ITC Pub Quizzes- Kolkata 1/4

We did a series of Pub Quizzes for ITC. In my opinion (and research), this was the first time a non-liquor brand did pub quizzes in India. Note the lack of usage of the term sponsored. Instead of us approaching a brand and convincing them about this new-kid-on-the-block social drinking phenomena, it was ITC who approached us to do these pub quizzes. Having done pub quizzes in 4 separate pubs in the past, we did not think twice in taking up a project of this magnitude. A total of 40 pub quizzes across Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad. Though Hyderabad got cancelled due to a lack of response from the pubs, who did so as they did not foresee a lot of patrons turning up for pub quizzes (wake up my fellow Hyderabadi quizzers!, this calls for a pub quizzing rebellion in your town)

The quizzes in the other four cities went as planned, barring a couple of cancellations in Kolkata and Delhi. As it would have been a logistical nightmare for us to travel to these towns every other evening we came up with the cost effective master idea (ok, not quite a master idea but an idea of partnering with local quizmasters. In this four part series we will be presenting a straight-from-the-quizmaster’s-mouth account of the experience. No editing by me except where the facts have been messed up. We begin with the City of joy, Kolkata, where Souvik and Abhishek pulled it off with ease. Here goes part 1 of 4:

‘Infinite Experiences’ was the fancy name given to the pub quizzes and the events truly lived up to the name. This was also the first time I was doing a series of quizzes in association with Qryptiq.

But first things first! After swinging to and fro about the number of quizzes and taking as much time as would have made even our government project contractors proud, it finally boiled down to 7 pub quizzes per city. I was supposed to conduct the quizzes in Kolkata. It was a pretty exciting feeling for me too as this was the first time I was going to conduct 7 pub quizzes in a row in my hometown.

The first quiz began optimistically enough with only the venue being fixed and nothing else. We went and found that the pub manager had no clue that a quiz was going to happen and refused to cut down the volume of the music on the dance floor. I thought if I had to compete with that volume, I needed to be a rockstar more than a quizmaster. Anyway, after some frantic phone calls being made, things were sorted out. By that time, most of the people in the pub had left and we had to

Shadows but the these hair the 2/3 do with the few people present. However, once the quiz started, things did fall into place and we had a lot of fun with the handful patrons present.

The second day enriched our experience when the manager of the pub it was to be held in simply refused to neither lower the volume of the music nor co-operate in any other way. This was quite strange considering the fact that there were no patrons inside the pub. We waited for an hour with only the loud music to give us company. We thought of cashing in on the opportunity of doing the


The third day saw what was going to be a familiar routine for all the subsequent quizzes. ‘What would be today’s venue’ was the first question of the pub quiz. The height of confusion was when we reached the schedule pub one evening to find that no quiz would happen there. Apparently some famous DJ was coming and the manager felt that the DJ was a bigger draw than the quiz. Grrr………! However, in spite of the confusion behind the curtains throughout the day, things were worked out generally by afternoon or early evening and we did have the quizzes.

The quizzes were mostly fun. Sometimes we had to coax the people to participate, sometimes over enthusiastic people shouted out answers out of turn. The guesses also varied from reasonable to sublime to wild. They were indeed spirited (pun intended) guesses. The creativity of the guesses was often directly proportional to the number of pegs the patrons had had. We had the familiar ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ following several questions when easy questions were missed.

We also had an enjoyable time distributing the prizes. Free beer is something that is welcome by almost everyone in a bar and it was like playing Santa Claus. Some people insisted we should not put photos of them winning beer on Facebook. Aah, the evils of social media! We pointed out that we would also not be enhancing our image too if we were seen distributing free beers 🙂 We also had discount coupons which were lapped up by the participants. In one of the quizzes, we had a school teacher participating and she complimented us that we asked far better questions than she had ever done. Most of the participants were generous in their appreciation for us. And, in what can be called as the compliment every quizmaster looks forward to, the people wanted the quiz to go on and on as they were enjoying it so much.

To sum up, the entire 7 quizzes were quite fun and a good learning experience as well. Look forward to more of such events in future. Ajay, I hope you are reading the last line carefully 🙂

Well Souvik, it was indeed a great experience working with you. You were extremely patient and calm during the entire madness. We look forward to working with you again.

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