“Basically the funda is there were two guys called X and Y. Now, X did this and Y did that and then something happened. And basically, macha, X got hajaar pained ok. And he did something. And then something happened and that led to something and then that something led to something else which led to something else and finally Y decided to do something about it and did this… blah blah… (goes on for another 10 minutes)… Hey, open question 24 da. Show the first two visuals. These are visuals of X and Y doing something. Basically put fundaes da.”
Eight young men look up and only see stars. Some of them even happen to see the moon, bright side of it, and get some inspiration. And take their shot at putting fundaes. “See da, basically the funda is, when X was putsing with Z, Z was putitsing with W and … “. Another 10 minutes for each of them to take their guesses. Those who have seen only stars pass. At the end of the ordeal, another “clue” is given and the question put on the buzzer. One guy buzzes and loses a point. There is a stunned silence for the next couple of minutes. More clues are given. The question is put on bounce again. Another five minutes before the answer is given out.
Few people have understood the question. Fewer have understood the answer. However, that doesn’t matter. The sparse crowd (of a hundred or so) bursts into spontaneous applause and cries of “hifunda da” rent the air. The show goes on. Oops, did i say “show”? i’m sorry, this is not a quiz show, this is a quiz!
There are a few basic rules regarding the IIT Madras Saarang LoneWolf Quiz. The finals should not start before midnight. The last few questions of the finals cannot be visuals, for, by then the OAT would be bathed in sunlight. And each question should be at least five minutes long. Accompanied by a couple of visuals. And maybe an audio which typically takes a long time to play.
The questions, well, they are about the most esoteric stuff. Most of them are on European history. Some on hollywood movies (probably the best of the lot) and maybe a few on Manga comics. You know, the Saarang Lone Wolf Champion is divine and should prove himself at stuff that are totally beyond us ordinary mortals. God only really knows where they get these questions from!
Then did I not tell you about the language used in the questions? Most questions are in IITian English, which has been created by us divine IITians which we think are out of bounds for lesser mortals. So if an outsider has to win this quiz, he better learn our hallowed language. Some keywords are “put fundaes”, “puts”, “macha”, “slysha”, ok i’m not going to give away more of our rich heritage.
Then of course IITM quizzes are not supposed to be put on Powerpoint slides. “It’ll make it too organized da”, they say. The prelims question paper (prelims are never put on powerpoint) has to be at least six pages long. Apart from the dozen or so visual questions that is. Some of us do try and break the shackles, and are given long lectures as to how we are playing with tradition.
And for the record, I have the record for writing the prelims of the lone wolf maximum number of times and not qualifying even once! And this is NOT a phenomenon of sour grapes.
The quiz goes on…