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Pravega 2014: Dead Man's Chest kept the students on their toes

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Dead Man's Chest at Pravega 2014

It was beyond all doubt that Treasure Hunt was bound to be one of the most awaited events of our three-day fest. After all, what could be more fun than a full fledged excursion across the lush 400 acre campus of IISc? Vigorous preparations had ensued the decision to organise an official ‘Treasure Hunt' on the second day of Pravega. Intense brainstorming sessions that ran late into the night ensured the emergence of clues as witty as the organisers themselves. A couple of test runs featuring a handful of unsuspecting IISc UG students as guinea pigs also helped in giving the organisers valuable feedback before the event. The Treasure Hunt began at around 12 p.m. with all the registered groups receiving their first clue through an SMS. The format of clues for the preliminary round were as such: 'Lights, Camera, Action This is my second home Arkdanceharsha Antvake Arman'.

This three-line SMS contained the information that would lead them to any of the six departments assigned as the check-posts. Thus, the treasure hunt began. The volunteers waited patiently in their departments entertaining themselves with whatever they could while the participants were seen running about with their maps and wildly conjecturing. By 12:30 p.m., the groups started trickling in to their respective departments and the volunteers, delighted to finally have something to do, sprang to their feet, handing out tokens to the teams for having completed the first preliminary round. In each department was posted a clue sheet that would lead the participants to their next and the final destination of the prelims. At about 1:00 p.m., the Old Physics Building saw the entry of the first team into the finals. Their entry was soon followed by a cascade of entries and by 2:00 p.m. Treasure Hunt had all its finalist teams assembled and bustling with excitement. The teams were sent off for a break and in the meantime, frantic preparations were made by the unusually dedicated volunteers for the final round.

At 3:00 p.m. the participants were assembled again at OPB and given laptops much to their joy and amusement. The teams were explained, after being calmed down, that the purpose of the laptops was only to lead them to their first clue and not, in fact, a generous gift from the Treasure Hunt committee. The idea behind the laptops was this - the clue to the first checkpoint could only be obtained by unlocking the laptops. The password for each laptop was hidden in the answer to a separate rebus puzzle which the teams had to solve.

A set of volunteers at each of the 10 check-posted departments communicated with the volunteers at the final check-post to update them on the progress of each team. By around 6:30 p.m., however, the volunteers were hit by the realisation that the hunt had proven too hard for the participants since not more than 6 clues had been cracked by any team. Yet, remarkably, the teams showed unforeseen enthusiasm and grit by doggedly huffing and puffing their way through several miles of the campus. A short debate among the volunteers led to the decision that the treasure hunt would be concluded at 8:00 p.m. and the team with maximum number of solved clues would be declared the winner. Thus, a group of smartly dressed, presumably high-school students came to be awarded the much sought after and elusive treasure - a box brimming with assorted chocolates that ranged from crunchy Ferrero Rochers to our very own ‘chocolaty' Melody. Also, with this came a cash prize of Rs. 5000.

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