When techies at VMware took on Bollywood

What can you do to stir up a bleary Wednesday afternoon and give engineers something unexpected yet clever to sink their teeth into?

We hosted a Bollywood quiz for the R&D engineers of VMware and ended up unearthing some hitherto unnoticed skills in the process such as: 'can decipher minimalistic posters at breakneck speed'; 'knows all stolen Hindi numbers'; 'lit fanboy' and 'B&W movies ka don'.

The event was a small let-your-hair-down part of our offerings to the software company where we engage employees in meaningful ways that whets their curiosity and gets them into a shape that is conducive for innovation. Omkar Yarguddi was in charge of proceedings as the quizmaster.

For the 45-minute duration of the quiz, the cafeteria was brimming with cheers, laughter and childlike urge for attention (of the quizmaster) as the techies blitzed past questions such as "What one word connects Dilip Kumar, Suchitra Sen, Madhuri Dixit, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay?" to "In the late 80s, the civil war in Afghanistan came to a standstill because the Government was hosting the cast and crew of which film?" (Answers below.)

The audio round was enough to have people screaming above the tracks for the answers, in their enthusiasm to be the first - at one point Harish actually had to ask if anyone wanted to guess what the answer is even before the audio clip was played!

Just as filmy dialogues, melodies and stories are a part of all of us wherever we go, fun and enthusiasm should as much be a part of work and everything you do. It is nice to have a reminder of that once in a while.

Here are some more questions from the quiz:

3. What term connects the lead actress of “Rab ne bana di Jodi” with something that runs between Delhi and the town of Fazilka in Punjab?

4. Cautionary message at the end of which 1998 film?

“This film is an attempt on my part to reach out to all those people who took to violence as a means for their living. At the end of it, even if one of them out there looks into himself before he takes out his gun the next time, and understands that the pain he inflicts on others is exactly the same as he would suffer himself, I would consider this effort worthwhile.”

Answers to above questions:

1. Devdas
2. Khuda Gawah
3. NH10
4. Satya