Pappu Ki Jhappi, Priya Prakash Varrier’s Wink & DeepVeer’s Shaadi: The 2018 Photo Album

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Pappu Ki Jhappi, Priya Prakash Varrier’s Wink & DeepVeer’s Shaadi: The 2018 Photo Album

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

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rom the Bhima-Koregaon violence to Bollywood’s #MeToo, from Pappu ki jhappi to Priya Varrier’s wink, from Dancing Uncle to DeepVeer ki shaadi, 2018 gave us moments that will make the year difficult to forget. Here are six images that helped us make sense of the year (somewhat).

1. Politics: Pappu Ki Jhappi

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Rahul Gandhi walked up to the treasury seats and gave a bemused Modi a cuddle for the ages.
Image Credit: DNA India

Let’s face it, none of us saw it coming. Watching RaGa plant an awkward jaadu ki jhappi on the PM is perhaps the last thing viewers were expecting when they tuned into the Parliament session at Lok Sabha this July. Following the Congress president’s fiery speech on inclusivity, where he acknowledged that the opposition calls him Pappu, junior Gandhi walked up to the treasury seats and gave a bemused Modi a cuddle for the ages. The newsworthiness of the incident was only heightened with RaGa’s cheeky wink a few moments later. But in the larger scheme of things, perhaps this was one of many milestone moments for the Congress party this year. Rahul, in his new avatar, eventually led the Congress to victory in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, a win that has boosted the spirits of the party ahead of 2019.

Other contenders: Amit Shah gira hua aadmi hai.

2. Society: Justice for Kathua

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The shocking details of the rape, along with the gruesome images of the girl’s corpse sparked widespread outrage in India and the world.
Image Credit:Arré

Perhaps the most disturbing hate crime of the year, is the rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Kathua. The shocking details of the rape, along with the gruesome images of the girl’s corpse sparked widespread outrage in India and the world. Protests and peace rallies were held across the country with pleas of #JusticeForKathua, it was an eerie reminder of the horrific 2012 Delhi gang rape that led to the amendment of rape laws in India – and how little things have changed in India despite that.  

Eight months after the rape was reported in the media, it is mostly forgotten. The Kathua girl has become another Nirbhaya, another token name to utter in hushed tones until the next vividly horrifying rape with gruesome details shocks us into action.

Other contenders: The traumatic final images of Avani, the man-eating tigress. Kerala’s braveheart fishermen or Coastal Warriors who helped in rescue operations during the Kerala floods.

3. Bollywood: #DeepVeer Ki Ram-Leela

Deepveer

We waited really long for the first glimpse of the DeepVeer wedding.
Image Credit: Vogue

The above image beat a host of other contenders to become top pick for the best Bollywood image from 2018. And though we waited really long for the first glimpse of the DeepVeer wedding, it was worth the thousand times we refreshed our Instagram accounts.  

2018 gave us four high-profile weddings, but DeepVeer is the couple of the year. No disrespect to Nickyanka, the Ambanis (they left a mark with the unforgettable G-U-J-J-U performance), or the #EverydayPhenomenal of Sonam and Anand but  Ranveer and Deepika just seem like astonishingly real people in the age of the “image-conscious celebrity”. And this image cuts through the clutter of airbrushed celebrity wedding photos.

There’s a touch of authenticity to DeepVeer. One can relate to Deepika’s story of heartbreak before finding the one. And how can you not love Ranveer Singh for his infectious energy? This image gives millions of young millennials solace in knowing that despite the ups and down, if you remember to be each other’s cheerleaders, you too could just reach your #CoupleGoalz.

Other contenders:  Nickyanka laughing out loud at the haters. Sonam-Anand’s reception that saw KJO let loose on “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo”. Isha’s brothers go Mahi Ve with Mama Ambani.

4. Sport: Golden Girl Hima Das

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Hima Das is already being viewed as a serious Olympic medal contender for India.
Image Credit: GettyImages

The above image shows Hima Das, 18-year-old sprinter and native of Dhing (admit it, you had to google that), right at the moment she created history. Her elation is justified after her historic win in Finland where she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal by posting a baffling 51.46 seconds in the 400 metres race at the World Under-20 Athletics Championships.

The teenager is already being viewed as a serious Olympic medal contender for India. And for good reason too. She went on to shatter the Indian national record for 400m in a “seriously what?!” 50.79 seconds at the Asian Games in Jakarta. More recently, she also won gold at the 4x400m metres relay and ended the year as World no 23 and second in Asia. And just when we thought Hima Das couldn’t be any more endearing to the Indian diaspora, she went ahead and gave us the most heartwarming patriotic moment of the year. It is difficult to hold back your tears as you watch Das weep as the national anthem plays in the background.

Other contenders: Sunil Chhetri’s heartfelt plea on Twitter to Indian football fans on Twitter to “abuse us, criticise us, but please come and watch us.” Indian cricket team lift the Asia Cup in last-ball thriller. Timeless Mary Kom wins her record sixth boxing world title.

5. Culture: The Power of India’s #MeToo Movement

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A spill of vile and disturbing accounts surfaced against seemingly woke men on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Image Credit: Twitter / @TheRestlessQuil

In early October 2018, the #MeToo movement gained a thumping resurgence in India. Sparked by actor Tanushree Dutta’s allegations against Nana Patekar coupled with Mahima Kukreja’s calling out of comedian Utsav Chakraborty on Twitter, women all over the country began coming out with their own stories of sexual harassment and exploitation at the hands of powerful men. A spill of vile and disturbing accounts surfaced against seemingly woke men on Twitter and other social media platforms. The men – many whom were considered respected leaders in their industry – include OML founder, Vijay Nair; filmmakers Subhash Ghai and Sajid Khan; veteran journalists MJ Akbar and Vinod Dua; actor Alok Nath; artists Subodh Gupta and Jatin Das; and singer Kailash Kher. Most have kept a low profile post their outing. If nothing else, 2018 certainly proved to be a year that broke silences and gave voices to those that needed it most.

Other contenders: 2018 reminded us of the dire straits our farmers are in. Their protests in Mumbai and Delhi caught the attention of the nation, and was a decider of the BJP’s fate in key states ahead of the 2019 elections. It also led to the Congress doling out waivers soon after they were voted to power.

6. Internet Trends: Aankh Maare O Ladki Aankh Maare

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Priya Prakash Varrier is 2018’s Most Googled Person.
Image Credit: AP News

Speaking of winks, you probably slept through all of 2018 if you have no idea who Priya Prakash Varrier is. This year pushed the envelope in terms of “WTF virality” and there’s no bigger testament to that than this image of Miss Varrier’s infamous wink. Occuring at the 1:44 mark of a music video from Oru Adaar Love, an upcoming Malayalam movie, the wink has made 19-year-old the most Googled Indian celebrity of 2018: Miss Varrier’s winking also ensured that the video has crossed more than 80 Million views in the span of 10 months and her film is being speculated to be one of the most profitable debut films in Malayalam cinema. Whoda thunk that a smile and a wink would take you this far?  

Other contenders: Sanity go bye bye, UP Cop shouts Thaain Thaain. Can chai kill brain cells? And why channelling your inner Govinda is low-key therapeutic.

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