Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kutub Quizzers – Their Times Starts Now

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Investigating Delhi's quizzing scene.

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

One summer evening last year, five members of an endangered species - three Mastermind India participants, a University Challenge contestant, and a school quizzer - met over Java at SDA Market's Barista. Their mood was grim. Delhi boy Siddhartha Basu, India's top quizmaster, was preparing to abandon the city to produce glamorous TV game shows in Mumbai. The tribe was on the verge of extinction. The capital was losing out to quiz shows from Hyderabad, Chennai, and Coimbatore.

Worried but resolute, these five wise men took matter's in their own hands. Kutub Quizzers was born. The first jam session, held at JNU's Social Science Auditorium, attracted 50 participants. The winner took home Rs 500. The second attracted 60 people. The latest gathering, in September this year, witnessed 75 quiz-lovers packing a lecture hall at IIT. They included economic graduates, Persian language students, engineers, civil servants, MNC executives, and entrepreneurs. The scene is getting better. The content head of Kaun Banega Crorepati team is a frequent attendee. Kutub Quizzers' Yahoo group lists over 100 members. The original wise men may breathe easy. From 'endangered' they've become a 'threatened' species.

Website kutubquizzers.com Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kutub_quizzers/

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