The Year That Was

The Year That Was

Imagine being told a year ago, that in an year from then, Rs. 1000 notes would be illegal and that Donald Trump would be the president elect of the United States of America. You would have probably laughed it off. I know I would have. It’s been a unique year, with regard to the sheer surprises that it’s thrown at us, and the sheer universality of the impact that it’s had.

The duress due to my self imposed academic burdens and my occupation/infatuation with Skyrim, have ensured that I haven’t had the time to make amends after my ill-fated attempt at a Diwali song. Now, free from the former and unable to turn to the latter (for fear of derision, if I may), I do. Some awards to summarize/ review/ trivialize the year that we’ve just endured, before the usual musing-esque parts follow. The latter, you might well have realized by now, is a way of life with me.

  • Donald Trump is the TIME person of the year. There was a time, when TIME surprised everyone with their Machine of the Year cover and now they’ve come up with this. It’s almost like Fardeen Khan being given twin Filmfares for the best actor and the best debutant. (He did win the best debutant, by the way. For Prem Aggan, at that.)
  • Assist of the year- Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange. Trump could at least have been “presidential” and given them the credit for his victory, but I guess he just had to be Varun Dhawan to their Sidharth Malhotra in this real life rendition of Student of the Year. In other news, apparently Alec Baldwin, who plays the ‘vile version’ of Trump on Saturday Night Live is paid $1400 for each appearance. That’s a lot of money, even by Chegg standards.
  • Hiker of the year– Hillary Clinton.  Like the movie, Alia (Hillary) was content cheering from the sidelines. Or in Hillary’s case, woods.
  • Match of the year- Federer vs Cilic, Wimbledon 2016, for alleviating the pain of another five setter 8 years ago. Not that I watched many else.
  • Quote of the year– “Celebrities get away with nothing.” – Salman Bhai being candid on Koffee with Karan. Also, is it just me or is the show actually spending a disturbing amount of time focusing on Karan Johar’s footwear?
  • Transformation of the year– Hazel Keech aka Gurbasant Kaur. Kudos for the perseverance with colours, though!
  • Rendezvous of the year- Coldplay in India. In Mumbai. Unlike me. *Tears stream down my face*
  • Breakup of the year– Arnab Goswami and Times Now. The noise levels are not going down, unlike their standard of reporting.
  • Tweet of the year- Kevin  Pietersen’s troll account had a simple take on the reason why England floundered in the recent test series versus India. kp
  • Substitute of the year- Westworld. Oh, HBO, what a way to make up for the horrendous season two of True Detective. A befitting Kohli to the Tendulkar which is GoT for the channel. Couldn’t resist bringing up Kohli, given the stupendous year that he’s had. Anyway, HBO have a winner on their hands and they know it. Even with the relatively more frequent pandering to fan theories than GoT, Jonathan Nolan’s story (and occasional direction) and Ramin Djawadi’s opening score are good enough reasons to give it a watch. Do so, for the realization that Facebook’s review of the year video resembled Arnold’s maze, if nothing else.
  • Epiphany of the year– Sona Mohapatra’s open letter to the Mood Indigo team. If only she were as open, when it came to countering arguments on the same. I’m not saying that Mood I, or for that matter any student organized festival is free from flaws (A case in point being the even more recent rock show controversy), but to wholly put the blame of what she herself recognized as a bias that’s been there for a while across all sectors, on college students and cloak it as outright sexism, was underhanded, in my opinion. Added to that, her repeated use of ‘analysis’, her abject disregard for what she deems outliers (Asha Bhosle being one of them) and her continued attempts to belittle other artists and those who opposed her, makes her case a tad less credible than it ought to be. Saddening that a year which has seen women’s rights and equality being championed and advocated so well through movies had to be ended on such a sour note by a member of the same industry.

It’s been a strange year, on a personal level. Pilani’s island of civilization has ensured that I have been less affected by the demonetization crisis than the rest of the country, courtesy our all encompassing mess bills. The lack of a theatre in ‘town’ hasn’t really given me the chance to see whether the Supreme Court’s mandate on the national anthem has been effectively adhered to or not. (It was, in Pune. So there’s hope.) Then, there’s the continually curious case of our finals’ paper distributions being dealt with in a daze and virtually ending with our examinations. As if writing the examinations wasn’t painstaking enough.

The last few days of every semester are the toughest to go through. There’s a part of you which is yearning to just be done with it, and rush home, while the other part wants to hold on to the remnants, the fragments of peace which occur not too frequently in college life. Over the course of the last twelve months, I’ve happened to come across a horse christened Emraan Hashmi. I’ve managed to read a book from cover to cover and not grasped what it was about. I’ve been humiliated, betrayed, dejected as many times, if not more than I’ve been reinvigorated and elated. I’ve been made to face the fact that it is not failing I fear, but rebukes.  I’ve rediscovered my love for books and movies. I’ve lost touch with friends whom I held dearest. I’ve been pushed higher in the hierarchy of academic life, at the same time bidding adieu to those who held the place before me. Nothing like a goodbye to make you realize the onset of an ending.

Here’s to the new year and the joys, tribulations and hopefully additions to this blog, that it shall entail. As for my resolution, as Ishiguro puts it –I should cease looking back so , much, that I should adopt a more positive outlook and try to make the best of what remains of my day. After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished?” (Stevens, Remains of the day).

Have a good one!




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