2008 in retrospect
Happy New Year!
Well, ok. So it isn’t BRAND new. Slightly old. No, no. Old is not the right word either. Let’s just say the year has ‘matured’ a bit and close it at that.
It’s been almost a week now since we kissed last year goodbye; some people did it through the customary tradition of watching the New Year countdown from a prerecorded TV show; some did it by holding hands with their loved ones who supported them emotionally; others did it by getting drunk and leaning on furniture which supported them physically; and some people just fell asleep and missed all the action. But no matter what happened, the year is past. 2008 is now history.
Now that the buzz is settling down and we are trying to get used to the mechanical act of putting the date as ‘2009’, I figured I may as well drowse in fond recollection of the things that have gone by; 2008 in retrospect. I spent an hour thinking about it, and I have to tell you… it’s been a very sobering hour. I got zilch. There are no fond memories. 2008 was the pits; the harbinger of doom. By the time I was done reminiscing, I wished I could bring back New Years eve just so I could kick it goodbye.
I have to admit I’m partial to even numbers. And 2008 was more than just ANY even year; it was a leap year. I remember towards the end of 2007, numerologists seemed cocksure that 2008 would be a wonderful year – charming, graceful, promising; the beginning of a new direction; a year that would stand out in the history books; the first step marking an awakening to global brotherhood.
Lil’ 2008 had built a lot of expectations early on. And to be fair, 2008 was cute when it was just a few days old – quiet, playful, promising. But all babies are like that. As it grew, however, it became a sort of brattish, rebellious, blot on the landscape.
If we had taken a look at baby 2008, we may have seen the dreaded 666 mark somewhere. Before a month had passed, we felt the tremors of an impending financial crash. From that to a full scale meltdown can be slapped on to the resume of 2008. Add to that a resurgence of terrorist activities around this side of the world, and you know that 2008 has been a really bad boy. You never know when they turn bad. Probably got mixed the wrong kind of people, hooked up on drugs and just got himself brainwashed. By the end of the year, 2008 didn’t care much for anybody at all. The only really good thing that seemed to happen last year was ‘The Dark Knight‘, but even that didn’t scrape through without injury – 2008 claimed the life of Heath Ledger, who made his final bow in the said movie.
Other heavyweights like Michael Crichton, Arthur C Clarke, Charlton Heston, and George Carlin also got fed up of its antics that they all kicked their respective buckets this year as well. And as 2008 grew up, it just kept getting worse and worse. On the global front, the effects of global recession trickled down to all walks of life… job markets became lull, smaller companies packed up their stuff and quit, larger companies got lesser and lesser work, and yet somehow, my own schedule managed to get packed like a can of sardines stuffed into a matchbox.
People lost jobs. Corporate giants shot off candidates on a daily basis like a 21 gun salute to the declining economy. Almost all my friends suffered through some sort of tragedy in their life – in terms of career, relationships, physical health, or financial security. The stock market dragged a lot of people with it when it went down. Of course some investors survived… smart investors… or just plain lucky investors… But all MY friends seems to be a bit under the weather, with losses ranging from a couple of grands to several lakhs.
And 2008 ended with a bang. Several bangs, actually. Bang bang bang in Mumbai, where we, as the human race, continued the proud tradition of killing other people in the name of God, proving once again that it’s about time God hired a Public Relations Manager.
In response to allegations by the group that bombed the truckload of babies, God announced today in a surprise press conference that he is not affiliated with any of the group members. “I don’t even remember creating these people“, said a fuming Mr. Almighty, “I don’t know where they got the idea that I was directing their actions, but I had nothing to do with this. I got a good mind to send some lightning bolts to their heads.” God disappeared in a puff of smoke after the short conference. “He’s been under a lot of stress lately“, said his PR manager. “He’s been getting a lot of flak for 2008.”
I am quite thankful to get rid of 2008. Not a moment too soon, I say. I just hope that 2009 is a whole lot better. Numerologists say it’s going to be a wonderful year – charming, graceful, promising; the beginning of a new direction; a year that will stand out in the history books; the first step marking an awakening to global brotherhood.
I need a drink.