Two, one; and then there was none.
No, even if you thought it sounded like a commentary on the state of affairs of the state under the statesmanship of Manmohan Singh, I have to beg, borrow or steal your pardon. I could have said this is the goodbye kiss, but dirty pictures and wicked winks compels me to lay out the whole nine yards: on Friday, December 30, that’s the state of the calendar — or the year 2011.
So how will 2012 be? That’s what the glossies would tell you in their horror-scopes. But, take a few here or there, and you would have a repeat telecast of the year gone by. Unless, of course, you are marrying or divorcing or separating or joining work or rejoining work or buying a house or selling a house or becoming a parent or doing any of these and a zillion other things that would make the coming year a tad different.
So back to the question once more: how will 2012 turn out to be? Who knows, and who cares! I would much crane my neck and look back. Here are three news reports that never made it to the newspapers or talk TV this year, but could well have been true, only if everyone had allowed them to have run their course.
Statutory warning: Take with necessary pinch of salt.
- New Delhi: After braving Delhi’s monsoon mugginess and beaten by the December chill, Anna Hazare, the social activist of the Jan Lokpal-or-hell fame who popularised gyaan and diatribe talking points in middle-class living rooms across the country, has agreed to be Indian cricket team’s bowling coach. It is learnt from reliable sources that Hazare, who shifted camp to Mumbai after his frosty relationship with Parliament refused to defrost, will teach the spinners how to bowl the faster one.
He is also expected to coach the faster bowlers on how to dish out the slower one. The social activist is expected to ask them all to go on a definite fast, demanding that the Aussie Parliament also appoint a Lokpal, or ask the cricketers to leave the field en masse.
Sources told Howzzit on conditions of anonymity that Team Anna vice-captain Arvind Kejriwal may also be part of the special camp and coach the slow bowlers how to put a spin on every delivery.
Unconfirmed reports emanating from Mumbai say Hazare was deeply perturbed by the Indian capitulation in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne and that was one of the reasons his fever got fever pitch.
- Having braved the bravest and borne both the bulls and bears of the up-wow down-now National Stock Exchange, sorry national cricket team, Sachin Tendulkar scored much-awaited hundredth hundred off the field. In fact, he got it at the Formula One circuit in Noida, cruising at 100 kmph.
But the wise men who read Wisden and run BCCI, ICC and cars of other different CC engines never had it registered. According to those in the thick of such things, the idea germinated in Sharad Pawar’s head. It is learnt that Pawar, the Union Agriculture minister, ICC president, and Maharashtra strongman who pardoned the protagonist of a ‘slap-stick’ comedy later in the year, wants the public to indulge in willing suspension of belief.
Those close to Pawar say he wants the crowds to crowd the stadiums, chanting the same old ‘Sa-chin, Sa-chin’ mantra they have chanted for the last 22 years, to sell more vada paav in an effort to get his National Congress Party win the next Maharashtra elections with the slogan: ‘Jai Maharashtra, Jai Vada Paav, Sachin Khela Re’.
Meanwhile, after his record-breaking effort, Tendulkar, known for his prowess with the bat as also his knack to scratch his genitalia (at Howzzit, we don’t use cuss words; so we won’t say balls even if we say bat) before taking guard each time, told the nation that he was relieved that the monkey was finally off his back.
Having recently remarked in jest that the monkey on Sachin’s back had grown into a gorilla now (Read: Sachin’s hundredth 100 – only a matter of time), Ravi Shastri, former India spinner-turned-cricket commentator who is reportedly trying to copyright the phrase “it went like a tracer bullet”, is learnt to have remarked, again allegedly in jest, that the monkey-turned-gorilla went off Sachin’s back is like a tracer bullet.
- Having managed to oust the Left Front from the Writers’ Building after 34 years, Mamata Banerjee, the new chief minister of West Bengal, saw “She-pee-em” conspiracy in the results.
So used Banerjee has been to making allegations against the Left that right after the Bengal media claimed she had won — which took place months before the actual voting was done, and longer before the results were declared — the Trinamool chief blamed the CPI(M) for its defeat, and her victory. Asked how she would soak in her victory, the then Railway minister shot back that the Leftists have always rigged elections, and the present results were only another dark chapter in their dark little red book.
Since that May revolution, sorry evolution, Banerjee has seen CPI(M)’s “kaalo haath” (or ‘black Red hands’) everywhere: in all accidents, mishaps, murder, mayhem, load-shedding and short-circuits across the state. (Read: Didi Sees Red Over Rat-Bite at Hospital: Blames CPM of Playing the Pied Piper)
It is also learnt from learned sources that the CM opposed FDI in retail, as fancied by the PM, since she was told by even more learned sources that it would open the path for Marks and Spencer to open up shop in Maa, Maati, Maanush land. Realising the Marks and Marx (of Uncle Karl fame), Banerjee trained her guns on the Lokayukta aspect of “father-figure” Manmohan’s Lokpal Bill for reasons not known to many.