Dec 31, 2014

Ze List v3.0

In India, this is the day DJs live for. When clubs and pubs get to charge you outrageous ticket prices for their New Year bash and that time of year when hundreds of thousands of couples will copulate in liquor-fueled stupor. 

When businesses around the world (except in North Korea, Iraq and so on..) salivate at the prospect of making a profit. 


When B-grade (and some A-listers too when the price is right) Bollywood actresses will sashay, gyrate, thrust and jiggle their voluptuous silicon-filled body at C-grade Clubs. 


It's that brief moment in the year when husbands are allowed to drink their silly minds off and wives are allowed to relive their bachelorette days again. 


Its that day of the year when gyms will coax you to make that 'lose weight, get fit' resolution by dangling attractive discounts. And who are we kidding, you'll stop going to the gym in exactly 23 days from now.

Courtesy: Disparition by Bushra Almutawakel

The New Year is here! No matter where you are and what you do, we will all make our resolutions that we will all feign ignorance in a month from now. 


We are back to that time of the year when Lists are in vogue everywhere you see.. And yes, its time for Ze List v3.0.

This year, we again start off with The Master of the Universe..

God

In the midst of storms, He is still the balm we need. You may know Him as Allah, Shiva, Jesus, The Almighty and a million other names, but if there is one thing that I know it is that, there is someone watching over us while we run amok and it aint NSA. Thank you, Abba Father. We owe it all to you.

Kneejerk

No, it isn't about kneeing a jerk, but the way Indians reacted to events around them. 

Case in point: This year it was the Uber cab rape.
Sexual abuse isn't endemic to India. There are only a few nations in the world where women are truly free and safe. Yet, the callous way we dealt with women who were ruthlessly victimized showed us in poor light. From being raped and hung from trees to being branded liars, our women didn't have it easy this year. But if you don't want to be raped, then all you need is this Rape Mantra

Last year our Supreme Court decided it was tinted car windows that caused our women to be raped and decided to ban it. In case you haven't noticed Mr Judge, women are still getting raped in cars with (and without) the sun-tints. 
A few years ago, when Pratibha Murthy was raped and killed, cab drivers were again hung up to dry. Companies that ferried their women to work and back were forced to hire security guards that escorted the women right to their doorstep. 
I don't think we have made a difference because in nearly every rape that happens, our men take advantage of the cracks within the system, yet what happens across India is baffling. Instead of strengthening and enforcing existing rules and ensuring this cannot be repeated, our politicians simply turn off the fire alarm. 

So this the problem - we have idiots, who have absolutely no intellect or the will to change things the way they are, at the helm of affairs. 

Our patience is wearing thin, we didn't mind the millions that were looted up until our women started getting raped with impunity. 
In case you haven't already read this letter, Mr Modi, here it is. Please read and act on it. Don't ban mobiles and taxi cabs. We don't want nincompoops dictating our women not to wear jeans and tee-shirts. Don't tell us not to kiss or hold hands in public. What we want is you to take a break from all those trips abroad, sit down with the best minds in the country and create a road-map that will ensure our women will walk with their heads held high and without fear (the way Rabindranath Tagore wanted) and then create a powerful judiciary and law-enforcement system that will not spare the perpetrators. Make an example out of the rapists, not out of the victims.

Indian Sports

We did remarkably well at the Glasgow CWG, swooping up enough medals to keep us in the 5th position. Considering the paradigm shift in attitudes in the last couple of years, I wouldn't be surprised if we are in the 3rd place in the next CWG.
From Saina to Deepika, Jwala Gutta to Sarita, this year was replete with Indian women coming out of the kitchens and stepping onto podiums and the limelight in style. Bravo!


Polls
India rocked the vote. En masse.
Moral of the story: Don't screw with us. We might deliver.

AAP

2012: AAP sweeps India
2013: AAP sweeps Delhi
2014: AAP swept away.

Saffron, Ahoy!
The Congress might have seen it coming. C'mon! We all saw it coming
The BJP won. And how! The Congress ran for shelter like roaches when you turn on the light. 
Gently and swiftly, Modi - From being a humble (yet ambitious) tea-seller in a railway station to being the most powerful Indian politician, he became the iPhone of the politicians. From coining interesting catch-phrases like #AccheDin, #SwaccheBharat and #MakeinIndia, the man surely knows how to say what we want to hear. 
Pedal to the metal, Mr Modi, let's walk the talk now.  


Visa On Arrival
Modi went around the world promising first world nations a visa on arrival. Well, Mr Prime Minister, what they need is not a visa on arrival, but security and peace of mind after they've arrived. #RapeCentral.

Congress (aka Sore Loser)
Didn't take it well. Well, what did they expect?! #IndiaShining

Rahul Gandhi

Hit puberty head-on. Was sent back to his Italian 'nanny'. May make guest appearances on an #AccheDin.


Robert Vadra
The richest Son-In-Law in India. The most talented investment manager in the planet - He made millions with just a couple of lakh Rupees. So if you ask me, we need to fete him and not fret him.

'Satyam' Raju
Years after B Ramalinga Raju was caught for massive accounting fraud in the erstwhile Satyam, the Supreme Court got ready to sentence him. In a country where politicians co-habit with businessmen, Raju will be the one that fell between the cracks. 

Sheila Ki Jawani
The former iron lady from Delhi went out of flavor just like that.

Delhi
#RapeCentral became Crime Capital of India.

Shashi Tharoor
Much married and now widowed, this guy has the uncanny ability to stay relevant. While he is celebrated and feted in Kerala, outside of 'God's own country', its easy to see him for what he is. He has a tendency of letting his mouth run away but make no mistake - He is one foxy politician (albeit a slightly highly educated one) with more clout than you and I can imagine. And chances are, he will find his way out of any mess in no time.

Devyani Khobragade
Who?!

Popular (non) Fiction
All the Queen's parrots sang like a canary and out tumbled the skeletons from the cupboard.

Religious Conversions
The last quarter of the year saw the lunatics at RSS organize a 'Ghar Wapsi'(Homecoming) for people who 'went' to other faiths. 
My question here is: Examine the reasons why they switch faiths in the first place?
Religious conversions aren't new in India. We've had foreign invaders convert their 'subjects' for centuries now. When social minorities relent to embrace another religion, they do it only because they were marginalized already. 
Churches and overpaid television evangelists across India and the world continue to coerce and convert the 'unfaithful' with many false promises and pipe-dreams. So while involuntary conversions are always a bad thing, politicians should remember that we already have strong legislature banning it in our Constitution. What was missing is the will-power to enforce it.
These are images that you'll never ever see in the Western media
A more pertinent question is : Have we run out of real issues to fix?

ISRO
From launching cutting-edge space satellites to being the only country in the world to put a martian satellite in orbit in its maiden effort, ISRO put us on the map in style.
Next: A manned space mission.

And oh yeah, bunch of hypocrites complained at how we could have used that money to build toilets and stuff. 
Advice: Please go watch Linga and Chennai Express and have a Happy New Year.

Baba Baba Black Sheep
Our sordid affair with seedy godmen continued. After Nithyanand and Ramdev, its Rampal who was in the news this year.

ISIS
Yop, you guessed it right. Out of the ashes of Al Qaeda, like a Phoenix rose IS. Makes the Taliban look like kinder-garden copsThe US took it upon themselves to step in.
They killed, mutilated and plundered with disregard. If you're reading this, you are far far away from the areas being sanitized by the 'coalition of the willing'.  

Boko Haram
Reduced the population at Gamboru Ngala. Kidnapped and held 276 girls hostage. People who perpetrate these kind of crimes must be stoned to death.

Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge Tribunal found Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan guilty of crimes against humanity and are sentenced to life imprisonment. While justice delayed is justice denied, I hope this sets a precedent to future cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity


Israel
Went overboard. 
Ukraine/Iraq/Assam/Syria/Afghanistan/Egypt/Pakistan/Sydney
Disillusioned citizens took up arms and the law into their hands. Violence spilled over from the last year and we lost thousands of innocent people to overzealous religious goons.
Why does the world erupt in anger when bunch of bastards attack and kill 100s of school children in Peshawar but remain silent when the same happens in AssamFirst come, first served?

Where was Malala when this happened?
Will her Nobel Prize inspire parents to send their children to schools again?


Malala
Continued to be the flavor of the year after getting one half of the Nobel Peace Prize. Enroute to being the rich author and future Benazir Bhutto. Epic waste!

Aitzaz Hasan
Didn't write bestsellers. Didn't get the Nobel prize. Didn't get shot in the head. Died a hero.

eCommerce

Billion dollar companies began fighting for the billion dollar pie - India.

Low Cost Airlines 

So talking about low cost airlines, Kingfisher Airlines breathed its last. Malya will live to regret his arrogance. SpiceJet ran out of spices. Temporarily.
Air Asia flew in and muddied the pond a little more. It was a year of tickets that were cheaper than a Happy Meal at McDonald's.

Rajnikanth/SRK/Deepika

Ouch! That hurt!
Three 'Superstars'. Three words: Terrible Terrible Movies. 
Like love-struck teenagers, we still watched their atrocious movies and then complained about it. 
Advice: Please retire/act in equally crappy television serials.
True everywhere else too..

Sarita Devi
Unlikely entry into Ze List. If she was an American boxer, she would have been the highest-paid celebrity by now and South Korea would have been nuked. 
She isn't, so the Koreans will live to die another day.

Ebola
Not another fancy schmazy phone from Apple. Just another reminder that we shouldn't mess with Nature.

Supreme Court
Woke up and in a flurry of the pen banned/changed a couple of things this past year. Meh!

Jayalalithaaaa
20 years later, the court found her guilty of amassing wealth beyond her known means. Duh! 
She was fined Rs100 crores. She would've paid her gang of lawyers more than that to fight her case already. Ram Jethmalani ko jai!

Mamata Di
I hope she's saving up for a rainy day, because with the way she has been running the government in West Bengal, this will be the last time she'll be in power. 

Subroto 
So the Sahara Chief is still stuck in jail like that stubborn piece of grime that refuses to go down the bathroom drain. Out of favor, out of flavor.

Spain Ola!
King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, who was crowned King Felipe VI.

Vatican

The Pope was busy canonizing and beatifying cardinals and past Popes this year. 

MV Sewol 
The South Korean ferry capsized and sunk killing 304 people (mostly school children).

Airplane!

Wasn't a good year for airlines. The MH370 went missing shortly after take-off, and hasn't been found yet. 
Another Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down in Ukraine killing all onboard. 
Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in Mali, again, killing all 116 people on board.
An Air Asia flight from Indonesia crashed midway to Singapore. Preliminary investigations revealed the pilots didn't follow standard weather checks pre-flight. 

Irom Sharmila
Was released, and promptly re-arrested. Touche`

Oscar Pistoris



...Got the finger! What a waste of good talent.

Ice Bucket
What a novel way to see people wet themselves! My personal favorite was the way Poonam Pandhey did it.


Hackers Galore!
We all got to see free smut and dirt cheap Hollywood movies. How good are we!

Selfies

We took more selfies of ourselves than all the pictures ever taken since the beginning of time, made it to the dictionary and even made a song and dance about it... #SelfObsessed #Selfie

FIFA

The world's favorite ball-game played out in grandeur. 
Germany waltzed out with the cup.

Shiv Sena

From being in power for decades to being routed out of oblivion, life has come full circle.

Times of India

Its not always that a 'leading' newspaper gets an entry into the Ze List, but TOI did it in style this year. From newspapers that weigh half a kilo because of the pages of adverts in them to glorifying cleavage just because a bored photojournalist wanted his daily scoop, TOI did it all this year.

Michael Schumacher
After being in a medically-induced coma for several months, he finally appears to be back. Let's hope the racing legend makes a complete recovery soon.

Snowden

Continues to be the speck in Uncle Sam's eye.

Cuba
US-Cuban relationships thawed! The best thing to happen this year.

Russia
Was ranked 2nd in The Economist's 2014 Crony-Capitalism index. With the way the Russian economy has been crumbling, this could be the sinkhole that will take the world down

Polio-free India
A symbol of what we can achieve when we make our minds up. 

Ambassador Out!

The iconic Indian car (and the best taxi in the world) rolled into the sunset. 

IPL
A year after an organized betting ring was busted, India Cements CEO and CSK owner Srinivasan continued to wield a strangle-hold over BCCI and ICC. 

Elton John
The flamboyant British singer married his long-term partner David Furnish. 
Three Cheers to the couple!

KimK
So The Kardashian is back in news this year and how! 
Beginning with a 'leaked' sex-tape, a reality show, a 'made-for-tv' marriage, an inter-racial marriage and now this, Kim is proof that you don't need too many skills to stay relevant. 

Miley Cyrus
From a Disney princess to a Free spirited young lady, she matured real fast. In full glorious view. This year was less about the music too.

It's Black, It's White..
While Uncle Sam is out policing the world, trouble brewed at home. With the killing of an unarmed black teenager and the subsequent acquittal of the white police-officer by the courts, the nation exploded. 
Decades of festering racism rose to the top and suddenly we felt proud of our unity. 

Global Warming
With the IPCC  (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warning that we are headed to "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage from global emissions of CO2, maybe it's time for us to sit up and take notice.

Rosetta

The Rosetta spacecraft's Philae probe successfully lands on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

People We'll Miss
Sir Richard Attenborough
Khushwant Singh
Robin Williams
Nadine Gordimer 
Zohra Sehgal
Mae Young
Shirley Temple
Joan Rivers
Magda Olivero
Marinho Chagas
Ruby Dee
Ariel Sharon
Sid Caesar
B. K. S. Iyengar
Archie
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