In Chennai, from 1994 to 2019, Independence Day was synonymous with Landmark Quiz and its celebrity Quizmaster, Dr. Navin Jayakumar. 1000’s of individuals would take part in Preliminary Spherical of Landmark quiz, and a majority of them would keep again for the Finale to witness the magic of artistic quizzing crafted by none apart from the celebrity himself.

In a tte-à-tte with Hindustan Occasions, Dr. Navin Jayakumar talks about his journey as a quizmaster and Smartacus Senior, the open quiz for adults that will likely be hosted on August 14, from 2PM on the Chinmaya Heritage Centre, Chennai. You’ll be able to register for the quiz right here,

‘Dr. Navin Jayakumar’ is a family identify throughout India. Lots of immediately’s prolific quizmasters are your protégés. Inform us about your journey as a quizmaster.

Usually, quizzers grow to be quizmasters. However, I began as a quizmaster after I was learning in Madras Medical Faculty. My senior requested me to arrange questions for a quiz and current it to the individuals. This was my very first quiz as quizmaster. Later, I carried out the quiz on the Madras E book Truthful, which was observed by the famed historian S. Muthiah. He requested me to match the Madras Quiz commemorating 350 years of the founding of Madras (now Chennai). This was the primary quiz I used to be paid for!

Independence Day in Chennai, notably amongst Gen Y, was related to the Landmark Quiz. Individuals used to queue up on Cathedral Street to get a seat within the auditorium. The lobby and car parking zone would teem with folks hoping to get a seat within the auditorium. How did this occur?

In 1987, I began a quiz group in Chennai known as ‘Quiz Basis’. Across the identical time, Hemu Ramaiah began the Landmark Bookstore in Chennai. In 1948, we wished to have a good time the primary anniversary of Quiz Basis. It was determined that we might conduct a quiz commemorating the primary anniversary of Landmark and Quiz Basis. Curiously, this was not carried out on Independence Day however someday in November. In 1994, we determined to conduct a quiz yearly and chosen August 15 to be the date.

In 2009, when the nationwide anthem performed at the beginning of the occasion, the viewers had been positive that at the least one query can be primarily based on the anthem (and rightly so). The thrill was evident when the query got here up. How do you retain the viewers glued to their seats?

The packed auditorium with me approaching stage and asking folks to rise for the nationwide anthem turned a ritual. I did not realise it, however Samanth Subramaniam, an avid quizzer, informed me that Landmark Quiz was part of the college and school lives of a number of college students. There was an version when 900+ groups participated and solely 8 groups made it to the Finale. The remaining 892+ groups sat and watched the finale, and lots of got here again the subsequent yr. The important thing to this lies in giving the viewers one thing to sit up for. Be it an fascinating query or an fascinating reply, we have to ring a bell with the viewers and hold them in thoughts when setting a query. That is the key of Landmark’s success!

How does it really feel to be again on stage after a 3-year-long break from offline quizzing?

You need to ask me how I really feel after the quiz is over, however anticipating it’s one among my greatest thrills. At present, I’m getting ready the questions and the slides. It’s like mixing the paints, scrubbing the canvas and so forth. The quiz is the portray that individuals work together with. Once I current the questions on stage, the questions come to life and magic occurs. The quiz involves life when it’s working, and I sit up for that!

What was your favourite quiz second?

I used to be as soon as conducting a quiz in Bengaluru and requested a query about an initiative on CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation). Buzzing the track ‘One other one bites the mud’ by Queen helps the CPR responder get the chest compressions appropriate because the beats within the track are just like that of the human coronary heart. Because the track was enjoying, I remembered that the one that began this CPR initiative in Bengaluru, was Dr. Murali, and recalled that I knew a Dr. Murali who was an avid quizzer. After confirming with one other participant that the one that helmed the initiative and the quizzer had been one and the exact same particular person, I introduced it to the viewers. To my shock, Dr. Murali was seated within the viewers!

You’ve got typically talked about that your fashion of presenting questions has modified drastically over many years. Might you inform us a bit about how and why it modified?

Within the Eighties and Nineties, within the very first editions of Landmark Quiz, I needed to depend on newspapers and books. We did not have many photos both. If we wanted to current a visible query, we must take {a photograph} from a e-book after masking sure areas. That was troublesome! The questions then had been very quick as I might solely quiz the viewers primarily based on the knowledge I had at hand.

Immediately, that is not the case. I can entry details about something inside minutes at my fingertips. I can view movies, see photos and put together questions extra simply. Subsequently, the format of questions has additionally developed with time.

The likes and pursuits of the viewers have modified over time. What are a number of the expectations the viewers of immediately have, which weren’t frequent within the yesteryears?

One has to maintain up with the occasions. The quizzers of immediately have anime, video, e-sports and different areas of curiosity. I would like to arrange inquiries to cater to a number of generations of quizzers, together with my contemporaries. Additionally, whereas some questions are timeless, others grow to be dated and alter with time. I would like to make sure that the questions are related, updates and fascinating for the viewers of immediately.

Usually the method of constructing a quiz (together with the compilation and presentation) is more durable than collaborating in a single. How do you put together for a quiz?

I typically make a listing of eight subjects: Historical past, Geography, Science, Sports activities, Literature, Arts and Leisure, Tradition and, Way of life, and guarantee that there’s a good distribution of questions amongst these eight subjects. I additionally construct in a number of clues into the query to assist individuals deduce the reply. I’m a curious cat which works and digs into issues to extract details and construct questions for my viewers.

What tip or recommendation would you give for budding quizzers collaborating in Smartacus Senior?

Quoting legendary quizmaster Neil O’Brien, I recommend that quizzers undertake the 3R’s: Learn, Document and Recall to hone their quizzing abilities. You may learn one thing immediately, however until you cement it into your long-term reminiscence by recording it in a pocket book or on an app, and recalling it earlier than a quiz, the knowledge you learn is not going to come in useful, until you’ve a really robust reminiscence.

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