After all the horrifying stuff we faced in 2008 – bomb blasts, rampaging inflation, a global financial crisis, and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, – 2009 can only get better, right?
Ha ha ha. Oh, you crack me up. The rest of next year, we’re going to get further into a global economic downturn, we’re going to have a general election which’ll remind us of how crapulent our political choices are, and Himesh Reshammiya has five new movie releases. 2009 is going to be even worse then 2008 ever was.By the time we get through it, we’ll be wishing for the good old days of 2008. Still, forewarned is forearmed, and in keeping with the grand tradition of this blog, I’m letting you loyal readers know exactly what 2009 has in store for you. Words shall describe the unspeakable horror.
The Danish band Legodeath sells their touring van and announces that they will move their gear and members around on horse drawn carriages instead. Band frontsman Nils explains with a Goth poem: ‘Sweet Möther Death/ will take us all/ even these horses/ but not General Motors/ båilout after båilout/ keeps death away/ like a Žombie horde/ time to end now/ this rapacious mônster.’ Rahul Raguram excitedly informs everyone about the promising new musical genre of Scandianvian creative destruction metal.
The Home Ministry announces its firm intention to make cheating on husbands a criminal offence. In this it receives strong support from most people who bother to cast their vote in SMS polls.
A survey reveals that Omar Abdullah has replaced Howard Roark as the foremost crush of teenage girls in English medium public schools. Shobhaa De writes a column about how this represents a new political awakening in Indian youth.
The BCCI asks the Pakistani Cricket Board to ban all Pakistani players who are playing in the Indian Cricket League. Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no proof that any Pakistani is playing the ICL. He is criticised by Barack Obama who says that Pakistan should take better efforts to co-operate with India.
Barack Obama begins his presidency, and people all over the world are hopeful that this will lead to an improvement in the economy and a ew era of peace and prosperity. However skeptical conservatives point out that Obama is not the messiah.
Anil Ambani changes Reliance Mobile’s name to BIG Phone, to match his existing naming system of BIG TV, BIG Home Video, BIG Movies, and BIG Flix. Questioned why, he replies “I may not be the big brother, but I can have a bunch of BIG companies.” He then smirks.
The economic slowdown continues. Restaurants in Mumbai are so empty, diners can now overhear the conversation of only one other table. Surjit Bhalla writes a series of columns on how this is the fault of the RBI refusing to lower interest rates.
Abu Salem issues supari on Rahul Mahajan for outraging Monica Bedi’s modesty. However nobody kills him.
Restaurants and hotels in Indian metros do not see their usual Valentine’s Day spike in revenues. Due to the economic crisis, people in love skip expensive dinners to save money. Instead they take follow the lead of small town India and stand outside girls’ colleges holding flowers. Barkha Dutt reports live from outside these colleges and asks the cameraperson to pan over the whole crowd.
The Home Ministry insists that not criminalising female adultery will open the floodgates of delinquent behaviour and the current situation provides unbridled license for women to cheat on their husbands. Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no proof that wives are cheating on their husbands and that if proof is found, they can be prosecuted in Pakistan.
With Lok Sabha elections approaching, political observers are keenly watching the regional parties to see which ones will join the NDA, which ones will join the UPA, and which ones will send their leaders to hold their upraised hands with Chandrababu Naidu on the front page of the Hindu.
The Deccan Chargers become the latest Gult company to go under in scandal. It is revealed that they had never actually employed Andrew Symonds.
Campus placements at IIT slow down to such an extent that even more IITians commit suicide than usual. Farmers in Vidarbha angrily criticise them for stealing the limelight.
After having one-upped Mukesh Ambani’s private jet purchase by buying a super luxury yacht, Anilbhai upstages Mukeshbhai’s 60 floor home Antilia by announcing plans to buy Andaman Island and convert the Cellular Jail to a private mansion, which he will rename BIG House.
Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel start spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The BCCI requests the MLB to ban them from playing as only the IPL is official and legitimate.
The fog over Delhi’s airport finally clears and flights can start taking off on time. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns insisting that the takeoffs are only because of a flood of cheap money and that the worst is yet to come.
The underworld still does not kill Rahul Mahajan.
With the Lok Sabha set to dissolve, no substantive legislation is discussed. In this matter, the budget session is no different from the last five years of parliament.
In another continuance of the last five years in Parliament, Rahul Gandhi makes a stirring speech about a woman in the Amethi constituency called Padmawati who leads a miserable life without access to electricity, education, or clean drinking water. The TV channel Colors promptly announces that it will start a new daily soap opera based on her life.
Sheila Dixit announces the extension of the BRT program in Delhi to another road. This is ignored by everyone who actually uses the bus service, supported by a number of urban planners and NGOs, and angrily criticised by Delhi’s motorists. Asif Ali Zardari assures Delhi’s car drivers that there is no evidence that the BRT leads to traffic snarls.
The BCCI requests the CBSE to stop holding board exams, as the time spent by children in studying will distract them from watching the IPL.
Continuing the grand tradition of Gult companies exploding spectacularly, Country Club founder Y Rajeev Reddy announces that he has been committing massive fraud over the past few years, and that the number of country clubs has been grossly overstated over the past few years. TV viewers are relieved as this suggests that they will no longer have to endure Country Club ads with Rajeev Reddy sticking his thumb up. Barkha Dutt reports live from Hyderabad and interviews random passersby, informing viewers about how traumatised they are.
BP Singhal appears on CNN-IBN’s Face the Nation to explain that adultery cannot be tolerated by Indian society and therefore it is imperative to criminalise it. He angrily accuses the middle class New Delhi audience of being Westernised and unable to appreciate the Indian mindset.
Anil Ambani changes Reliance Energy’s name to BIG Bijli.
Surjit Bhalla writes a series of columns about how Anilbhai would be able to truly grow Reliance Energy instead of just renaming it if interest rates were lower.
Rahul Mahajan nearly kills himself while driving drunk, but the underworld had nothing to do with it.
In preparation for the upcoming elections, the government announces a cut in fuel prices to reflect the easing in the price of crude oil. Over the rest of April, the price of crude rises by fifteen dollars a barrel.
The English news channels begin their annual hysterical coverage of the CBSE board exams. Barkha Dutt broadcasts live from outside a CBSE examination centre, and chases Class X students as they leave the centre, asking them how they feel. The students run away in terror at the sight of Barkha Dutt shrieking at them. She then turns towards the camera and informs the viewers that they can see how traumatised the students were.
Due to the slowdown of the economy in general, and the real estate sector in particular, DLF is unable to sponsor the IPL this time around. Lalit Modi asks the Federal Reserve for a bailout. This prompts Legodeath to release a fresh song titled Bowlout Bailout in which they protest the use of taxpayer money to rescue questionable business plans. Rahul Raguram excitedly asks all his Facebook contacts to download it as soon as possible.
Indian corporations begin to release their annual financial statements and there is clear evidence of slowing earnings and ravaged balance sheets. However Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no proof of a slowdown, and that if any is found it can be tackled internally by Pakistan’s finance ministry.
Anilbhai agrees to take over the naming rights of the controversial New York Mets stadium from Citi, and announces that the stadium will now be known as the BIG Ballpark. However he does not announce how much he is paying for the naming rights. Headline writers across the Indian media go orgasmic when they realise that they can now speculate about the ballpark figure.
After Genelia and Asin, Trisha becomes the next South Indian actress to break out in Bollywood movies. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns warning that this is an unsustainable trend and that commodities are the only safe refuge.
Rahul Mahajan continues to live unscathed.
The bailout funds for Detroit automakers run out and there is now no way to avoid bankruptcy. The auto unions as well as the management criticise Barack Obama for not doing enough. Obama defends himself and points out that he isn’t the messiah.
The Lok Sabha is dissolved and the Election Commission sets dates for elections. Young middle class voters and not so young rich celebrities all declare their intention to register to vote and to vote for the first time on the front page of Bombay Times, Delhi Times, Pune Times, and so forth. However nothing comes of it when they realise that even after taking jaagore.com’s help, they still need to submit the registration form at the local sarkaari office on their own.
The CBSE results are announced and it turns out that the mathematics paper has been extremely low scoring, and thousands of Class XII students have performed badly, putting them at a disadvantage against students who took Physical Education or Psychology instead. This leads to a huge outcry. Arundhati Roy joins the protests by writing an essay in which she questions the justice of infinite algebra.
Anilbhai renames Reliance Mutual Fund and Reliance Money to BIG Profits.
The peak temperature in Delhi hits 52 degrees Celsius. This is initially blamed on global warming but later on it turns out that the cause is actually the hot air being spewed by Rajdeep Sardesai ahead of the elections.
Meanwhile, the BCCI appeals to the Election Commission to postpone the elections as election coverage is distracting viewers from the IPL.
The one saving grace of hot weather all over India is that the mango crop is doing well. Unfortunately mango farmers are not getting good prices. The BJP accuses the government of letting down the aam aadmi.
Surjit Bhalla writes a series of columns explaining that the low prices of mangos are proof that inflation is not a threat and that interest rates should be cut.
Rahul Mahajan is not only alive but is rumoured to be the host for the next season of BIGG BOSS. Abu Salem starts giving up in life.
Campaigning for the elections becomes hectic as the last phase of polling begins. All major parties assure voters that they will criminalise female adultery.
The economic slowdown continues and commodity prices hit all time lows. Somali pirates are perturbed when they discover that the ships they hijack have worthless cargoes and the shipping companies can’t be bothered to pay the ransom. Therefore they appeal to the US Treasury for a bailout.
The 24 hour news channels are thrown into a tizzy because elections and Delhi University admissions are occurring simultaneously. To make matters even worse, a boy falls down a well. News channels rapidly switch feeds from outside North Campus to election rallies to the well, while the anchors desperately try to keep up. Barkha Dutt later writes an op-ed describing it as the most traumatic time in her life.
The elections finally end. The Election Commission announces that it has actually held the elections at a profit. This is because the five thousand new parties which decided to ride the wave of middle class outrage and campaigned on a platform of opposing corruption, promoting the national interest and fighting against caste-based reservations have all lost their deposits. Also, Parliament is extremely hung, with no political alliance getting a clear majority. It appears that there will not be a working government for the next five years. So it will be exactly like the previous five years.
Anilbhai announces that Reliance ADA Group will set up sewage treatment plants in Indian metros. This will be done by a company named BIG Shit. This naming and renaming spree finally gets noticed by Shobhaa De, who writes a column wondering if Anilbhai is insecure.
The only good news to come out in the entire month is that the Bandra-Worli Sea Link is finally opened to the public. Unfortunately after two days of operation it is blockaded by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers who protest about the toll booths being manned by migrants from UP and Bihar. When it is pointed out to them that the toll plazas are automated and use state-of-the-art smart card readers, they demand that the smart card readers be replaced by the Marathi manoos.
V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns in which he warns his readers that the Bandra Worli Sea Link only got built because of a flood of cheap money and that this is unsustainable in the long run.
Rahul Mahajan remains unharmed, because everyone in the underworld has realised that it is more profitable to ask for a bailout.
Legodeath announces plans to release a concept album on bailouts. Frontsman Nils states that the band wants to challenge the concept of money being spent to rescue businesses that are no longer relevant or viable. He also provides a partial track listing. The tracks include Sçhumpeter Screams for Mercÿ, The Ċreative are Ċhoked While The Zombies Are Fed, and Dřowning Ëquity. Rahul Raguram hails the (unnamed) album as a masterpiece of Danish financial protest metal.
Efforts to form a government continue and both the Congress and the BJP ask the BSP to support the government. However they are both unwilling to give Mayawati the PM’s post, and offer her the Defence Ministry instead. Mayawati insists that she wants the Prime Ministership and nothing else, and laughs in their faces. Headline writers across the Indian media wet themselves when they realise they can now print stuff like ‘Behenji turns down MoD’.
With no government to propose legislation, the number of laws discussed in Parliament falls from already abysmal lows to zero. However the MPs are not completely unoccupied, as three different TV Channels start signing them up for dance shows featuring male MPs paired up with female models. This leads to a furious bidding war between SET Max, Star Plus, and Colors for Omar Abdullah.
Surjit S Bhalla points to the bidding war as evidence that it is impossible to use monetary policy to control Indian inflation, and that interest rates should therefore be lowered.
Anilbhai ignores Shobhaa De’s column and changes Mumbai Metro One’s name to BIG Rapid Transit.
Everyone is so miserable about the economy and the political situation that nobody notices that the monsoon has been on time, normal, and well distributed over India. Everyone, that is, except Barkha Dutt, who broadcasts live from Delhi in the middle of a drizzle, where she explains to the viewers that they can see how traumatised everyone is. Despite there being no real government, the additional solicitor general appears before the Supreme court and testifies that female adultery is evidence of perverted minds.
Asif Ali Zardari realises that he has been away from the public spotlight. Therefore he insists that there is no evidence that he had been inactive.
Rahul Mahajan is in the pink of health. Abu Salem’s lawyer informs the press about the anguish his client faces.
All efforts to form a government remain unsuccessful. The MPs who are not appearing on dance shows therefore decide to do fact finding tours of Thailand and Belgium to see how they manage to make do without a government. Mystifyingly they do not include Somalia or Northwest Pakistan on the itinerary.
The English Premiership is about to start. However the BCCI asks the FA not to conduct it as it will distract television viewers from IPL reruns.
Anilbhai announces that he is starting a BPO which will serve the US Treasury and Federal Reserve and process bailout requests, and that it will be named BIG Bheek. Legodeath frontsman Nils condemns Anilbhai’s action and gloomily talks about how the forces of bailouts unleashed earlier are now sucking all entrepreneurial activity towards them instead of into more productive pursuit. Nils explains with a Goth poem: ‘Like carrioŋ they comē/ in search øf funds/ not their moneÿ/ but ÿours/ but mine/ and now comes Ãnil/ to help them feed/ but they feed/ on our blood and marrow/ the living get nothing/ the corpses feed/ take them now/ Sweet Mother Đeath.’ Rahul Raguram is delighted and spreads the news on his blog, on his Facebook posted items, and his Google Reader shared items.
Obama does not share Rahul Raguram’s sentiments and promptly appoints BIG Bheek to streamline the process of demanding bailout money. He is attacked by both trade unions and Lou Dobbs for sending jobs overseas. The Democratic base complains bitterly that Obama has let them down and they no longer think he is the messiah.
In his Independence Day address to the Pakistani nation, Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no evidence that Pakistan is an independent nation. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns in which he informs his readers that Asif Ali Zardari will continue to deny everything and that the only way out is to withdraw from the equity markets and use commodities as a safe haven.
Abu Salem accuses Rahul Mahajan of racism after he shows up at Arthur Road jail and makes monkey gestures at Abu Salem through the bars.
In a shocking development, it turns out that Genelia D’Souza’s career in movies actually began with Mere Baap Pehle Aap. In a faxed confession, she states that the Telugu films she claimed to have done did not really exist.
Queen Elizabeth becomes the latest member of the British Royal Family to be involved in a racism scandal after she calls someone a Paki. However Asif Ali Zardari comes to her defence and insists that there is no evidence that the person in question was Pakistani.
After a lifetime of screaming hysterically at the camera and informing the audience about how traumatised everyone is, Barkha Dutt develops laryngitis. NDTV instantly appeals to the the US Treasury for a bailout.
Anilbhai now renames Reliance Infrastructure BIG Bridges. By now even Amar Singh thinks he is going too far.
After years of controversy related to equipment, bidding rules, tender procedures, technology, regulation, financing and ownership, 3G services are finally launced in India. Unfortunately they only last for three days after which the BCCI has them suspended when it realises that 3G networks are being used to share videos of Twenty20 matches.
The Government remains unformed. This is because the Communist parties have promised to support any formation from outside without joining the government. As a result of this everyone loses enthu.
Surjit S Bhalla writes a series of columns warning his readers that the absence of a Central government is keeping the rupee at unreasonably high levels, and that firm action is required to push its value lower.
Rahul Mahajan is alive, and confirmed as the host of the new season of BIGG BOSS. Abu Salem is practically in tears.
On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Sanjay Dutt goes back to promoting Gandhigiri, as that is the only thing that has worked for him in the past five years. A hysterical Rajdeep Sardesai informs the audience that India is demanding answers on this development.
Legodeath announces that its anti-bailout concept album will be titled Deathśuck. Rahul Raguram is overjoyed and tells everyone that Deathśuck is a milestone in the evolution of Scandinavian capitalist death metal. He is not disheartened by people who tell him that death sucks.
There are riots in West Bengal when Mamata Banerjee leads a protest against farmers’ land being acquired. Later it is discovered that the land was being acquired in Gujrat and not West Bengal. However Asif Ali Zardari insists that there is no proof of this. He also calls Mamata Banerjee gorgeous. This latest statement is strongly and angrily criticised by Omar Abdullah fangirls all over Orkut.
Anilbhai announces that he will reshuffle his entire portfolio of businesses, reform them under a holding company called BIG Business, and issue grossly overpriced equity in the holding company.
Government formation still does not take place, because the parliamentary debates are stuck on the vexed topic of how fast prospective governments will move to criminalise female adultery.
The Sanand factory finally rolls out Tata Motors’ Nano. Tragically because of the economic situation the target customer group has downgraded from scooters to bicycles. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns explaining that this will continue as long as interest rates remain artificially low.
Rahul Mahajan continues to live the good life.
Due to global warming, the winter in Delhi is unusally mild and temperatures only go down to 18 degrees Celsius, as a result of which Delhi-ites don’t bother taking out their woollens. Meanwhile, also due to global warming, the winter in Bombay is unusually sharp and the temperature falls to 18 degree Celsius. Everyone in Bombay buys sweaters and jackets.
Anilbhai renames Reliance Life Sciences BIG Pharma, ignoring fervent appeals from everyone from Kokilaben to Amar Singh to give it a rest.
The government is still not formed at the centre because nobody can decide whether Rahul Gandhi or Omar Abdullah is better looking. Rajdeep Sardesai goes on air and states that enough is enough. However he does not actually propose solutions.
Due to the continuing economic crisis, summer placements at the IIMs are almost at their worst ever. MBA students are unable to get internships on Wall Street as Wall Street no longer exists. As a result of this they appeal to the US Treasury for a bailout. Expectedly they are criticised by Legodeath and Rahul Raguram.
Also criticising them are farmers in Vidarbha, who accuse them of making a big deal out of nothing while they lead miserable lives plagued by crop failure, unbearable temperatures and Sainath hovering around them like a helicopter parent. However there is relief in store for Vidarbha farmers as Colors announces that it will start a new daily soap based on their tragic lives. Asif Ali Zardari, however, insists that there is no evidence that farmers are dying in Vidarbha and insists that this is just the Indian media flinging allegations.
The Bangalore Metro construction remains as slow as ever and remains months away from any sort of completion. V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns explaining to readers that this sort of inefficiency is the inevitable fallout of cheap money and that Bangalore’s commuters’ only hope is to seek a safe haven in commodities.
Rahul Mahajan is interviewed by the Hindustan Times and asked how he manages to lead a healthy and spiritual life. Abu Salem is wracked with paroxysms of grief.
With the year practically at an end, and no good news in sight, people are utterly depressed. This is commented upon by Barkha Dutt, who tells the viewers that they can see how traumatised everyone is; by Rajdeep Sardesai, who says that enough is enough, and by Arnab Goswami, who says that Arundhati Roy is disgusting.
Capping off a perfectly bad year, Obama’s past as an Illinois politician catches up with him. The press finally gets over their adulation, and starts investigating the shady deals he was involved with in Chicago. Conservative commentators explain that Obama is actually a very naughty boy.
It is revealed that the actual reason government formation has been stalled this while is that the BCCI has been working actively to prevent it, reasoning that a televised vote of confidence will distract viewers from watching cricket on TV.
Asif Ali Zardari assures everyone that there is no evidence that Gult companies have been falsifying information. He does this even before any new fraud is brought to light, leading everyone to wonder what he knows.
V Anantha Nageswaran writes a series of columns explaining that Surjit Bhalla will keep writing columns as long as there is a flood of cheap money in the financial markets. Surjit Bhalla on his part writes a series of columns explaining that V Anantha Nageswaran’s columns will continue unless Indian interest rates are brought down to global levels and the rupee is devalued. They agree to sort out their differences over coffee. Barkha Dutt, reporting on this, informs the viewers that they can see how traumatised everyone is.
Anilbhai buys Colors, renames it BIG Drama, and announces that for all seasons to come, he will be the voice of BIGG BOSS. He also assures Rahul Mahajan that his job as host is safe. Abu Salem is so disgusted that he appeals to the US Treasury for a bailout.
Legodeath wishes everyone a better 2010.