The air reverberated with AR Rehman’s rendition of Vande Mataram in the background, disco lights adding to the ambiance. When the lights came on, one realised that the stadium was packed to its full capacity with children!
The banners and colourful props that the students carried were displayed in their entire glory, adding visual appeal to the cheerleading skills of all those present.
Music, colour and mania… it was the perfect set-up for a rock concert or even a basketball match, except that it was neither. The atmosphere is what set Inquizitive 2006, the mega annual national inter-school quiz organised by Hindustan Times PACE, apart from the usual quiz shows.
Held on August 8, at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium, it attracted around 4,500 students from as many as 300 schools of the capital. The students were all charged up and swayed from one end of the stadium to the other, singing jingles and shouting out slogans, making the atmosphere vibrant and truly electric.
The energy and gusto, which the students maintained till the end, was an ideal display of the ‘power’ of the youth — literally! These students did not just encourage and motivate the quiz participants with their constant slogan shouting, but were also at their creative best, as they had a lot on stake too. Students of the DAV Public School found the quiz show “very unique”.
“We were very excited to participate when we were informed that the best banner and the best cheerleading team would win prizes,” they said. Arushi Massey, class VIII, St Thomas, Mandir Marg was a cheerleader at Inquizitive last year as well. “This year is different because all schools are well prepared with their banners and cheerleading.”
Dressed up as ‘beautiful witches with hats and brooms’, the girls claimed that they belonged to the “magical world of HT PACE”. But it did not take a magic wand to fulfill their wish of being adjudged the best cheering team trophy.
‘Enlightening the minds, lighting the nation; HT PACE a smart creation!’ It took a little creativity on the part of the students of Little Flower Senior Secondary School to ensure that they walked away with the title of the ‘best banner team’.
Other slogans on display were ‘HT PACE, changing the world’s pace’, ‘HT is a powerhouse, born to succeed’ and ‘Freedom of speech and expression with HT PACE’, among others.
The students of St Cecilia’s School “really liked the concept of having so much of audience involvement and interaction throughout the show, which is something usually lacking in other such competitions.” Indeed, host Siddhartha Basu kept the audience involved by giving away prizes to students and teachers in the audience rounds of the competition.