And because getting back into the groove of blogging about stuff other than business and politics is difficult after a year of doing almost nothing else, I’m shamelessly flicking Vinod’s concept to help me get started. Here, then, is a look ahead at the year to come:
The members of Danish band Legodeath adopt burqas as a costume. Band frontman Nils explains with a Goth poem: ‘The heavy folds/ envelop me in darkness/ like the peaceful embrace/ Of sweet death.’ Rahul Raghuram downloads every example of the new genre of melodic Scandinavian Islamic metal, and pronounces it far superior to the ‘completely different’ genre of Islamic Scandinavian melodic metal.
Shiv Sainiks riot and vandalise property after they discover a statue of Meenatai Thackeray garlanded with slippers. Arundhati Roy condemns the corporate-backed, American-imperialism-inspired Hindutva thuggery that has spread its tentacles across India.
Arjun Singh announces 49.5% reservation in entrance exam coaching classes. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
Yo Mahesh is left out of the Indian cricket team.
Legodeath takes to decorating their burqas with Satanic symbols. Rahul Raghuram goes orgasmic over their reinvention and the creation of the new genre of Scandianvian Satanic Islamic Death Metal.
The Republican Party of India goes on the rampage after someone discovers a garland of slippers lying near an Ambedkar statue, and destroys property all over Maharashtra. Arundhati Roy writes that this is the fallout of the peoples’ struggle against corporate-backed, American-imperialism-inspired Hindutva thuggery.
The Times of India announces its latest marketing plan: the Bombay/ Delhi/ Bangalore/ Pune Times will now be the main newspaper, and the Times of India itself will be sold as the four page supplement. The Times will have Page 1, Page 2, Page 3a to Page 3o, and Page 4-6.
Sonia Gandhi calls for a reduction in the price of fuel. The petroleum marketing companies cut diesel prices by 4 rupees a litre the next day.
Arjun Singh announces that 49.5% of all students passing the board exams should be SC/ ST/ OBC. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
Yo Mahesh is not included in the Indian cricket team.
Pakistani mullahs come across Rahul Raghuram’s blog and discover his posts about Scandinavian Satanic Islamic Death Metal. Three days later, Muslims all over the world are burning Danish flags (again). More peaceful ones merely hold up signs saying ‘Behead those who associate Islam with Death’ or ‘Those who call Islam Satanic will be tormented in Hell’.
In Chennai, SIMI activists drag out the managers from Hot Breads outlets, beat them up, and garland them with shoes after it is discovered that they serve Danish pastry.
Airtel and SET team up to produce BIGG BOSS 2. Every week, Airtel subscribers dial in to vote one person off Indian television forever. The lines are swamped after frustrated kids who would rather watch cricket vote off the cast of Kkusum, Kkkasautii, and sundry Balaji Telefilms soaps. An attempt by politicians across all parties to rig the elctions for Karan Thapar is unsuccessful.
Arjun Singh announces special anti-ragging police squads for universities. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
Yo Mahesh is still not included in the Indian cricket team.
Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai formally announce their engagement. Times publishes a photograph of them kissing at the engagement party on the front page. Page 3f to Page 3n are dedicated to editorial analysis, columns, and public opinion on the kiss.
Sonia Gandhi calls for cheaper vegetables. The next week parliament passes a law banning the export of all agricultural produce. Farmers in Punjab start commiting suicide. Arundhati Roy blames it on the impending entry of Wal-Mart.
Legodeath frontman comments on the controversy they have sparked: ‘Only a cloak/ but so much destruction/ what is wrong/ with you idiots/ Only accept/ sweet mother oblivion.’
The RBI raises the repo rate by 25 basis points. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
The selectors continue to ignore Yo Mahesh.
Jignesh Shah of Rajkot files a case seeking a stay on the Abhishek-Aishwarya wedding as allowing people who kiss each other to get married is injurious to public morality.
Star One decides to combat the rising popularity of BIGG BOSS 2 with The Great Indian Music Challenge, which substitutes comedians with musical acts. 49.5% of the performances are reserved for Pakistani acts.
Delhi University annouces its cutoffs. All Class 12 students with less than 98% are left in the lurch.
Radio One accidentally plays KL Saigal songs for an hour before anybody at the station notices that they had put in the wrong CD. All the listeners thought Radio One was simply playing a new Himesh Reshammiya album.
China surprises everyone by revaluing the yuan. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
The selectors keep ignoring Yo Mahesh.
The Mumbai police takes Orkut to court for having discussion forums about the Abhishek-Aishwarya smooch. The Times has a 200 word column on the declining respect for personal freedoms, and fifteen pages on public opinion about the kiss.
Zeest performs ‘Sutta Na Mila’ on The Great Indian Music Challenge. The BJP calls for bandhs all over India to protest the
corruption of Indian morals by a Pakistani band. At the airport, Shiv Sainiks garland the Zeest band members with shoes. Sonia Gandhi calls for more mature television. The next day, the I&B ministry bans Star One.
The CPI(M) demands a ban on foreign investment in cricket coaches. Mamata Banerjee calls a Bangla Bandh in protest.
Vijay Mallya says he will sponsor an F1 team. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
The BCCI retains Chappell but refuses to bring in Yo Mahesh.
After the successful product placement of WorldSpace in Lage Raho Munnabhai, Rajkumar Hirani goes overboard with his plans for the next in the series, Munnabhai aur ICICI. Initially working as a collections agent who beats up defaulters on ICICI Bank Home Loans, Munnabhai discovers the way of non-violence and switches to the gentler job of telecalling, telling frustrated callees ‘Tension na lene ka. Apun se sirf personal loan lene ka.’. Munnabhai also romances rival HSBC’s CEO Naina Lal Kidwai, played by Deepika Padukone. Boman Irani plays K V Kamath.
A statue of Rajaji is desecrated by garlanding it with shoes. No riots or vandalization of public property results as there are no Swatantra Party members any more. Later on it is discovered that the perpetrators had mistaken Rajaji for somebody else.
Mumbai is flooded after torrential rain. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
Yo Mahesh is still not in the cricket team.
The Delhi High Court orders the sealing of all commercial structures within one kilometre of residential areas, which results in all markets in Delhi having to close down. The enterprising shopowners hit on a unique solution: they move their shops to all the flats in Gurgaon whose NRI owners are leaving them vacant. Although the High Court’s objective of clearing traffic within Delhi has been achieved, the Delhi-Gurgaon commute becomes worse than ever, taking up to two and a half hours. However, it is still faster than the journey from Andheri (E) to Andheri (W).
The High Court verdict and the ensuing chaos is generally mocked, criticised, and pilloried by Delhi bloggers. Both of them.
The Bombay Police asks for a ban on Orkut, as it has discussion forums on sandals, which can be used to garland statues and cause public disturbances.
To ensure a peaceful Independence Day without any terrorist threat, the Delhi Police blocks all roads to any traffic whatsoever. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
Yo Mahesh remains outside the cricket team.
Bharti-WalMart opens their first store in Bangalore. It is sealed one week later on the order of the Delhi High Court for causing traffic problems in Delhi.
Sonia Gandhi criticises the tendency of bloggers to attack all the decisions of the government without sparing a thought for the good these decisions do for the aam aadmi. The I&B Ministry bans the Internet the next day.
The Times carries fifty pages of opinion polls on whether the banning of the internet was a good idea. Most of its readers bellyache about not being able to make frandship now that their access to orkut is gone. The sole editorial the Times runs rues the fact that indiatimes.com has been blocked when matters could have been resolved simply by banning blogs.
In Chennai, a statue of Jayendra Saraswati is garlanded with shoes. No TamBrahms riot as they are all in the United States.
Jignesh Shah’s request for a stay on the Abhishek-Ash wedding is thrown out by the courts. The Bachhans announce a December wedding date. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
Yo Mahesh has practically given up in life by now.
Rock band Def Leppard decides to mark the fact that all their members are in their fifties by playing in India. The Mumbai concert has Himesh Reshammiya opening. The crowd goes wild. After that, Def Leppard launches into their classic Pour Some Sugar On Me. The crowd deserts the MMRDA grounds in droves.
After receiving irate complaints from the business community, the I&B ministry reluctantly lifts the ban on the Internet, but replaces it with a ban on discussion on FM radio instead. This makes no difference in Delhi, whose seven FM stations play nothing but Hindi film songs anyway.
Despondent that the Abhishek-Ash wedding will go ahead after all, Jignesh Shah now moves the court seeking a ban on Rakhi Sawant, pleading that public morality will be injured if women do not conform to his prescribed dress code. In this noble mission, he is supported by the National Commission of Women, the vast majority of letter-writers to The Hindu, and Sushma Swaraj. The only support Rakhi Sawant gets is from Legodeath, who come up with a protest song: ‘The beast within/ rages at the clothes without/ one more/ falls screaming victim/ speech torn away/ embrace me/ Mother Death.’ Expectedly Rahul Raghuram raves about the new genre of Norwegian Goth Protest Metal.
Sony Ericsson Walkman phone batteries start bursting into flame, sparking a whole new set of fears about the effect of mobile phones on health. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
Yo Mahesh turns to booze.
The Republican Party of India takes to the streets and riots once again after hearing reports about shoes being found near Ambedkar portraits in Bangalore. They burn down public transport all across India.
Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor shock everyone by revealing that they are not in fact homosexual, and that they will be getting married on the advice of their respective numerologists. To ensure a blissful married life they change their names to Karan Kjohar and Kkta Kjohar.
The two hundred millionth cellphone connection in India is activated. Arundhati Roy bemoans the fact that 20% of the Indian population have to rely on corporate-controlled communications.
After Indian sportsmen gain notoriety for flunking dope tests, age tests, and gender tests, they create a new record by flunking a species test when the Darrel Hair asks Harbhajan to leave the ground as sardars are not human. This provokes huge outrage. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.
Yo Mahesh contemplates suicide.
It turns out that the shoes near the Ambedkar portraits which got the Republican Party of India so riled up were the ones at cobblers booths’ which usually have Ambedkar portraits on them in Bangalore. Confronted with this inconvenient piece of news, RPI head honcho Ramdas Athavle shrugs and says ‘Oops’.
The Abhishek-Aishwarya marriage takes place as scheduled. As a precautionary security measure, the Mumbai police blocks access to Orkut.
Jignesh Shah seeks a ban on the Times and Legodeath for failing to condemn the Abhishek-Aishwarya wedding.
To everyone’s great amazement, Yo Mahesh is finally selected for the Indian cricket team. AIIMS doctors protest by going on strike.