On 26th August, 2010, I performed the role of the Quiz Master in the Inter-PSU Quiz Contest 2010 organized at BHEL, Hyderabad in which total 21 teams participated. Though I am a Finance man and this is not my field, I could not turn down the request of the Hindi department of my organization to anchor the quiz. I myself prepared the questions, hence the Quiz Master had to be none other than myself only.
Just the previous month I had conducted a small quiz for my own department (Finance) people and it was well appreciated. However this time, the occasion was big, the gathering was huge, some esteemed high-profile members of Town Official Language Implementation Committee (because it is a part of the month-long Hindi-related programs) were witnessing it and because of all these reasons, the psychological pressure was quite high. I had prepared a lot of questions under six different categories – 1. Science and Geography, 2. History, 3. Books and Literature, 4. Sports, 5. Movies, 6. General. Since myself was going to anchor the program, I did not bother to prepare the key because all the answers were stored in my mind. In fact, more than 90% of the questions were those already stored in my mind only and I took the help of the internet for less than 10% of the questions.
The quiz was a grand success. The arrangement alongwith the efforts of the Quiz Master (yours truly) were whole-heartedly appreciated by all and sundry. After the quiz was over and the results were announced, I was properly introduced to the audience and when it was informed to them that I was basically a Finance and Accounts man, all were surprised. I also shared this fact with the esteemed guests that I was a writer on Mouthshut.Com and my reviews could be read there.
Actually, reading of books, magazines and newspapers has been my numero uno interest since my early childhood. Hence for more than the past three decades, I have been reading daily newspapers alongwith periodicals plus books on different topics alongwith literature. Besides, I have been a movie buff too and right from my childhood to the present times when I am going through my forties, I have been watching movies on regular basis. All this plus the god-given gift of sharp memory has contributed to my vast storehouse of general knowledge. That’s why to prepare the questions for the quiz, I did not have to search questions. I just retrieved the answers from the database of my brains and prepared suitable questions for them.
This success gave a big boost to my self-confidence. A feeling emerged in my heart – ‘Yes, I can be a successful quiz-master, if given an opportunity’. I also share the credit of this success (and I expressed it before the people too who complimented me at the venue) with my wife, Amita (fondly called Rupa) who helped me a lot in preparing the question-boxes. It was done to maintain the randomness of the questions coming to the contesting teams. They had to randomly pick up a chit (on which the question was written) out of the question-box themselves. So there was no scope left for any kind of partiality (that could have been done by the organizers or the Quiz Master). Myself being in fever since the previous day, could not do this job alone. Further, she only arranged good quality, decent-looking, uniform plastic containers (out of her kitchen) which were used as the question-boxes. Hence her contribution cannot be underrated by any standards. In addition to her, my associates (colleagues) also have to share the credit of this success who continuously helped me in conducting the quiz and updating the scores of various teams.
Since then I have conducted many quizzes during the past six years but the joy and satisfaction I got on that day is still unmatched for me.