The year-end is field time for bloggers. There isn’t much original to think of, and one just needs to look back into the year passed, and draw general observations.
However, this year I’m going to refrain from making lists. There is no point in them. This year, I shall award the geniuses who, as the cliché goes, shaped the year in some way or the other.
So, my dear brothers, sisters, and hot girls, is the Awards for the Year 2011.
THE MOST ORIGINAL LINE AWARD: This one goes to Abhishek Bachan and Idea. In the world’s fastest growing telecom market, while other telecom companies are going out of their way to promote new services like 3G and superfast browsing speed, Idea Cellular’s Unique Selling Point continues to be its name – Idea. All the ads ask us to ‘Get Idea’. But that’s not really the bad part.
The bad part was that it was during a World Cup, a veritable goldmine for advertisers, especially in a domain like telecom, where the game completely changes in a few years. The ads, which could replace conventional IQ tests around the world, made me want to gauge my eyes out. But that’s not the worst part.
The worst part was how the company sought to solve all the problems of the country through its services – afforestation, literacy, communal harmony, and population. And what brilliant solutions they were! For example, to curb population, one needs to buy a 8K 3G enabled phone, invest in a monthly 3G bill of 500 rupees, and hence keep oneself busy in the night. Right! No mention of course, of that harmless pink thing that costs about 5 rupees and is pretty handy at controlling population. What a fucking genius of an idea, sirjee.
THE MOST DARING ESCAPE AWARD: This one was a surprise. The country was seething against politicians. Exploiting this resentment and discontent, Baba Ramdev jumped into the scene for his share of ‘fast food’. Unfortunately, the Government was not abused. A few ministers went to meet him to change his mind. He didn’t relent, and then cops were sent in. Baba Ramdev fled the scene, but not before he stunningly qualified himself for the awards.
The Baba was caught escaping wearing a woman’s salwar. While everyone had a laugh at it, some important questions were ignored. What, for example, was Baba Ramdev doing with a spare salwar kameez in his suitcase? What happened to his cures for social ailments like homosexuality? And if that was not Baba’s salwar, whose was it? And what happened to the devout devotee who made the ultimate sacrifice for Baba? Some answers will never be found, I guess, but Baba sure showed us that its not beyond a Baba to pull a fast one. The salwar, I mean, of course.
THE BEST DECLARATION OF THE YEAR: This year, millions of fans were shocked when Uday Chopra announced his retirement from films after Dhoom 3. Uday Chopra, often called the Rohan Gavaskar of cricket, had time and again created milestones in the industry. After monkeying around in the Dhoom series, and getting to work with some genuinely hot actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Uday decided it was time to pass the baton to younger people, to continue the glorious work he had set out on.
His announcement faced stiff competition from Shamita Shetty, another superstar in her own right, announcing her retirement from the trade. The two of them together, had created gems like Mohabbatein together. Another contender for the award was Jackie Shroff announcing that he was gay. But this missed out because, according to industry reports, people stopped giving a rat’s ass about Jackie Shroff in 1996.
The industry has been wondering how to cope with the loss of these two stalwarts. What will the rich do when they want to launder some black money? Without Uday Chopra and Shamita Shetty, the industry will have to face the arduous task of making sensible films with appropriate actors.
KLPD OF THE YEAR AWARD: The country was on its edges as the cricket team was cruising along, beating Australia, South Africa and Pakistan on the way to the finals. Just when it looked like nothing could get better than this, a certain Poonam Pandey arrived on the scene, announcing that she plans to help the Indian team perfect their Glances to Fine Leg.
Now, the Indian team is not comprised totally of gentlemen, as the picture shows, they are humans after all. However, while Poonam announced that she was going to do in the dressing room, the entire nation, enthused by the Right to Information Act, salivated at the prospect. Little did the people know that evil Poonam would never be able to corrupt us of our culture and tradition. Politicians, women’s rights groups and protectors of our culture protested, and Poonam Pandey wasn’t allowed to go ahead.
Since then, Poonam, known to be a person of strong will, has been stripping often on Twitter and Facebook. Analysts say that there is no link between this and the dismal performance in Australia.
DOMESTICATED BEAST OF THE YEAR AWARD: This one goes to Shakti Kapoor.
Bigg Boss has always interested me. The show has a standard set of characters – the loud item girl, the failed hero, the starlet, the gay/transsexual contestant, the clown, etc. This year, however, the producers lost a bet in a bar and announced that Shakti Kapoor would be the lone man in the show with 12 beautiful women. Quite like letting a tiger into a pen of sheep, you say? Wrong.
Shakti Kapoor, the man who symbolized male libido for decades on the silver screen, looked doped throughout the show. The Crime Master refused to let it gogo. The flair with which he announced ‘Mera naam hai chutiya’ on Kanti Shah’s Gunda, was missing. Shakti walked around the house cleaning plates and sweeping the floor. The Indian audiences were patient, till he started calling female contestants as ‘beti’. The audiences decided enough is enough. Who needs Shakti Kapoor to do domestic chores? What purpose did he solve if he wasn’t tearing blouses? Evicted in about three weeks, Shakti Kapoor lost his sting in the entire operation.
BRIGHTEST MOVE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Remember that Akbar-Birbal story that you read in childhood? Akbar draws a line and asks his ministers to make it shorter without actually touching it. Birbal draws a longer line next to it, thus making it shorter.
Our policy planners, known to draw from out rich past, used something on the same lines. Montek Singh Allz-well-ya announced that if someone announced more than 32 rupees a day, he wasn’t poor. Quite smart, actually. If you can’t reduce poverty levels, just drop the poverty line a few notches below. Now, India has lesser poor people, and all this has not cost the exchequer a penny. True genius.
ASLI CHEHRA OF THE YEAR AWARD: For years, I tolerated the snobbishness of Barkha Dutt because she was an inspiration for millions of women across the country to take up the noble profession of journalism. Even though she was sensational and quite irrational in most of her discussions, I thought it was a way to break new barriers, unchartered territories.
Till the Nira Radia scam thing happened. It so happens that our epitome of pathbreaking journalism takes down notes from corporate officials on what to say on the news. Not only that, she acts as a mediator between the corporates and politicians. After a number of miserable attempts at justifying the tapes, Barkha Dutt is back to what she does best – an inspiration for millions. And billionaires.
FAILED ATTEMPT OF THE YEAR AWARD: This award is for you. Yes, the educated, socially active Indian. The one who screamed in protest against corrupt politicians. Who took to roads and rallies, went on a fast and a candle walk, and yet did not bother filing a single RTI application to check corruption.
You, for being part of a debate that forced the government to table an important bill. But when the actual bill was being discussed and debated, remaining clueless about the clauses and statutes in the Bill. For hurrying and blackmailing to accept your point of view, and at the crucial time, letting go, leading to a weak, insipid, half-hearted attempt at checking corruption. You deserve the award.
Pardon my being so bitter about things, but last year was quite a shitty year, wasn’t it??