President Palin and the new state of Talibstan. And that’s the good news compared to China’s response to India’s ‘obduracy’ on Tibet and Aishwarya Rai.
It has been a decade of tumultuous change, mainly because we all grew ten years older. It’s up to me to write about everything that has happened. It’s the last thing my editor asked me to do before he died of radiation sickness. So here I am, writing as fast as I can, because the solar-powered battery could run out any minute now.
The year begins on a high note, militarily, as Britney Spears announces her next world tour. Highly motivated by the news, the US Army achieves a string of easy victories in Afghanistan. “It is a matter of great pride,” says President Obama, “That you can now drive 50 km from Kabul without being massacred.” Meanwhile, in unrelated news, Hamid Karzai undertakes his first state visit to Switzerland, with a brief stopover in the Cayman Islands.
In other defence news, Russia demands another $500 million from India for refitting the Admiral Gorshkov as they have run out of vodka. The Indian Government offers to supply the vodka, in lieu of money, at which point business magnate Vijay Mallya steps in and pledges to supply it free of cost, provided the aircraft carrier is renamed the INS Kingfisher. A grateful nation agrees.
Europe looks on in horror as French President Nicolas Sarkozy performs a rap number, live on national television, for Carla Bruni on her birthday. Bruni surrenders.
In the War on Terror, George Headley changes his name to John Smith and gives his cellmate a foot massage. The Pakistan government drops all charges against him, citing charitable activities. The Indian Government vows to take strong action. Meanwhile, Alagiri demands that the Parliament canteen be converted into an Udupi hotel.
The biggest global cataclysm of the year occurs when billions of middle-agers leave Facebook after their parents start logging onto the site. But Facebook usage climbs dramatically as senior citizens spend hours looking for friends, while periodically forgetting who they are looking for. In Afghanistan, victorious US forces continue to advance against the retreating Taliban, who are too cowardly to even put up a fight. On the Eastern Front, the Pakistani Army reports that it has made ‘considerable gains’, although it refuses to specify what these gains are since it is a matter of national security.
Michelle Obama receives the Nobel Peace Prize, sharing it with Azhar Masood and Kanye West. French President Sarkozy spotted the following morning with a black eye.
In the business world, there is much rejoicing when Dubai makes an economic recovery after Dawood Ibrahim returns all the money. In a unanimous resolution, the politburo of the CPM resolves that henceforth all its meetings will be conducted in Chinese. The politburo draws the line, however, at wearing Chinese-made clothes, preferring to stick to well-known Western brands. “The issue of underwear is under consideration,” concedes Sitaram Yechury, “And a Leading Study Group has been formed to look into the matter.”
In sporting news, India wins the World Cup. Sachin Tendulkar becomes the first active sportsman to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha. MS Dhoni takes notes.
The last city held by the Taliban falls to US forces. George W Bush offers to lend Obama his ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner, which he politely declines. In a moving and historic speech, Obama says, “All the cities of Afghanistan are now in the hands of the Afghan government, which is why we have bolted everything to the ground.”
More heartening news: Somali pirates give up arms after intervention by Simon Cowell, who offers them their own reality show, Who Wants To Be a Pirate? “We couldn’t say no to Simon,” says their spokesperson, shortly after performing Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You.
The world witnesses an outbreak of porn flu, a mysterious debilitating disease which further weakens an already weak immune system, and is caused by excessive exposure to internet porn. Global computer sales plummet. Also plummeting is the dollar, whose value plunges after a bankrupt US demands compensation from Europe for ‘services rendered during World War II’.
Closer home, the congratulations pour in when a minister in the Union Cabinet beats the record set by Madhu Koda, of stealing Rs 4.5 crore per day in office. Revealing a penchant for accumulation that begs to be called Bradmanesque, he is now known to have stolen over Rs 5 crore a day during just four years in office, totalling over Rs 7,000 crore. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, my friends, and above all, God,” says the minister modestly.
American forces withdraw from Afghanistan. Barack Obama, re-elected in a landslide, sworn in for another term. The Taliban return to Kabul. Osama bin Laden becomes Afghanistan’s president, Mullah Omar education minister.
Facebook becomes passe, as Google Watch becomes the new sensation. In this new service, Google locates the friend you are looking for on camera, and if he fails to answer you within 30 seconds, he is denied internet access for 30 days. The service’s slogan is, ‘Make friends. Or else…’ Google Inc founder Sergey Brin characterises this as ‘only slightly evil.’
Rajnikant announces that in his new movie Digital, he will enter the internet, duplicate himself, and defeat millions of villains simultaneously by taking over their modems. The villains will be attracted online by streaming video of never-before-seen footage of Sridevi.
Things get ugly in South Asia as the Afghan Taliban, now in charge of the Afghan Army, joins forces with the Pakistani Taliban and overruns the rest of Pakistan, forming one gigantic nation where barbers are nervous. President Kiyani, head of the Pakistani government in exile based in Burundi, vows to continue fighting for the oppressed Punjabi minority of the newly-created state of Talibstan.
Deranged North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Il promises to give up nuclear weapons provided he is given Tokyo Disneyland. Both the world and Brad Pitt heave a sigh of relief when he agrees to settle for Angelina Jolie.
Across the border, LG takes over the South Korean government, and forces them to convert all LCD monitors to LG. Meanwhile, Intel now has 99.6 per cent market share in the global processor market. The company denies allegations of monopolistic tendencies, “because we make several different types of chips”.
The media notes that India now has the highest number of undertrials in the world, and by extension, in human history, with people waiting for justice for as long as 30 years. The Chief Justice responds with a list of demands, including no more scrutiny of personal records, shorter working hours, and longer bathroom breaks. The matter remains subjudice, and a resolution is expected in around 30 years.
This year sees a lot of action on the presidential front. Arnold Schwarzenegger causes a global sensation when he switches to Austrian citizenship and becomes President of Austria, after first converting Austria to the presidential system. The Austrian economy collapses.
In sporting news, Didier Drogba signs the largest contract in EPL history, purchases Cote D’Ivoire, and declares himself President For Life. He agrees to continue playing matches, so long as he receives a 21-gun salute before every game.
The world watches in awe as India once more uses its national elections to demonstrate the power of democracy, except in the parts where Naxalites are in charge. In the remaining 40 per cent of the country, the Congress comes to power. The 130-year-old party turns once more to the 84-year-old veteran Manmohan Singh, who accepts the responsibility graciously.
Every human being on earth now has at least two mobile phones. Economists note a drastic fall in global productivity as people spend most of their time trying to remember where they kept them. In other memory-related news, Tiger Woods releases his sensational autobiography, There’s a Reason Why They Call it a Hole-in-one.
In business news, GM’s new electric car sees a very brief spike in sales, until people realise that they have forgotten to put in the battery. Batteries also play a role in the Union Carbide case, where after years of effort, activists succeed in getting the amount of compensation increased to Rs 25,000 per human being. The Government points out that this ought to be satisfactory, since Rs 25,000 was a lot of money in 1984.
In other unrelated developments across the globe, Barack Obama delivers his farewell speech in Chinese, rumours of the return of Borat prove to be sadly untrue, and Salman Rushdie is dumped by yet another hottie.
In sports, Yuvraj Singh retires from Test cricket. Sachin Tendulkar expresses deep regret, saying “How can I keep on playing without my favourite grandson by my side?”
Sarah Palin becomes President of the United States. Moose, bears and deer immigrate to Canada in unprecedented numbers. The day of her inauguration sees a wave of death sweep the nation, as many of her supporters accidentally shoot themselves while celebrating. Dick Cheney alone accounts for three.
Everyone can now see everyone else everywhere, 24X7, live on camera, and privacy is history. The global divorce rate climbs alarmingly. Blocker, the company that manufactures the little gizmo that prevents cameras from seeing you in the bathroom, becomes the most valuable company on the planet.
In a related story, China demands that India prohibit all photography, videography, or any other form of graphy in a 5 km radius around the Dalai Lama, except in Arunachal Pradesh, where Chinese rules apply, and he would be shot. India agrees, but demonstrates that it is no pushover by slapping a 5 per cent extra surcharge on all Chinese restaurants in the National Capital Region.
Staking out a historic new direction for the Indian Judiciary, the Chief Justice of India announces that all those who have had to wait more than 25 years for justice will now be eligible for compensation, provided they are still alive. “The mechanism will be very simple,” he declares, “All one has to do to receive compensation is apply to the courts through the normal procedure.”
Stockmarkets crash. Worldwide economic panic ensues. Sanity is restored only when it is revealed that it was all a prank by Google. Google Inc insists that it was all in good fun, a couple of the guys got a little drunk, no harm intended. For now. Google also offers to compensate all losses in Google dollars, a currency they have launched recently, which is already legal tender in East Europe.
China demands that India immediately hand over control of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Bhutan and Bangalore, ignoring India’s plea to at least consider the fact that Bhutan is not a part of India. Hectic diplomatic exchanges follow, with seasoned Indian bureaucrats fighting desperately to save Bangalore. Negotiations drag on…
In the world of misguided youth, Manu Sharma shoots three people on the beach in Ibiza while out on parole attending to a business emergency.
After a closely fought election, Pikachu the Pokemon becomes Prime Minister of Japan, once the Japanese people figure out that a cartoon character could run the country better. Godzilla becomes foreign minister, marking a robust new direction in the conduct of Japanese foreign policy.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin denies allegations that he is about to declare himself Lifetime Chief Commissar, while warning opponents of the plan that “we still have lots of radioactive isotopes which we can put in your coffee”. In other related events, Dmitri Medvedev immigrates to Alaska, taking advantage of a momentary lapse of vigilance on the part of US President Sarah Palin.
The Dalai Lama dies. China demands the immediate extradition of the ‘so called Panchen Lama hiding in Dharamshala’, along with Aishwarya Rai.
China launches nuclear strikes on all major urban centres in the country.
India fails to retaliate, since it turns out we didn’t have any nuclear weapons after all, and were depending on the superior negotiating skills of the foreign service to defend ourselves.
Open magazine announces its intention to do yet another ‘decade in review’, despite the universal loathing which greeted the first one.
Mobs assemble. Torches are lit. As we sit here in our undergound bunker, cowering, we can hear the sounds of the crowd coming closer…