Countdown to the D-Day Part I

This very day, April 6th last year will go down as the day that triggered or should say the day that determined my future path. Just as when I had a feeling, I had quite a tough stroll in the park, did a good job of going through it. But it Happened One Evening. The day being a Sunday, 6th of April, 2008. I was able to appreciate it better because of few events that preceded this day. Although, one cannot fathom the relevance, but personally, all the events were important for what I turned out to be on that day.
This goes back to December 2007, when I was making plans about visiting Rajasthan with my mother. It was just two of us. I had made all the plans of visit.
I got a mail from a very revered senior from my college about teaming up for an All India Cricket Quiz, sponsored by History Channel. I agreed. The next few days, it was calls at the most unexpected times, No hello, Just a funda (an appreciated factoid) from cricket would pop up, when I was working, sleeping or while having food. That was the passion he had, or the superior managerial skills to pump up the intensity before a contest.

The quiz was to be held in Delhi on the last week of January 2008. We did well to weather the cold in the first place. It so happened, I got myself acquainted with a friend (Deepthi) of mine in Gurgaon. She was kind enough to allow me stay in her house, make Pav Bhaji one evening, went out with her friends to have a hot cup of chai (tea) in the mid-night. That was cold and never had I experienced so much (2 degrees) before coming to Switzerland.
Pradeep and I dreamt about smashing the quiz in our very own style. This was the second time we paired up as a team, the first one being for the Cricinfo Quiz conducted by Siddhartha Vaidyanathan and George Binoy in Bangalore.
The theme was cricket, and we qualified for the finals and felt a bit warm inside the auditorium. The finals didn’t turn out the way we wanted. We missed quite a few sitters, coming third in the end. We left the auditorium disappointed and off we went to airport. I messaged him early next morning about taking part in the second round at Mumbai.
I was running short of cash, since I had made all the arrangements for a long Rajasthan trip. But, something inside me was haunting throughout. It was a case of redemption for me and for us as a team in general. Its not often we get a chance to prove ourselves that we are one among the league of very good Sports Quizzers in India. We knew we had to do it for ourselves if not for Rs 50000 as cash prize for winners.
A fortnight later, Mumbai it was. On the Valentine’s Day I land in Mumbai. Oh, Ya, Good way to celebrate it, isn’t it? In my case, it was the best possible way to ward off any feelings whatsoever.
Next day, while he had some work to finish, I took this opportunity to meet a good friend of mine Keith. We chatted after a long time, ever since he settled down in Mumbai.
Post Lunch, Pradeep and I were back for some Quizzing action. Bang bang, we were right on target from the go. Topped the prelims by miles and it felt good for us in the finals.
The form continued in the finals as we thrashed everyone by 130 point margin. It was ruthless, felt for a while, as to why I idolise Sachin, Schumacher and Sampras. It was for kicks for being sheer ruthless, not quite the way that undermine others though. It was a point to prove scenario for ourselves. To restore our pride, in some way, lost pride.
“How about the All India Motorsports quiz?” – Pradeep
I said – “We will do it mate”.
While I sat on a late night flight to Bangalore from Mumbai, I wondered, Can we repeat this again. Let’s see, for the moment I was looking forward for my trip to Rajasthan.

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