz Challenge ) So I was only half serious about taking part. This can be believed from my comment before and after the quiz: “if I had to pay even a dollar of registration fee for this, I wouldn’t be taking part“.
It was a day before the quiz was to take place, and while there were streams of emails from the organizers on how we needed to prepare ourselves for it, me and Sayanee were yet to share our contact numbers or even a message on how we are going to go about this. Breaching all privacy rules, I hereby share my email to her, just a couple of days before the event, and her subsequent reply:
Varun: Unofficial reminder, as promised: Tata Crucible Quiz on 29th Oct at Suntec City You are partnering a not-very-smart guy, so be ready!
Sayanee: Well, i think partnering some fun, wacky guy is the key… which I will be doing :p
Anyways, the night before, we reached a consensus that we would meet and go for this quiz. We got to the venue after a 20-minute walk, cracking jokes about how we were the biggest misfit for the competition. As we entered the hall, where over 140 teams of two from different universities in Singapore were seated for the preliminary round, we decided to sit in the front rows so as to get a better view of the stage in the finals
The picture tells the rest of the story. The preliminary round questions, in my opinion, were just plain simple and direct. We walked out of that round with smiles, nevertheless uncertain of what would happen. Had free food, came back, realized we made the cut into the top fourteen, and needed to play a wildcard round. Got the second spot, just enough to make it in the finals. Were amused in the finals on a score of 0 until the third round by the thoughts of the iPod touch, which was a guaranteed gift to all finalists. Gave a couple of wild answers until the last round, in order to walk out with some shame. What we did not realize was that all other answers were coming from just 2 teams. And only later did we realize that exactly 3 teams were going to walk away with big prize money. And the joke continued: we were tied with another team for 3rd place at the end of the quiz (at a really low score). Tie-breaker begins. Question asked. They hit the buzzer first. Now you can figure out how we won that tie-breaker.
Now the more interesting facts: (1) it was a business quiz. Sayanee is an engineer, and myself, a programmer. The closest we get to business is taking one or two business classes at uni (2) I almost jeopardized my participation into the quiz in the interest of dancing an extra 2 hours for the dance group I am a part of (3) the quizmaster remembers me as the guy who was 3rd runner up in his IT quiz in Oman, and so, after everything was said and done, he asks: “..and what are you doing here?!” (4) I ate 3 meals in a duration of 4 hours of the quiz. When your excited, your stomach does not speak to your brain. Scientists, learn!