After watching Virender Sehwag getting to his second double hundred, I took the flight early morning to Mumbai. When I got out of the airport, I saw the score on my mobile phone. The message read, “Sehwag out for 319 and Sachin for a duck”.
We were taken to our hotel, Sea Princess, right next to Hotel Taj Mahal. The view from the room was terrific, Gateway of India adjoining to the sea face. A few months later, when I visited the same place for my Visa, it was carnage after the bomb blasts.
After having a nice lunch, I relaxed for a while. Pradeep, who stays in Mumbai, met me at the venue. We all had to wear sponsored T-shirts, and the Quiz Master was Derek O Brien.
It was a showcase event as the top management from B.P., Times of India had graced the occasion. Narain Karthikeyan was the special guest, and he did his bit like a quiz master towards the end. We managed to qualify for the finals by winning the semi-finals round. The scene was set for a grand finale. After a stage of some entertainment from Mansi Scott, we began the finals.
The finals were more of a game show than a quiz final. You had lots of unusual rounds. One team wasn’t performing and you had three teams going for the kill until the final round. We were one among the three.
Final round, we did our bit, two questions to go, we had lost the race for the top spot. The top two teams tied, and we were third-placed in the end. A college team from NIT Allahabad won the jackpot.
Wait, a minute, Second Prize gets an all-expense trip to Bangkok.
Third Prize, a lot of goodie bags, including Rs 6000 worth fuel, a small trophy, a chance to stand on the podium just like in Motorsports for prize distribution. The spray of champagne for winners and a group photo.
We knew we came close, and in hindsight, if it were to be out and out finals like it is usually conducted with scoring and other things, we would have won.
Nevertheless, it was some experience to be known as the third-best team in Motorsports Quiz in India. It was nice chatting with Narain Karthikeyan after the event for few minutes.
A few days later, this event was featured in the Bombay Times, and we had our picture on it. Looking back, it was March 29th last year, when we were verge of being Famous; it turned out we were ‘Almost Famous.’
I was fortunate, my partner was Pradeep, and I learned quite many things from him. It’s no joke, he was like a mentor, and I was happy to learn the tricks of the trade, which he had been for such a long time and continues to do. He taught me to calm the nerves before a big event, and we did pull each other legs during our so-called ‘Indian Sports Quiz Trip.’
To our team names ‘W.G. DisGrace’ to Mon-key (Mann ki) Shakti Tann ki Shakti (keeping with the theme of Harbhajan – Symonds incident), we did come a long way. In India, New Year begins around the last week of March. I can say it was a new year for me on a personal front. That was it, and it all ended in Mumbai. Quizzing terms, Yes. Personally, all the above experiences heralded the dawn of my new found life.
I had so much to tell that I ended up writing a blog in early April last year titled ‘Love story or is it my Story.’ The ramifications were such that it changed my life completely.
And April 6th was the D-day that soon turned out to be an important day of our lives. I know the events that occurred in those three months last year made me write a blog on my love life about a girl I never met, cut my hair, and start a new life.
In the end, the superstitious would have won; had I not cut my hair, we could have won. Who knows?
I don’t regret it. I am here in Switzerland writing this, a day after seeing Kimi Raikonnen losing out in Malaysia this year compared to him winning on April 6th at Bahrain last year. As the race culminated the previous year, I felt I was’ Out of my Comfort Zone’ for the first time in a week.
And that’s how it stands to date. A special friend did something ‘Out of her Comfort Zone,’ and since then, she has become extraordinary in my life, and so on we went about living the days of our lives.