Smartacus Seniors 2022: A Nostalgic Journey Down Memory Lane

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As the entire country celebrates Independence Day, quizzers rejoice in the landmark quiz organized by Dr. Naveen Jayakumar, and this was the scene from 1994 to 2019. People will travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to take part in this legacy quiz. The tradition of taking part in a quiz on Independence Day was rudely stopped in 2020 by the pandemic. However, Dr. Jayakumar hosted an online version of the Landmark Quiz in 2020 and went on to conduct his own version of the quiz in 2021. Such was the effect of this quiz! The historic landmark quiz is back in a new avatar as Smartacus Seniors 2022.

After a three-year hiatus from offline quizzing on Independence Day, Dr. Jayakumar Smartakas Sr. is all set to enthrall the audience through 2022. This open quiz will be conducted on August 14 from 2 PM at Chinmaya Heritage Centre, Chennai. The Quiz will be hosted by HT School and Hachette India in collaboration with Foundation of India (QFI). Participants can register for the quiz at https://htschool.hindustantimes.com/smartacus-senior.

Avid quizzers from all over the country are excited and nostalgic about participating in this Independence Day quiz in person! Here’s a peek into the history of Landmark Quiz, what it means to be a Champion Quizzer, and what’s hot this year.

Samantha Subramanian, a regular at the annual event, gets excited as she recalls the quiz. “The Independence Day quiz has become a tradition for me. I feel very distressed and sad about my life if, in the middle of August, I am anywhere but in an auditorium, gathered with my team, staring at a screen with hundreds of other people, trying to answer one of Naveen Jayakumar’s brilliant questions,” he said

Subramanian’s contemporary Varun Rajeev also echoed his sentiments. “This quiz has gone through many evolutions. I caught the quizzing bug while trying to quiz my school mates in the Music Academy Annex where Dr. Jayakumar was shuttling between there and the main hall. Regardless of the name or sponsor, Independence Day weekend means Dr. Jayakumar’s Quiz. His ability to weave interesting facts and connections between questions that are both challenging and accessible to a general audience is unrivaled,” he reflects.

While the Landmark Quiz was usually conducted on August 15, its inaugural edition, which commemorated the first anniversary of QFI and Landmark Bookstore, was conducted in November. PS Rajagopal, a quizzer and quizmaster associated with QFI, takes a trip down memory lane as he says, “180 teams participated in the first edition of the landmark quiz conducted in November 1988. This quiz had the first starred question that played. as a tiebreaker. The next and subsequent editions were conducted on Independence Day.” He also added that Dr. Jayakumar was the first quizmaster to conduct audio-visual quizzes in Chennai.

When the pandemic hit, this classic quiz was sorely missed, and Smartakas Seniors has a much-awaited revival, as echoed by Major Chandrakant Nair, a star quizmaster and an avid quizzer. “I have been participating in the Landmark Quiz for over 10 years now. I have participated in it from every single city where it was held (when there was a city round – Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, and Hyderabad). It is something that the entire The quizzing community looks forward to it every year. The pandemic has taken it away from everyone in the last few years and I am absolutely thrilled that the event is back in an offline format this year,” he said.

Smartakus Seniors is breathing a new life as the quizzing community welcomes it with joy! Rajiv Rai, an ardent quizzer, said, “The 15th August quiz has become a landmark in the annual quiz calendar. I have been attending it for the past 25 years and make it a point to visit Chennai wherever I am. It’s a joy and a relief to see it reinvent itself and continue.”

This quiz is set to evoke memories, as quizzers meet and greet each other in warm friendship. While masks are here to stay, this is definitely a weekend getaway that will be cherished for a long time. Bivendu Tewari, a landmark quiz veteran, sums up the thoughts of all quizzers with his apt words. “For many years, Independence Day for me meant Landmark Quiz, Chennai. I don’t remember waking up to the Prime Minister’s speech, but I do remember the flight to Chennai. Then the quiz went national, and city-hopping on its itinerary became part of my experience for more than a decade. Landmark quizzes have been an essential part of my life, and there are personal milestones associated with this journey. The same nostalgia grips us, as we look forward to the new incarnation this weekend,” he signs off.

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