I wish Time knew that it was New again. I wish it stopped, did something remarkable or absurd to start off afresh. Only, it doesn’t – it just flows along uninterrupted and infinite. Human beings, though, cannot just keep going forward. They want a cycle of doing, evaluating, re-doing. And hence, ‘years’ and the imagined newness of time. So, just to humor us, time is ready to be young again.
But the end of 2016 is probably not going to take away all that time has been piling up this past year.
Taking inspiration from the words of Billy Beane of Moneyball, there are good years and bad years, fifty feet of crap and then there is 2016.
Here is how 2016 looked at India:
I don’t believe that there is any such thing as stable politics. But, the year 2016 has revealed a new benchmark in political upheavals. The dark clouds of imperialist ambitions are lurking around the globe, destroying lives in the wake.
Here in India, the situation is interesting. From a different vantage point in time, the current political atmosphere in India might seem dystopian. Our leader is counted among the world’s most influential people. These lists are helmed by Trump and Putin, and I am confused about channeling my pride on this one.
PM Modi has, if nothing else, given us enough political drama to compensate for the insipid term preceding his.
The man would go down in history for having made India ‘cashless’ or ‘cash-void’, depending on which side of the coin you are looking at.
Modi has aroused more nationalistic pride in us than Gandhiji and Netaji combined. And, boy, we are ready to fight for the nation! If we don’t find a worthy opponent, we will fight each other to death. For 2016 has seen India polarized to ‘Bhakts’ and ‘Adarsh Liberals’, on the edge to pounce upon and shred the other. I, for one, had to Google the meaning of the word ‘Sedition’, before choosing my side and vehemently debating it through the year!
Many thanks to our stellar opposition leaders for providing the much-needed comic relief, though.
There has never been a dull moment with Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal, Didi and a handful of other supporting cast, playing their pivotal roles in furthering the cause of Modi.
Looking for Captain Planet
India has reached a pre-climactic state in an environmental apocalypse. Delhi air is unbreathable, lakes in Bangalore are spontaneously catching fire and states are engaged in civil warfare for last rights on the vanishing water-bodies.
The year has seen India experiment with planet-saving technologies and techniques.
Tamil Nadu has unveiled the world’s largest solar farm in India making India third in utility-scale solar, preceded only by China and the US.
Delhi repeatedly experimented with the not-so-sustainable odd-even rule this year, probably a decent move, thwarted by Indian Jugaad. Rich Delhi elites just went out and purchased another car, telling themselves that when the planet becomes unlivable, they will buy a plot on Mars instead. Beijing seems to be using the tool to significant results this year, by the way!
The mint-new Trump administration seems casual, at best, about the war against climate change. Unfortunately, the impact would be seen in countries like ours, that serve as the suppliers and manufactures for the hyper-consuming nation.
In my most reassuring dreams, the 600 KG chocolate sculpture of Rajnikanth, that was erected in Chennai this year, takes over as Captain Planet, to make India liveable, for the future generation.
If there is a group in India that has welcomed demonetization with open arms, it is the fintech sector. Start-ups have shroomed overnight in the space and people are drowned in a selection of (empty) e-wallets. Too bad that Qualcomm suggests none of the apps are secure by any global standards.
The large corporate houses also seem very content with the government, possibly in anticipation of business-friendly moves from cash-flushed financial institutions.
But, the only buzz in the corporate worth the salt, this year, has been the open war between Mistry and the Tatas. Cyrus Mistry, son of Pallonji Mistry of the Shapoorji Pallonji group, was hand-picked by Ratan Tata, a move that was heralded as the victory of youth and non-family business inheritance (forget the Parsi community itch for a moment!)
But, Cyrus did not fall in line and behaved like a teenage-rebel against the Goliath – a questionable move that he has vouched to pursue in the year to come. We got to wait and watch for this epic!
This was the year that Leo finally got that Oscar, Brangelina is no long (long live weird couple names) and Kim Kardashian got robbed. But, plenty has happened at home too.
Between Tanmay Bhat and Parineeti Chopra, they have lost the weight of one Sumo wrestler. The whole of 2016 has gone without revealing Katappa’s secret. All the Khans have taken to sports coaching to bring back the ‘Sona’, and not of the brick kind either!
Indian leggy lasses have invaded Hollywood and have pushed the envelope on exotic accents. Even Indians would need subtitles to understand what they are lipping.
And, not the least, we are all happily sipping Koffee in the pretentious company of the same old, same old again.
In a nutshell, the world looked grim this year. Assassinations, butcheries, greed, prophecies, alliances, and power – it makes for a very familiar and not so fond trip! But, take heart. Where there is Alleppo, there is the toy smuggler of Alleppo too! Let us work towards making 2017 the year that fought the darkness!
I will close with the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”.
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