Sunday, June 12, 2005

(Episode 1) Motorcycle Diaries: Zen and the art of Motorcycle Disposal

Oct 24, 2002

Six Questions to go and we were still at the sixth place….......

The Corporate Quiz was an annual event held at this North Indian City. A Basketball stadium full of people! Unheard of for a quiz. Either they market it well or this is the only entertainment in the city. 3 B-School teams and 3 Corporates fighting it out in the final after 4 rounds. Started with 165 teams and finally . Big prizes at stake...

Last Buzzer Round!! Jinx (my quiz partner) did not even keep his fingers on the buzzer. In fact he was not even talking to me after a Dumb C round setback (yeah, the quiz had other rounds too) that cost us heavy. “Yeh quiz tho gaya, How could you screw up that Philips punchline ?“He was livid We were a big name team from Mumbai; but now losing to some not so famous teams; save two. Dreaded going to office the next day.....Same old cubicle, same boss, and absolutely nothing to look forward to.

The last round questions were on the buzzer…10 for a right ; negative 10 for a wrong one. Brand Related Questions. But not “strictly” as we found out soon

"Who has a house in Bangalore by the name Arzoo?" I buzz." Sabeer Bhatia! . We score. " Next one- If u see a person named Sherry in a cricket dressing room…." (Easy Full toss! There’s only one Sherry I know.......Our own Shakespeare Sidhu" " I buzz again –"Navjyot Singh Sidhu." ..Got it!! Slightly better now; we are at fifth now. TOI team were the current leaders by miles. They had scored heavily on the gimmick rounds. IIM L were at number two playing safe in the last round like most others. I took advantage of this and answered the next two

All eyes in the packed Basketball Stadium the venue were now just on us. Just 2 more questions to go and we the team who were lying sixth had answered all the past 4 on the buzzer.. We are fourth now. Talk about high-drama.

I’m like a man possessed now…adrenalin pumping. ..Its like you are swinging at everything in the slog overs of a match and somehow everything is connecting in the middle of the bat !!

Then the quizmaster starts this weird question " Bengal Indore Jaipur; Orissa, Oudh Rajasthan.... What "brand" name do you get from this?? "

My little grey cells tingle Poirot-like -----A jingle, a product marketed in those areas? No! Oudh it cant be; and half the names are states and others cities. Seems it is a deliberate attempt to get some acronym right; ..Acronym??!! Yes, that’s it.. (All this data processing was in about 3 seconds I guess ;-))

I grabbed the pen and scribbled B-I-J-O-… and buzzed.Audience hasn’t quite figured what the question was about. They looked stunned when I buzzed. Jinx is staring at me as if I’ve gone nuts. I take the microphone and say " Bijoor- That’s your name, sir!"

Harish Bijoor the quiz master looked especially happy. (Heights, some plug .Quiz master's name as a brand !!! ) Audience gave us a thunderous applause! We were third now ; just 5 points behind IIM L who were at second now and looking like Ganguly facing a Glenn McGrath Delivery

C'mon man, I try get Jinxx pumped up too..Last Question- Fingers on the buzzer "The new Videocon Logo has 2 E’s which signifies something, what??". Jinxx springs into action this time ..Buzzzzz "Energy to Electronics" ! We get it !!! 6 out of 6 last qs on the buzzer with all other teams looking on. Unbelievable ! We do High Fives !!

We don’t win but end up Runners Up pipping the IIM team; quite a comeback

"We get the Bikes right??" Suddenly that thought hits Jinxx. Yeah!!!!!!. We win an Enfield Electra Bullet each!! Cool !! The winners get a laptop each…

There is then a lone wolf round where each guy in the top 2 teams (total 4) undergoes a Mastermind Style Rapid fire round. I beat Jinx & the TOI guysto top this and win the Brand Mahaguru title & a Furniture Set from Pinnacle Saporiti worth Rs 80,000 !!

Not bad earnings for an evening's work, eh??? Smug thought!

Prize distribution was elaborate. Hell lot of prizes. Big Red Turbans tied on our heads and we were carried around the stadium around the stadium in a Camel Cart.

Some Girls, Mgmt Students asked for my autograph!!! A few wanted to stand with me and pose for a photo (Mom/Dad what a pity you weren’t here).

My first brush with celebrityhood !! Page 3 , here i come !! (Actually Page 3 of a local Hindi paper had my snap the next day; trophy aloft; and looking like a contradiction of cultures- Red turban & black Rockband TShirt!!Bina mooch ke sardar )

Reality struck after we were back in the Hotel- We have the bikes but can we use them???

Jinx had never graduated beyond his tricycle in his childhood and though he knows even the year in which Harley Davidson set up shop in Milwaukee; cannot for his life actually ride even a TVS moped!!

My line of thought was different. My KB 125 which often ran out of Petrol (well, a bike does not start by optimism alone) had to be pushed to the nearest Petrol pump with my own bare hands. But pushing an Enfield?? Alas, I’ll have to first spend some money on a Bull worker and the Autobiography of Arnold Schwarznegger first!

We made the decision !! We had to sell both our bikes …. The officials told us that we could not exchange it for money. Sponsors wont like it…

And thus started the Saga of the unsold Bullets - Alternatively titled Zen and the art of Motorcycle Disposal

( Did Flaash and Jinxx manage to sell off the Bullets?? Did they regret ever winning these prizes? Wot are the characters they met & negotiated with in this effort? To get answers to these please Dont Miss my next post “Motorcycle Diaries- Zen and the art of Motorcycle Disposal (Episode 2)“)


(Hope to have this episode 2 up by this weekend, all depends on BESCOM)

.........btw my replies to all ur comments on B'lore roads blog is put up in the comments section..Plz check it out


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