Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ten From Twenty15

As we approach the end of the year 2015 A.D., it is time to look back at some of the news/gossip/events and non-events to remember the year gone by.

1. The Question of the Year
There were other critical questions: Who was driving the car? Where was Rahul Gandhi? 
But the biggest question was: Why did Katappa kill Bahubali? It might only have been a movie, but its cliff-hanger ending raised this pertinent question. There are many theories abounding on this (Quora). To find out, we will have to wait for the sequel to come out next year. (MovieNotes)

2. Picture of the Year - Two Contenders 
The Shocking One: Little Aylan Kurdi’s body lying on the Syrian shore which finally shook up the world to the growing immigrant crisis.
And the Happy One – An old lady watching the red carpet procession of the Boston premiere of "Black Mass" while all around  her are busy taking pictures.
With apologies to Kipling: "If you can enjoy the moment, while people all around are taking selfies… you are a human”

3. Multi-lateral Contest of the Year
There is civil unrest in Syria against the current ruler Assad. But rebels have formed two groups, one of which is the Islamic State or Daesh. US supports the rebels fighting Assad, but not IS. Russia enters the arena to fight IS but supports Assad. Turkey while fighting IS ends up shooting down a Russian fighter plane. Newly rehabilitated Iran joins the fight against IS but does not like the Saudis. While we figure out who is fighting whom and what stake they have, it’s the Syrian populace which is bearing the brunt of this war.

4. Attire of the Year 
Beating down heavy competition from a monogrammed pin-striped suit was a wedding dress. Only thing no one was quite sure what its colour was? Was it Black and Blue, or Was it White and Gold? Opinions were divided, battle-lines were drawn (Yours truly was in the White & Gold camp). Till finally it was declared that like beauty, even colour lies in the eyes of the beholder, with the rods and cones of the eyes creating all the difference in what we think we are seeing.

5. The Family Tree Conundrum – Indrani Mukherjea
One fine day, media wakes up to the news that one of their own is involved in murdering her sister. Only the victim wasn’t her sister but her daughter. And with every passing day came in new information concerning previous husbands and children. It was one entangled family tree with new branches sprouting every day. That a murder had been committed was almost fogged up by this obsessive media coverage is another matter.

6. Device of the Year – Ahmed’s Clock
While Apple and Samsung came up with their own watches, it was a simple home-made alarm clock which landed a teenager in big trouble. 14 year old Ahmed Mohammed was arrested for bringing his self-made alarm clock to school because his teachers thought it was a bomb. 

7. India – the nation of bans & controversies
The year started with a ban on the AIB Roast. Then the ban on MSG – Messenger of God. After the Censor Board, joining the banning act were the various departments of the Central & State Governments – they banned beef, non-vegetarian food (except fish), porn (later unbanned), alcohol. Some termed it as rising intolerance, a curb on freedom of expression, some returned awards. Some of the bans were found to be rumors, others had apparently been in place for years. But most of the controversies were just political stunts aimed at polarizing vote banks in the light of the assembly elections. 

8. Twitter - The Universal Complaint Channel 
If you have a grouse and want to raise a complaint, just put it on Twitter (with proper hashtags and marked to the right handles). Whether it was people needing help from government agencies (foreign ministry and railways were quite efficient in this regard) or Sachin Tendulkar getting his baggage misplaced by British Airways or yours truly unable to get a mobile signal, Twitter was the channel to air the complaint. Your complaint will get an immediate response, sometimes to hilarious consequences. 

9. Dialogue of the Year
Prime Minister David Cameron bellowing – “Acche din aayenge, zaroor aayenge”

10. Meme of the Year
It was a battle between Sasha Chhetri (a.k.a. the Airtel 4G girl) and the mischievous tiny yellow pill shaped creatures. The competition was intense but the minions have managed to have the last laugh.

Some notable omissions from the list

  • The Serial Killer of the Year: Vyapam Scam
  • Around the World in 80 Days contest - Modi vs Kenyatta, its a close contest
  • Farewell Tribute: Paul Walker in Furious 7 & Tribute to Jonah Lomu by his teammates.

That was 2015, amidst all the doom and gloom filled with its own little happy moments. We head into 2016 where amongst other things, we will get to learn why Katappa killed Bahubali and praying that the acche din come fast. 

Wishing all readers a very Happy 2016.

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