Thursday, March 16, 2006

Intrigue is in the air

[As usual, I exaggerate. So take this with a bucketful of salt]

The annual MEI(My Esteemed Institute) quiz contest is coming up. Very exciting. It is the highlight of the MEI social calendar in large part due to the person who conducts the quiz, with great flair.

What is more interesting to the social observer is the political intrigue that goes on to form a team before the quiz. For a quiz you need a team. When it becomes a team then the people you associate with becomes more important than you. It’s not a question of being the best it is more about getting into a team which has good people. This requires more politics than the stuff that happens at the Parliament every four years or so. Indeed the intrigue is so thick at MEI these days that you could cut it with a knife.

There are furious machinations going on at this point. The best quizzers get several offers. [Clarification: Yours truly is not one of them.]

Some offers can be very very spooky like a SMS at midnight from a number you don’t know. “Will you be a part of our team?” It asks cryptically. Then you ask equally surreptitiously “That depends on who is in your team.” Of course once you identify the number you know the answer to that question already. But this is just to stall the situation for a little time so that you know which are the other teams being made, who are in them and what are your chances of getting into the better ones.

The music and the current affairs are two important sections in the quiz and there are people who specialise in these things. Hence the next questions.

Negotiator 1: Who is the music guy?

Negotiator 2: We have E.W.

1: That guy cannot differentiate between Ayyan Ali Khan and Amjad Ali Khan. He is tone-deaf!

2: Who is the current affairs guy?

1: R. D.

2: A girl? For current affairs. No way! Might as well not take part. We need a guy. Get T.L*.

1: Can’t

2: Then I cant either. I will not join unless T.L.* is associated with it.

1: Where is the hacker***?

And so it goes on the furious haggling in some cases till minutes before the quiz starts and in some cases involving exchange of several bottles of intoxicating liquids.

[* - the legendary quizee who had won all the quizzes he participated in when he was a student.
*** - hacker - This is the guy who will try to break into the quizmaster’s computer. Of course this has never happened so far. But that does not mean it can’t right?]

Then you have to make major decisions regarding where your loyalties lie – with the department, your friends or to the person from whom you want that little piece of programming done that will save you a week’s work.

After all this you have to confront your labmates who are forming their own team. First reaction is open hostility.

Labmate: WTF? Samu? How dare you not join us and form a team with someone else? THEM? They are not even from the same departement!

Me: Sorry but they are asked first. When force does not work, they try to invoke pity.

LM : You left us for them. You ditched us. How could you? Then they make faces like a baby seals about to be slaughtered. And you imagine that a tear does slid down their face so you actually start feeling guilty.

Me: I am sorry yaar! Next year I promise. This ends with threats of violence.

LB: Next time next time, you come to us to get that fly stock that that you killed by mistake. Their hand inches toward the scalpel they use to dissect flies. Yikes! You exit the lab before a murder is committed.

Of course after all these machinations, time and again it has been proved that the most rag-tag team formed at the last minute is the one that takes the prize but that dearies is another story and for another day.

Side note: For those still in the Holi mood, hop over to Kate's blog for a near-accurate description of how I spent my day.


Nikhil Joshi said...

I didn't know, quizz can be so quizzling!! I used to just walk in and tie up with someone there...and it worked many a times, since I am worse than anyone else there..

Shanta Laishram said...

I never thought(knew) that people had to wrangle a lot for the quiz! Interesting! Well, I participate in Hostel quiz almost every year(except may be 1 year) and my team is formed just before the quiz at AG 66!

Ozymandias said...

When? When is the quiz?

samudrika said...

@nikhil and Shanta
When I write my imagination runs riot and then the line between fantasy and fact gets smudged. So things may not actually happen just as I write them.

This saturday. Wanna join?

musafir said...


Thanks for the holi link, I had completely forgotten about it.

Vivek said...

I had been following your blog for quite sometime. Nice reading.

Looks like the coming weekend holds a lot of fun for us.

Nikhil Joshi said...

he he...have you seen me in any such competetions at you EI?...all imaginations...lady neo!

Nikhil Joshi said...

I meant competitions....:{

samudrika said...

If you like that there is a photo here too of one unfortunate soul.

You give me more credit than I deserve! Really.

MEI has been more active than usual these days - what with badminton matches to see, holi to play, quizzes to participate, music concerts to attend and work of course!

Agreed then. All is imagination. ;)

musafir said...

@ Samudrika

Along with a few others, the unfortunate person has been recognised ( even when the person is drowned in mud, it is not hard to recognise the unfortunate(?) person ) . btw, for a long long time, I did not know who you were, a very good friend of ours gave me tips. ( remember our anonymous talks ) The same person who tipped you tipped me also.

have lots of fun.

samudrika said...

Another one bites the dust. The common friend is a very good friend indeed, no?
There is nothing more sad than when you suddenly be responsible for the stuff you write.
Cool to get acquainted like this again! :)

musafir said...

@Samudrika :
"Another one bites the dust. The common friend is a very good friend indeed, no?
There is nothing more sad than when you suddenly be responsible for the stuff you write."

Why should I be sad ?, I was having lots of fun scaring people so much so that they have to rush for help !!!!!! haha ha , But I must say I was surprised when I was traced back.

I have to reconsider whether you get the drink or not, but I would not mind giving you

"Cool to get acquainted like this again! :)"

Very True indeed !!!!

samudrika said...

I meant myself when I said that. I meant that now I find that suddenly I (not you) am responsible for what I write, which too much bother for a lazy person like me.

I do not run to a guy for help. I can take care of myself. (except when there is a cockroach in my room)(I am NOT implying that you are a cockroach!)

musafir said...


In my memory hard-disk : rm "I know who Samudrika is"
Question : Really remove file ?
Answer : Yes......

So, now you don't have to feel responsible.

" I do not run to a guy for help. I can take care of myself. (except when there is a cockroach in my room)(I am NOT implying that you are a cockroach!) "

I never said you have/had to run to a guy for help. Or do you want to say I am too nasty to have a friend who is a girl ? ( You see, I am already having loads of fun again, please don't mind this leg-pull )

Cockroach : hmmmmn !!! Haven't seen one for a long time in this damned country !!!! How about lizards and spiders ?

CantYouSee said...

Excellent work of fiction. Would hav enjoyed it more if I could decode who the characters involved were?

samudrika said...

lizards and spiders I can handle.

so you are pulling my leg...that means that i can pull yours too....

You can't decode them becuase they are not real. They dont exist! Dont bother correlating my stuff with reality. I zig zag between fantasy and fact very often.

musafir said...

"so you are pulling my leg...that means that i can pull yours too..."

Oh, yes, you are most welcome. I don't get offended just by leg-pulling. Have a go !!!! but don't pull so hard so that i become 10 ft. long.

CantYouSee said...

..Dont bother correlating my stuff with reality..
Sure thing mam!

Is there an article coming up on the other events?!

samudrika said...

BTW if you really want to see a cockroach I will pick up one of the several that inhabit my room, photograph it and send it to you. Cheers!

So many things to blog about, so little time. I dont know where to start! I am sure you understand.

musafir said...

Well, I am not so desperate yet. I am happy to see a few moles in the institute football ground. But you said you are afraid of them, just curious : how do you plan to catch them ?
Probably better idea is to try to get rid of them : would give a fresh look to your room.

Pakya said...

Good .

oook said...

I want to take part in a quiz too! :(

Tell your QM to conduct an open quiz sometime!