Why 2009 will be bigger and badder

Why 2009 will be bigger and badder
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First Published: Fri, Jan 16 2009. 09 41 PM IST

Munnabhai MP: Reality is often stranger. PTI
Munnabhai MP: Reality is often stranger. PTI
Updated: Fri, Jan 16 2009. 09 41 PM IST
By now it’s clear to me that 2009 is going to be more fast paced (if not more brutal) than 2008. Think about it. This time last year we were watching Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan battle it out with Raj Thackeray. January 2009’s biggest war of words is between India and Pakistan (which makes last year’s conflict seem like a laughable playground fight).
Munnabhai MP: Reality is often stranger. PTI
The first month of the new year isn’t even over and we’ve already logged the biggest fraud in the history of corporate India. Analysts say this is a sign of what lies beneath several balance sheets. One study of our leading listed companies has found that at least 60 of them use “creative” accounting practices.
It’s already clear that more jobs will be lost in India this year than last year. The US recently announced that it lost slightly more than half a million jobs in December, making 2008 the worst year of job cuts since 1945. In Asia, many believe, we are just getting started.
And, oh yes, don’t forget this is election year. Things always get messier in election year: more corruption, more strikes, and more I’m-laughing-because-I-want-to-cry moments.
For one, how do you even begin to choose a Prime Minister when the candidates look like they might end up being Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati and Narendra Modi? You can’t abstain from voting, or you will be equated with the likes of Simi Garewal.
If Mayawati’s troops are a horror for targeting unsuspecting engineers because they didn’t give her big enough birthday presents, her rivals are not much better. In Uttar Pradesh, her biggest competition, the Samajwadi Party (SP), has said it will field Sanjay Dutt for the prestigious Lucknow Lok Sabha seat. And if the court doesn’t allow Dutt, there’s always his lovely wife Manyata, the SP has announced. Maybe the current MP from Lucknow, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, should follow in L.K. Advani’s footsteps and blog about this latest tragicomedy.
And in the midst of political farce, the terror theme continues. Armed conflicts are already on in full force in Sri Lanka and the Gaza strip. Assam brought in the new year with three blasts; one more followed earlier this month.
Everything about 2009 already seems larger than 2008.
If Ghajini was big in 2008, Slumdog Millionaire will be even bigger in 2009. In fact, there will probably be nothing to compare with the success of Danny Boyle’s gem about a Mumbai chaiwallah who hits the jackpot on a television show. And even as Indian directors and producers squabble year after year about which of their substandard films should be sent for the Oscars, 2009 will be known as the year a British director quietly snagged more than one of those golden statuettes on our behalf.
Talking of films, 2009 will be the year the husband will drag me kicking and screaming to the theatre to watch yet another sequel of Harry Potter and an animated sci-fi adventure called Monsters vs Aliens.
Write to lounge@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Jan 16 2009. 09 41 PM IST