For journalists, December is usually spent flipping the pages of the months gone past in a bid to encapsulate the events of the year. Due to some reasoning, which is not possible to arrive at if you have at least a single thinking cell, newspapers still believe there are readers for such clerical collation of news matter. No wonder publications are floundering very badly.
Anyway, usually scribes get down to this itemizing much before the year ends, so much so that the events of the last many days of the year go unreported. That may perhaps explain the fact that the tsunami of 2004 figured only in thelist of 2005.
These tinned collection of news happenings are so boring and laborious that people are forced to go to parties and drink liquor in quantities that lead to tennis-elbow to bar tenders.
Before publishing the list, newspaper honchos must ask themselves the simple question, what is Pythagoras theorem. Oops sorry, they must ask: Will people spend time on articles that are no more than a tired collection of events that nobody wants to remember. The need of the hour, therefore, is to package the events that have missed the people’s attention while they were busy swapping channels in the hope that in at least one channel they will find something worthwhile.
So here is the authoritative, interest-kindling (this word is used just to justify the heading) list of 2008 (minus the last three days which you will read in 2009).
- The year dawned on the 1st apparently nullifying the efforts of Karunanidhi to shift the New Year to February 32. ‘If you can have a leap year, can’t you leap the New Year’ is the typical illogical argument of Karunanidhi while Ponmudi, Duraimurugan and Arcot Veerasamy laugh uncontrollably. Their laughs could be heard even in the photos.
- DK chief K Veeramani puts out an appreciative press release, congratulating Karunanidhi for trying to re-invent Time. The change, he asserted, will help to end the dominance of Brahmins, who had so far held sway over time as they had bought all the watches. Veeramani also demanded with the Central government to have 133% reservation for the OBCs in the new New Year celebrations. Tughlaq Cho was not available for comments as he had gone for a hair cut with Rajnikanth who had a false beard to trim.
- In sports, Yuvraj Singh was hauled before the ICC for allegedly using the word ‘f-k-r’ against the Australian cricket players. Yuvraj argued in the ICC that he had used the word against himself as fukr’ in Hindi meant ‘pride’, and he had lot of it especially when standing in front of a mirror. Meanwhile, the BCCI threatened to stop playing cricket matches with Japan. A beleaguered ICC, to avoid any international fallout of the crisis, expelled Uruguay from its fold. Pakistan recalled Abdul Hafiz Kardar from death to lead its national team which was not scheduled to play any matches till 2080.
- Laloo Prasad Yadav is invited to give a lecture to the new entrants to the Whitehall and Stanford Centre for Higher Education and Research and Analysis University for Kindergarten.
- Satyam invests 30 billion of heaven knows what currency in the emerging financial behemoth, Ma Stay Inc, the piggy bank of the promoter’s grandson. US announces a bailout package of five trillions of one paise coins to this bank. Sonia Gandhi, in a meeting in Rae Bareli, announces there is no need to repeal POTA as the next terrorist strike and bomb blasts were three months away.
- Calendar-makers urge government to waive their loans to offset the two-page loss they suffer every February. Veeramani asks for 189% reservation in calendars.
- Indian hockey team lands in Quito, Ecuador for Asia Cup hockey. It is when the Doordarshan is making live telecast someone in the IHF realises Ecuador is not in Asia, and there is no Asia Cup on anyway, and what DD is telecasting is a wedding reception party in Quito.
- Television channels run sms campaign seeking the ouster of Ecuadorian Sports Minister for the fiasco.
- Arundhathi Roy writes a 23,9007,5678,900,3098-worded article without any full stop and logic in The Hindu and Outlook, passionately arguing to secede Honolulu from India.
- Newsprint rates shoot up.
- Veeramani demands Brahmins in Honolulu to commit suicide.
- Director Shankar announces his next movie will be shot in the Moon with the Miss Venezuela as the heroine. Several producers file for bankruptcy. Internet sites leak photos of the moon. Meanwhile, Shankar makes his own production venture with a bulblit by a single battery.
- Satyam group makes a financial commitment to take a major stake in the sunfield industry of the projects involving the promoter’s grandson’s science practicals. World Bank blacklists all school science projects.
- Indian premier Manmohan Singh declares at the SAARC summit that was postponed as it was never scheduled in the first place that a confidence building measure to terrorists rocket services between India and Pakistan will be restored soon.
- Veeramani, at a late-night meeting, announced that reservation for minorities in the terrorist camps was an explosive success. He thanked Karunanidhi for this, who in turn shot off a letter thanking Sonia Gandhi who didn’t know what to do with the letter as it did not come with the right amount of stamps.
- Barkha Dutt has an exclusive interview with terrorists at India’s high-security nuclear installations. She later hit out at her critics that she did not reveal to them that they were at the nuclear facility.
- TN BJP announces that it is ready for an alliance with any like-minded party that manages to locate its address.
- Indian hockey team goes to Outer Mongolia for the Asia Cup, but is told that a rugby championship is on. DD is unable to telecast it as its budget allowed it to send only a camera person and not the camera.
- George Bush goes to a cabaret in Syria, where the dancer throws her dress at him. An unfazed Bush brushed off the incident .
- ‘All I can say is it was 32’, he said, cheekily showing all his teeth, leaving every one wondering whether he was referring to a size or a mere number.
- Veeramani wants Karunanidhi to take up with the Centre reservation among Syrian cabaret dancers.
- Director Bharathiraja announces that he will stop making films till the war in Sri Lanka ends. Norwegian negotiators viewed this as a major setback to the peace talks.
- Newspaper subeditors run out of cheap puns and word play on Sun and Son. Marans’ channel telecast the Vijay film Madurai. Many Tamil magazines speculate that this could be signal for a patch up with Azhagiri.
- Manmohan Singh declares on the floor of the House that India would not go to war with Guatemala as war is a costly affair, especially considering the fact that finding Guatemala even on the map is difficult.
- Pakistan rebuffs India by saying that this does not prove that Guatemala exists. Pranab Mukherjee immediately calls for a press conference, but no one is wiser about what he says as his accent is essentially a mimicry of a owl hooting (all ‘o’s and little else).
- Condolezza Rice flies to Paraguay to diffuse the situation between India, Pakistan and Guatemala.
- Veeramani wants Tamils not to use the words Guatemala as the word ‘mala’ is from Sanskrit which language has no synonym for ‘reservations’.
- The new heroine of Rajnikanth’s new film is quoted as saying that the ‘superstar’ is a simple man. ‘Rajni sir is so unpretentious that he casually discusses spiritual matters with my grandfather, who is 10 years younger than him (Rajni),’ the young girl gushed before going off to dance in a steamy song with the superstar.
- Karunanidhi writes a poem. Nobody understands a word of it; war in Lanka escalates.
- Many banks in the US collapse but Chidambaram, the Harvard-educated economist that he is, argues that Indians need not worry as most Indians ATMs are not located in the US.
- The BJP announces Advani as its Presidential candidate. A BJP spokesperson said that since Advani is also the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate, he can complement the two jobs by bringing in the same vacuousness. The Congress described this development as a setback to secular forces.
- Veeramani does not seek any reservation. But the media still goes ahead and says that he wants reservations in dictionaries.
- Prime Minister unfurls the National Flag that is filled with explosives and releases several hardcore terrorists to mark the solemn occasion.
- Italian fugitive Ottavio Quattrocchi is the special invitee for the Independence Day parade. The CBI does not arrest him. Queried by Barkha on primetime television, the CBI sleuths reveal that they could identify him, but could not arrest him as they did not know his spelling.
- DMK president M Karunanidhi announces Dravidian Doyen M Karunanidhi award to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at the residence of Kanimozhi, daughter of M Karunanidhi. The award is presented at residence of Dayalu Ammal, wife of M Karunanidhi. The award is presented to M K Stalin’s father M Karunandhi by the grand uncle to the Marans, M Karunanidhi. Kalaignar TV, named after M Karunanidhi, telecasts the event in which several poets show their literary skills in using the literary metaphor and simile ‘M Karunandhi’ in the gap between every word, which is by coincidence M Karunanidhi. M K Azhagiri, the elder son of M Karunanidhi, is absent from the function. TN Ministers go all over the State and proclaim that the State needs more Karunanidhis.
- Anbumani Ramadoss announces that the Centre was mulling a ban on the use of the phrase ‘smoking the peace pipe’.
- Arundhathi Roy is awarded the Booker Prize. When the jury is told that she had not written any book this year, a jury, comprising some of the leading intellectuals as identified by there thick glasses and unintelligible phrases, retorted: ‘Her silence is delightful’. The Hindu and Outlook serialise her silence in several issues of their publications.
- The story, the entire screenplay and all the visuals of the movie that Kamal Haasan does not make finds its way to the internet.
- Indian hockey team goes to the World Cup. Strangely, the World Cup is on. But it turns out that the team has been selected without any goalkeeper. DD commentator Anupam Ghulati, who had been sent there without any mike (budget constraints), doubles up as the goalkeeper. India lose 375-0 to Costa Rica, which for the record, did not participate in the event.
- Tamil film personalities stage a mega protest at Lhasa seeking an end to the imbroglio in Lanka. Bharathiraja points to the fact that both Lanka and Lhasa have a ‘thoppulkodi uravu’ as their starting letter and ending letter are the same.
- Israel launches air strikes on Haiti. Condoleeza Rice goes to Auckland (New Zealand) to diffuse the crisis. India says there will be no war with Guyana. Pakistan accuses India of violating the Simla agreement which clearly had no reference to Guyana.
- Software companies seek a bailout package as Rolls Royce cars become costlier.
- TN government announces free marks to all those school students who cannot attend classes.
- BCCI announces IPL One-1 league, all the world players accept to participate in show of solidarity to money-making. Sachin Tendulakar, who got roughly 35,0000 crores of crores, said that he was playing for the sheer love of cricket. The nation goes misty-eyed listening to him.
- Terrorists take over the Prime Ministerial office and 10 Janpath. Barkha Dutt drives down between the two locations so that the terrorists are not caught in the traffic snarl.
- Veeramani wonders, at a meeting in Periyar Thidal, as to why Brahmins are allowed to live.
- No war with anyone at any point, the Prime Minister thundered, which however turned out to be the sound of the exploding Parliament House and all the government buildings in the vicinity.
- No need for Pota in this country as there will be no country, says Sonia in a meeting in Amethi while Quattrocchi memorises his own spelling.
- A R Rahman announces an international rap album made solely with the vowels of the English language.
- Veeramani is exited from a train as he has no reservation.
- The year 2008 ends with the high hope as 2009 will be one day less than it.
(This is a reprise of the column I had come up last year. It is given a run here since we are on another year end. But guys, stay warned. A similar collation is also due in a couple of days for this year too).