Tamasha that the movers and shakers of this country did, while we the people, the mass, the ordinary you and me staggered dumb-found like country bumpkins gaping at a software technology park!
Are Arun Jaitley and Kapil Sibal best friends? Why else would Jaitley, with his levels of intelligence, not rip apart Sibal’s take on 2G, Jan Lokpal? This Bermuda Triangle mystery of 2011 is not the all-consuming decay in congress but the cluelessness of opposition, needing Anna Hazare, Ram Dev, media and common man to remind and crusade about corruption, black money, price raise and governance.
The Indian army, with all its might, was glaring at Pakistanis across the border, and they at us, the Prime Minister was dreaming of peace with neighbours and good brotherly act and the media was screaming of china eating into our borders; while the brave army was fighting the enemy. It also had to ward off Adarsh scam, Canteen scam, clubhouse scam and Sukna land scam.
“Which soap do Chidambaram’s cleaners use to wash his dhotis and shirts, immaculately clean and pristine white?” the common man or specifically common woman wondered. What baffled that man & woman of everyday India was how Chidambaram could have managed to keep 2G not spilling onto his dhoti. Some moves he must have made to break out the mythical chakravyuha the telecom scam had built around him and his party. Still, with short-lived memory, the ordinary men and women, I’m sure, have gone back to wondering, marvelling and admiring the whiteness of his dhoti, his intellect and accent; our fascination for anything foreign is legendary!
2011 saw Opposition doing an effective job of sleeping in the Parliament and news channels being caught up in the all-important promotions of utter crappy movies like Ra One and life thereafter. Lallu as always, talked his way through Parliament many times when the government needed a bailout, although what he spoke was effectively nonsense. Some even more idiotic members of parliament were laughing, blowing up the country bumpkins hard-earned cash and the whole country guarded the secret of what was ailing Sonia. While all this was happening, the ruling party met with a formidable weapon their leaders had popularized almost a century ago – satyagraha.
The man does not look imposing, is not handsome, does not talk poetic words, yet he made the government dizzy. You might agree or disagree with his ideologies but just cannot ignore him. Anna Hazare made the Manish Tiwaris and Abhishek Sigvis of the dysfunctional government blink; and as an offshoot, thanks to the Jan Lokpal bill, participating in political rallies has become fashionable.
While inflation was soaring high like a kite cut off from its thread, clueless and directionless, Nano (yellow, with red butterflies printed on it) seemed an interesting & affordable option for me to buy and drive. But by the time I had gathered enough information, the petrol price had gone up 4 times this year alone. Turned to my boss to see if he was going to give me increments every quarter to cover this. Realising this was not happening, shut shop on my car dream and went back to my mails.
Nothing can add spice to life more than the world of celluloid; dreams, illusions, passion, stories, make-believe, underworld and the underbelly. 2011 made me sit and watch Azhagarsamiyin Kudirai, Vaagaisudavaa, but some tragedies and mega tragedies did happen; the mega tragedy of Tamil cinema this year (yes, even beyond Osthi) was that a director who had made movies like Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu and Azhagarsaamiyin Kudirai, had to go and direct a movie like Rajapaattai. Well, if Bala can direct senseless Avan Ivan, and Maniratinam, Ravanan, what else can one expect? The low moment of 2011 was watching Surya – yes the same Surya who portrayed with aplomb, grace and conviction the role of a hunch-backed, buck-toothed protagonist Chinna alias Premkumar in Perazhagan – do 7aam Arivu. Where did the first 6 go?
With Manipur’s arteries being chocked by blockades, Steve Jobs being mourned, farmer suicides swept up and hidden under carpets, Kanimozhi out of jail and Kalmadi ready to follow suit, the biggest losers of 2011 were governance, decision making and leadership, not just at the centre of political power, but at corporate houses and civil services too.
The winner hands down was You and I, citizens of India, who form the cogs of the giant machine called India, and despite all odds, manage to smile, work and survive.
May 2012 turn out to be the end as the Mayans predicted – the end of corruption, poverty and illiteracy! Happy New Year!