Brahma, organised by the Coimbatore Institute of Technology, was a class act, for the patient and the attentive

The clouds finally cleared on Sunday and the light shone down on the Coimbatore Institute of Technology (CIT). A small devoted tribe of quizzers had gathered in the institute's auditorium for Brahma- CIT Quiz Club's annual quiz. But none, including regular quizzers like The Hindu's V. V. Ramanan and Tirupur's Yogesh Pai would have guessed what a long and hard evening lay ahead.

Quizmaster Sandeep K, also the secretary of the quiz club, had a repertoire of questions never heard before. It went on for about two hours, causing a few finalists to take a water break during the event.

The quality of the quiz made of for what lacked in the peripherals- the sound and light. For those who kept the faith, the evening was one to remember. “It's the best open quiz I've seen in ten years,” commented Ramanan after winning.

There was a quiz for schoolchildren at noon, followed by an open quiz. The school quiz saw Atulaa Krishnamurthy and R. Manoj Kumar of GD MHSS win first place.

The open quiz

The preliminary written round of the open quiz itself raised the bar of quizzing. One of them, for example listed 20 football clubs. Participants had to figure what connected them in a jiffy. A jiffy, another answer revealed, is actually 1/50 or 1/60 of a second, in electronics. When the answers were revealed in the end the crowd seemed awestruck, some sat with their jaws dropped till the last answer. Six teams made it to the finals. These included two teams from PSG College of Technology, one each from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, apart from two non- college teams. No women qualified.

The finals had five rounds- two with the buzzer and three in which the question could be passed. The crowd took some time to warm up to the quiz, but gradually the tempo began to rise. There were questions on the Boll Weevil Monument in Alabama, USA and about Shanti Shanti, the world's only Sanskrit rock band. At the end of round two V. V. Ramanan and M. V. Annirudh's team was in the lead.

Long and strong

Then the questions got longer. For example, “This company was started in 1928 as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation based in Chicago, manufacturing Battery eliminators. Galvin purchased the patents to automotive radio and the rights to the trade name X from William Lear.

In 1930, Galvin Manufacturing Corporation began selling automotive radios under the brand name X. One story behind the name goes that the name X was based upon Y, which was at that time the leading brand in home phonographs at that time, manufactured by the Victor Talking Machine Company. In 1940, it was the first company to produce walkie talkies. In 1947, Galvin Manufacturing Corporation finally changed its name to X. Most of X's products are related to electronics and communication technologies. Find X”. The answer to the question was Motorola.

By the end, which was at 6.30 pm, only about 30 spectators remained. Ramanan's team was still in the lead. They were closely followed by Yogesh Pai and Ajay Parasuraman's team. Aditya Sankaran and Natarajan K. of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham came third. The crowd then loitered off on to the campus that wore a golden sunset hue. They were tired, but had learnt so much. The punch line of the quiz was apt — There's quizzing… And then there's Brahma.