Sorry, Blogdosts.... I forgot all about posting this one. But, as they say... better late than never! It appeared in The Telegraph as a year-ender...
2013: Toko! Toko!
I can’t seem to get that idiotic, catchy Honey Bunny jingle out of my head! I am hoping if I repeat it often enough and get further infected by its upbeat mood, everything will be ‘Toka! Toka!’ in 2013. What the hell is ‘Toko! Toko!’ ? I don’t know. I don’t care. It sounds good. More importantly, it makes me feel good. Try saying it a few times yourself. Go on – it’s easy! After feeling foolish the first couple of times, it will roll off your tongue easily and possibly bring a silly smile to your face as well. Fingers crossed, but I am desperately hoping the next year will be equally breezy and fun. God knows how we endured 2012 without losing it completely. Especially, during the last few weeks when we were hit by one nasty jolt after another.The worst one being the brutal rape of a 23-year-old young girl in a Delhi bus. What a horrendous end to a horrible year!
My reading is that 2013 will see us obsessed by 2014. We shall sleep walk through the coming year, with all our collective energies focused on the Big Moment in 2014 when India votes. Unless, of course, we are slapped with a mid-term poll ( hardly mid-term, though!), which we can least afford. If that takes us by surprise, we should be in a better position to anticipate another dramatic, unfactored development – a third front. If the third front does become a reality , we will then have to come to terms with a fresh player. The newest prime ministerial candidate on the block. And – hold your breath - that person could well turn out to be (don’t laugh just yet) Mulayam Singh Yadav. Everything is pointing towards such a scenario. As of now, the Congress Party is playing coy and refusing to nominate Rahul Baba for the top job. With that all important nomination in a limbo, the BJP is also avoiding the ‘M-word’ ( ‘M’ for Modi). This despite Modi’s convincing and expected recent win in Gujarat. If the guessing game continues for much longer, it will be Advantage Mulayam. And if that happens, I’ll be most interested in monitoring developments in the Bachchan parivaar. Why them? Well, Jaya is very much a Mulayam Singh loyalist with a visible and vocal presence in parliament. Meanwhile, Mr. Bachchan , as the brand ambassador of Modi’s Gujarat, is obliged to stick to his script so long as he’s the State’s ambassador. Recently, the bahuraani of the household, the beauteous Aishwarya Rai, has also been heard singing praises of Gujarat. That leaves Abhishek. Will Junior B align himself to his mother’s political party and declare he’s a true blue U.P.walla? If that happens, would it be fair to say the Bachchans , between them have carved up large tracts of India in an impressive way? And that Bachchan Jr. has proved he’s a pucca Mama’s Boy? Aaradhya, being a new age baby, may float her own party down the line. But for now, a fashion line called Baby B is entirely in order. Sigh! Speculations can be so meaningless and yet so delightful.
Mamatadi, according to West Bengal watchers, has spent most of last year mopping up crores and crores of lolly so as to consolidate her supremo position within the party. Isn’t that always the official excuse of any new Chief Minister? No hard cash. No power. If her erratic policies and bizarre actions are leaving critics dumb founded, her supporters are expressing their loyalty each time she appears on a public platform protesting against something or the other. The rest of India remains flummoxed, mainly because people are unable to understand even a single word of what Didi screams herself hoarse over. Was that Bangla? Ingreji? Hindi?Swahili? What is annoying Miss Hawa Hawaii - FDI ? FBI? Something else? Your guess is as good as mine! All one can tell is that she is in a bad mood perpetually. Except when she’s dancing a jig with SRK. And so foul is that mood , one critical word against her and off to the clink goes the naughty offender! Hitler Didi has become her popular moniker.
2013 has been officially declared the Year of Narendra Modi, now that the Gujarat Chief Minister has pulled off a hat trick in his state. Ab Dilli Door Nahi. From C.M. to P.M. It has been a long and well planned journey. Modi Dabannged India in style and now there’s no stopping the man. His victory speech said it all. Modi addressed the nation in general, and L.K.Advani in particular, when he promised his adoring supporters they’d be treated to speeches delivered in Hindi from now on. As a run up to the gaddi in Delhi, Modi has mugged up his lines very well indeed. With Rahul Gandhi still waffling and playing will-he-won’t-he games, the Congress Party looks kinda like a headless chicken. If Chidambaram agrees to keep the hot seat still warmer for the Reluctant Prince, the entire dynamics of the game will change dramatically. Chidambaram as a stand- in Prime Minister is a far more acceptable alternative to some other candidate plucked out of nowhere. Madamji trusts the canny P.C. ( well…. to the extent she trusts her own shadow), plus, old boy Singh and Chids go back a long way…remember, they are veteran World Bank buddies. It could be a really cosy set up, unless of course, Madamji herself decides the time is right to take over India . Officially, that is.
Sports’ pundits are taking bets 2013 will finally see Sachin Tendulkar heading back to the pavilion for good. I’d say, hold those bets. Sachin will retire when he is good and ready to walk. Not because the world of cricket wants him to. Chances of Dhoni marching into the sunset before Sachin does, are pretty high.Sweet irony, there! Dada will have the last laugh… as always. He knows his job as an expert commentator on television is safe. Sachin can’t talk, saala!
India only has two and a half sports stars to begin with. Right now our love affair is with Mary Kom. Mary herself seems keener on fashion shows and catwalks than pulling on those gloves and punching the hell out of opponents in the ring. Ditto for the buxom Sania and the toothy Saina. Fashion’s gain is the sports’ world’s loss.But these ladies do have nice legs and boobs. So who’s complaining?
In Bollywood, the Khans will be battling it out for that all important 100- crores hit. While nobody’s looking…. Ajay Devgn, Hritik Roshan, and Akshay Kumar may crack the 200- crore barrier and laugh all the way to the bank. Katrina Kaif and Kareena Kapoor will keep those hot moves going in item number after item number. From Fevicol to Superglue these two will stay in business . As for Deepika P, who knows, she may slither past them when they aren’t looking. She’s like that. Besides, Priyanka is far too busy in the city to care about Bollywood. And Vidya may produce a little balan of her own now that the honeymoon is over.
As for us hacks and tv anchors… we’ll keep toiling away, demanding answers from the nation to questions nobody understands!
2013 is bound to rock! Happy New Year, readers!