My first experience as a school coordinator at The DK Quiz 2015 was quite an eye-opener. Honestly, it's been several years since I was a part of the student world so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Of course, I had been hearing about how children have changed today and how they are extremely focused, with their goals in life clearly prioritized. Soon, I was to find out for myself!
The DK Quiz 2015 took off at Army Public School, Shankar Vihar, the winner of DK's maiden foray into the school quizzing arena last year. As I entered the Army Public School campus, I could breathe in the air of discipline and within moments I was transported to another time. I vividly recalled my own days at school – my favourite teachers, close friends, co-curricular activities, and even my first crush! Indeed, school days are impossible to forget.
Lost in my reminisces, I found myself heading towards the principal's cabin along with my colleague, Naveen. The principal told us how winning The DK Quiz Grand Finale in 2014 had sky-rocketed the enthusiasm amongst the children. Our conversation made me realize that events such as The DK Quiz are not only seen positively by the participating students, but also by school principals and other authorities who whole-heartedly encourage events of this nature that help in building knowledge, as well as confidence and all-round development.
After an illuminating chat with the principal, we headed towards the school auditorium where a whopping 350 students awaited – three times as many as last year! I must admit, I did wonder how many of them were heaving silent sighs of relief, thinking of the quiz as a saviour from dull classroom lectures and yet-to-be-completed homework.
We started off the session with an introduction to DK and the unique nature of our inclusive, multi-format quizzes across 45 schools in the Delhi-NCR region. We also got to showcase some of our books and other content, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the children's reaction to our books, including the LEGO, Star Wars and Avengers series. Some children were keen on purchasing books right there! Then there were others eager to learn the recipes from the Vikas Khanna book, Young Chefs.
On to the quiz conducted by Quizcraft Global. Quizmaster Siddharth hosted the preliminary written round, where a number of the excited participants impressed with their sharp responses. Scores were tallied, and it was a close call to choose the top six teams to make it to the stage final, conducted by veteran Quizmaster Adittya Mubayi. Each team was asked to think of team names, and there was an array of witty responses. One of the contestants called himself 'Polite'. So polite was he that he was barely audible! Then there was his partner 'Uncertain'. And a girl who called herself 'Baap', from the famed dialogue by Amitabh Bachchan – Rishtey mein toh hum tumhare baap lagte hai – Hainnn! Needless to say, everyone had a hearty laugh.
The fun and excitement continued in the five interactive stage rounds, which kept the teams on the edge of their seats. The audience chipped in too, shouting out answers to audience questions. All winners received DK books as awards, and the top scoring team will get a chance to battle it out against 45 other schools in The DK Quiz Grand Finale on October 12. If the Grand Finale is anything like the school round, I can't wait to experience that too!