Days of our Lives!

January 31, 2007

2006 – what was, and wasn’t!

Filed under: My Cup of Socie-Tea,Top Draws — Santhosh @ 10:51 PM

A

  • AB Baby – Can anyone out there give me a flick this year that did not have him? Sexy at sixty, Amitabh Bachchan continues to draw the crowds.
  • Agassi– The man from Vegas walked off into the sunset at the US Open after 60 titles and 8 Grand Slams. It wasn’t the finish that Sampras gave us, but the man himself summed it all – “The scoreboard says I lost today, but what the scoreboard doesn’t say is what I have found”.
  • Alonso – A year at last, when there was a F1 championship in the proper sense of the word. Someone to challenge the master matador in flaming red. Alongside the grumbling and the poor sportsmanship, Alonso also showed us he can drive.
  • Abhishek-Ash – Will they? Wont they? Varanasi? Blore astrologers? Family dinners? Why? How? Where? When? Bloody! To hell with them!
  • Aussies – They sledge opponents, bully umpires, push aging politicos off podiums – anything to win! However, it remains to be seen how they handle the retirements of four of their biggies, especially McGrath and Warnie.
  • Ashes – Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust! As with all plays given the biggest of build-ups, this was also a mega let-down, starting off with thaaaat wide. But of course the Awesome Aussies were pretty Awesome too!
  • Awesome – Heard of cliches? This is right up there. THE adjective for Gen-Y (We were Gen-X by the way).

B

  • Blogs – The voice of a generation, blogs are about to change World Media very fundamentally. For a voyeuristic junta like ours, the sense of anonymity that blogs provide for publishing personal rants and transient opinions has been the major reason for the explosion. And just dare take this away! The public outcry that followed the government’s decision to ban a few blog servers was almost along the lines of the 1857 mutiny.
  • Brangelina – I’m gonna retch if I read/think one more line with this word.
  • Bush – 22,000 more troops to be sent to Iraq! If this is not going to confirm his negative IQ, what will?

C

  • Cannavaro – FIFA Footballer of the Year, the image of him holding aloft the World Cup will stay in memory much longer than his innumerous tackles.
  • Chikugunya – You want a seat in a crowded bus? Hold your knee and utter the magic word “Chikugunya” and watch the bus empty before you can say “ticket”. Chikugunya and Bird Flu were the biggest discussed topics in hospitals, office leave forms and job interviews. Remember SARS? This is the sequel.
  • China – A whopping 10.7% growth in economy over the year!

D

  • Dope n drugs – Terms like Nandrolone and Epitestosterone kept floating up. Floyd Landis, Justin Gatlin, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohd Asif. These were the biggies apart from the usual number expected in multinational meets such as the Asian Games (though India seems to be climbing up this list these days). Already in controversy over drugs which resulted in bans on all the top guns including Ullrich, the final nail was when the winner of the Tour De France was reported to have failed a drug test (he’s the first ever Tour Champion to have tested positive). A rivalry that was building up gradually into an ultimate showdown was cut short when Gatlin tested positive. Let’s see if Asafa Powell can make good on this (personally it’ll be tougher without better competition to further improve on the world record). What a pairing. One fast and furious, the other probing and economic. Akhtar and Asif could have had the world’s best hopping. However, their ban and the subsequent release have more questions than answers over the PCB’s actions.

E

  • Eragon – LOTR + Potter! Eragon is the first in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Trilogy. The sequel is Eldest. The fantasy story is about a 15 yr old boy Eragon and his dragon Saphira. It’s also about Dragon Riders, polished blue stones, Dark Lords, elves, strange creatures, castles, spells, magic. Though published in 2005, it’s caught the world by storm this year. The third and last book, Empire, is expected in 2007.
  • English – The sun never sets in the English Empire. How true. Everybody from Brazil to Russia to China to Africa is learning the language now (even if Africans learn it for the white-skinned paleface who comes to adopt one among them). All this, and Karnataka closes 1500 schools coz they impart education in English, which flouts a law passed in 1994 to make Kannada-medium education compulsory upto 5th std.

F

  • Federer – King Federer rules – grass, hardcourt, turf. Except clay. However, I dont agree with the claims that he’s the best ever. For one thing, like Ponting and Youhana scoring off pathetic bowlers on batting paradises, Federer’s opposition is not too great. Where Pete Sampras won against opponents who were multiple slam winners themselves, Federer’s reign is a one horse race. If you discount Nadal that is. An indication of how things stand is that ‘Pistol’ Pete whipped Andy Roddick 5-3, 5-3 in September. And Roddick’s one among the top two or three guys allegedly with the game to beat Federer.
  • F word – I f**kin hate the f**kin f**k word. Not so long back this was supposed to be one of those words that credited an A rating from our censor board. It’s now the most common adjective-noun in the English language and which can be followed by any punctuation mark.

G

  • Google – Alexander, Caesar, Genghis Khan, Victorian Britain, them Americans. Where they failed, Google is winning. Hands down. Genetic engineering to digitising everything printed to ‘acquiring’ companies, world dominance is occurring right before us. And we’re loving ’em. Me just waitin for them to jump into apparel for me to change to a new pair of undies.
  • Ganguly – There are comebacks. And then there are comebacks. Dada roared back into the team, and into our hearts. Welcome back the Lord. We’ve missed you.
  • Gandhigiri – Lage Raho, bhaai! The guy who made the majority of people vote for Gandhigiri as the symbol of India is now facing criminal charges in court.

H

  • Hingis – The other comeback of the year. The Swiss Miss is back after a ‘retirement’ of 3 years with her brand of touch tennis and “When you’ve been the best at something, it’s a very addictive feeling… I could leave tennis, but tennis wouldn’t leave me”.
  • Hutchison – The mother of all bouts. Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman vs Sonny Liston. Reliance came out early to send off the small fry. Vodafone’s entered the fray. And the Ruias of Essar are still in.
  • Homicidal psychopath – You may have heard of these guys in Hitchcock movies, murder thrillers and suspense novels. But he’s here with us. Not since the days of Theodore Bundy has a spate of killings engrossed an entire country as the Noida episode did. And there was also the 21st century Jack the Ripper in London with 5 hits, 11 false arrests and counting.
  • Hair – No, not about my ever increasing frequency of bad hair days. The Oval fiasco which resulted in the first Test match ever to be abandoned in the 125 year history of cricket was totally due to this one guy’s high handedness. Something which wasn’t caught on any of Sky’s 29 cameras caught his eye, but it was his obsession with rules and his attitude to the Pakistan team that resulted in them not taking the field immediately after tea. All this was followed by allegations of racial abuse and Hair’s ‘personal’ mail to the ICC chairman asking for a settlement which was given in the form of his eviction from the panel. The ball-tampering charges were dropped but Inzi was given a 4 match ban for “taking the game into disrepute”. In essence this means everyone was totally innocent but the captain was punished for having protested his innocence.

I

  • India – The fastest growing economy in the world even if a New Yorker will feel at home in our metros.
  • Iraq – Check the Intl-News pages, if not the front page, of any two-bit newspaper.
  • ISI – No, not that poor organisation about which we learnt of in the adulteration lessons in our zoology classes. This is the new guy on the other side of the Pak border, who’s taking the blame for even the Diwali crackers that go off.
  • Internet – BOOM! If ever there was one.

J

  • Jeev Milkha Singh – Recognition at last after being ignored all these years when he did not win. I’ve been following this guy who’s been following the Tiger and Els pretty closely for quite some time now. Persistence and self-belief symbolise this guy, and when the moments came, he made sure he was ready. The silverware is pretty – Volvo China Cup, Casio World Cup, Golf Nippon Series JT Cup. But the best prize is within his heart. He never lost faith.
  • James Bond – The secret agent doesn’t look like the guy we’ve known. Rather than using his Walther PPK, he’s using his fists. The ever-neat suits have been replaced by Hawaiian shirts in which he rolls in muck. The sci-fi accessories in this movie are actually already available in showrooms. The first blonde doesn’t Bond!
  • Justice – Sanjay Dutt, Jessica Lal, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Salman Khan…. Hope! But even as we speak Dutt is back to filming movies, Sidhu’s been nominated by BJP, Salman’s back to dancing in London. Reality Shows???
  • Judas – The bad guy is not the bad guy after all. Hidden for 1,700 years, the now discovered Gospel of Judas says Jesus himself asked Judas to betray Him.

K

  • Kisses – from mallika to emraan to ash to mika to rakhi to bans in blore to grants in delhi.

L

  • Lee-Hesh – The Indian Express won gold yet again in the Asian Games. But this could well be the last time we ever see them together on a court. The friction between the two boiled over when Paes questioned in public of Mahesh’s integrity and support to the team’s cause. This, along with the fact that Paes was chosen to partner Sania in mixed doubles, forced Mahesh to announce that he’s not available henceforth to represent India. After the pair won the gold, Mahesh came out that he’s the better player as the records show too, and was weary of Paes’ constant bullying. A sad end to the great Indian dream that took off. Paes who thumps his chest and needs the crowd behind him, and Mahesh who’s the educated, analytical introvert made for one hell of a combo with their killer attitudes and on-court chest thumps. Paes’s movement and net skills fully complemented Mahesh’s serves and groundstrokes, a combo that either of them is yet to see again with any other partner, and which we may never again see.
  • London – Once again for all the wrong reasons. Support on the war in Iraq, bomb blasts, the ripper, bans on veils, burkhas and on muslims totally in some places, they sure have been sending out smoke signals on which side of the globe is the civilised lot.

M

  • Mobiles – They have Cameras integrated into them. Along with MP3 players. And provision for specialised software. And they can act as digital assistants. Your ring tone can now be customised to whatever you want. Bluetooth, IR, Push2Talk, and GPRS are standard features. They weigh less than a feather and are smaller than an ant’s shit. And apart from costing more than your month’s salary, you can also make calls from them once you go through the user manual.

N

  • Nadal – He’s 20 yrs old! Yeah, believe it. The guy with the largest muscles in current tennis. The guy with the record number of titles (16, tied with Bjorn Borg) won as a teenager. The guy with the longest winning streak in the Open era. The only guy with a higher number of wins than losses against Federer. The winner of 2 Slams already. The King of Clay. And he’s 20!!! Chennai Open 2007 will be mighty pleased.
  • Nukes – Deal! India-USA. And after the deal, India worries about the rights that US will have regarding Indian R&D.
  • Noida – More particularly : D-5, Sector 31, Noida. Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli. Drainages and flesh dissolving acids and sex and booze and girls and children and visiting politicians & bureaucrats and agony and anguish and hope.

O

  • Orkut – Need I say anything here?
  • Old is Gold – Everybody from AB to the ashes winning dad’s army seemed intent on proving that experience counts. Big time.

P

  • Processes – If you haven’t heard of De Bono, you haven’t been following Indian cricket this year.
  • Pope benedict XVI – While the pope wasn’t reading out from medieval scriptures about islamic violence and flying around dousing flames about gays, he also did manage to remind us all that the papacy was still about the church and the Vatican.
  • Pluto – Poor guy has been demoted to the position of “dwarf planet” and the official name is now “134340 Pluto”. Strange are the ways of scientists who spend one century trying to discover something and the next one on disproving it.
  • PDA – Public Displays of Affection. From holding hands to locking lips, the junta sure seem cozy out there.

Q

  • Quota – If Bush uses “War on Terror” for votes, our guys here have a distinctly desi version which encompasses all the “Unity in Diversity” that is India. Everybody knows the move is for the votes. Everybody also knows that this is for the detriment of the country. And still, inspite of all the protests and marches, they win. In the sense that we prove their conviction right that public interest eventually dies down. And anyone who says Arjun Singh is an A*****e, which is true by the way, is going to get himself connected with the ISI and termed a terrorist.

R

  • Renault – Know what, Ferrari doesn’t win! The news is not about Renault winning. But Renault hasn’t won. But once the dampeners at the rear wheels were removed, it was Ferrari all the way for the last 5 races. Waitin for the F-2007.
  • Reality TV – Something that’s come up quite big this year. I mean something that’s come up on the back of great marketing and wonderful packaging about people with rude behaviour, haughty statements, and obnoxious attitudes. Nothing like watching someone being ripped down one side and chewed up the other, huh? But looks like it’s here to stay for sometime.
  • RDB – THE film of the year for me. Even if the end was so terribly, so Bollywoodishly scripted.

S

  • Schumi – “Our weekends will never be the same”, as a mate of mine so succinctly wrote in his blog. Farewell Schumi! And thanks! For the innumerable sundays of mastery you showed us as we thronged Abi’s cafe. And for the one last act of drama over the last 5 races. Brazil’06 still belongs to you.
  • Sreesanth – How do you reply to an in-your-face fast bowler. Slog him for six the next ball. And follow up with a wild dance and gyrate your hips like crazy while swinging your bat all around the poor guy. Welcome to the world of breakdances and seam positions. Attitude is the word we’re talkin here. Conservative, well educated, cultured. And aggressive, angry, hardworking. His wrist position and seam position are making a lot of old timers drool at his natural ability. Shake a leg dood!
  • Sania and Saina – Sania’s got company. Saina Nehwal’s clipping the Hyderabad lass’s heels. She’s young. She’s beautiful. And she’s got attitude. For those who dont know, Saina plays badminton.
  • Saddam – Hanged! Or is it Hung? Someone who should have got a much better execution than the one he was subjected to. He should have at least been granted the death by firing squad that he requested. And the MMS mobile video clip of his execution that’s coming out – does America really expect everybody to believe the video was taken without anybody’s permission? A national leader subjected to manhandling in the cell, and made to go through a farce in the courts, His end is just going to increase the violence in Iraq
  • Steve Irwin – The famous crocodile hunter got a bite too many when the sting ray got him.

T

  • Terrorism – It’s the new buzz word. Beg, bribe, grovel, threaten, do what you want to – but get to power. And you have it made. You dont like somebody, make him a terrorist. Somebody asks too many questions, make them terrorists. You want oil resources, declare a common War on Terror! Unable to catch a robber, bring in the word terrorist and then bullshit about terrorism and threat to humanity. Personally I’m just thankful my college years dint coincide with this phenomenon.
  • Tomkat – The same as Brangelina. Only worse.

U

  • Uncle Sam – The land of freedom, dreams and opportunity is fast becoming just that only for the guy who calls himself it’s president. From peeing on Iraq roads to rejecting any and all visas from Asia, Uncle Sam is looking pretty ugly these days.

V

  • Vista – The mother of all patch releases from MS. They still maintain it’s a whole new release though. Touted to be the last gasp from the giant, Vista could well end up shooting up the sales of AMD, Seagate, Compaq, Intel, and Lenovo with the required ‘minimum’ configuration.
  • Virgin comics – Well yes! Branson IS keeping to his business word and is publishing Indian Mythology and the Ramayana as comic books. There’s a small catch though – they dont seem to be on sale anywhere in India. However we can download the e-version from here.

W

  • Woods – He held his nerve, checked his emotions, never blinked once, and won the British Open. Then came the tears! As Woods wept on his caddie’s shoulders for his deceased father cum coach, he showed a glimpse of the person behind that iron curtain and satin glove.
  • Warnie – Finally, finally, after a 1000 international wickets and more controversies, one of the greatest roller coaster rides in modern sport is ‘climaxing’. We love you Warnie. For the blonde hair, the single earring, the confident gait, the extra spins from marriage, the rockstar attitude, the flipper, the slogs down the order, the match-turning balls, the engrossing duels, the memorable sledges…everything.
  • WC – Just as I predicted, the most hyped team dint win. No guys! That never ever happens. And the most hyped player dint even score. Italy deserved. Portugal surprised. France were butted. Germany showed. Argentina were unlucky. Brazil never started.
  • Web 2.0 – This has just enabled You! to become the TIME personality of the year. And is also behind the web revolution, enabling everybody to become active contributors rather than being the passive person who searched for material for school assignments.

X

  • Xtra – Yeh Dil Maange More! From paypackets to waistlines, India sure is on an Xtra helping roll!

Y

  • Youtube – This says quite a bit about two different people:
  • The guy who’s willing to film and upload his neighbour’s third cousin’s classmate’s dog’s kennel!
  • And the guy who’s logging on to Youtube and watch this video.
  • Youhana – When it rains, it pours! Especially when sublime form is coupled with shockingly benign pitches which make the likes of Akhtar look like trundlers.
  • You – The TIME magazine’s personality of the year.
  • Z

    • Zizou – Now, here we have a story! A national hero comes out of retirement to save the national team. And almost singlehandedly takes them to the finals. Only for the final twist to make him a martyr. The infamous head butt is one of the most viewed videos on Youtube this year. And Materazzi’s book of 1001 things he might have told Zidane is selling like footballs autographed by Zidane’s sister.

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