Mrs. Adyasha Satpathy, CEO, OrissaPOST and the key inspiration behind ‘Mettle Meet’ speaks her mind on the art and vision of reviving quizzing in Odisha. In this exclusive interview, Mr. Nilambar Rath, Editor & CEO, OdishaLIVE had a conversation with AS in the context of 2nd edition of the quiz extravaganza, which is going to rock the young brains of the temple city on 17-18 April, 2017.
How did Mettle Meet come to your mind? Something you would like to share on the titling of the event?
AS: Mettle Meet took birth with the need to positively and constructively engage with the youth of Orissa. We felt that most events that deal with the youth nowadays don’t focus on knowledge and intellect. There are many platforms provided for youngsters to display singing and dancing abilities but none to showcase interests of those who are academically or intellectually oriented. Quizzing as an art has died down in places like Orissa and we felt the need to reinvent the culture. We were toying with various names in our team and Mettle Meet was suggested by a bright team member of Orissa POST, Ajith. Everyone immediately loved it.
Where did you meet the quizmaster Mr. Venky and how do you present him before the quizzing kids?
AS: Venky is extremely intuitive and inventive and makes an exciting game out of quizzing. We were introduced to Nexus and Venky through Editor Tathagata Satpathy, who had received good recommendations about them from common friends.
Venky prepares himself well and his questions are bound to generate interest as well as appetite. The game of quizzing has gone beyond basic general knowledge questions and Venky knows it. So do the kids, I guess.
What was your experience in organizing the maiden show of Mettle Meet in 2016?
AS: Mettle Meet 2016 was the beginning of an exciting adventure for us. It was a new experience that made us realise the potential of kids in Orissa and the love for quizzing- that was more or less dormant-was rekindled. The kids outperformed themselves and Venky had to tweak his questions in the final round to make it tougher. We had all underestimated the youth in Orissa. The final round was nail biting and very competitive. We also realized that we had to segregate juniors and seniors since it was difficult for school kids to compete with Engineering or medical students.
Hopefully, Mettle Meet can play a role in making quizzing exciting for kids in this part of the world. And maybe soon, we can take it to the next level.
How do you see the response for this season and how 2017 event is going to set new records?
AS: The response from schools and colleges is more than amazing. We have more than doubled our entries and will now have to add one more day for prelims in order to accommodate all the institutions. The buzz among students is also high and we’re getting all sorts of queries on a daily basis. Mettle Meet 2017 is gonna be super exciting!
What is the impact you are expecting by adding Mettle Meet to the annual calendar of events at OrissaPOST?
AS: Mettle Meet is an event which has helped us realize the interest and potential of youngsters in Orissa. We think it would revive the culture of quizzing among students and take us back to the times when academics was cool. Having good moves on the dance floor is great as much as brain cells on the move is.
There are many popular quiz events taking place in the national level with a majority in the metro cities of India. How do you see Mettle Meet as a brand especially its regional and national appeal in the coming years?
AS: Even at the national level, quizzing has lost it’s yesteryear’s charm. In Orissa, it’s almost non-existent. It’s great to see a revival and also be part of it. Hopefully, Mettle Meet can play a role in making quizzing exciting for kids in this part of the world. And maybe soon, we can take it to the next level.
Quizzing as an art has made lots of waves in the past with reputed minds in the business, various brands and more importantly huge talent pool of students. But there has been a steep decline in the recent times due to various reasons. With the advent of Google search, Wikipedia and other digital sources of knowledge how do you think quizzing will survive?
AS: I think quizzing didn’t fall prey to Google or Wikipedia. At one stage, the media (especially electronic) focused too much on talent hunts based on Bollywood style song, dance and drama. This gave rise to a new interest among kids as well as parents to participate in such events. We witnessed great talent and interest for quizzing in Orissa. Exercise of brains can never go out of fashion. Talented youngsters are ready and waiting. And so are we.
Your message to the participating teams of Mettle Meet 2017?
AS: Get quizzing, get going. Once you participate, you get hooked. Winning or losing isn’t important. Everyone is a winner or a learner. Either you win or you learn and you get to be part of an amazing experience with other youngsters like you. You improve your game every time. And most of all, it’s fun. All the best and don’t forget to have fun.