Every year has its own highs and lows but in terms of sheer drama, few can match up to the standards set up by 2015. We bring you best of the worst, things that happened with uncanny regularity this year and kept us hooked.
Yo Censor Board So Sanskaari
This was the year James Bond came to India and learnt some sanskaar, like what is the censor-approved length of a ‘U’ certificate kiss. India vented on Twitter but nobody had an answer when Pahlaj Nihalani came up with this jewel in response: “This means you want to do sex in your house with your door open. And show to people the way you are doing sex.” To give credit to Mr Nihalani, he saved our virtue so many times in the year that he deserves an award. He bleeped the word lesbian, he even bleeped Bombay and gave us good, sanskaari words to replace cuss words (kathor for haraamkhor, anyone?).
Was it blue and black or was it white and gold? Or is something wrong with all our eyes? We spent a third of 2015 wondering about the real colour of the dress was and the rest of the year understanding the science about it. We were so tired, so tired by the end of it. We wish instead of wasting time on such frivolities, people would spend it in more constructive pursuits.
And no you idiot, it WAS white.
Bollywood and intolerance
Shah Rukh Khan commented on intolerance, Shah Rukh said he was misquoted, Shah Rukh said he was sorry and then Shah Rukh said he was not sorry. Despite Shah Rukh tying himself in knots over one statement (which was his opinion and which he said in a democratic country), political activists went about attacking theatres screening his next release, Dilwale.
In the meanwhile, Aamir Khan also said something on the same subject and then he explained it with a detailed statement. He also got his effigies burnt, posters blackened and was asked to relocate to Pakistan, or Syria. People also went to great lengths to explain how a country which has watched PK was basically intolerance-proof. Huh?
So MUCH Salman Khan
He helped a Pakistani girl lost in India return home. There were two of him as Sooraj Barjatya unleashed ’90s on us once again, dressed in absolutely sanskaari values. He hosted the ninth season of a reality show in which contestants do exactly the same thing year after year. He lost and won the same case in different courts. In his spare time, he tweeted in support of Yakub Memon and raised a storm on Twitter. You would think there is so much of Salman Khan that a country could take. You would be wrong because last heard, India was in the throes of celebrating his 50th birthday.
The whole world was racked by paroxysms of grief for Jon Snow was no more, dayuummm you George RR Martin. Then suddenly he was back at the Game of Thrones sets so he must be alive. Uh wait, he is now deader than dead. You want to know who is Jon Snow? Please go back to whichever planet you came from. If you can, take Martin with you.
India has enough godmen and godwomen to satiate the spiritual demands of its teeming millions. But even in this competitive market, a miniskirt-wearing, Bollywood tunes-dancing Radhe Maa was enough of a novelty to send the entire country into a tizzy. There were Radhe Maa sansanikhez khulaase, memes, jokes and comment pieces. The fact that she was godwoman to celebs (okay, celebs like Gajendra Chauhan. More about him in a moment) helped. Last heard, ladies who host kitty parties were hosting Radhe Maa-themed dos. Did ya see red?
Roast used to be the fancy, South Delhi way of saying tandoori and then AIB, Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor and Karan Johar thought India needed to widen its vocabulary and horizons. For once, Aamir Khan and Hindu organisations concurred. Many protests were held, many apologies were said and many people learnt some new gaalis. By the end of it, your grandma also knew what AIB stood for and that YouTube was not all about fuzzy cats and dogs being, well, all fuzzy.
The guy who made for the most boring Pandav ever in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat (and we are counting Nakul and Sahdev whose only contribution was to stay quiet throughout the TV show) was made FTII chairman and media’s reaction was to show scenes from every one of Gajendra Chauhan’s B-grade films on primetime news. FTII students went on a 139-day strike and wrote open letters but you don’t become small screen superhero by giving up. Chauhan stuck to his chair with tenacity and now formulates policy on how to turn out world-class actors and filmmakers. Maybe show them those clips?
DJ Wale Babu
Bollywood loves giving us mediocre and tasteless songs which denigrate women, teach bad words to the kids and make mockery of the whole concept of music. This year the award goes to DJ Wale Babu. This is not because we didn’t have worse songs, it is because it was the most popular among the most terrible. Also because Honey Singh was out of the running for most of the year.