I must begin by congratulating all the fabulous Indians who shone at the Olympics. I have to throw in warm hugs for our two favourite women –Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal! Okay, so we didn’t do as wonderfully well as we had hoped we would, but on the brighter side, our sportspersons didn’t have to pay exorbitant excess baggage fees on their way back home. Also, we needn’t despair because India has so many people who are world-class at other more important things than sweaty sports. Take a look at just a few:
Angst in My Pants
A few days before the Higgs boson aka God Particle experiment at CERN threw up exciting results and made the world cheer, I posted the following comment on Twitter: ‘Tsk, why are scientists looking for the God Particle in Switzerland? It’s here in India — ask any Indian mum who has a son.’
Before UPA II formally announced Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as their presidential candidate, I was very worried. There was talk about producing not a cute rabbit but a dark horse out of a hat, and we know what happened the last time around: Pratibha Patil, for heaven’s sake! The only inspiration I’ve drawn from her is an idea for a book which I shall call Around the World on Taxpayers’ Money.
At the cinema today, I saw the trailer of a movie that made tears well up in my eyes. It wasn’t the footage of the movie that made me feel upset and weepy; it was merely the provocative title, which was Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. All of a sudden, I felt terribly envious of all the lovely freedoms that are available in the western world.
I’m beginning to feel really and truly sorry for India’s politicians. Thanks to social media, Indian citizens have been emboldened to say such deplorable things about them in public. The shrill ‘India against Corruption’ team took the anti-neta tirade several notches higher last year, despite the fact that many of the team leaders do not have spotlessly clean records themselves — heck, I’m absolutely certain that some of Team Anna’s holier-than-thou tribe will not go to heaven and play the harp for God when they die.
I always fall about laughing when dead serious talk of a 'Third Front' emerges. This time I did my hyena imitation to perfection as well, despite the dismal failure of our two national parties in the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab elections. The grim future outlined by our perennially hysterical TV anchors did not stop my smirks. And, unlike Congress, I didn't even flinch when UPA allies were invited to the swearing-in of the two chief ministers.
We're all agreed that scams have been hitting UPA-II where it hurts since last year. But Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee hit the ruling alliance even harder.
Going by recent events, 2012 is going to be one heck of a crazy year. I have not consulted a Chinese astrological calendar, but I feel in my gut that for India, this is the Year of the Joker. The Election Commission (EC) kicked it off by arbitrarily deciding that if 2011 was the year of exposures, 2012 would be the year of modest cover-ups. They ordered that all statues of Chief Minister Mayawati and her party symbols (life-sized elephants) be concealed before the UP elections.
I'm not particularly fond of Arvind Kejriwal, but I have to give the devil his due. For starters, he's got everyone in the nation (corrupt people included) talking passionately about how corruption must be eradicated. I think that's absolutely fantastic, even though I do not approve of Kejriwal's flawed Jan Lokpal Bill or his shockingly dictatorial and undemocratic methods.
Kejriwal has other sterling qualities as well that have gone largely unnoticed, so I'd like to draw your attention to them:
Aha! The BJP has finally decided what cutting-edge strategy they are going to use to win the next general elections: cosmetic surgery and PR services. Taking a cue from TMC party leader Mamata Banerjee, who literally ran for the West Bengal elections on a treadmill to ensure that no unseemly triple chin marred her victory photographs, BJP party president Nitin Gadkari recently signed up for bariatric surgery.