So, the good thing that I was speaking about in my previous post came in the form of me finding my strong forte in the CCA events and also helped me expand my reading avenues. Until then, I have only read fiction, but to win prizes in Essay Writing, Debates and Elocutions, reading Jules Vernes or Charles Dickens won’t suffice.

You need to be aware of current affairs and popular topics like Global Warming, Environmental Pollution, and The Importance of Sports for Students, Is Watching TV Good or Bad? and stuff.

Non Fiction books I read

And here is where my years of reading Gokulam came to my help and it provided me with a starting point to refer to any of the topics that I wanted to prepare. Additionally, there were dedicated books related to Essay writing that I had to buy and add to my collections.

Though, the participation in Elocutions and Debates slowly contributed to my gaining confidence in Public speaking and it largely and easily removed one of the greatest fears one could have, at least that’s what my classmates used to tell me: the stage fear and the fright of public speaking.

However, participation in CCA events helped me discover that I was pretty inclined towards Quiz competitions and I actually went on to represent my school in many Quizzes in Visakhapatnam. This helped me interact with students from other schools and gain valuable insights from them at times. (Later in the post, I will mention a student celebrity I met as well).

And it also helped me meet students whom I have known only through their writings or drawings in School Chronicle. I know I am digressing a bit here. But that is what reading does to you eventually. You don’t remain stuck reading alone

Back then, Deccan Chronicle used to invite school students to submit essay entries and drawings on a topic they had provided every week and will publish the best content in its supplementary School Chronicle.

There was prize money involved here as well. So, this was something that I used to actually look forward to while I was in Classes 5 and 6 and used to write on varied topics. And as luck might have it, I secured a third prize for the very first entry I submitted and this made me look forward to writing every week thereafter. I won prizes in a fair few of them and got published several more times.

I used to draw a bit too and have submitted them as well at times, after all, half of the novels I used to read had easy-to-draw line drawings as half of their content. And given that my mom was an Artist too, I naturally took to drawing as well.

KBC: The show that changed Television

So, getting back to the topic, to win quizzes back in my school and in Inter school tournaments, reading novels alone won’t suffice. Of course, it will help you answer questions related to Who wrote which book or which novel had these famous quotes among others, but literature wasn’t the only section. So, here is when I took to reading newspapers and I developed a particular liking for Young World which was supplementary to The Hindu. Also, my participation in quizzes led me to buy books like the Manorama Yearbook, and Mastermind by Siddhartha Basu among many others.

This also played a decisive role in driving me to watch specific kinds of programs on TV too.

So, the programs that became my regular were, Bournvita Quiz Contest hosted by Derek O Brian, and its variations aired on various regional channels. I don’t remember the exact program name or the channel, but I remember that actress Kasthuri used to host one such Quiz program in Tamil.

And who can forget the epic Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC)?

And as I said before that I will post about a student celebrity I have met, so where am I going to fulfil that promise? Does the name Ravi Sahni ring a bell?

Ravi Sahni: the winner of KBC Junior

For the 90’s kids, he is remembered as the first Junior Crorepati who won 1 crore in KBC. And he was from the same school as mine, but in a different location I had met him once at an Inter school quiz completion our school was hosting and he was kind enough to share his experiences with me to prepare me for the quiz.

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