Sep 15, 2002

I've started...
...and it's not finished yet. My Mastermind episode aired finally last Thursday, the 12th of September and I'm glad 9-12 passed without incident. And for those with no access to television with BBC India feeds, or for those who got plain lucky and were nowhere near Channel 13 or whichever number, I did win my preliminary round. I'm not sure if you've had the experience, but I have. I'm referring to the curious trick by which the telly conks off, or cable decides to take the rest of the day off, or the electricity folks play with the Off button when you want to watch something desperately. It has happened to me quite a number of times, most recently when I contrived to spend my time making out the England v Argentina grudge encounter in lines of gloriously grey static, that time MSEB doing the honours. I've become a bit of a stoic sage in such matters, and so I would've probably shrugged the shoulders if Thursday was another addition to the list. But all the publicity to friends and relatives would've been in vain, and so it was a relief that they did get to watch a known face do well.
Mass mobilisation of the above kind did take a bit out of me, and was vaguely reminiscent of handing out invites to weddings, where forgetting someone could cause a mini-butterfly effect. I think I did get to everyone. I now have a unabashed salute to wave to the organisers of political rallies : mass mobilisation, as I note above, is tough!
I am aware of the common cliché in interviews: the phone kept ringing continuously, the occasion being some achievement, minor & major, or yet another scandal. I got a few calls after the episode aired, actually immediately after, causing my parents to believe I was in one long call where I was switching with four. My advice to Mastermind participants: keep the phone instrument in working order, as you'll probably be requiring it to do overtime. Preferably, strike a deal with the telephone dept, as you could be generating some valuable revenue.

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