Five hundred years of brotherly love

I attended the Landmark quiz in Mumbai yesterday. Having been away from quizzing for a while, it was quite refreshing to get back to it for a few hours. My team didn’t qualify for the finals, but I am not new to being in that position, so I enjoyed myself all the same.

One of the little pleasures of these big open quizzes is that there is a prize for best team name, and the shortlist usually contains some beauties. My favourite, and the winner this year was: Pigs fly, Swine Flu.

The bigger pleasure, however, is to learn some things of earth-shattering inconsequence that nonetheless brighten your day. Did you know, for instance, that a lot of clubs in the US have blue lighting in the restrooms to discourage intravenous drug abuse? The lighting makes it more difficult to find the veins, you see.

My favourite, though, is a Swiss watch that automatically displayes the rahukaalam every day. One of the people involved in its design is Chitra Subramaniam, best known for her coverage of the Bofors scandal. Makes one wonder if Ottavio Quattrochi took her on a Ferris wheel ride in Vienna, explained a few things to her and got her thinking about brotherly love and cuckoo clocks.

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10 thoughts on “Five hundred years of brotherly love

  1. Sounds like real fun! I’d probably drag any team I was on into the pits. But yes, earth-shattering nuggets of info are always useful. Now I won’t rile against that blue light which makes everyone look old.

  2. You are part of the QFI circles too? That’s nice. One of my favorite team names is Nawab of Jawabs. I think they won the best name prize during their first quiz show. It was the Landmark quiz in Chennai.

  3. Banno>> Better to look old and live to an old age rather than OD and die young, I guess 🙂

    Gradwolf>> That’s a nice name. I’ve heard a few good ones over the years. Harkat ul-Answer, I Iyer Iyengar (which is amusing if you’re a TamBram, but not so much otherwise, I think), Jailbirds from Uniform City (a school team in Bangalore)…

    ~ramsu

  4. Yellow Van, Go! says:

    (That’s an irate me politely urging a neighbor’s yellow van parked in my driveway all week to move its butt (sounds more like ‘bowel’? Oh well)! Or, as my favorite quiz show on earth has me believe, a lofty affirmation of Van Gogh’s love affair with the color Yellow.)

    Since we’re talking quizzes, I must share that I was nothing short of exhilarated when the first “show” of the month (pun wholly unintended!) opened with the category “Tra La! It’s May!” (After “crazy” and “cruel” months in succession, I think it’s only fair that the next one comes along, imbued with a little “tra la,” whatever that is?) 😀

    Among the enormously entertaining/ enlightening trivia tidbits in that category were references to May Day (from Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1922 collection of 11 short stories — yes, the source of Benjamin Button as well) and the Andrews-Burton Broadway musical of the 60s, Camelot (complete with a clip of Andrews crooning “The lusty month of May” — a hilarious write-up on the musical here and an equally hilarious Vanessa Redgrave adaptation here).

    Now to complete my “learn some things of earth-shattering (in)consequence that nonetheless brighten your day” list from last week, here’s what I “learned” from the weekend’s “Desi Jams” Khan vs. Khan vs. Khan category: All three Bollywood Kings-in-their-own-way were born in 1965. (Hey, a year that adds up to 3, no? And all three of them age in an even multiple of 11 this year — Sweet deal!) 🙂

  5. (W-T)omb says:

    (Oh, just a silly stab at symbolism — that’s “Womb to Tomb,” mathematically speaking!) 🙂

    The title of your post reminded me of a Dickinson poem I read recently. I happen to be a big fan of “between rooms” (or thru the walls, if you will) conversations people manage to have…even if it’s only people who meet each other, for the first time, in death.

    I died for Beauty — but was scarce
    Adjusted in the Tomb
    When One who died for Truth, was lain
    In an adjoining room —

    He questioned softly “Why I failed”?
    “For Beauty”, I replied —
    “And I — for Truth — Themself are One —
    We Brethren, are”, He said —

    And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night —
    We talked between the Rooms —
    Until the Moss had reached our lips —
    And covered up — our names…

    ~Emily Dickinson, Poem 449

  6. Mπr Strikes Back! says:

    (An attack by the irrational constant or a constant attack by the irrational? God only knows.) 🙂

    I had no freaking idea what Vienna and the cuckoo clock, in the last line, referred to until I happened to read those four freeze frames dedicated to The Third Man. Tell me, did my desiccated brain place it correctly?

  7. Wood Warbler says:

    (If this songbird could but sing, it would burden no messenger-puppet to bear these verses on his bridle…)

    Speaking of world-famous OWs, here’s the work of another one whose fiction has wowed us more openly than his songs (not that Orson Welles ever sang, but lyrical speech counts too, no?).

    WITHIN this restless, hurried, modern world
    We took our hearts’ full pleasure—You and I,
    And now the white sails of our ship are furled,
    And spent the lading of our argosy.

    Wherefore my cheeks before their time are wan,
    For very weeping is my gladness fled,
    Sorrow hath paled my lip’s vermilion,
    And Ruin draws the curtains of my bed.

    But all this crowded life has been to thee
    No more than lyre, or lute, or subtle spell
    Of viols, or the music of the sea
    That sleeps, a mimic echo, in the shell.

    ~My Voice, Oscar Wilde

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