Independence Day may be a laidback holiday in most cities, but not in Chennai.
The 21st edition of the Landmark Quiz was in town, and not even the rains could keep away hundreds of excited children and adults from the Music Academy hall, where the quiz has been held for the past two decades.
“One thing that hasn’t changed is the enthusiasm of the Chennai quizzers. That, to me, is the single biggest contributing factor that makes this quiz so special,” said quizmaster Navin Jayakumar.
Accompanying him for the second year in hosting the Chennai finals was Vinod Ganesh, who chipped in that the quiz was something he had grown up with and hosting it was “hugely important” to him.
Questions in the preliminary round ranged from scientific to educational to pure entertainment. If you thought Priyanka Chopra’s singing debut was ‘In my city’, you’d be wrong. She sang in her only Tamil film ‘Thamizhan’.
Teams Aardvarks (Avinash Mudaliar, Rahul Kottalgi and Aryapriya Ganguly) from Delhi, and Mama Machan Mapillai (Ramkumar, Vikram Joshi and Bhargava) from Chennai qualified for the national finals.
Incidentally, the Aardvarks took part in all the other editions — Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore — before winning it in Chennai.
“This is what the quizzing community does, and travelling for the Landmark Quiz keeps us together,” said team-member Mudaliar.
The national finals saw teams from all over the country, including audience favourites QED, Swamy and Friends, and the Nawabs of Mahabs. With Dr. Jayakumar hosting the finals again, there were entire rounds dedicated to questions from science, history and cinema among others.
For instance, the teams and the audience learnt a few new scrabble words as accepted by the game’s dictionary — qi, qabala, faqir — all words where the letter ‘u’ did not have to follow ‘q’.
Nawabs of Mahabs (Rajiv Rai, Kidao and Vibhendu) took away the title, with Insignificant Others in second place and Mama Machan Mapillai as second runners-up.
The winners were given Rs. 45,000 in Landmark gift vouchers. The team Veliyare Rains, Ullare Brains, Landmark Reigns (Siddharth, Kasthuri and Ramesh) took home the prize for best team name.