Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 09:44:30 AM EST
Yesterday I read good article about what bothered Indians in 2007 and decided to share it with you offering mini-dictionary (imperfect but still) to explain proliferated cryptic words incomprehensible for many foreigners.
Happy new year!
Indian Express: Words and Whispers 2007
And so another year ends in the acrid smoke of a post-blast Liaquat Bagh
election rally evening. Benazir Bhutto, Daughter of the East, was marked by destiny's suicide bomber. Her assassination symbolised a year when prospects of democracy in Pakistan came under repeated assault, whether it was the dismissal and house arrest of a chief justice or the imposition of an emergency. General Pervez Musharraf became plain President Musharraf, but that did not really change anything in Pakistan.
Somehow, try as we might, we couldn't insulate ourselves from the various sources of instability the world over. The post-assassination violence that destablised Pakistan, made us feel just that bit more uncomfortable in our skins, and who would have imagined that bad housing loans in the US could add the term sub-prime crisis to our daily vocabulary? It was that kind of year, when the world got even smaller and characters like Hill and Huck dominated our news space, even as Bush's poodle scampered out of 10, Downing Street, to be replaced by Gordon. Meanwhile, Vlad got to be acknowledged in some quarters as the Man of the Year.
It was a year of the predator and the macabre. D-5, Sector 31, in a nondescript Noida neighbourhood, turned out to be a House of Horrors, with the bones of little children surfacing in a drain. It stained 2007 with the word Nithari, which came to signify the most debased form of human behaviour. At Virginia Tech, a student used his Glock 9MM semi-automatic to deadly effect by shooting down indiscriminately his fellow students one fine morning. But we no longer had the indulgence of imagining that such incidents didn't happen in our country. The Gurgaon school shootout testified to the churning, changing times. But then it was that sort of year, when terror was just a news bulletin away, whether it was about Glasgow or Hyderabad; whether on the Samjhauta Express or before a Lucknow court, even as blasts from the past reminded us of a hellish March 1993 afternoon in Bombay. The Bombay blasts verdict may have sent Accused No 117 Sanjay Dutt back to jail, but Justice Srikrishna's recommendations on the riots that preceded them continued to fall victim to political amnesia. Ironically, 2007 marked 60 years of international human rights. It was also a year to remember Mr Q. Quattrocchi managed to find his way back to primetime yet again, which says a great deal for the man's indestructibility. We need him it seems, just as we need Narendra Modi, with his chhapan ni chhati and plastic mask, to remind us of our sins of omission and commission. If the US staged a surge in Iraq, so did the saffron forces, ending the year with the triumphs of Gujarat and Himachal.
Politics continued to be the national obsession with new players, like Baba Gandhi throwing himself into the fray with much energy if little success; and old players like Mayawati coming to power for the first time in the country's largest state on her own strength, and L.K. Advani positioning himself firmly as his party's candidate in the race for 7, Race Course. Meanwhile, the present denizen of No 7, Race Course Road, saw his carefully crafted Indo-US n-deal sat upon by the Marxists. But it wasn't a great year for the Left either. Nandigram continued to haunt them throughout the year as indeed the Lajja of its shabby treatment of Taslima Nasreen. But then it was that kind of year, when nobody and nothing could emerge completely unscathed from the hot breath of times marked by Global Warming, a phenomenon that was officially acknowledged by the world and the IPCC. So how large then was your carbon footprint this year?
Memory was big in 2007. We commemorated 1857 and revived the ghosts of Bahadur Shah Zafar and Mangal Pandey. We also marked with due official festivity 60 years of India's Independence, and SMS-ed furiously to get the Taj Mahal acknowledged as a Wonder of the World, going on to take Incredible India right into the somewhat indifferent core of Big Apple.
It was a year that saw pet food subsidised in the national budget (Congress ka haath aam kutte ke saath). Nokia batteries overheated while Computerda just froze it. And Shilpa Shetty got the Goody treatment in Celebrity Big Brother and lived famously ever after. It was a year that was big on Indian billionaires who staged a surge of their own, and wedding extravaganzas, whether it was the hurly-burly of the Elizabeth Hurley-Arun Nayyar union or the tinsely-tele tale of the Ash-Abhi marry-thon. After the Billion Blues of the World Cup thrashing, we had our Chak De India moment with the Dhoni team's Twenty20 pyrotechnics. Team India left the Chappell -- and Rahul Dravid -- behind, and re-discovered a semi-retired Kumble, even as a victorious hockey team continue to ask, why does cricket get all the attention? It's all about, money, honey. Ask the BCCI.
As the tick-tock of the celestial clock steadily moves the hour hand to The End, let's hope that there will be some Om Shanti Om in 2008. Or that at least we won't have to flap around like headless chickens. So it's goodbye, and good luck from me.
Liaquat Bagh - park outside Rawalpindi where Benazir Bhutto was assassinated.
sub-prime crisis - has something to do with mortgages.
Bush's poodle - Blair
Nithari - a village on outskirts of Delhi, where in dump ground of one the homes numerous decomposed children corpses were found in January 2007.
Gurgaon school shootout - 2 boys killed their tormentor, schoolyard bully in December 2007.
Samjhauta Express - the train to Pakistan, bombed on the way in February 2007.
Bombay blasts - blasts in 1993 masterminded by Dawood Ibrahim, Pakistani based gangster allegedly avenging Babri masjid demolition.
Sanjay Dutt - Bollywood actor with unending judicial troubles. In and out of jail despite the image of Munnabhai (brother of everyone in Mumbai).
Justice Srikrishna's commission investigating Bombay blasts and riots, her recommendations indicting right Hindu politicians as Bal Thakeray were not implemented.
Q. Quattrocchi - Italian businessman accused by Indian investigating authorities in being in-betweener in Bofor scandal.
Narendra Modi controversial Gujarat chief minister.
chhapan ni chhati - agressive posturing, (hairy) chest-beating.
Baba Gandhi - young Rahul Gandhi, the heir apparent.
Mayawati - low caste maverick politician, likes to celebrate her birthdays in style with mammoth cakes, aspires to be next Indian PM.
L.K. Advani - leader of opposition, PM in waiting, he's approaching 80th anniversary.
Indo-US n-deal - the main political bone of contention 2007.
Nandigram - group of villages on Bengal sea shore where Communist government planned to develop petrochemical hub using Special Economic Zone law. Villagers evicted marxists and spent the whole year in armed resistance crushed in November by violent Communist cadres.
Lajja - famous novel by Taslima Nasreen
Taslima Nasreen - Bangladeshi author in exile in India, her sexual speculations about the Prophet caused immense controversy this year.
Bahadur Shah Zafar - the last Mughal and famous Urdu poet, the hero of the latest William Dalrymple book.
Mangal Pandey - Indian sepoy officer who raised the banner of 1857 revolt, commemorated recently in movie by popular actor Aamir Khan.
Incredible India - slogan of Indian tourist office to lure foreigners into the country.
Congress ka haath aam kutte ke saath - Congress is the party of all streetdogs, a joke after the last budget where FM Chidambaram offered sops to pets owners slashing taxes for Whiskas and Pedigree.
Shilpa Shetty - Indian starlet famous after kiss with Richard Gere.
Goody infamous Big Brother participant.
Elizabeth Hurley-Arun Nayyar - the former is Hollywood actress, the latter is Indian NRI businessman. Their wedding trip in India attracted attention of tabloids.
Ash-Abhi - Ayshwaria Rai and Abhishek Bachhan - Indian actors. Ash is the most beautiful woman in the world according to my sister, Abhishek is a son of Indian superstar Amitabh Bachhan. Ash-Abhi wedding was the most glamorous event of the year.
Billion Blues - frequently used description of Indian cricket team.
Chak De India - movie with Shah Rukh Khan, second most popular this year and the best according to critics. The movie is about the fate of disgraced Indian captain turned coach in lawn hockey.
Dhoni - darling of media, young Indian cricketist, promoted for captaincy in One-Day Internationals
Chappell - previous Indian cruicket team coach.
Rahul Dravid - previous Indian captain (after Sourav Ganguly).
Kumble present Indian captain for Test matches.
BCCI Indian cricket board headed by Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar who figure in news almost exclusively for cricket not agriculture (he is Indian union agriculture minister and we may safely assume that everything is OK with Indian agriculture).
Om Shanti Om - recent movie by Shah Rukh Khan where he was spotted with bulges of muscles that press began to wonder how actors gain muscles in short time. Movie is the superhit of 2007, collecting record 70 crore (1 crore is 10 mln), but reviews are mixed.