It's the season to be jolly
Yes, December is here and with it, 2011 comes to an end. What a year it’s been! Everyone’s in the mood to celebrate and why not? Early in the year, our boys in blue gave us a feat we’ll probably be bragging about till 2015. After a 28 long years of waiting, praying and hoping, we became the world champions in the nation’s favourite pastime, cricket. India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets much o the delight of a jam-packed crowd at the newly renovated Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Amid much pomp and splendor, and putting the ghosts of the 2010 Commonwealth games to rest, in October 2011, we successfully hosted our first ever Grand Prix at the state-of-the-art Buddh International Circuit in Noida. King Khan’s (Shahrukh Khan for the uninitiated) much touted Ra One may not have fared as per expectations but the likes of Ready, Bodyguard, Delhi Belly and more recently Dirty Picture set the box office on fire. And though the nation cheered unanimously when the gorgeous Aishwariya Rai Bachchan gave birth to Beti B in November, we were left teary eyed when many of our Indian gems left us for their heavenly abode — MF Hussain, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Bhupen Harazika, Pt Bhimsen Joshi, Jagjit Singh, Anant Pai and our very own Mario Miranda. May God grant them eternal rest.
On the business front, however, there hasn’t been much to cheer about. The bears have had a field day for a better part of the year and gold, yes, that shiny metal that signifies celebration and joy to most of us, has gone right through the roof. Interest rates are higher as are inflation figures. Scam after scam, both corporate and political, tumbled out fast and furious, Anna Hazare and the Jan Lokpal bill is today a national obsession and the Gandhi topi perhaps the most fashionable and hottest selling item. The fast rising petrol prices and the resultant sky rocketing prices of almost all basic commodities sent most household budgets into a tailspin.
Goa, too, was rocked by the mining scam and all the protests relating to illegal mining. The resultant lull in business has affected all and sundry, the barge owners more so (read story on page 18). CM Digambar Kamat has survived another rough ride when many a fingers were pointed at him on the mining imbroglio. Karnataka’s CM BS Yeddyurappa was not so fortunate and had to vacate his chair (after much persuasion and threats from the top command of his party albeit) when the Lokayukta report on the extent of illegal mining came out.
So, as the year ends, simple questions remain unanswered. What’s going to happen of our lovely Goa? Is India really shining as much our politicians claim it is? Where is the world economy headed? Are our jobs going to be safe? How much more expensive are daily commodities going to get? And on a lighter note, who is going to get to 100 first, Sachin Tendulkar or petrol?
Heading into 2012 (a year that many are fearing as it’s predicted that the world will end on December 21) along with all those numerous New Year resolutions we make without fail, let us not forget our responsibilities as citizens and human beings. For Goa, it is the year of elections, of choosing responsible people to take our beautiful little State forward on a path of glory and not destruction. It’s up to each one of us to conscientiously make the right choice. More importantly, let us all resolve to cast our vote and not waste it. Remember, just like tiny drops of water make the ocean, each and every vote counts to make that ‘difference’. I would personally hope to see a change. Someone please bring in some new faces.
As we end a rather happening 2011 (whether you want to look at it positively or negatively) let’s look forward to 2012 with a joy that we are able to witness the dawn of yet another year and a hope that it is better than the one that’s passed. Here’s wishing all of you, our beloved readers, a happy, healthy and very successful New Year.
Keep the faith!