The Murugappa Madras Quotient Quiz 2013 ably balanced the past and the present

The air was heavy with concentration at the Murugappa Madras Quotient Quiz 2013, which took place recently at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall. As many as 242 teams from 59 schools across the city took part, and Sankrith, Nishanth and Arjun Aravind of P.S. Senior Secondary School emerged the winner, closely followed by Vidya Mandir and National Public School.

An annual event, the quiz, conducted by quizzer Naveen Jayakumar, had a preliminary round with a medley of questions about the city. Sample these. Which other cricket ground has hosted test matches, apart from Chepauk? (Nehru Stadium); Which structure inside Fort St. George has a roof that this five-ft thick and is the only bomb-proof building inside the fort? (St. Mary’s Church); Who is Chennai Central’s Lok Sabha MP? (Dayanidhi Maran)… At the end of the round, six teams made it to the finals.

Three themes

The finals had three main themes — Madras Past, Present and Forever. Madras Past focussed on different aspects of the city’s history — Where was Armagon factory located? (Pulicat); Who gave the small strip of sand to the British (which eventually became the city of Madras)? (Damarla Brothers); How were the people south of the Vindhyas referred to and why? (Madrasis because they came under the Madras Presidency)… Madras Present looked at the current scenarios and the Madras Forever round was about everything associated with the city. The quiz was interspersed with audio visual rounds and SMS questions for the audience.

“Whenever people talk about a quiz on Madras, they always think it has to be about its history. But there’s so much about today’s Madras too. So, Madras Forever featured customs and traditions that make the city what it is. Madras is seen as a city rooted in tradition but amenable to change,” said Naveen.

About the event and conducting quiz in general, the quizzer said, “Conducting school quizzes is always exciting. The atmosphere is electric and it reflects the liveliness of the quiz, on the whole. This time, the children were competitive but well-behaved. After setting the questions, I thought it was going to be tough, but to my surprise, hardly any of them came back to me. It means the kids are really reading up.”

Ramesh K.B. Menon, director (HR), Murugappa Group, distributed the prizes to the winners. V. Sriram, chronicler of Madras’ history and RJ Balaji of Big FM were also present at the event.