What is thanetology? What is the name of the figure on the bonnet of the
Rolls Royce? What is the name of the first month in the Islamic calendar? If such questions interest you, and yet, you are not a dead serious,must-make-it-to-the-finals quizzer, with perhaps a young family or other commitments that prevent you from making it to other quiz meets regularly...then welcome to Quizfamilies!
As the name suggests, we are a very informal family group; we meet on either
the first or second Saturday of every month (even that is flexible, to allow
for members' travel schedules). We meet post-dinner, to enable us to spend
more time on the quiz; midway through the quiz, we have a break where the
host family serves snacks and coffee. We generally wind up at Cinderella time.
There are only two rules for a member: one, that s/he try and attend as regularly as possible, and two, that s/he take turns to host the quiz,and at another time, conduct a quiz for the group. Typically, one's turn would
come once in about 18 to 24 months...so there is no social pressure.
Those who cannot host at home for various reasons can host anywhere else that
is convenient to them. One of our members lends his terrace regularly!
The fun of this arrangement is that it allows all of us to interact on a fairly regular basis with people of widely varying backgrounds,with no social pressure at all, and instead of idle chitchat, we go in for questions, to most of which we don't know the answers....
Amazingly, this kind of loose framework has been continuously in existence for at least a decade now...which is how long I have been a member. Of course there are the ups and the downs...we have had instances where more than 70 people turned up, and other months when 13 people formed the total gathering...but yet the friendly, open feeling of the quiz evening is something that all of us look forward to in the middle of our otherwise hectic schedules. There are puzzled silences punctuated by witty remarks,wrong answers confidently given, loud criticism of how other teams are being given marks (other teams never deserve the marks they get, ours never get the marks we deserve, is our motto!), and we argue shamelessly with the quizmaster, who generally develops a sore throat by the end of the evening.
Another feature that characterises the group is that the level of interaction between the members at other times is left entirely up to them. There are members whom one sees just that one occasion each month; the mutual camaraderie is enough social sustenance till the next meeting. With others, one slowly becomes close. I must say that we have found many staunch friends amongst the group-- the kind who have stood by us through major crises, and given their help unstintingly.
I find the group a very warm and informal one too. New people are generally made to feel welcome, and anybody can attend a quiz or two to see whether they would like to join in. During the course of our travels, we have been posted to other places...and the welcome we have got on our return is always heartwarming.
The most unusual feature of the group, however, is that people really don't seem to care what one's job or career is, -- or what the size of one's bank balance is, either! We have young couples struggling with their first businesses and millionaires with Mercs; we have people who are "Page 3" and people who have been featured in Time, and have been nominated for the Pulitzer for photography; we have people from extremely cultured, musically gifted families....We have psychiatrirsts, software pros, advocates, teachers, diplomats, journalists,NGO people....a wide spectrum!.... We just get together... to have fun.
And have fun we do! We have some members who are known for their speedy ripostes, and their repartee results in gales of laughter. When one of us continued asking questions when everyone wanted to break for snacks, he started a question, "On whose tombstone is it written...?" Quick as a flash came the reply: "If you don't stop and let us get to the coffee, it will be written on YOUR tombstone!" Another time, the question, "Who wrote 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' ?" elicited the swift response, "How I wonder who you are!" Ignorance of the correct answer never stops us from making a lot of noise, and having a whale of a time!
Each quiz is very different from the preceding one, as it is left entirely to the host family to choose whatever questions they wish to ask. Some could be factual, some would deal entirely with trivia, some would have "work-out-able" answers, some would be "theme" quizzes....we have even had rounds which had cryptic clues about the members!
Our quizzes always end in the same hilarious way-- Dumb Charades. This, too, is widely interpreted...one member recently presented a round of different types of food to be enacted! How does one enact Dum Aloo, or Rogan Josh?.... Come along and find out....@Quizfamilies!
If you would like to attend a quiz with Quizfamilies, (we are based in Bangalore)please email Deepa Mohan at