Wednesday, August 26

Landmark day that you can't Quiz about

August 15th. A day that every Indian remembers and awaits every year. A day when history lessons are taught again via WhatsApp forwards. A day when people, irrespective of caste, religion or gender enjoy and celebrate with much joy and jubiliation because of the one inevitable reason that is concerned with it. Yes, it is a public holiday. With almost no leaves in the month June and July, August is the one month that every working indvidual looks out for, to actually catch a break from work. In any other normal days we resort to killing a non-existent thatha (grandpa), or feigning an injury that could've only been possible if you are boxing Mayweather, to actually catch a break from work.

This time the biggest disappointment was that it fell on Saturday. That didn't bring the spirit of Indians down. To honour the day that is associated with freedom, liberation and independence, we Indians use the most appropriate way to celebrate - sitting at home and watching TV, as it is only on these public holidays that we actually get to see some interesting programmes on TV. Innvoative programmes that show stuffs like Arya being pranked by Vishal and Simbu being bullied by a random girl in an interview, makes one thing clearer to the viewers. None of the programmes aired are in any way connected to Indian independence. Anyway I digress.

It is just a general ritual of mine, to actually spend the entire day of August 15 attending Landmark Quiz. Landmark Quiz, for people who aren't familiar, is one of the most famous quizzing events in Chennai, where people throng in huge numbers to Music Academy (usual venue) to, yes you got it right, hang out with friends. It's a general notion that 80% of the crowd that comes to Landmark quiz, is there only to answer that one unmissable Rajini question, the answer to which is something that you thought was utterly useless when watching the movie. Rajini questions are there only for the mass appeal. This time although it was different. Wait let me just restate that. Completely different.

Not only was the venue different (Chinmaya Heritage Centre this time) but this is the first time it really went Meta and made a lot of people think about the quiz itself. "Landmark" in Landmark Quiz earlier used to signify the main sponsor, Landmark bookstore, which was one of the leading stores in Chennai where people come in bunches to get Music CDs, gaming consoles, electronic accessories and toys. Apparently any store that sells this can claim themselves as bookstores. On this edition of Landmark Quiz, however, we all wondered what Landmark actually stood for, because - I hope you are sitting in a firm upright position in your chair as the suspense might be too shocking for you to handle - there is no Landmark store in Chennai. Intrigued by the creative naming of the entire quiz, we finally settled for the simple thing that the quiz itself is a landmark, as there is no other useful landmark to identify where the heck in the world is Chinmaya Heritage Centre.

There is also one more important ritual when it comes to Landmark Quiz that you can observe a lot among the veterans and seasoned Quizzers - Lying about the number of correct answers. There is no point in being truthful about your scores as it is not going to benefit your intelligence in any way, as it is for that very simple reason of showing your pseudo-intellectual pedantry that you came to the Quiz in the first place. Also the fun part about the quiz is when they discuss the answers, you always have enough time to say, "Oh yes ... I thought of that" even though you had no clue about the Question itself. The answer to the question might be Picasso's Guernica, which you probably might think is an Italian kathirikka (Brinjal), but that shouldn't stop you from saying "Yeah ... I knew that" because frankly there is no way people can know what you actually wrote. Nevertheless, a day in which a connection was established between Gandhi, Dhakkar Baba and Jeyam Ravi's vile piece of crap a.k.a "Sakalakalavallavan appa-tucker", is sure enough to make you realise that India is really bigger and broader beyond our imagination.

Mera Bharath Mahan !!