From Mary Kom to Pranab Mukherjee, from King Edward II to Peter Pan, all were there.
The event that brought all these achievers and characters together was Inquizitive, the annual Hindustan Times-PACE Inter-school quiz event. Though not physically present, they existed in questions posed to the finalists in the contest.
The event organised at the Talkatora Stadium on Tuesday saw Bal Bharati Public School, Noida, as the winner. While Delhi Public School, Sector 45, Gurgaon, was the first runner-up, Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan, emerged as the second runner-up.
The six teams that made to the final were New Era Public School, Mayapuri; DPS, Gurgaon; Bal Bharati Public School, Noida; Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan; Rukmini Devi Public School, Pitampura, and Manav Sthali School, Rajinder Nagar.
"The standard of quizzing is always high at Inquizitive. I have done more than 150 lives shows but the atmosphere created by the audience cannot be matched," said quizmaster Rajiv Makhani, managing editor, technology, NDTV.
Congratulating HT for entering into its 12th year of Inquizitive, Siddharth Basu, whose company Synergy Adlabs Media Ltd, produced the event, wished the participants luck through a video message.
Rajiv Beotra, business head (circulation), HT, Shiv Inder Singh, MD, Firefox Bike Pvt Ltd, and Annapoorna Sehgal, head (education), HT-PACE, were also present.
"I think questions were tough and that is the beauty of Inquizitive," said Abhinav Kumar of DPS, Gurgaon.
Recent headlines from HT were used in one of the rounds to test students' knowledge on current affairs.
"I think it was tough. We won after answering the last question. It is always a close fight when you have good teams to compete with," said Hasan Nabeel, of Bal Bharati Public School, Noida.
"No amount of preparation can guarantee a win. We have been participating since Class 4 and that is how we have gained experience. It is great that we have won," said Gaurav Setty, Nabeel's partner.
The winning teams received a trophy each for their schools and individual replicas, along with certificates.
The champions received a Firefox Tempest bike each, runners-up Firefox Dart 2.6 bikes, and second runners-up got Firefox Fusion 2.
Mount Abu Public School, Rohini, was adjudged the best cheering team and the best banner prize went to Little Flowers Public School, Shahdara.
"We are proud to be associated with HT-PACE. We wanted to associate ourselves with learning and this is an event where youngsters will gain knowledge. Firefox focuses on health, environment and zero fuel consumption. This is a perfect platform for us to propagate these values," said Shiv Inder Singh, managing director, Firefox Bikes Pvt Ltd.