THE RETURN OF THE K WORD: YEAR 2010
( 2010 for India was the year of Murphy’s classic law: If anything can go wrong, it damn will, again and again )!
By Sanjay Jha
For innocuous, hirsute people like me ( and I think our lodestar Shekhar Kapur) , the beard became a big social liability in 2010. Just when the light stubble had become a fashion statement , along came CWG Suresh Kalmadi , and soon I got dirty suspicious looks from all and sundry. The worst was the day when my little black sausage of a mini-Dachshund suddenly snapped at me as if I had stolen his toilet paper.
I know in 2010 live-in is in, but is having three wives legit? It baffled me as much as why they call the damn bathroom a rest-room? A quiet snooze is the last purpose of that leaky cauldron, honestly. Anyway, a wheelchair-bound Chief Minister’s impressive conquests had many nonplussed, but there is also something called the problem of plenty . The complex family tree of the master of incoherence had India ambushed, leading to the rise of the K word, after both Balaji and Karan Jahar had impertinently abandoned it. K was back, and how? Kalmadi , of course, took it to another level of ascendancy, albeit he was in highly august company, right from January to December . The judiciary ( Chief Justice, including), police, bureaucrats, Yeddyurappa, cricket mandarins, Chavan, religious gurus, leading corporate titans, politicians, builders, brokers, bankers, media, spies, teachers, traders, publishers etc all joined him in his celebrated ark . If I have inadvertently left anyone out, rest assured, it is only because of this new resolve to limit my excesses on unsuspecting readers of my column. Please do accept my sincere apologies.
Although his name is indeed Khan, Shah Rukh Khan had a tough time convincing the hardliner Shiv Sena about the same. Clearly, as jokes circulated that Khanekar would have been an apposite substitute to inspire peace , Mumbai was held hostage till the matinee show. Of course, the source of all the commotion was that sophisticated summer festival of the improvised gilli-danda called IPL T-20. It was to soon also annihilate the ubiquitous dapper sharp-tongued Tharoor, as he was sent to the slaughter-house like the poor cattle-class. Tharoor only needed the Twitter as an interlocutor, and the former did its bit to a T. The lisping Lalit Modi also soon limped to London after creating huge respectability for crony capitalism and his popular Friends and Family scheme. Modi who absconded in First Class comfort even surfaced at sporadic intervals to give well rehearsed interviews with his usual deceptive panache. But unknown to him, he had serious competition brewing in the form of A Raja who was our new high-flying ET ( Emperor of Terrestrial ).
The mobile phone has become the real weapon of mass-destruction ( sorry George , WMD’s was never in Eye-Rack, but always in your pant-pocket). The 2 G spectrum snowballed into a treacherous swamp and almost everyone involved swam in its sticky muddiness barely keeping afloat. My usually serene house-help abruptly stopped giving me my favorite banana milk-shake ever since Mr Ratan Tata made some nasty comments about the maligned kela and its toxic side-effects.
Niira Radia proved that when women go wrong, men go right after them. She had a long queue of them, panting like men do with high LDL, awaiting next instructions. The Radia tapes divided India into three groups; the haves, have-nots and the have-yachts. Suddenly self-righteous voices emerged from dark corridors and lamented the disintegrating values and valuations of an evolving India and its revolving cash bundles. On tennis courts people stopped “lobb(y)ing” the ball high, as they would come under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs ( clearly this title needs an immediate amputation). The garbage piled up, and censored stories suddenly found a universal release ( pun highly intended). Radia’s choice of men confirmed that marriage may be a very good thing but it is a mistake to make a habit of it. Soon even alleged kidnappers turned a full 360* and demanded their share of public spotlight. I am sure Mahesh Bhatt’s film starring some serial kisser is already at the dubbing stage based on this extraordinary script.
The BJP , a party that religiously and effortlessly constipates itself, found the perfect laxative in JPC to investigate the whole telecom scam that actually began, inauspiciously enough, with a guy called Dukh Ram. They shouted in collective chorus: we want JPC only! The Congress responded with equal vigor —We will give you PAC only! Parliament was stalled for three weeks for a 2 G scam because of a three-letter word; ego!
In between Salman Khan did a movie called Dabang, and while nobody outside of Lucknow knew what that meant, it required little brains to watch the titillating heaves of Munni’s upper-torso. But a swinging and shivering belly-button called Hurricane Katrina threatened a more seductive exhibition of Sheila . Unfortunately, TMK became Turkey Maar Khan. This time the Shiv Sena had no objection.
Karan Johar took on everyone with gay abandon, his trademark original wit causing perceptible discomfiture to Priyanka Chopra , much more than the leather couch and those shrunk LBD’s. But Bollywood can be as strangely sanctimonious as the BJP when it comes to matters such as cows , catfights and condoms. Seriously, they could do with a Zandu balm.
I was planning to have a clean shave, no gray beard and that intrusive moustache; a strategic attempt to remove the Kalmadi effect and look a lot more like SRK. But then a rare well-meaning confidant uttered a cautious warning ; What if Kalmadi visits the barber as well?
This December 31st while you dance away on your nimble feet, I will be taking a long hard look at the man in the mirror! .
Have a great and happy New Year !