Vantage point

Saturday, May 31, 2003


Dammit dammit dammit!!!

Abhinav lost! And that pisses me off bigtime. It pisses me off because they were so obviously the best team of the three that day. It was some stupid choices in the final round that did us in. I am upset!!

Oh, sorry, you must be wondering what the hell I am talking about. Let me give you a little background.

I am talking about the ESPN School Quiz 2003, which I rate as a top quality sports quiz on TV. Harsha Bhogle's compering makes it even more elegant. The questions are good, the pattern is exciting, and the level of the kids taking part...WOW!

So anyway, my alma mater, Abhinav Vidyalay Pune, did very well last year, but stumbled at the last block. They were crowned the West Zone champs, but lost in the All India finals. Like a loyal Abhinavite, I felt last year that we were the strongest team, but as it happens in most quizzes, the luck of the draw turned against us. Which is why I was hoping that this year, we would go all the way. Though our team was not as strong was last year's, we were still way better than others.

Abhinav won the first round easily and this week were supposed to be the West Zone semis. At the end of these semis, three teams would go through to the Zonal finals, and one of those, would eventually make it to the national finals. I never even considered the possibility that we would lose in the semis. But we did. :(

I know I should not be very hard on the boy, but I can't help feeling that they threw it away. Going into the last round, they had a slender lead of 4 points over RJ Nashik. In this round, you can choose between a 5, 10 or a 20 pointer. The difficulty level increases and the 10 and 20s have a negative attached. They went for a 5 pointer the first time round, fair enough. But they missed it, while RJN got their 5 pointer. So we trailed by one point. The next time, we again chose 5, cracked it this time, and led by 4. But RJN cracked their 5 pointer too, and got the 1 point lead back.

Now I would have expected Abhinav to go for a 10 pointer. Not too flashy, like a tough 20 or anything, but a goodish 10 pointer. Our team was definitely stronger and they should have backed themselves to pull it off, and put pressure on Nashik to do the same. But they went for another 5 pointer, much to my dismay. The same routine followed, they cracked the 5 pointer, but all RJN had to do was get their fiver which they did.

As the RJN kids were pumping their fists in the air, I sat shocked, feeling the same way as I did during the slog overs of the Australiuan innings in the World Cup finals. I guess RJN deserved to win, but I feel that if we had gone for a tenner, we would've made it.

If Abhinav would have won, we would have seen an all-Pune West Zone finals. The other 2 teams to have made it are Symbiosis and Bishops. If we had been there, it would have been another feather in the cap of Pune quizzing, which I feel is not getting the attention it deserves like the traditional quizzing centres of Calcutta and Hyderabad. Pune is a force to reckon with in quizzing at every level. The Infosys team from Pune won Brand Equity 2 years ago, and were in the semis this year. And as we all know, fellow blogger Ramanand won the BBC Mastermind India this year. I hope Symbi or Bishops wins the National Finals and does us proud.

But stil.....Abhinav lost. :-(