Monthly Archives: February 2012


Cholera in the Time of Love: A Quiz on love and other maladies

As we know, today is the day when the St. Valentine’s Day massacre took place along with the Behmai Massacre and murder of Captain Cook. To commemorate these occasions I have compiled a random quiz that mostly deals in literature and films as expected with one exception.

Marking Scheme:
Questions will fetch one mark each unless mentioned otherwise.

Mode of Answering:
Put your answers as comments. They are being moderated and they will not be visible unless they are approved after the deadline.

1. Blue Ray Edition of the Assamese sleeper hit “Samiran Barua Ahi Ase”, signed by Samiran Barua himself…
2. The original manuscript mentioned in the 3rd question.
3. Free pass for the premiere of the film mentioned in the 7th… whenever that happens….

Sunday 19th February 10pm…

1. Identify this South American resort city that was founded by Spanish colonial rulers almost 500 years ago. But the place has been a settlement of ancient agricultural people for several thousand years. In fact the name has been derived from a city of the same name in Spain. A popular tourist attraction now, it has been the site of many pop culture entities including a Brando film and a De Nero film. Nevertheless, my reason for including it in this quiz is entirely different and cannot be disclosed.

2. This hill is known as the home of the ascetics since ancient times. It used to be a site for the followers of Baba Gorakhnath. This is also the place where one epic lover of folklores goes after he gets chased away by the relatives of his epic girlfriend. He meets other ascetics and plans to renounce material world, without realizing that fate has other plans for him.
ID the hill and the lover in question.

3. While this epic has been attributed to one poet, scholars believe that it has come to its current shape over centuries of evolution and that is why we now have several versions of the same. A small manuscript found in Bikaner is considered by some of the scholars as the closest one to the original. On the other hand another version found in Udaipur is more than 12 times longer than this version. What am I talking about?

4. Which word is roughly derived from the ancient Greek for seed (noun) and flow (verb)?

5. Sitter… explain…

6. Although he was considered a major writer of his era, he never earned much from his literary masterpieces. So, he supported himself by writing lurid stories. He had varied interests such as mathematics, astronomy and chemistry. Once he also had an affair with an Anglo-French woman but she suddenly left for Europe one day and never came back. His magnum opus came in the year Bengal was divided. Who?

7. This is a still from an unreleased film directed by a person known for period epics. A very ambitious project for its times, it was based on the life of a peasant girl who became an unlikely poetess who impressed the local king. The king was later imprisoned by a much more powerful emperor and so she spent the rest of her life singing about the pain of her separation. Identify.

8. Another sitter. She is now remembered for an affair which could not succeed due to religious differences in both families. While most of her films are now forgotten, she used to be a much bigger star and in fact the highest paid one at her peak.

9. This is a still from an Opera originally composed by a Frenchman. It is based on an epic Indian tragedy from the medieval times. Identify the original work.

10. Googlable one to end with…
Kafir-e-ishqam musalmani mara darkaar neest
Har rag-e mun taar gashta hajat-e zunnaar neest
(I am a pagan (worshiper) of love: the creed (of Muslims) I do not need;
Every vein of mine has become taut like a wire; the (Hindu) girdle I do not need.)
Whose lines?


1. Cartagena, teh suposed setting for Love in the time of Cholera
2. Tilla Jogiyan, Heer and Ranjha
3. Prithviraj Raso
4. Gonorrhea
5. Raj Kapoor Films Logo
6. Mirza Hadi who wrote Umrao Jaan
7. Movie is Zooni directed by Muzzafar Ali and the Poetess is Habba Khatoon
8. Suraiya
9. Padmavat by Mohammad Jayasi
10. Aamir Khusro

Brishabhanu Baruah 7
Sushant Srivastava 10
Debashri Sengupta 4
El Biswajit 6
Subhorup Dasgupta
Suman Doogar 10
Soumya Sagar 9
Krishnendu Mohapatra 5
Daktar Vinay 6

1st Sushant Srivastava and Suman Doogar.
2nd Soumya Sagar
3rd Brishabhanu Baruah

So, the top prize has to be divided between Sushant Srivastava and Suman Doogar. One will get the Disc and the other will get the cover. I’ll decide that by a toss with a biased coin.