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Vol. XXXI No. 16, December 1-15, 2021

Madras Musings wishes all its readers a happy and prosperous new year.

Quizzin’ with Ram’nan

Quizmaster V.V. Ramanan’s first 10 questions are on current affairs and the next 10 are on Indian musical instruments.

1. NASA recently launched the DART spacecraft with what specific purpose?

2. Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam, who had maintained their innocence in the 1960s assassination of a prominent civil rights leader, were exonerated recently after having spent 20 years in prison. Name the leader.

3. A self-portrait ‘Diego and I’ recently set a record for the most expensive work by a Latin American artist ever sold at auction with a bid for $34.9 million. Who is I in the painting?

4. Thanks to a nation blowing up one of its defunct satellites, astronauts aboard the ISS were forced to take shelter from being hit by debris. Which country blew up its satellite?

5. Asser Malik, a manager for the Pakistan Cricket Board, made news because of his marriage to a world-famous personality. Name his spouse.

6. Which city was adjudged the cleanest Indian city in Swachh Survekshan 2021 for a fifth straight year?

7. The Final Glasgow COP 26 agreement has aimed at capping global warming at how many degrees Celsius?

8. Which social media platform recently launched cyber-safety campaigns named ‘Safe Stree’ and ‘My Kanoon’?

9. What is the ‘Bharat Gaurav Scheme’ launched by the Indian Railways recently?

10. In which bustling station has the Indian Railways opened the country’s first ‘Pod retiring rooms’ similar to the ones in Japan?

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11. What is the common name given to the two drums that make up the tabla?

12. How many frets and strings are there in a normal veena?

13. Which instrument’s name is said to have derived either from ‘100 colours’ or ‘three colours’ or from the name of the bow wielded by Vishnu?

14. Which tree’s wood is normally used to make the mridangam?

15. A variation of the Jew’s harp is frequently used as an accompaniment in Carnatic music. What is its common name?

16. Name the wooden clappers resembling a pair of table tennis racquets, commonly used by mendicants and devotional singers in Karnataka.

17. Only two instrumentalists have been honoured with the Bharat Ratna. What were the instruments they played?

18. Name the trapezoid-shaped plucked stringed instrument that many Hindustani vocalists use while singing?

19. Going by the number of holes, how many does a bansuri (North Indian bamboo flute) and the venu (South Indian bamboo flute) normally have?

20. According to music historians, which instrument was created by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, by modifying the Taus?

Answers to Quiz

1. It will be crashed onto Dimorphos to see if asteroids can be diverted from a collision with Earth, 2. Malcolm X, 3. Frida Kahlo, 4. Russia, 5. Malala Yousafzai, 6. Indore, 7. 1.5, 8. Instagram, 9. Under this scheme, private tour operators can take trains on lease from the railways and run them on any circuit of their choice, 10. Mumbai Central.

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11. Bayan and Dayan, 12. 24 frets, four metal melody strings, and three metal drone strings, 13. Sarangi, 14. Jackfruit, 15. Morsing, 16. Chittka, 17. Sitar (Pt. Ravi Shankar) and Shehnai (Ustad Bismillah Khan), 18. Swarmandal, 19. Bansuri has six holes and a blowing hole, while the venu has eight holes and a blowing hole, 20. Dilruba.

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