My Wishes for 2007
Nursing many mugs of tea the morning after New Year’s Eve revelry at a friend’s birthday in Goa, I sat thinking of the things that I would love to see in 2007. Here they are.
Wish No.1: That none of us will ever be disturbed on the cell phone by some jerk who wants to sell us home loans, car loans, increase our credit limits, offer us insurance policies, gifts and credit cards. This wish went for a toss before noon on 1 January when a whiny voice said, “Omkar Goswami bole rahein hain? Mein XYZ Bank se Priya bole rahin hoon…” Poor Priya got the butt end of my first flash of temper of 2007.
Wish No.2: That those who make announcements at airports and in planes will finally learn to correctly pronounce their Hindi and English. Any flier of Indian skies knows that there is not a hope in hell of that wish ever coming true.
Wish No.3: That passengers with boarding passes will not elbow everyone out of the way to be the first in the bus that takes them to their planes. That they will wait for their turn in the line, allow the elderly to board first and stop behaving as if they were about to scramble into the last bus out of a war zone or Gulag Archipelago.
Wish No.4: That people will send simple New Year text messages instead of stuff like “Just as a rose blooms, and the koel sings, our New Year’s good wish forever rings” or “Wishing u 12 mths of happiness, 52 wks of fun, 365 days of lafter, 8760 hrs of gudluk, 525600 mins of joy and 31536000 secs of success in 2007”. Can we please get a down-to-earth “Happy New Year”, or must a mobile necessarily resurrect the awful poet in us?
Wish No.5: That those who send complex poetic New Year greetings or forward ridiculous chain mail jokes on mobiles will be kind enough to write who they are, instead of us figuring out who in heaven’s name is +919822012345. Not a chance of that one coming true either.
Wish No.6: That journalists won’t call on people’s cell phones and insist on an immediate sound-bite for profound, earth shattering, breaking news stories like the prospect of the economy in 2007.
Wish No.7: That the word “Anyways” will be shunned forever on the pain of instantaneous death, and that any school, college or BPO-kid who says “Like” because she or he can’t think of what to say will be made to immediately memorise any four consecutive pages of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Wish No.8: That Delhi’s car, bus, truck, autoriskshaw, two-wheeler and BPO-kid-ferrying Qualis drivers will realise that the red light at crossings is not meant to evoke the same response as a matador’s cape to a bull.
Wish No.9: That the vast majority of male denizens of our glorious country will finally stop their perennial scrotum scratching in public and peeing wherever they feel like. Fat chance of this wish ever coming true!
Wish No.10: That people — again mostly males — will stop speaking loudly and incessantly into their mobiles, and let everyone around them know of the critically important things that they are doing.
Wish No.11: That doting mothers and fathers all over the land will stop baby talk with their six year olds, when they finally realise that their kids are lisping and verbally under-developed thanks to them. If you were to continue to use koochie-koo lingo with children from the age of one month to six years, wouldn’t you expect the kids to think that’s exactly how they must talk?
Finally, Wish No.12: That corporate meetings will be liberated from tedious, 50-slide PowerPoint presentations, most of which are full of jargon and accompanied by artistic experiments in multiple fonts, type faces, entries, exits, swivels and jingle-jangles, with the presenter insisting on speaking aloud every word on each slide.
Of course, none of these wishes will ever come true. But pigs will fly. And here’s to a happy 2007!
Published: Business World, January 2007