A whole decade has come to pass, and this has by and far been a super eventful time indeed. (I follow the natural number system and not whole numbers and so I start my newdecade from 2011). Anyone can google up the events of the past decade, and wikipedia those events that interest them. But for me, the above line alone is indicative of the times between 2000 and 2010 that has just come to pass. And some things, that have lingered in my memory make an appearance here, unaided by Google!
2000 - was the year that defined the tech boom, as Y2K was a monster that needed immediate redressal. Around technology and all that jazz, came the dotcoms, faceless millionaires and everything techy, arcane and convoluted. while the world was kicked about moving from the 'nineteen hundreds' to the 'two-thousands', the economy grappled with a nascent crisis post the tech bust. Ironically, we're ending the decade fighting another crisis, only this one bigger, all-encompassing and certainly a lot more painful!
Then came 2001, and hardly anyone remembers it as the first year of the new millennium. It is remembered in notoriety owing to its association with the dreadful events of September 11. For someone living in India, or maybe in the Middle East, having seen the effects of terrorism first hand for years on end, the events perhaps felt like yet another day. But these attacks were perhaps a culmination of years of festering anti-American sentiment in the Middle East. The repercussions thereafter continue to haunt the world, with Iraq and Afghanistan becoming household topics! 'Democracy' came knocking on Afghanistan's door, and an apology of a government remained in power. But some things never really changed - Israel and Palestine continued their hate-hate relationship, with a rather intense fight breaking out in 2008.
As far as India went, in terms of politics and diplomacy, the unending suspicious ties with Pakistan continued, and after years and years of lobbying, we finally celebrated the de-hyphenation from India-Pak. Such ado over this event, why is all I ask, when a larger, more powerful neighbor hell-bent on taking away Arunachal Pradesh is a better entity to compare with in an attempt to improve oneself! Mumbai suffered more terror attacks, one at Gateway, one on Western Railway and the worst at CST, the Taj, Trident and Chabad house. And to add to it, Indian media went ballistic relaying all events on primetime TV!
Terror aside, the Indian economy shone. There was a fair bit of political stability, with one coalition keeping power for eight years. A person of non-Indian origin almost became the PM. While in the US Barack Obama came to power signaling a wave of the 'can do' spirit. Indian stock markets crossed 20,000, fell and toyed with the figure again despite the global recession.
China rose and is still rising. The Yuan, though is still pegged. 2008 saw a spectacular show by China with the summer Olympics announcing to the world that China had indeed arrived. India, in comparison hosted the Commonwealth Games amidst corruption of the highest, ugliest order. While on sport, I'll just say Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - two pillars of tennis history and two pillars, who I hope will face off in the next decade too. Again while on sport, I'll just mention Michael Schumacher, who built his record-breaking, record-making career in this decade, thrilling a million fans like myself. No more on MSC, because I could put in volumes on his scarlet days. So, just an entity that defined my taste in sport over the past 10 years.
This decade also saw Google becoming synonymous with search, so much that I just 'google' up some data! And Apple, the company forgotten ever since the alleged GUI theft event reincarnated as the suave gadget guru of the decade! i-pod, i-phone and now i-pad, Jobs is just one inventive genius indeed! From landlines to smartphones, the hand-held device just became an inseparable part of the common man's life!
Climate change is a reality. Mumbai saw insane flooding in 2005. Australia is seeing it now. China sees such rains and floods every year, killing thousands at the minimum! Drought in the early part of a year, followed by floods, insanely hot summers, unseasonal rains, extremely cold and unforgiving winters - this decade has seen em all! 2 climate change conferences at exotic locations later, we are nowhere near a tangible solution. Yes, we have exquisite concepts like carbon trading, carbon credits and so on. But none of those are making winters less severe.
This decade also lost quite a bit. Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns were lost in their true spirit, taken over, given a makeover changing the face of the Global financial system in toto. Michael Jackson, perhaps, was one of the biggest losses for music fans of Gen Y. People may say several things, but the fact remains that when the sound of 'Heal the World', or 'Give in to me ring out', the young heart still gets thrilled.
A lot more happened. But a post longer than so much would be mighty boring to write. So more, and perhaps the right amount to do justice to this awesome decade, maybe a tad later....