Sunday, July 6, 2008

Citius, Altius, Fortius

My first encounter with these 3 words was in class 10 or so, which is quite unbefitting even for an amateur quizzer. For almost all the guys in my school-friend circle, the trio was associated with the olympics, but for me, it will always be the ESPN school quiz hosted by Harsha Bhogale. If you don't know what I am talking about, look here & here.

Though I never managed to end up in the quiz, in any capacity, be it participant or the audience , and certainly not as the quiz master (heck, I didn't even try...), the quiz still held some charm upon me. Throughout my middle & high school days I was in what I have been told as the 'elite set', the group of nerds who did well (academically) at school, who were expected to crack the JEEs and the PMTs, the guys who would win all the quizzes and prizes to boot, the ones who would land up a majority of the coveted school appointments and the jerks who would never be looked at by girls even for the first time. But I was always among the lesser known among the set, not with the teachers, but definitely with the fairer sex. I was an amateur quizzer at best, never applied for any school appointment (that I was made one is a completely different story), did not manage to crack the JEE (ho.. hum..), but was completely at peace to be in this group. And most importantly, that is what my parents desired. Damn, I am on JEE & parents again.. digression.. digression..

Yes, I was just trying to from this picture in your mind, of the kind of guy I was in school, and the kind of people I used to roam around with. And quizzing was a big part of all our lives. For Bong, Shape & Sen it meant infinite legalized bunks, innumerable prizes and an equal number of looks of envy from the likes of me. Whereas for me (& others I can't name for the fear of incurring their wrath) it meant just taking part in such quizzes (to make up the numbers, it seemed), watching the big guys invariably walk off with the glorious prizes (irrespective of what they got, it did seem glorious in all that colorful cellophane). So I just used to relive my quizzing fantasies watching show upon show of the ESPN quiz.

Yesterday, I was suddenly reminded of this long-forgotten phase of my life, when I came upon a mail that wordlessly reflected my opinions on the Beijing Olympics. It is not an opinion about the Olympics in particular, instead it sums up my attitude towards the Chinese way of getting things done, the Chinese political scenario, the complete lack of democracy & freedom that we in India take for granted. (Oh, how I miss those heated discussions we used to have in college, & of course aboard the 764 guys... !!) How I got to rambling on upon my school days from that mail was through the subject of the mail & that of my post : Citius, Altius, Fortius.






PS : Did anyone manage to catch the olympic torch relay in person... ?