Battle of brains

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  • Published 14.06.11

Q& A fever ran high on the IBS Calcutta campus in Sector V as a large group of passionate quizzers gathered for a battle of brains in Mahaquizzer, organised by IBS Calcutta and the Quiz Maniacs Society, in association with t2, on May 29.

The quiz was open to a wide range of participants. “There is no age limit,” said Gautam Ghosh, one of the organisers. “We have thrown the quiz open to even schoolkids. If an enthusiastic quizzer from Class V wants to participate, he is most welcome,” he added.

Around 50 participants, aged 12 to 60 years, took up the challenge of answering 150 questions in 90 minutes. The questions, set by the Karnataka Quiz Association (KQA), were drawn from literature, politics and films to geography, history and life science. The quiz was hosted by KQA member Rudradeep Bhattacharya.

The winners were decided in four categories — the title of Overall Champion went to Shouvik Guha, an officer of the Indian Revenue Service, Prithwish Dutta from Rajabazar Science College was named the Best College Performer and Rohin Ghosh Dastidar from Lakshmipat Singhania Academy became the Best School Performer.

The Best Lady Performer was quiz veteran Jayashree Mohanka. “I don’t think there should be such a category. I missed the overall winner by one point. I’d much rather be the overall winner,” she smiled.

Guha, who had also won last year’s All India Mahaquizzer, said he had been quizzing for about three decades, but the passion hasn’t ebbed. “I don’t take part in quizzes to be ranked, or to get prizes, or to have my name in the papers. It is a hobby, a challenge. It is measuring your performance against your earlier performances. There is no end to quizzing. I do it just for the heck of it,” said Guha.

For Dutta, the only regret was that there weren’t enough questions from his favourite sport — “I’m more into cricket, and they didn’t have too many questions based on that. Otherwise I could have done better.”

Competing with people much older than him and becoming the youngest winner wasn’t an easy feat for 15-year-old Dastidar. “The quiz was definitely hard and it’s nice that I won. The thing with quizzing is it is basically knowledge, and you never get bored of gaining knowledge.”

The winners were given book vouchers from KQA by Durga Sinha, professor and associate dean of IBS.

Text by Sneha Prasad;
Picture by Bishwarup Dutta


Quiz-lovers went global with their passion as Calcutta joined several other cities to host the 2011 World Quizzing Championships on June 4.

The quiz, held on the Sector V campus of IBS Calcutta, was organised by the International Quizzing Association in association with t2.

There was no age bar for participants and the fact that the championship offered no prize money did not stop quiz enthusiasts from turning up.

The quiz was being hosted in 79 venues across 32 countries on the same day. The participating countries included Russia, Norway, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the US, India, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Madagascar and Australia. Along with Calcutta, the quiz was held in 11 other Indian cities — Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Coimbatore, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune.

For learning consultant Suhag Lahiri, participating in the contest was a victory of sorts. “I have waited for two years to participate in WQC. Two years back, I was out of station when the quiz was being held and so I missed my chance. Last year, I became a busy mother. I finally made it this year! I am so happy,” said Lahiri.

The quiz turned out to be quite a challenge with 240 questions spanning eight subjects — culture, entertainment, history, lifestyle, media, sciences, sport and games, and the world.

The competition was divided into two phases, with a 10-minute break in between. Each phase required contestants to solve two papers based on four subjects within 60 minutes.

Shahrukh Raza, who recently passed out of La Martiniere for Boys, believes he was made for quizzing. “It’s there in the top three priorities of my life — movies, music, quizzing. I’m here just to have a good time. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. I like competing and what better competition than with the whole world,” said Raza.

In the end, the World Quizzing Champion of 2011 was Pat Gibson, from England, with 186 points. Arul Mani from Bangalore became the Indian Quizzing Champion with a score of 141.

From Calcutta, P. Srikanth, a fellowship student at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, managed the top score — of 119 points.

Text by Sneha Prasad;
Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha

The filmmaker


Aditya Sengupta

Age: 20.

College: St. Xavier’s.

Stream: Mass Communication and Videography.

Special mention: Director, actor,cinematographer and editor.

Aim to fame: Aditya is a budding filmmaker who likes to do camerawork andediting. The 20-year-old has already made short films that have won awards at local and national-level competitions. His first film, The Bench, won first place at Imago, a film festival in St. Xavier’s. Another of his films Aarekti Chheler Golpo — the story of a boy with over-protective parents who must leave home for higher studies — won first place in Cinematheque, a national-level film competition. Aditya’s documentary on Calcutta, I<3 Kolkata, where he uses a music video format to explore the tempo at which the city moves, came second in a film festival at Pailan College.

Aditya has acted in Aparna Sen’s Iti Mrinalini (ready for release) and, as a child, in a lot of television serials and telefilms. He has also performed on stage with the group Charbak in several productions, including Banjara and Thikana.

He has written a number of short stories, one of which — Extracts — has been published in a literary magazine in Pune. Aditya is a winner of the Albert Barrow All-India writing competition. Recently, he assisted Tollywood director Riingo in his on-the-floors-film System — his first professional assisting stint. He is currently associated with theatre groups like Theatrecian and LOK.

Where it all began: Both his parents, Arindam Ganguly and Kheyali Dastidar, are professional actors and directors. His grandfather, veteran stage actor-director Jochhon Dastidar, had a major role in shaping his primary years and he introduced him to theatre in Banjara at the age of five.

Future plans: Currently he is directing his next short, How To Cross A Road, which deals with the concept of road-crossing. He is also co-directing Split — a movie exploring two different days in the life of a man — with friend Zoheb Akbar. Aditya dreams of going to the New York Film Academy. But he would first like to learn direction and editing from the Film and Television Institute of India, after which he wants to work in the industry and get hands-on experience either abroad or in India. He also wishes to return to his roots some day and make good films for Bengal and India.

Family matters: Mother Kheyali is very happy with the way Aditya has shaped up. “I always knew that he had it in him. The Bench and Aarekti Chheler Golpo arebrilliant films. I never expected something so mature from him. I think he has true potential,” said she. Father Arindam Ganguly wants him to go global. “He should not be confined to a national arena. His films, the ones he has made so far, are very strong in terms of content. His tendency to narrate the story following the language of cinema is highly laudable,” said he.

Last word: “For me, life is nothing but an imperfect mixture of taste, touch, smell, sight, sound and cinema. I just want to make films,” says Aditya.

Roshni Ali
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