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Year-end review of 2012

A year to the ground –II

(This year-end compilation is a continuation from last week)

June

In a dramatic twist in the Aarushi murder case, the investigating officials say that the young girl might have committed suicide unable to overcome the humiliation that she was murdered. ‘This may look utterly nonsensical. But it is lot more believable than anything that we have claimed so far in this case,’ sources close to the investigating process say.

India’s inflation becomes a geographical phenomenon that is visible from moon.  Meanwhile, in a related development, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in an emotive address to the nation remains totally silent.

A Mumbai police team, under the leaderships of it Commissioner Vasant Dhoble, raids an upmarket flat in Bandra and arrests its inmates, most of them employed in the IT sector, on the grounds they were ‘all high under the influence of Akash tablets’.

In international news, a major uprising erupts in Egypt, as people hit the streets in protest over the controversial issue of — in the powerful words of a BBC correspondent —- ‘Tahrir Square being slightly oval in shape’.

Scientists finally confirm to the world that they have managed to spot Higgs Boson, the elusive God particle. ‘Hurray. We found it,’ excited scientists said of their discovery in Geneva. ‘It was lying under the sofa all along,’ they added.

Ahead of the Olympics, India’s ace tennis players Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi refuse to play as partners in doubles. The AITA (All India Tennis Association) in a quick move, play them in the coxless singles event, in which they unfortunately lose in the first round itself because, as Reuters reported, ‘in the high winds rowing with a tennis racquet was next to impossible’.

July

Monsoon goes missing in parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The UPA government tells a Khap panchayat that it might have eloped with inflation.

London Olympics gets underway. An Indian athlete is disqualified on the first day of the Games as he reportedly breaches the official code of conduct by remaining seated in the presence of an IOA official in the room. In hockey, India plumbs new depths by losing to Puerto Rico, which is nor entered in the competition.

Pakistan plunges into a constitutional crisis as Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is alleged to have ‘links’ with Hina Rabbani Khar. ‘How can an external affairs minister have an internal affair’ is the constitutional conundrum that Pakistan and its Supreme Court are faced with now.

In other developments, Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh, in a brave fight, comes out of Cancer, and becomes a Sagittarian.

Longform journalism makes a major comeback among longform-writing journalists. The rest of the world continues to read 50-worded articles in three shifts.

Vishwanathan Anand becomes World Champion in chess, leading to a renewed interest in the game all across the nation for a full 23 minutes.

August

As a major confidence building measure, India invites inflation as a State guest to the Independence Day parade.

Veteran politician Pranab Mukherjee is sworn in as the President. A stickler to protocol and rules, Pranab Mukherjee’s reign offers new hope to the nation. For instance, he is expected to know who his Vice President is.

Meanwhile Pratibha Patil gives an emotional farewell speech, openly confessing that only on the last day of her tenure that she realised there was a Vice President around. ‘All along I was thinking Hamid Ansari to be the official dhavali’.

In international sports news, cycling legend Lance Armstrong is stripped off his Tour de France titles after authorities find out that his cycle tyres were filled with helium gas, unfairly helping him to fly in the competition. In a minor finding, authorities find traces of blood in Armstrong’s steroids.

 September

In a sensational expose, Arvind Kejriwal exposes Markandey Khatju to be a full-fledged stand -up comic.

Elsewhere, Khatju says ‘90 per cent of Indians are idiots.’ Ask what the rest of Indians are? Khatju snaps back: ‘They are 10 per cent’

Violence breaks out at Gaza strip. But nobody knows anything beyond that. Because everyone by now switches channel the moment the word ‘Gaza’ is uttered. This is particularly true of those living there.

Tough times for journalism. Many publications, in a bid to stay afloat, decide to cease their print editions, which people pay and buy, and concentrate on their digital editions, which people can get free. Newspaper moghuls are sure that there is no way that such a revenue model can fail.

October

Neelam storm strikes the East Coast of India. Trees are uprooted. Houses are razed down by surging winds. There is widespread devastation. After inspecting the affected areas, a concerned Finance Minister says it is inevitable that when mighty trees fall the inflation is bound to go up.

Oppa Gangnam Style…’, a song featuring a hitherto unheard of Korean singer Psy becomes international sensation, registering over one billion hits on the Youtube. that is the joke here. After some research on why this song became such a global hit, scientists in Harvard figure out that the words ‘Oppa Gangnam Style’ can be cleverly rearranged to ‘Psy, Tango Game Plan’.

An engineer in Karaikal, Ramkumar, is arrested for openly mocking on his twitter timeline Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. But Ramkumar’s protestations that he had not tweeted anything in the last 60 days cut no ice with the authorities. ‘It is an open and shut case.  Ramkumar, with his silence, was clearly ridiculing the Prime Minister who is known to be even more silent,’ Kapil Sibal tells a news conference.

The Union Telecom Ministry tells the Supreme Court that there was no loss to the national exchequer due to the spectrum allocation. ‘All the money was actually recovered through the phone bills that Niira Radia ran up,’ the court is told.

On the technology front, Facebook takes over Instagram, an application, which, using the power of social media, replaces your old, useless recycle bin.

November

In a swift, hush-hush early morning operation, Maharshtra police and the Anti-Terrorist Squad hang to death that enemy of the Indian State, inflation. Experts, while welcoming the development, say that true justice will prevail only when the core villain, the economy, is killed. ‘This UPA government is precisely working towards that,’ Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde later tells the nation.

The UPA, in a bid to win over the aam aadmi, comes up with the far-reaching direct cash transfer scheme, by which the Central government would straightaway credit funds to Walmart for all the goods that people buy there.

History is made in America with Obama becoming the first US President in the history to succeed Obama.

Kamal, ever the risk-taker, opens up new revenue avenues for Tamil films. He sells the drama rights of his new film Vishwaroopam to Narada Gana Sabha. The film will be performed as a drama days before its official release in January. When last heard, theatre owners and DTH operators are up in arms over the fact that there may be many takers for the drama version of Vishwaroopam as it will be available to viewers — here is a direct quote from them —- ‘in 3D format’.

Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar dies at the age of 92. In a moving and thoughtful tribute, Doordarshan airs the very same video of Ravi Shankar’s performance that they usually play when some other dignitary passes away.

December

Some of you may be finding this running gag on inflation in this piece to be silly and over the top. But we wish to confirm that it is far less stupid than the actual and official reaction of the Finance Minister to the galloping inflation. Whenever he was confronted with a question on inflation, the Finance Minister’s standard response was: ‘The current levels of inflation are totally unacceptable’. After such a public rebuke and humiliation from the nation’s Finance Minister, it’s matter of surprise as to why inflation has not committed suicide so far.

A rude shock for the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). The IOC suspends IOA. ‘This is indeed a major setback’ said a top functionary of IOA. ‘Till we set our house in order, I think we have to make do with fresh supply of cylinder from Bharat Gas,’ he added thoughtfully.

Amidst trying times for Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar announces his retirement from ODIs, once again overshadowing Dravid, whose retirement in year-end compilations is pushed to a footnote.

Markhandey Khatju says newspapers should dispense with carrying their names on the masthead. ‘Why take so much space for the name, which anyway people will be already knowing,’ the eminent jurist says.

As such an extreme and interesting year ends, as we happily convey our New Year greetings to you all, we cannot but also ask that one important question that begs an immediate answer at this important cusp of history. And that is: ‘who designed the IRCTC Reservation website?’