Over the past year we have chronicled momentous matters that have seized India. Hrithik Roshan in KNPH, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra and Diya Mirza, the DotCom boom and gloom. We have also taken cognisance of fairly insignificant issues like the hijacking to Kandahar, various ceasefires in Kashmir, Bill Clinton's trip to India and Vajpayee's trip to the US and to the hospital. Not to forget significant others like the latest escapade of a certain mustachioed bandit or those of another mustachioed bandicoot in the match fixing mess.
After having put in all that effort all year, we decided to compile the best pieces that have appeared in Jaal, in other words we're giving ourselves a short vacation.
As the TV newscasters say, "Here's a brief recap":
It was all about an Indian Airlines flight being hijacked and reaching Kandahar. Nothing special about IA planes going astray, but the hostage crisis did merit attention as Jaswant Singh tripped all the way to Afghanistan escorting some terrorists to liberty. Siddhartha Mitra took a comical gander and recovered the lost Kandahar files.
Next, we have the Water controversy. Not the Narmada dam, but Deepa Mehta who fired up the Varanasi orthodoxy by trying to film Indian widowdom. Avijit Ghosh dove in and took a swim in this tumultuous pool of idiocy.
Of course, Bill baba came a-visiting. How important he considers India is evidenced by the fact he brought his mother-in-law along. V Sudarshan prescribed a dress code for Klintonji.
Then you had two interesting insights into the lives of the rich and fatuous. Sagarika Ghose wasn't bashful about bashing bashes and Aditya Sinha found a cellmate.
The events of the year were still to be covered. Actually, discovered. Uma Mahadevan-Dasgupta strung up Lara's Theme even as Shamit Khemka tried to make some sense out of the IT Bill.
No Match-Fixing? How could we escape that malaise. Vishv Bandhu Gupta blamed the entire episode on Azharuddin's deprived childhood and the lessons he learnt in a municipal school. As for match fixing, there was another involuntary one that Veerappan secured with Rajkumar and T Kannan presented us with his tale of the Jungle King.
Talking of issues, there was that concerning Priyanka. No, not Chopra, but Vadra nee Gandhi, who went from political heir to maternity even as Pratap Pandey waxed eloquent on the new kid on the block.
Vajpayee went to the US and SP Udayakumar told us to rejoice in having the right to be a volunteer.
Finally, yes, we did get down to that Damn Dam: In which Max Martin gave us those ones.
So, that's it, the round up. But bad news, we'll be back next year. Till then, till then.
Two college students, Akshay and Sunil, are sititng in a taxi in Mumbai when a beggar approaches them asking for spare change. Akshay adamantly rejects the man in disgust. Sunil, on the other hand, whips out his wallet, pulls out a couples of notes and gladly hands them over to the beggar with a smile. The beggar thanks him kindly and then continues to other taxis. Akshay is outraged by his friend's act of generosity. "What on earth did you do that for?" yells Akshay. "You know he's only going to use it on cigarattes and alcohol."
Sunil replies, "And we weren't?"