“Season’s already begun?” asked the crazy beggar, probably as surprised as me. It’s generally Montfort who starts things off by calling all major schools and hosting an awesome event.
Let’s back track a bit. Force Fest was held at Apeejay Sheikh Sarai (I’ve never heard of it before). When the invite first came to school, Meena Ma’am handed it over to His Majesty, the righteous, trustworthy, amazing, perfect and brilliant Shikhar Gautam (who’s also incidentally Head Boy, and many sixth grade kids’ idol “Mein aapki marching se bahut inspired hoon”).
So Shikhar talks with me about this recent development and decides not to go. Which means, we actually had to work hard in the event he isn’t going for (for some context, refer to previous CSR posts and search references to “god”). See, he’s missed lot of school due to VMC’s morning classes. So he figures he can’t afford to miss more.
So anyway, I volunteer to go for the quiz, and Saumey tags along too. I really didn’t expect all the major schools to turn up as well. I did get a hint when Prempal asked Vidit whether they had transport to offer for their school. That was two major quizzers here already.
Eight other kids were accompanying us on Day 1. We were going in our regular good ol’ Qualis.
Getting there was a nightmare. The school seemed light years away from ours and extreme heat only caused that time to expand. Moreover, Jyot Singh had forgotten to service the car air conditioner, which he claims, can chill the entire car within minutes.
Predictably, we got lost and out came everyone’s cell phones with Google Maps. Unfortunately, n00b kids didn’t know having a “maps” icon on your phone doesn’t necessarily mean GPS. An eighth grader got really excited when Google pointed out his location accurate up to five hundred meters. When Vinamra (the only other twelfth grader) were seriously considering to “screw this” and go watch Source Code at PVR nearby in Select Citywalk, we finally found Apeejay… in Saket.
So here’s a question this ignorant author would like an answer to. Which darn school opens two branches within walking distance of each other? (Conditions apply: “walking distance” depends upon one’s physical fitness and may range from a few centimetres to many miles).
Funnily enough, some students were standing near the entrance gate (and we assumed they were welcoming us). What I felt was, presumably, they were actually there to tell others that this was not Apeejay Sheikh Sarai. So after making a phone call to Aditya Kumar of DPS Vasant Kunj (who didn’t have a clue about the directions) we reached the correct school after winding through some really kacha roads.
We were led to the auditorium (which looked really nice). It was a lot like cinema halls in the sense that you sit in the front if you’re the last to come. Since we were behind the chief guest, we were supposed to keep our trap shut. Apparently, the inauguration had already started and the intro video was shown as soon as we entered. No comments on the video (wasn’t really paying attention; was tweeting), but others claim it was “inspired” from ours. (Just a note, Shikhar made the Gateway intro video in one night). The chief guest was someone called Aditya Berlia. Not a spelling error. Or maybe it is, but it’s definitely not Birla. He spoke with an Americanized accent and claimed to be from Stanford. He also spoke a lot about his parties with Facebook’s founder, Orkut’s founder, why the Orkut doesn’t work well anymore (“They’re (founders) are both equally smart. Well Zuckerberg’s a bit smarter actually”). But irrespective of all this, it was the most engaging chief guest speech I’ve ever heard. Aditya asked us about topics ranging from 4chan (/b/ specifically) to cloud computing to Pirates of the Silicon Valley.
Quiz prelims then began, and all major quizzing schools seemed to be there. We were led to some lab with PCs running Windows 2000. I instantly fired up Minesweeper and began, er, sweeping. Papers arrived and we were blown away. Remember my TCS archive (which Shikhar helped in making. Man, he’s everywhere)? There was a question about LinkedIn, and I had included Giri’s quote about it in the question. The question appeared as it is with the quote. I am not kidding. Vidit’s latest book on tech also became the source for some questions (which, thankfully, Saumey had read). Quiz wasn’t that tough; it was made up of questions I was sure I’d read before but couldn’t remember. Like a word involving Monty Python’s Flying Circus (it was “spam”). Once again, Saumey’s tukka of the day did it for us. Apparently, “Elograph” is now known as touch screen. And the boy guessed it. So we totalled up to about thirteen. Then we talked for sometime, and then added more answers (which we later forgot to include in our scores). So thirteen was the official score, according to us. New Era got 18 and Vidit from Manavsthali had 15 with them.
We went back to the audi contemplating the results and watching really boring presentations on corruption in India. (An enthusiastic girl claimed Suresh Kalmadi was recently arrested by the CBSE. Oops CBI.) Results came in, and we qualified along with (apparently) no DPS and no Manavsthali. Montfort, Air Force, Mother’s International, New Era, and some other school got through. Vidit was furious and demanded to know the marks. The quizmaster re checked his paper, and got fifteen. He asked if we were sure with our scores and were okay with disqualification. Of course, I wouldn’t agree to that! Last year of school quizzing here. So he did go and recheck our paper again and informed us we had sixteen. We won fair and square. (High five)! Prempal and Arnav were equally shocked at Vidit’s non-selection (though all of us were secretly happy at getting a good shot at the top prize).
Vidit was sad, but hey, stuff happens. Sorry, Vidit. I might have got a little too selfish there.
Vinamra couldn’t go through to the next round of gaming (Unreal Tournament). He said he forgot to click to respawn, and eliminated in a tight round. We finally made another tedious journey back to school in the sweltering heat. Now for day 2.
P.S: Prempal told me New Era often refuses to provide transport to them for quizzes. Why? Aren’t they like quizzing superpowers? Don’t they win nearly anywhere they choose to put their feet? Arnav said they take sweet revenge by refusing to hand over the overall trophy to their school.
P.P.S: Before we knew his name, we used to called Arnav Mario. Fact. Don’t mind that, Arnav.