The Year That Was…2007

new-year.jpgThe New year is finally here!!

But hold on. Let’s take a look at the year that was 2007. Let’s remember the events that shaped history. India woke up to a frosty morning on New Years day and the events that happened in the months that followed were far from our wildest imaginations.

It started off with the Sensex at 14000 points and by the end of the year it had crossed 20000 points. That’s a lead of 7000 points over the New York Stock Exchanges Dow Jones Industrials!
Later we saw Apple come out with the much awaited iPhone. Analysts called it the ‘best phone in the market’ but confused consumers shot back asking ‘how do I make calls?’ Back home in Indai, we saw Arun Sarin and Vikram Pandit taking the top job in Fortune 100 companies. The Tata’s made another billion dollar deal and the rest of corporate India followed suite.

In sports, it was the ‘Chak De’ anthem all the way with Dhoni’s dark horses winning the Twenty-Twenty Cricket World Cup. The Bengal Tiger made the biggest comeback of the year after being written off by critics and being surrounded by controversy. Later, he was offered the captaincy but he declined. Kapil Dev along with Zee’s Subhas Chandra launched the ICL or the Indian Cricket League. Vishwanathan won a double honour, the world championship crown and the number one ranking. The Men’s Hockey Team won the Asia Cup and seems ready for the upcoming Olympics. Elsewhere England failed to qualify for the Euro 2008 championship and with that crashed the dreams of a football crazy country. Wonder what would happen to Becks now. Australia won the Cricket World Cup for the third successive time and remained undefeatable and unconquered.

The US gave Iran and Lebanon sleepless nights. With the US being on the verge of a war with Iran, it seems that the Crusades of the 21st century have begun. Myanmar burnt while India kept mum. Indian Foreign Policy seemed directionless or were we simply waiting and watching for the right moment? Nepal was a witness to bloodshed and a coup. India too had its share of political turmoil. Nandigram became a poor man’s grave and West Bengal no longer seemed as sweet as ‘Roshagullas’.

Modi and Maya became the biggest names in regional politics. Poll Pundits were amazed at there landslide victory and have predicted that they would play a major role in national politics in the years to come. Lalu Yadav globe trotted and continued his dream run as the Railway Minister. Manmohan Singh and the MEA lost some credibility in diplomatic circles when they were unable to get the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear deal through to the IAEA as per schedule.

Abdul Kalam was not re-nominated for the President’s post inspite of public outcry. He left Raisina Hill and in came Madam President. Pratibha Patil became the first woman President of the Republic of India, her candidature surrounded amidst controversy as the opposition leaders declared her as ‘unworthy’ of such a high post.

Tony Blair stepped down and handed over the keys of 10 Downing Street to Gordan Brown. However the Labour Parties’ fortunes have continued to dwindle. Valdmir Putin was succeeded by a loyalist and will continue to dominate Russian politics from behind the curtains. There are rumors that during his Presidency he amassed wealth totaling $40 Billion! Nearer home, President Musharraf shed his uniform to become a ‘civilian’ President. Pakistan has been in turmoil for years and the situation got worse after Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. Some have begun to call it a ‘failed state’. Only time will tell how the situation unfolds. But one thing is certain Bhutto’s death marks the beginning of the end for President Musharraf.

Sunita Williams went to space, talked to us and came back. And science was re-written when NASA declared that it had found a tenth planet. The next generations will now memorize ten planets unlike us! After Orkut, Facebook became a rage the world over with 60 million online users. Its amazing how a website started in a dormitory has become so huge and taken the world by a storm!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows finally came out and became the fastest selling book in history! It marked the end of a magical era for many. However JK Rowling has hinted at an eighth book! And the next Potter film is to be released in 2008!

Sanjay Dutt became Yerwada’s star prisoner after the TADA court found him guilty of possessing arms during the Bombay blasts. Munnabhai was later set free on bail. We are sure to see more films of him in comic roles next year. Any guesses why?

Shilpa Shetty became an ‘A’ lister in London thanks to the Big Brother reality show. Pop stars came and went and the Indian crowd couldn’t care less. The last to perform was Akon! The Spice Girls got back together and showed some 90’s girl power. But will they survive?

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch after Queen Victoria. The Brits romance with monarchy grows by the day!

‘The most beautiful woman in the world’ finally got married. The Bachchan family is all set to star together in a film next year. Arun Nayyar and Liz Hurley finally tied the knot after years of courtship. Shahid and Kareena split and so did Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi. The French President made his love affair official by kissing his super model girlfriend publicly. Would any Indian Politician dare to do that?

The Nobel Prize went ‘Green’ this year. Al Gore and the UN’s IPCC were the winners. Al Gore after losing the US Presidential race has added a couple of Grammys, an Oscar and now the Nobel Prize to his booty. And no, India did not win the Nobel. But as always we found an Indian connection!!

Well that’s all history and we were a witness to its making. It’s ever so difficult to list the year’s events in a thousand words and surely some have been missed out. But we end this year hoping that the next one would be far more eventful and exciting. We can never know what the future might hold for us! Whatever it may be, let us face it with a smile. A really big smile!!

Astik Sinha