I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Monday, May 01, 2006

Desperate Housies

Amit has written about our first quiz at the BQC blog. Please read. He has just briefly touched upon the various exchanges we won to win our right to quiz.

Okay, so we were at question 7 in the prelims. We had started at 11:00-ish at the InOrbit Mall Food Court, after fortifying ourselves with hot dogs, coffees, juices and such. 10 or 11 teams were taking part. I was asking them questions of my trusty laptop. While none of the quizzers looked remotely like political workers, inspite of stubbles and will rally-for-food look, I was wearing a kurta, and thus, probably looked like a politician addressing a rally.

At each visual question, excited stubbles and men behind them rushed to where I was standing, thus, making me look like a fakir in Venice or some such exotic gift(s)-laden person in an antique land. I had shaved though.

Suddenly this man in a blue suit and florid floral tie comes up to us, and in his most officious voice asked us what we were doing. He was accompanied by two rather puny security men, the kinds which you will meet standing next to elevators at Mumbai flats. They were wearing the regulation blue and white striped shirt, with a security-guy cap. If bouncers outside of pubs look like the hammer of gods, they looked the diametrically opposite. However, I digress.

We told him what we were doing.
"We are meeting for a quiz."
"You can't have a meet here."
"What do you mean? Why can't we have a meet?"
"No, a large gathering is not allowed here."
"What do you mean? Look at them"
We pointed out a family from the Western-most state of the country breaking fast on a distant table. Where they lost out in sheer numbers, they made up for in size.
"No, you can't have a large gathering like this."
"What do you mean? Like this?"
"Yes, we can't allow a quiz."
"Why? If I can sit with my girlfriend, or I can sit with my family.... for that matter, sit with my local chapter of laughter club, then why can't I sit here?"
The florid tie made a sweeping gesture with his hand indicating our chairs spread out in an arc around the table with the laptop. Apparently, the furniture arrangement wasn't to their taste, or initial design.
"Okay, we will change the furniture. Will that do?"
"No. You can't meet like this."
"Okay, bring us the manager."
"I am the manager" pointing out his photo-identity card.
"Okay, then show us the rule book which says that we can't meet like this."
"I make the rules."
If it was Robocop or Judge Dredd, we might have taken it seriously. This, however, was Floridman.
"Okay, then, put the rule on your letterhead and give to us. Also, mention that you are making paying, peace-loving customers leave. We will go."This reminded me of Sweet Bengal, in a way.

Our demand had Florid-man stunned. He left, ostensibly for the letterhead, leaving one of the striped-shirts behind. Striped Shirt decided to position himself just behind the teams, looking at me once in a while and mumbling into his walkie-talkie all the while. Not much of a threat. Soon, he got bored and left.

We announced the prelim results and started the finals. When we were at the 15th question, the Floridman returned. He had mysteriously turned into POG (paragon of goodness). POG was smiling the smile of meeting long lost friends.
"So, how long will you continue?"
"2 hours more."
"Okay. This is not a business meeting, right?"
"No, this isn't. We are the Bombay Quiz Club. We are an amateur group of superheroes who meet every 3 weeks or so and quiz."
"Okay. You know generally we don't allow such gatherings, as people come here and put up stalls. They try selling stuff. Sometimes, they also play housie."

Over the last thirteen years that I have been quizzing, I have heard of quizzes and quizzers being ignored, ridiculed, laughed at and misunderstood. In the latest of these incidents, the Striped Shirt's boss, wearing the regulation safari suit with pleated pockets, who made an appearance later in the day, called us a Tamasha Party. However, I have never heard of this Housie one before.

A team ended up calling itself, "Desperate Housies".

After yesterday's incident, some folks suggested that we change the name of our club to Bombay Tamasha Party, or Housie Quiz Club. We are seriously considering this. Any comments?

Btw, J.A.P. and others, some visual questions which made people crowd around the table are below. Please send me your answers at


Anonymous vijay said...

Judge Dredd??

I laughed so hard at that...

Monday, May 01, 2006 9:08:00 AM

Blogger Mitesh said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, May 01, 2006 8:11:00 PM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Please don't leave answers in the comments.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 6:20:00 AM

Anonymous Sakshi said...

Preety neat stuff.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 11:35:00 AM

Blogger Harish Kumar said...

Yes - I think the Judge Dredd one was the best line I have heard in some time...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006 10:49:00 PM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Sakshi, thanks

Harish, Glad to see someone who has an equal fascination for comic book characters played by Sylvester Stallone.

Friday, May 05, 2006 12:25:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha ha..Rishi and I were discussing a qn that had come up somewhere on Desperate Housewives when the incident happened ;)

btw any other informal round the corner?..if we can manage a hassle free place, i could put together some qns myself.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006 5:22:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Join the mailing list on bombayquiz google group. We are thinking of a quiz sometime in May last week or June first week. Will you still be around? I am open to meeting for a quiz party sometime earlier as well.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7:40:00 AM


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