A Painting of William Shakespeare

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”-Milton Berle

We often hear from our elders, that opportunity knocks only once. But I think when you see an opportunity passing by; you could make an effort and grab it rather than waiting to let it knock on your door.

A mail came on 15th April from Professor Neelkamal Kapoor stating-“Needed- two member team for quiz”. The quiz was based on Shakespeare-his life, works, and famous characters from his plays and so on.  I was told about it by my friend and together we decided to give our names as a team. We never expected our names would be finalized as there were many contenders for the quiz. However, on 18th April we got a mail that our names have been forwarded for the quiz. The quiz was to be held on 24th April.

We sat down and decided to read the plays of Shakespeare but after a hectic day at college all we could complete were the synopsis of 2-3 plays. By 21st we started discussing and asking questions to each other, and I found out that mere reading of the plays wasn’t sufficient as I was forgetting the details of the play and confusing between plays. So we then devoted the next two days entirely to the preparation and reinforced our knowledge, and directed the preparation according to the rounds of the quiz. This proved to be more fruitful.

On 23rd April, me and my friend were going back from the practical lab when Prof.Neelkamal Kapoor spotted us and asked-‘So, How’s the team?’ Now at that point of time I was as nervous as could ever be and I told her about my fears. She responded-“What will happen if you don’t win? Nothing. Your winning or losing will not stop your parents and friends from loving you. And as long as you have their love and support you don’t need anything else. And in any case, winning only wins you enemies and jealousy. So you need not fear losing.” Her words gave us a lot of relief, because the pressure of representing a college and the pressure to win, in order to save the reputation of the college was gone. Well Almost!!!!!

On the D-day, I and my friend caught an auto to the venue-People’s College of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Bhopal. We reached there by 10.00 am. The quiz was scheduled to start at 11am. We reached the auditorium, but it was closed and entry was not permitted as preparations for the quiz were going on. So we sat on the staircase leading to the auditorium, trying hard to memorize the famous quotes in Shakespeare plays, revising the characters and basically getting nervous!

Soon we were joined by our competitors-or I should say other participants (to sound optimistic!) Our nervousness didn’t help matters. The co-coordinator brought one of the teams to us and asked us to interact with each other. We politely exchanged pleasantries and shook hands. But beyond that we could not find anything to talk upon!!!!

This quiz was my first experience of going to a different venue representing my college, and the fact that all the other participants were looking so confident in a “we-just-finished-writing-Shakespeare-for-Dummies” mode only made me more nervous and I started doubting my decision.

Minutes before the Quiz started, all of us participants were seated on the front row of the auditorium-which was amazing I must say! The team beside me was scribbling away important points and aggressively discussing the quotes and other trivia related to Shakespeare. Seeing my nervousness mounting up, my friend told me to tell myself that we will come 5th (there were 5 teams competing), and that however we perform, our position could never go below 5th.

The fear of coming second or the fear of going below our expectations often reduces our potential to perform our best. So should we be content with being the last???Absolutely not!!We work hard-to the maximum we can and then we perform the best we can-Then God will reward us with what we deserve!!!!

The quiz was titled ‘WILL POWER’ where ‘WILL’ was standing for William Shakespeare. There were 5 participating teams-3 medical teams-Chirayyu, People’s, AIIMS Bhopal and 2 Non-medical colleges-an engineering college and a business college. The Audience comprised of students and interns of People’s College (the hosting college) and teachers from respected colleges like BSSS, People’s College and members of Club Literati.

The Quiz Master cordially invited all the participating teams on stage and to ease the mood of tension cracked a joke or two. The first round of the quiz was “Quote Unquote”. In it, incomplete quotes of Shakespeare were put forward to each team in two rounds.  After the first round, the Quiz Master was very happy that all the teams had prepared well. The second round was named “Bollywood bole Shakespeare Shakespeare”. In it, popular films based on Shakespearean plays were put up and we had to answer the play on which it was based. Some of the interesting ones were-Ramleela, Isaq Tera, Quyamat se Quyamat tak-all based on Romeo and Juliet. This round was fun and every team made it right-even the audience was quite educated on this aspect. The third round was “Guess Who??”Wherein titles of Shakespearean plays were put up as riddles and we had to guess the title. My favorite was-“A piece of pork, to lease a land”-HAMLET. The fourth round was a bonus round wherein the names of famous heroes and heroines of Shakespearean plays were displayed and we had to match each Hero with his lover. Our team won a major advantage in this round as we were the first to complete it! The fifth round was “Audio-Visual round”. Here famous scenes of Shakespearean plays were displayed and we had to guess the play. Famous scenes like the ‘Balcony scene’ from Romeo and Juliet, the meeting of witches around the fire in Macbeth, the soliloquy of Hamlet, the famous dialogue-“All the world’s a stage and all men are mere players” from As You Like It, and so on were played. The sixth round was the Rapid fire round wherein a set of 7 questions were put to a team, one after the other with a maximum of 30 seconds were given to answer a question.

At the end of 6 rounds when the scores were read out we were in for a surprise! We had won the 1st Prize!!!!!!!!!!!!!!And by a margin of 30 points! We were pleasantly surprised! And so were the other teams-because before the quiz began, we were looking like the least promising team!

While the certificates were being written, all the teams were asked to share with the audience their experience during the preparation for the quiz. A common sentiment that was felt was being grateful to have had this opportunity, due to which many of us were able to read Shakespeare and for a change find him really interesting!!! Mrs.Seema Raizada, the President of Club Literati encouraged us students to not limit our reading of Shakespeare to this quiz but pursue the interest life-long.

The program came to a close with the distribution of certificates and prizes and tokens to remember the special day by!!

On returning to our college, the beaming faces of Prof.Neelkamal Kapoor, our respected director Prof.Sandeep Kumar, and our friends only doubled the joy and made the day even more memorable!

Having shared my experience with you all, I now sign off with a simple lesson I derived from this-Never be afraid to try thinking you are not good enough for it-because opportunity always goes by-but it’s us who have to catch hold of it and utilize it to our best!

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  1. Nice description… Words of
    Nice description… Words of the professor regarding winning and losing was really amazing..

  2. Thanks for sharing this. This
    Thanks for sharing this. This is really inspiring. It underlines the fact that sheer hard work and determination, when mixed with a little bit of encouragement and support, bring glory.

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