“Ethanai Kaalam Thaan Ematruvaar Indha Naatiley…” A black and white M.G. Ramachandran sings to P. Bhanumathi who is seated on a horse. The song is screened at Codissia, where the Murugappa Kovai Quotient Quiz 2014 is in progress.
“Name the film, the director and the lyricist for this film,” says quiz master Naveen Jayakumar. The six teams bite their nails and soon, “Malaikallan!” calls out one.
“The lyricist is Namakkal Kavignar and the director is S. M. Sriramulu Naidu,” his partner finishes for him.
The first round of questions are centred around Coimbatore’s history, culture and politics. It has a mix of easy and difficult questions. For instance, students are quick to answer when Naveen asks them about the city’s oldest railway station. It is the Pothannur railway station. The quiz illuminates less known facts about the city such as the origin of the name of Peelamedu. It is from the pulai flowers. A few questions test how street smart the participants are. The image of an eagle is displayed on screen.
“Now, this picture carries a clue for the name of a famous film studio in the city,” points out Naveen. The children crack it immediately. “Pakshiraja studio!” a boy cries out, pumping his fist in the air.
Some of the questions are eye openers. Did you know that hockey is not the National sport of India, but that of Pakistan!
“An RTI was filed about this in 2002, and the Union ministry came out with a report that there was no notification stating it to be a national sport of India,” explains Naveen.
The quiz master urges the children to attempt all the questions, even if they do not know the answer. “Don’t just pass the question,” he tells them. Naveen provides nuggets of information that make the quiz interesting.
When a question about the Palakkad pass came up (it is the lowest pass that connects Tamil Nadu and Kerala), he said how many Tamilians migrated from Coimbatore to Kerala via this pass. He also added that the south west monsoons came to Coimbatore the same way!
The second round involves questions on the products of the Murugappa Company. The students are asked to choose from a list of topics such as health, money and industry. The questions range from the names of premium tea brands and the company logos to components of cycles.
Around 178 school teams participated in the quiz and the final six teams were selected through a written quiz. Employing audio visual techniques, the quiz breaks from the conventional question-answer mould, says Senthil Kumar, the Secretary of the Coimbatore Quiz Circle, who was part of the team that set the questions for the Kovai segment. “Questions such as ‘Name the tallest building or the tallest mountain’ are old school. We wanted to test their knowledge on simple, elemental facts that defined this city. In fact, if the participants have observed the city keenly, the questions are easily tackled.”
First prize: Not Just Spectators from GKD Matriculation HSS
Second Prize: The Wolf Pack from Satchidananda Nikethan MHSS
Third prize: Kovai Quizzerables from GD Matriculation HSS
The winners bagged cycles, bags and wrist watches and other goodies.