KQA Open Quiz –
AJAY, KESHAV AND SURESH
! M. Krishnan was a pioneering Indian wildlife photographer, writer and
naturalist. Ramachandra Guha edited a collection of Krishnan’s
essays entitled ‘Nature’s Spokesman’
! As section breaks, Guha uses verses that Krishnan had written to
compile an animal alphabet for his granddaughter
! The next 5 slides will have a verse, an alphabet and an image of the
creature. Just give me the name of the animal
I sadly fear the B
May not be there for very long
It is a Threatened Beast
So experts now suggest we catch
A dozen bear-cats in a batch,
To breed in zoos, at least
The G is sullen and morose,
His horn’s are like a buffalo’s,
His tail is like a mare’s;
He fiercely roams his native leas
And charges everything he sees
From hills to harmless hares
And woe betide the hunter who,
With careless aim, has shot his G
Not in a vital place!
The only way the charge to flee
Is swarming up the tallest tree
Within the nearest space
Behind the kopjes of his land
This curious, unfamiliar brute
Gambols, and frisks – and pants.
His coat is much like rain-wet sand,
He lives in burrows under-root
And mainly feeds on ants.
The O is both swift and strong,
With sabre horns a metre long,
And it is wild and wary.
It is a desert antelope
That loves in little herds to lope
Across the Kalahari.
O2, on the other hand,
Are forest beasts that cannot stand
The open sands and sunlight.
They live within the humid, dark
Ituri, and their limbs are stark-
Ly banded black-and white.
The biggest selling music journal of the time, NME used the double
meaning word X (referring to both a traditional holiday meal and an
artistic failure) to describe this best selling single.
It went on, “Millions of Dead Stars write and perform rotten record for
the right reasons.”
The single was released in 1984, re-recorded in 1989, 2004 and 2014.
Give me X (2.5), the name of the song (5) and the cause for which it
was re-recorded in 2014 (2.5).
! This cuisine has influences of Rajasthani, Bengali, Awadhi, Afghani
and Mughal cooking. Typical dishes include kheer ki kachori, pitha,
bhapia, saloni mewa ka khichdi, nima and more. The food is
‘delicate and mildly flavorful’ (according to the reviewers).
! The cuisine came into existence thanks to the efforts of a community
of Oswal Jains who left Rajasthan for a seat of Mughal power in the
! Give me the name of the cuisine and the place.
! This company found itself under a lot of pressure after its official
twitter account posted “want to go somewhere but don’t know
where?”. They eventually apologized and recognized that the tweet
was “meant to inspire travelers” but may have “unintentionally
caused offence to some.”
! Other promotional campaigns run by this business in the last year
include a competition asking what activities and destinations were
on their ‘bucket list’.
! Which company?
! These are pictures of a temple at Modhera, nearly two hours north of
Ahmedabad. Who is the presiding deity at Modhera (2.5)? What is
special about the location of Modhera? What unique architectural
(and religious) occurrence takes place here every year because of
! Sun temple at Modhera
! Located on the Tropic of Cancer
! “The temple complex, which is built on the Tropic of Cancer, is
designed such that the first rays of the sun fall on the main idol at the
time of the equinoxes.” (The Hindu)
! “Four metres high and three metres wide and fashioned out
of 400 metres of fabric, the off-white, multi-tiered dress is a
study in sartorial skills and a reconnect with history.”
! Known as the Mademoiselle Cantatrice Project, this dress will
travel 4,500 Km from Pondicherry to a place in the Indian
Ocean where it will be part of an annual festival and used
to commemorate a mid-nineteenth century migration of
40,000 indentured laborers from India
! The dress will be used to project images from history while
the wearer will belt out songs in the Maloya genre of music.
! Question is, which place is this dress travelling to?
Text courtesy Wikipedia.
“According to this legend, King Abenner or Avenier in India persecuted
the Christian Church in his realm, founded by the Apostle Thomas.
When astrologers predicted that his own son would some day become
a Christian, Abenner had the young prince Josaphat isolated from
external contact. Despite the imprisonment, Josaphat met the hermit
Saint Barlaam and converted to Christianity. Josaphat kept his faith
even in the face of his father's anger and persuasion. Eventually
Abenner converted, turned over his throne to Josaphat, and retired to
the desert to become a hermit. Josaphat himself later abdicated and
went into seclusion with his old teacher Barlaam.”
Scholars like Wilfred Cantwell Smith traced this myth back to which early
religious texts? Also give me the source of the word Josaphat.
! 2-4th century Sanskrit Mahayana Buddhist texts
! Josaphat <- Yudasaf/Budasaf (Arabic) <- Bodhisatva (Sanskrit)
! Nom de plumes or pseudonyms are names that people or groups
adopt for a specific purpose.
! This early 20th century Portuguese writer adopted what he called Xs,
which differed from pseudonyms in that they were not mere false
names but instead, characters having their own supposed physiques,
biographies and writing styles. Popular Xs adopted by him include
Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis and Alvaro Campos.
! In addition to this, he also adopted semi-Xs, which were semi-
autobiographical and ‘mere mutations of the author’s personality’.
! Author? X?
! Dr. David Waterhouse, a fossil expert, found in mid-2008 that a
particular species not only lived in Scandinavia 55 million years ago
but probably evolved there before spreading into the Southern
! His discovery was based on the preserved wing bone of a previously
unknown species, now given the scientific name Mopsitta tanta and
! Dr Waterhouse, said of Mopsitta tanta: "Obviously, we were dealing
with a bird that is bereft of life, but the tricky bit was establishing it
was a <species>.“
! Give me X. Pop cult reference gets you half points
A8. Norwegian Blue from the Monty
Python Dead Parrot Sketch
! Which famous cricketing personality and ladies’ man X is Osman
Samiuddin describing in this passage from ‘The Unquiet Ones’? Also
give me Y.
! “So smooth was he on the floor apparently, that Y insisted on a
dance at the famous Faletti’s Hotel […] while she was filming
! “Mahboob Khan wanted him to star in Aan, the early 1950s
Bollywood hit starring Dilip Kumar, but he turned it down. A role in
Bhowani Junction was also on the cards but that too was flapped
away, X’s day job as a traffic cop getting in the way. There couldn’t
have been a sexier traffic cop in all of Pakistan and famously
incorruptible as well.”
Blurb for whose last book?
“X’s final novel, bringing together his thoughts on gay identity and Eastern
mysticism, now back in print.
Two English brothers meet, after a long separation, in India. Oliver, the idealistic
younger brother, prepares to take his final vows as a Hindu monk. Patrick, a
successful publisher with a wife and children in London and a male lover in
California, has publicly admired his brother’s convictions while privately
criticizing his choices.
First published in 1967, A Meeting by the River delicately depicts the complexity
of sibling relationships-the resentment and competitiveness as well as the love
“A radiant novel of mystical devotion and worldly desire by a master of English
prose.” --Chicago Tribune
“The best prose writer in English.” Gore Vidal”
! Christopher Isherwood. Author of A Single Man, My Guru and his
Q11. Early 20th century American
college football was extremely popular
! This popularity also meant a no holds barred competition in which
violent tackles were frequently employed, leading to injuries and
! The heads of 62 schools were invited by X to a meeting in New York
to reform this situation and amend the existing rule book. This
meeting led to some changes which are still part of modern
American football. These changes were -
! Banning “flying wedges”
! Creation of a neutral zone
! A ten yard (rather than five yard) movement in three downs.
! What was the fourth rule that this meeting introduced?
! Who (X) convened the meeting?
! Vinod Mehta in his book “Lucknow Boy: A Memoir” narrates this
lovely tale about the music critic for the Guardian.
! “Derek Malcolm (renowned film critic with a passion for Indian
cinema) was one of the night subs on the Guardian desk. X, by then
a big celebrity, would send his music reviews written in long hand
from the Café Royal in The Strand without bothering to go to any
concert. Thus, a 500-word review of, say, Mozart or Elgar would arrive
on Derek’s desk, without name, place and date of the performance.
These Derek filled in.”
! Who was the music critic for The Guardian? He was better known (at
least in India) for his expertise in other forms of journalism.
This is a cartoon by artist Michael
ffolkes, made after watching a
1961 anthology film. Give me the
name of the film that fflokes
watched (5 points).
How was it different from the film
that was originally made (5
! Two Daughters was the film that ffolkes watched.
! Satyajit Ray made ‘Teen Kanya’ based on 3 short stories by Tagore
but during its international release, the second story (‘Monihara’) was
! Which is why fflokes depicted only stories 1 (The Postmaster) and 3
! “Each one is unique and handmade. Some are very talkative, very
sociable, very loud and extroverted... while others are more intimate,
almost whispering their sounds,” X’s top executive in the Americas
! “These gems worth $137,000 each are created in the company’s
factory in the New York borough of Queens”, where “each X goes
through the hands of 325 people before it’s ready to play”
! This company X has a secure space, a basement to which only
select ‘X artists’ have access to. It’s a place in midtown Manhattan,
only a few yards from Carnegie hall.
! Give me X. Clue on next slide.
Author John Banville writes crime fiction as Benjamin Black. His most recent book is
The Black-Eyed Blonde. The protagonist in The Black-Eyed Blonde is a detective
created by author X.
Writer Ian Sansom, in his review of The Black-Eyed Blonde says that Benjamin Black
outdoes the original author X. “If anything, oddly, the book is probably better than
an actual X: more coherent, more careful. Banville is simply a more elegant writer. X
was a metaphorical rogue trader; Banville is a class act”
He then goes on to give examples.
Author X: “A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window”
Banville: “Around here there are days in high summer when the sun works on you like
a gorilla peeling a banana”
Sansom also notes Banville’s eye for detail in noting that all the necessary devices
and sets incorporated by author X are present in his book as well – the detective Y’s
office, his apartment, the beautiful LA houses.
Author X? The protagonist (Detective Y)?
Q16. Kurosawa met Y at a welcome
dinner hosted by Mosfilm in the early 70s
! After a few pleasantries, Y hurriedly excused himself, saying “I still
have work to do”. Minutes later, Kurosawa heard a huge bang
outside the dining hall’s windows. The smiling head of Mosfilm
assured him that a new world war hadn’t, in fact, broken out, and
that Y had simply launched another rocket.
! Later, visiting the set of Y’s film Z, Kurosawa heard that Z had cost the
equivalent of 600 million yen. Speaking about the beautiful and
lengthy depictions of nature in Z, Kurosawa said -
! “[…] after the main character has been sent in a rocket into the
satellite station base, [the nature sequences] almost torture the soul
of the viewer like a kind of irresistible nostalgia towards mother earth
[…] Without [these nature sequences], you could not make the
audience directly conceive the sense of having no way out
harboured by the people “jailed” inside the satellite base.
18. Since circa the 11th century AD, stones
bearing a particular mural are found on the
borders of fields around rural Maharashtra
! A sociological explanation is that the stones deter trespassers by
promising them that if they trespass, the owner would plough over
the trespasser’s field using a plough yoked to the animal depicted in
the mural. The female form depicted in the mural is therefore held
to be a metaphor for Mother Earth. Such an act would, it was
believed, lead to the offender’s field becoming barren.
! A much more practical and literal explanation of these murals is that
they are a visual depiction of an earthy and colourful Maharashtrian
curse that involves animals and women.
! So - what is this curse / what do such murals depict?
Tujha aai-la gaadhav laagel
Curse involving mothers and donkeys
19. Terence Young, the director of Dr.No /
From Russia With Love / Thunderball
! Has directed another movie that was released in 1971 - with an
! Besides the villain Gauche, played by Alain Delon, and the love
interest Cristina, played by Ursula Andress, this is possibly the only
movie that stars two actors together - one from the original version X
of a classic movie, and another from its superhit copy, Y.
! Name both actors and the movies X and Y.
Ajit Agarkar - Bombay Duck
! Acknowledging the cheers of the crowd after breaking his epic
sequence of seven ducks in a row against Australia
Q21. Paul’s Epistle to the
Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 13:12
! In Greek - βλέποµεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι' ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγµατι (blepomen gar
arti di esoptrou en ainigmati)
! In modern English - “Now we see but a poor reflection, as in a mirror”
! In the King James Bible - ___________________
! The KJV rendition of this phrase has inspired everything from episodes
of Star Trek, Enterprise and Highlander, to short stories by Agatha
Christie and Philip K Dick.
! What has the Swedish translation of this phrase inspired?
A22. Otto Frank - Anne Frank’s father
Sole survivor from his family
Q23. A man who came to be known as
Siruthondar once traveled to Karnataka
! More specifically, he paid a visit to a small town in Bagalkot district,
sometime around AD 642.
! He brought back a souvenir from the town, which, several years later,
he took back to his hometown, Thiruchenkattankudi, in the Thiruvarur
district of Tamil Nadu.
! What was this souvenir, which is still to be found in his hometown
today? A detailed and poetic description of the qualities of this
souvenir is very well known in India, if that helps.
A23. The Vatapi Ganapathi - from
Badami / Vatapi
! Siruthondar, before he became a Shaivaite saint, was known as
Paranjyothi, the general of the Pallava emperor Narasimha Varman I.
! He commanded the Pallava army that invaded Vatapi in AD 642
and killed the Chalukya king Pulakesin II
! He brought back an idol of Ganesha which is installed at the
Uthrapathishwara Swamy temple in his hometown.
Q24. When Pulakeshi II was at the
height of his powers
! Who, according to a pun in the Aihole
inscription that tells us much about his life, did
Pulakeshi II cause “to lose his happiness”?
A25. Jeremy Clarkson
Soon after being fired from Top Gear
Q26. Variants of this dish are a national favorite
in several Central & South American countries
! The Cubans have named it for the parties in a conflict known as the
“Reconquista” that lasted nearly 8 centuries till 1492.
! The Venezuelans call it by the Galician phrase “Pabellon Criollo” or
“Creole Pavilion”, a reference to their colonial past in which early
early settlers had to leave their wives behind in Spain.
! The Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans call it a “Spotted Rooster” -
though the recipe does not include any chicken.
! What would this dish be called in plain English - and why is it so
called - a common theme across these three names above?
A26. Black Beans and Rice
References to the dish having two different colors
! Moros y Cristianos = Moors and Christians
! Pinto Gallo = A white rooster with black spots
! Pabellon Criollo = Criollo being a contemptuous expression used to
refer to Spaniards who were born in the colonies, quite frequently
after intermarriage by the early Spanish settlers with Indian women.
Q27. Virgins of a different kind
! Before Cilic and Nishikori made it to the finals
of the US Open 2014, which was the most
recent pair to have made a Grand Slam final
for the very first time in their lives?
A27. Rafael Nadal / Mariano Puerta
French Open 2005
Q28. Necessity being the mother of invention,
King Edward VII found it convenient to adopt a
! This practice, since widely adopted by
people around the world, is described using
the words of a common problem set for
middle school students.
! Such a problem asks students to classify a list
of statements based on their truth.
! And here is a visual of His Royal Highness
enjoying a cigar, if that helps you.
A28. The “sometimes, always, never”
rule for buttoning a three button suit
! King Edward VII had a potbelly that would make even well cut suits
tight and difficult to wear unless he fastened the middle button, and
sometimes the top button of his coat - but never the bottom button.
Q29. Give me A, B, C and X, Y, Z
! The inhabitants of the fictional Welsh village A include people like -
! Captain Cat - A retired sailor who keeps telling old sea stories
! Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard - Nags her two husbands, after their death
! Organ Morgan - Obsessed with music
! The name A sounds Welsh - and some of the characters such as the
two Mrs. Dai Breads, do have Welsh names. However, it was actually
named by the author B, when he reversed a rather rude English
phrase C, possibly denoting that there was nothing of note in the
village, it was a small place in the middle of nowhere.
! Another fictional land X was named by a different author Y. X, like
Wales, has a society that revolves around mining. X’s name reverses
another slang phrase Z, which has much the same meaning as C.
Llareggub - Dylan Thomas - Bugger All
Llamedos - Terry Pratchett - Sod Em All
Q30. Abdul Hayee took his takhallus
(nom de plume) XY from two things
! X was based on this poem (a tribute to Daagh by Allama Iqbal)
which he read as a teenager:
! "There will be many nightingales born in this garden
! Countless magicians, men who work miracles as well"
! He chose this name because "I never had much of an opinion about
my poetry and always considered myself as one amongst several
poets. The word X (translation of Magician) immediately caught my
eye and I chose it as my takhallus"
! Y is his birthplace, a city described by writer Nirupama Dutt as
'Punjab's Manchester known for its hosiery industry, cycle factories, its
business money, the agricultural university (...)"
! From an Agha Shahid Ali poem ‘Qawwali at A’s Dargah’:
“Between two saints, he shares the
Earth, Mohammad Shah “B”,
(Evoked in Paluskar’s khayal)
The beggar-woman kisses the marble
Lattice, sobs on C’s pillars.
in a corner, D, garbed in
The fakir’s grass, mumbles a Sufi quatrain.”
Give me A - whose Dargah is still a popular Delhi landmark (5)
b. You can see Mohammad Shah depicted with his
wives in this miniature. Give me his pen name “B” (5)
! C, perhaps A’s most famous disciple, is widely recognized as the
originator of the Qawwali and Ghazal styles of poetry and is also
credited with introducing Persian, Arabic and Turkish elements into
Indian classical music.
! Identify C for 5 points.
! D was a Mughal princess,
famously devoted to her
father. Father and
daughter are depicted in
! Identify her (D) for 5
! Identify the painter, founder of the
Indian Society of Oriental Art, and
author of popular children’s
books - Rajkahini, Budo Angla,
Nalak etc. for 5 points. First name