Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bourn To Be Wild: Bring BQC Back.

"The Donkey and Elephant were the symbols of the political parties of which country?"

"Carrots and Radishes are Root Vegetables? True/False."

"Which animal do you think of when you're bang on target?"

Not exactly the most thought provoking questions in retrospect, but when faced by a barrage of them under the scrutiny of Derek O' Brien, one's mind tends to go more blank than the cheque which had the prize money. The Bournvita Quiz Contest was one of the few nascent quiz contests held in India, which has helped foster generation upon generations of quizzers. Including me.

When i was in primary school, 4th grade, the BQC came to Sophia's for the first time. It was a mandatory activity and since it meant that the horrible history teacher wouldn't teach us about sedition, or the monstrous math teacher wouldn't try to teach us addition, the entire school erupted in a furore of quizzing ebullience. And I for one was not left behind.

The quiz itself was stimulating in its simplicity, yet provoking in its problems. I remember distinctly finishing the quiz well before time, but fully knowing that i had gotten a single question wrong. It was several weeks before they announced the winners in school, and not congruous with the characteristics of  quizzer, i had plumb forgotten that i had even attempted the quiz. 

It was a pleasant surprise although when i found out that i had won the quiz from school, for which i received a medal, a certificate and other memorabilia which have long since been lost in the tides of time, but not from the munitions of one's memory.

The BQC was the first step i had ever taken into the quasars of quizzing, and things haven't been brighter since.

I always took solace in the fact that shows like BQC would continue to ignite the passions of younger generation for eons to come, as it had my very own generation. But when i was contacted a few weeks ago by a group of fellow quizzing enthusiasts, who had taken it upon themselves to bring back the Bournvita Quiz Challenge, i was quite alarmed to know that wholesome family programming had been compromised for the likes of Bigg Boss, something so salacious in itself that they don't even spell it correctly.

Its a sad day for a nation when something as enlightening as BQC has been substituted with something as exasperating as Bigg Boss.

Derek O'Brien himself has joined this movement to bring back edifying entertainment to television, and here's his letter to Cadbury's.

The response it enjoyed is testament to the popularity that BQC has enjoyed. 120,000 people have joined this movement on facebook, and many more on other media.
They can be contacted on

Its time we do what needs to be done, and prove once and for all that we aren't a generation of people who care only about who's dating whom, who broke up with whom, etc etc, that we are intellectuals who are not oblivious to the world around us, that we are intellectuals who aren't shocked or surprised by the staged antics of reality TV, that we are people who do not want to see another generation of talent lost to the trappings of mediocrity, because they never had the opportunity we did to prove our talent to all, and take our place upon the grand stage.

I speak on behalf of all those who have had that opportunity, and all those who deserve it.

Siddarth Pai.