The end of the year is nigh. But don't despair that you don't despair. If you've been good, if you've spoken with reserve (or ideally not spoken a word at all) and have therefore been rewarded by not having a word you spoke (or didn't) appear in Open, Outlook, Oindia Today or any other magazine whose name starts with an ‘O', then you will find yourself on the other side this Saturday, resurrected and as fresh as a new WikiLeak, able to enjoy the final decades of your life.
I find end-of-the-year prognostications boring. Less boring than the word 'prognostication' perhaps, but boring nonetheless. But unlike anyone else, I don't weasel my predictions by saying that such and such thing should happen or is likely to happen in the new year. There's good reason why Bejan 'Ganesha speaks' Daruwalla can carry off those technicoloured shirts he wears. And that's because he doesn't qualify his predictions. 'Sagittarius says you will get a promotion', or 'Rahu in Virgo says your husband won't get a hysterectomy' or 'Mars on top of Venus says that India will have a 9.54 % growth rate in the third quarter' — Daruwalla tells you what will happen, no doubts allowed.
Which is what I, too, will be doing today. So running the high risk of inviting your ire for not writing something soaking with gravitas, here are 11 things that I know will happen in 2011. When you're done reading this, shut the door on your way out and have a drastically happy new year.
1) Shyam Benegal will cast Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in his next film. There will be some problems during the shooting of an 'intimate' scene involving Ash and another actress. But she will settle down again after she misunderstands Benegal telling her that the script demands a 'thespian' scene.
2) The BJP and the Left will withdraw its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the 2G scam after the prime minister agrees to appear before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee wearing a pair of football shorts, give committee chairman Murli Manohar Joshi a glass of lassi and sing the first four lines of 'Nanha munna rahi hu/desh ka sipahi hu...'.
3) A dog will be killed after it is run over by a van in Hyderabad. The Indian Mujahideen will claim responsibility.
4) India will deliver a diplomatic masterstroke by stating that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is actually Chinese territory. The enmity that ensues between Beijing and Islamabad will allow New Delhi to stop worrying about the two neighbours being friendly with each other any more.
5) Sachin Pilot will be anointed as the young face of the Congress who will ultimately take over the post of prime minister from Manmohan Singh. Speculation will start that Pilot is actually 'warming the seat' for Nehru's great-great grandson Raihan Vadra.
6) On March 9, India will scrape through in their league match against the Netherlands in the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Mahendra Singh Dhoni will cite 'team spirit' for pulling off this minor victory as Indian fans will rejoice.
7) Maoists in Chhattisgarh will offer to lay down their arms permanently only if the government manages to convince both the Ambani brothers to redistribute all their wealth among tribals. Anil will agree, but talks will break down after tribals say no to using Reliance Mobile.
8) The word 'fuck' will appear for the second time in six months in a 'family' newspaper. The columnist in question will be charged with sedition even as the person who first used the word in December 2010 will be roaming around as free as a bird.
9) Three months into her chief ministership of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee will finally put a stop to her decades-long 'carefully careless' image and will start wearing impeccably ironed cotton saris.
10) Julian Assange will again be charged with 'rape' by the Swedish government. This time he will admit that he didn't get a signed permission in triplicate from the woman with whom he had engaged in an 'adult phone conversation'.
11) The photograph of the writer of this column will change. As a result of the complaints pouring in, the column will be replaced by a weekly space capturing the 'voices of young India'. Everyone will be happy.