Sunday, October 12, 2008

I've started so I'll finish

(All that has been written is in jest. I am an ardent quizzer myself and this piece is an attempt to laugh at myself. All characters and events portrayed are real and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely deliberate. Four precious hours of airline transit time has gone into it. No quizzers were harmed during the writing of this piece. Inspiration: An hour long airport stop-over conversation with Sandhya, my long lost sister.)

I am not the Deputy Auditor General of India. I am not chauffer-driven, correction, Babu-driven in a pristine ivory-white Hindustan Motors’ 1993 model Ambassador dowered with a coruscant red siren. I don’t and, with reasonable certainty, shan’t weave or wear khadi undergarments in this lifetime. Gandhi does not grace the wall behind my work-desk. The chore of siphoning lakhs of Gandhi’s noteworthy lookalikes into clandestine banks in tiny, beautiful European nations has eluded my career interests for a while now. Consequently, I do not figure in the prominently displayed list of 29 dignitaries (all categories/sub-categories included) of national importance permitted to enter the executive lounge at the Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal. I envisage - ‘Dogs are not allowed’; today I am the dog. Amisha Patel (w/ two bodyguards), I learnt, is not.

Oddly enough, this piece is not consecrated to any of the 29 dignitaries (all categories/sub-categories included), Amisha Patel (a dignitary of national importance), Bhopal or Raja Bhoj. I shall embark upon vivid Madhya Pradeshi digressions in some other piece.

All the same, a chance encounter in the airport lobby with a quizzing rival from yesteryears, her conception by a dignified (of the aforesaid 29 dignitaries fame) father, flashing of a laminated, Indian Government authorized and embossed thingamajig, entry and coffee at the lounge that restricted access by the hoi polloi – all culminated in an hour long autopsy of the archetypal student-quizzer-menagerie.

For the uninitiated, the biological classification (scientific taxonomy) of a quizzer is as follows:

Biological Classification










Infinite Bounce*


Disownia (pronounced dis-own-ya)


Mortifya (pronounced like Vengaya**; might resemble/smell like one also)


No! Genius.



*Comprehensible by only above species' specimens

** Comprehensible by sub-species' Tam-Brahm specimens

Physical characteristics:

Today, quizzers are perhaps the most recognizable of all freeloaders (with the possible exception of the Marwari Mahila Mandal flying first class on a Kingfisher flight). They typically have a ginormous head counterbalanced by designer spectacles that were/will be a rage during the period when khadi/spandex undergarments were/will be in vogue (Not the magazine! A quizzer on the cover of Vogue is as probable as Pratibha Patil not winning the denture round of the Ms. Chinchpokli pageant. Funfact: Quizzers do have a magazine for their species – Vague, and a show on TV – Ripley’s Believe it or at least give me 5 points.) Commonly a white fringe or a halo surrounds their face that can only be spotted by fellow specimens. A few sub-species, however, have bulbs (only Surya brand) mysteriously levitating above their heads, which increase in number, size or intensity with the number of excruciatingly difficult (multi-level connect*) questions answered in a quiz.

The form, number and density of the average quizzer’s ego differs between sub-species (as well as the coloration of the halo), but most quizzers have over 100 egos. The pattern of egos is unique to each animal, and thus could potentially be used to identify quizzers, much in the same way as fingerprints are used to identify humans. This is not, however, a preferred method of identification, due to the logistical difficulty in measuring the size of their egos (Natraj Pencils, Erasers, Rulers & Bros. are currently spending billions of dollars in R&D to manufacture a ruler long enough to be employed for the same.) It seems likely that the function of the ego is camouflage, serving to help quizzers conceal themselves amongst humans as they make uninterestingly trivial conversation about the contents of Oscar Wilde’s/Karan Johar’s closet (But wait, haven’t they come out of it already?).


There are five recent subspecies of quizzers, one of which is extinct. The surviving subspecies, in descending order of wild population, are:

Karthik Triviamanium: These animals predominantly populate the recently liberated but constantly warring nations of Iyengaristan (erstwhile Matunga) and Iyeria (formerly Mylapore). Their preferred habitat is curd-rice fields or subtropical and tropical okra forests. A majority are known to fly south to Lake Horlicks during winter and Sambar Lake (not to be confused with Rajasthani namesake) during Rahukaalam. Triviamanium’s coloration, more often than not, varies from a free T-shirt won at last week’s quiz to previous birth’s quiz. Juniormaniums are born with birthmarks on their foreheads which straddle between various permutations of saffron and/or white vertical and horizontal strokes depending on their nationality.

Since 1972, there has been a massive wildlife conservation project spearheaded by the renowned wildlife activist Jane Iyer (sister of Jane Goodall of the chimpanzee fame), known as Project Iyer. The project is considered as one of the most successful wildlife conservation programs, though at least one Iyer Reserve (Guindy) has lost its entire Iyer population to IIT Madras.

Triviamanium’s vocalizations are complex and poorly understood. Some of the many vocalizations that they make are "Sappae matter, Peter!", usually echoed back and forth between themselves, a series of "aiyyo" in discrete units, a long “jujupee” followed by a series of short “I-know-it-ra” (usually made to intimidate other sub-species’ members), and more.

Celebrated specimens include Speed Round twin-specialists Quick Gun Murugan and Quick Fire Iyer.

Prashnoy Roy: Exclusively found in the Western part of West Bangladesh, they were not considered a sub-species in their own right until circa 1969 when Neil I-am-Bong placed his left foot on the surface of Singur (erstwhile Moon ruled by Queen Moon Moon Sen) and said “One small step for Mamta, go to hell Tata!” Favoured habitat includes protest marches, football stadia and fish markets. In the wild, Roys primarily feed on sponsored goods. Fish, maach, mase, meen and macchi are the Roy’s favoured prey in captivity; sponsor logos engraved into the scales of the prey are believed to enhance the flavour and heighten their freebie homing instincts.

Roys usually hunt at quizzes. They generally hunt alone and ambush their prey as most other quizzers do, overpowering them from any angle, using their body size and strength to knock the unsuspecting diminutive freebie distributing volunteer off balance. Even with their great masses, Roys can reach speeds of hounding 49-65 freebie volunteers per hour.


Basic Ali (sub-species: Funda Mint Ali and S. N. Chi Ali): Hybridization among quizzers was first conceptualized in the early 21st century, when Quizmasters were particularly interested in the pursuit of finding oddities to display on stage for higher TRPs. Humans were abducted and surreptitiously deported to the Louzi Concentration Camp – Ohhshitz (the sister concern of Auschwitz) and impelled to breed with quizzers to create hybrids called Basic Alis. Such hybrids perennially suffer from verbal diarrhoea and cerebral constipation. Symptoms include broaching every sentence uttered with an elaborate, asinine amalgamation of the words basic, fundamental, funda, mental and essence – “Basically the funda is…”, “Fundamentally the funda is…” or even “Essentially, the basic fundamentals behind the funda are…”


Streekanya Penn also known as the Female Quizzer, is the most critically endangered subspecies and is listed as one of the 10 most endangered species in the world. Considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing of all the subspecies, the Penn can be spotted consciously distancing themselves from the Maniums and the Roys alike. Possessing an uncanny resemblance to attractive female specimens of Homo Sapiens, camouflage and subterfuge are recurrently engaged to feign superior evolution.

There are currently 39 known captive Penns, but these are known to either abhor quizzers or fancy Pablo Neruda, both of which are kafkaesque breeding conditions. Thus, the genetic diversity required to maintain the subspecies may no longer exist.

(Penn is the Tamil word for female)


G.K. Manorama: Exclusively spotted thumb sucking in and around their mothers, these quizzers were mysteriously conceived during a minute of fervent copulation between the 1991 edition of the Malayalam Manorama yearbook, a garbage bin, a Milton water bottle and an obsolete microchip. Tightly clenching mother Manorama (or chachi Competition Success Review), they were subjected to the most exquisite and enchanting form of cannibalistic genocide known to quizzers – taunting, derision, censure and apartheid.

Following an extensive drive encompassing a multitude of Manoramas weeping in a multitude of dark corners, on Feb 30th 1995 (Birth Anniversary of Derek No’Brain), to the surprise of absolutely no one, the entire sub-species committed mass suicide. However, there are still occasional reported sightings of the Manoramas in the wild, the latest one being here. The only verdict is vengeance and weapon Monty Reshammiya has been deployed to vanquish the renegade.

(P.S. I have just dug up loads of campus quizzing stuff (ppts, docs etc.) from my old laptop. In the remote chance that any quizzer reads this, do buzz me on gtalk.)


sandhya said...

Hey man,
You actually blogged about our conversation and how well did you. You are tall, rich and so damn witty.

Keep blogging :-)

sandhya said...

And, by the by "Iyengaristan and Iyeria" is sheer brilliance man. LMAO :-))

vira said...

aaah. The bournvitaah khwijj khontest winner is out gloating again.It took me 20 whole minutes, but I read it :)

LMAO @ "Favoured habitat includes protest marches, football stadia and fish markets." Almost perfect bong description :))

notgogol said...

@sandhya: No particular reason.
And, thanks for stopping by. Keep coming back :)

@vira: I wasn't gloating :|
Wait for me next post. You are in it gujjuben :D *muhahahaha* :P

Poshgit said...

ha ha ha ha...brilliant post! Memories of my pre-endangered days come flooding back :)

there was this super-mad specimen (pointless adjective actually, considering a quizzer should be mad to exist) who used to frequent quizzes here in chennai...king of enthu pattanis who broke several buzzers and who would begin every answer by addressing the harrassed quizmaster with 'See da,...'(followed by an extremely detailed yegxact background-info-laden correct answer)...sigh, i miss the psycho...he will always remain for me the epitome of quizdom :)

keep blogging!

kamna said...

Lovely. Simply hilarious. Why did you go to IIT and what you did there, I would never know. Love your blog Taran :)

And as vira said, its been long since you won the BQC or Landmark. Stop showing off bitch :D :P

notgogol said...

@poshgit: You quiz? :O Not a rhetorical question. Seriously, do you quiz?

@kamna: What I did at IIT.. erm.. aah.. hmm.. studied? tried to.. actually tried very hard not to :D

I am NOT showing off. What makes you think I am? I never even mentioned them. You guys are. And for the record, BQC is fine but I only qualified for Landmark. I never won it :P I am not that big a nerd u see :)

atomicgitten said...

Wow that was one long hour wasn't it?:p
And FINALLY! A proper post!
Amazingly fun dude, it's enough to make me believe all those hours with quiz books weren't just torture.:D
I loved all the biological classifications and my recent acquaintance with a couple of Prashnoy Roys leave me in awe at your astutiveness. :D

Please let this not be the flare of the flam before your blog goes back into hibernation.

Poshgit said...

yup i quiz...once was in a team named 'quizito, ergo sum' :) been at it from school...only 'penn' on the team :) haven't been to one in a while though...sigh...

kamna said...

ALL quizzing people are nerds :D and huge nerds at that

I just read Sandhya's question. Sandhya, I will tell you why he is single (Don't kill me Taran) :)

A handful of reasons are as follows - he thinks every good-looking woman hitting on him or sending signals is a gold digger out to throw his family out of their jeypore colony house. I tell you, he watches too many soaps.

He likes only uber-intellectual WOMEN (in his own words "The working word my darling, is WOMAN"). So she HAS to be able to understand the dynamics behind the Obama vs. McCain Campaign ..zzzzzz...zzzzzzz..ZzZzzz...

She has to get ALL his jokes. Trust me, i know he's funny but this is not possible.

Oh, how can i forget she has to love Pink Floyd and understand that The Wonder Years was not just a TV show. ya and she must enjoy movies where you have to pay 100% attention thruout lse you might miss the whole plot.. again the intellectual movies...

In conclusion, as his mom quips he is happy with a plain jane who talks of things only he can understand :D :D

Don't kill me man, I was just answering the poor girl's query :) Don't you just hate me.

atomicgitten said...

NG, Posh is being modest- she was super quiz queen at college :D

Poshgit said...

and pls ignore the previous gitten comment :)

anoushka said...

Oh Oh Oh! I love this. Not this post. I mean who cares about quizzzing folks. They are nerds of the worst order and complete social misfits. (Not you man, you're an exception"

I love this thread that Kamna has started. Sandhya, whoever you are, thank you for initiating it. And Kamu, you have given a near perrfecct description of his taste.

I remember once his mom asked him what sort of girl he wanted and he said "See ma it's simple. She should be able to make me laugh continuously for half hour and vice versa. Apart fom that, the usual.. two feet, two hands, two eyes, two ears.. etc" Aunty did not know how to react. She simply said "Now isn't that a womderful Brides Wanted classifieds ad. Wanted non-amputee female clown for ridiculous son"

Dude, don't kill me when you're back home :-) I am just being honest :-D

notgogol said...

@atomicgitten: It was a lil over two hours actually. After, laughing at Ms. Amisha Patel's mannerisms and prim & propah behaviour for over half an hour, we hovered around this topic for a while :D

@poshgit: You have brought tears to my eyes. Also being super quiz queen and all and still visiting me humble blog; more tears.

You know what I love more than ridiculous names, ridiculous team names. A few samples: Crouching Thatha, Hidden Viagra; I know who you did with last summer; Suck-squeeze-bang-blow (you might want to google. Its a very geeky non perv funda); Screaming Orgasms (St. Xavier's all girl team name - We unfortunately were seated next to them in the finals of a quiz; So We quickly changed our team name to "You're welcome" :P)...

You know I can go on for an hour but am sure you have better things to do in life. But I'm disappointed that you say you don't quiz regularly.. You're presumably in Madras... I would give an arm to find time for Landmark man...

Also, Download This. Angrezi band names in Hindi :)

Its not standard "trivia" but lemme know how many u "Crack" :P

notgogol said...

@kamu: I watch too many soaps?? I wasn't the one singing the title of Kyunki Saas Bhi.. in my sleep now. Was I now!!

Since you've started, I'll finish... now my turn to describe your perfect Jigness.. shall I?

@anu: "Complete social misfits".. ahem!! ahem!!
Just for the record.. mom did not say ridiculous son, she said preposterous :P

Both of you na... limit I say.. gossipmongers of the worst kind... You guys should design those weird 10 question thingys that come in cosmo.. useless..

Bahut timepass ho gaya, ab chup!! Fukkat main mere expense pe TP band karo.

Poshgit said...

my dear man...your post brought the tears to my eyes i say :) and no super quiz queen crap n all, we were amateurs...pls to not belive people with names like 'atomic gitten' :)

suck-sqeeze-bang-blow we came across only last yr...we were terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied by it...and my sympathies to the xavier's girls for having to sit next to pasange like you :)

and i only know enough hindi to get cream, the who, and greenday :) will find some unsupecting soul to translate soon...

notgogol said...

@poshgit: the last time i poked fun at "atomic gitten", I was almost eaten alive.. so I shall choose life over wit and shan't comment :)

only 3.. tsk tsk.. there is koi shak nahin that the chowpati ladke will be setting a lot of bicchus on u :P

anoushka said...

The byatch comes home :-)
The byatch has loaded wallet
The byatch buys me dinner at Taj
Right na byatch?

:| said...

Fancy classification.
And Monty Reshammiya is teh shit!! :P

notgogol said...

@soniya: Am sure the post bored u :P But am sure you'll love the next one :)
and Monty Rocks (:

atomicgitten said...

You poked fun at me? How come I can't remember? :P
And don't make me right by going back into blog hibernation. :D

atomicgitten said...

Meen Curry... *whimper*

notgogol said...

Why would you remember frivolous things now? :)