The war was fought. The undead sorcerer, Pastmaster raised his evil head, only to be buried once again at the hands of the gallant superheroes. On the night of 14th August, the fourth wall broke down in IIT Kanpur as it turned into a gigantic battleground, witnessing clashes more exciting than any of the battles in Megakat City or Gotham City.
Yes, I’m talking about the Treasure Hunt, the most awaited freshers’ event of the year, conducted by the English Literary Society, the Hindi Sahitya Sabha and the Quiz Club, IIT Kanpur. The theme this year was “Dawn of Justice” where the freshmen rose to the occasion and took on the mantles of super heroes to battle it out with a cohort of some of the most nightmarish villains to save the day! (and win treasure too!)
This year we saw a massive turnout, with 133 teams of 5 registering for the event. We kicked off with the conventional scavenger hunt where the participants wrought mayhem on the battlefield scouting the campus for a plethora of items each of which would inch them closer to their victory.
So, while the Pastmaster was engaged in plotting a terrible conspiracy to gain dominion over the entire world, the super-heroes swarmed in from every corner of the campus with buckets in their hands. Hordes of half-shaved men with a stamp on their forehead were hunting for pink lipstick, while some, seeking the easy way out, chased the coordinators for a selfie, which would be their ticket to ride. The chaos lasted for an hour, post which the top eighteen teams were chosen to battle it out in a grand finale. It was time for the superheroes to put on their thinking caps, or rather, their superhero capes as they received their first clue, finally embarking on the ultimate quest. The rules were very simple. Each clue, received at a destination, would lead to another destination and would put you one step closer to the treasure. But just like Batman didn’t have it easy, so didn’t the freshie superheroes. At each destination, they had to prove their mettle to the vicious super-villains waiting for them, who hungrily scoured them for the slightest hint of a slip up.
All 18 teams managed to crack the first clue, that led to the institute nursery. With a little wave down their bodies, the teams set out in search of Venom with the following hint in hand:
Integral of e^x from -∞ to 0=x+iy . Go to y.
This led them to the IME building in our campus (How?) where they were challenged to solve a round of word games. As they ventured deeper into this arena, they had to perform multifarious activities to make headway, ranging from an exacting round of quizzes and mind-puzzles to performing some refreshing dumb charades. The teams hence, had to forgo sanity as they reached the fourth destination where only a ‘Pencil Dance’ or a ‘Save the Trees’ campaign could get them past their foes. At their next stop, the Girls Hostel Tower, the super-heroes had to prove their mettle anew, in a war where only the strongest would survive. So, running around with their partners on their backs, they soon entered into the final phase of the treasure hunt. The super-heroes of a team had to combine their powers to emerge as a five-headed monster to gain a victory over the villains. Simply put, they had to recite a poem collectively on the spur of the moment, which had a pre-defined rhyming scheme and was based on a set of given keywords. Many turned out to be surprisingly brilliant wordsmiths, much to their adversary’s dismay. The teams then zapped to the convocation ground where their enemies spurred them to try a picture clue round.
The sun had risen by then. But justice had yet to dawn, for one battle remained unfought. The past eight gruelling hours of the battle had only seemed to augment their excitement as they continued to contemplate hard on the epoch-defining penultimate clue:
1.0987458 × 10^(-14) light years x 7.18775919 × 10^(-15) light years
4.0885652 × 10^(26) atomic mass units – 2.58952075 × 10^(26) atomic mass units
Yep, you guessed it right, it led to the football ground! (If you didn’t, note it represents nothing but the dimensions of a stadium and the mass of a football respectively.) The football ground then transfigured into a battlefield, where the survivors tried to overpower the villains in a penalty shootout, a true clash of good and evil! Finally, after they had superimposed the clues they had received at 3 varied locations to arrive at a mega-clue, the teams reached what they strangely perceived as a nose and a dragon (we call it the ‘crow’). There the war ended and ‘Pirates’ and ‘The Sound of Silence’ emerged as the ultimate heroes, crushing all the villains who had dared to tread their path. Most of the other teams had stayed till the end too, as the event was capped off with everyone receiving a grand treat in a local eatery from the very super-villains they had vanquished, at the dawn of what seemed to be a beautiful new day.