December is the year’s biggest party, which makes January the following year’s ultimate hangover. And this isn’t the sort of hangover that ends with a tiger in your bedroom. Unless Salman Khan gets drunk and decides to drive home again. January gets written off as boring, a month in which you come off your high and trudge back to a life of misery. But it doesn’t have to be. There’s plenty to look forward to in January. In fact, I’ve created the definitive compendium (latin for “words I learnt while studying for the GRE”) for the month. So here’s what you can look forward to:
India-Pakistan cricket: India versus Pakistan is the India versus Pakistan of the cricket world. And in January, Pakistan will continue their tour after a quick break to celebrate the New Year, unless India offers proof of its existence, in which case, they will deny it. When the two countries play, it’s about more than cricket; it’s about patriotism, friendship, and coming up with creative stadium-chants about Shahid Afridi’s age (11, at last count). Of course, things occasionally take a political turn, like in the famous Patna ODI of 1983 in which the Pakistani batsmen were arrested for hitting fours because the government insisted that “constant violation of India’s boundaries will not be tolerated.”
Bollywood Award Shows: Every January, Bollywood celebrates the year’s best movies by awarding five other undeserving films their highest honours. Many people insist that Bollywood awards aren’t won, but bought. I, of course, think this is a lie. How dare you suggest that Dabangg won on anything but its cinema-verite cred and layered, meta-textual narrative dexterity? I mean, his shirt tearing itself off his body is so obviously a symbol of man being freed from the confines of mundane parts of humanity like reason and logic. I can’t wait to see what wins this year. I’m rooting for Gangs of Wasseypur. Which means Cigarette Ki Tarah will probably sweep em.
Makar Sankranti: Or ‘kite-flying day’ as kids call it. A glorious festival in which the sky is alive with the dance of a million kites, and the head of some poor biker who had the misfortune of riding through maanja. But Sankranti is also a harvest festival, a time for farmers to celebrate what they’ve been given. Though I have no idea how one celebrates a ‘Seizure of Land’ notice. Sankranti marks the transition of the sun into Maakar rashi (Capricorn), where it gets sliced in two by the kite of Rajan from Shivaji Park.
Swedish House Mafia: They’re back, it’s happening, and if you’re a powerful person, this is just a humble reminder to take your medicine, visit your doctor, and stay healthy.
Republic Day: The 26th of January commemorates the day India became a republic and formally adopted our constitution. A constitution that has helped us navigate troubled times, with its detailed guidelines for important issues like free speech. That term is gravely misunderstood in this country, with not enough people appreciating the fact that it comes with certain conditions. The truth is, in India, you can talk freely about anything you want, except:
And if you insult these glorious tenets, understand that you are dented, and tainted, and the President’s son doesn’t like you.
New Year Resolutions: January is a month of fresh starts, and nothing says fresh start like New Year Resolution (also, killing everybody and burning the evidence). Resolutions are promises to do (or not do) things that affect your life. People resolve to do things like quit smoking, or lose weight, or climb Kilimanjaro. And because you make them on the first day of the year, you get 364 other days on which to break them. In fact, if you really want to do something next year, resolve not to do it. You’ll get it done in 48 hours. On that note, I resolve not to doubt the competence of our politicians. I have a good feeling about this one.
Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi