They had all the answers

THE EXCITEMENT was palpable at the auditorium of the Coimbatore Institute of Technology, the venue of The Hindu Young World Quiz 2003.

The overcast skies did not deter the rows of students drawn from schools across six districts of the Coimbatore region and also from Palakkad in Kerala, who waited to receive a goodies-filled bag, right at the entrance. Tired after travelling quite some distance, they looked thrilled on being given packs of fruit juice.

Not all the students were new to the quiz. Many had been here before, and had returned to try their luck. Varshini and Architha of Vidya Niketan had been here twice before and were longing to make it to the top six teams. But, that was not to be. Anjana of St. Josephs, Ooty, found the "ambience really cool" and said her schoolmates had put in a lot of effort for the programme.

The quiz started on time and there was no stopping the youngsters from then on.

The quizmaster was a familiar face - V.V. Ramanan, while the show was organised by the Hyderabad- based Quizwalahs. The psychedelic lights set the tone for the excitement in store.

The preliminary round to choose the finalists from a whopping 572 teams, had about 25 questions, including three visual ones. While the answers were being evaluated at a frenetic pace backstage, Bharat Epur of Quizwalahs went around with a mike asking the same questions to participants.

Those who had written the right answers were thrilled when each result was announced. Hugging each other deliriously and crossing their hearts, they kept track of the hits and misses.

This interactive round generated a lot of excitement, as freebies were given away by the handful to those with the correct answer. The first recipient of this bounty was a boy from Shri Nehru Vidyalaya, Coimbatore, who correctly named the Editor-in- Chief of The Hindu.

Another student from Vidya Vikasini knew Venu Srinivasan headed TVS but could not get the full name of the company (TVS Motor Company) right despite a whole lot of clues from Bharat. For his correct answer, the entire row of almost 20 got freebies.

To maintain the tempo, Bharat suddenly asked the students to recall the preliminary questions and gave away prizes for that. The range of gifts was mind-boggling. From a starter pack from Airtel, to goodies, to T-shirts to CBR masala packets to gold and silver coins to book coupons to engine lubricants, they got it all.

The well-behaved students got a word of praise from Bharat and the quizmaster, who said it was one of the best crowds in the country. "Coimbatore has a good quizzing pedigree," Ramanan said.

The national sponsors for the programme were Eveready, Liberty Shoes, Competition Success Review, Britannia, Titan Industries, Base Terminal, Coca Cola, Camlin, NIIT, Hansaplast, Sify iway and Hercules Cycles. Pricol was the regional prime sponsor. Other regional sponsors were K.G. Denim, CAG Pride, Avathar Jewellers, CBR Masalaa, Annalakshmi Hotels, Cross Roads, Cauvery Timber Corporation, Bharat Petroleum, Solo International, Lovely Cards, Sri Krishna Sweets, Airtel, Vivekananda School of Science and Technology, Black Thunder and Indo Nissin Foods.

By Subha J. Rao

Photos: K. Ananthan

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