What to Look Forward to in 2018


What to Look Forward to in 2018

Illustration: Palak Bansal

he year 2017 was the year of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un’s catfight on the global stage. One hurling inflammatory tweets, the other testing one ballistic missile after another. It was the year when India finally got the better of China on some index as pollution levels in Delhi went so out of control that a cricket game had to be halted. It was the year when sexual predators in Hollywood were being exposed faster than potholes on Mumbai roads. It was the year our beloved government implemented GST like a clumsy 12-year-old. And of course, it was the year when Apple announced that you could send animated poop to your friends. Basically, a lot of things happened in 2017 and if indicators are anything to go by, 2018 is not going to disappoint.The following year is the pre-election year and the circus will be in town. If you followed the political debate around the Gujarat elections and wondered whether it could go any lower, you are soon going to find out that it probably can. Every party will make tall promises, more acronyms will be unleashed, mega-projects will be announced and catchy slogans will be flashed across newspapers, TV, and mobile screens on a scale that could eclipse a Bollywood film promotion. After all, politics in India is not too different from a masala Bollywood drama: There is one big actor, loads of entertainment, and people end up paying way too much for mediocre content.

The next year is also going to be a big year for Indian sport, as Virat Kohli’s men make overseas tours to South Africa and England. Trolls are waiting for Virat to fail, as they already have tweets saved in their drafts folder about how the big fat #Virushka wedding has affected Virat’s performance on the field. The Commonwealth Games are in Australia this year, and a good performance will set the stage perfectly for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. In India, other sports might receive step-motherly treatment compared to cricket but a cracking year is expected from our shuttlers, boxers, shooters, and wrestlers, all of whom showed great signs in 2017. It’s also the year of the Football World Cup in Russia, a sport we are yet to ace at the highest levels but one that has a huge following in India. Perhaps we can ask the Russians to hack us into this event, considering how good they are at it and their past experience with the US elections.

Padmavati was all set for a release in December 2017, but due to some unforeseen events, it missed its date at the box office. We hope it will finally find its way to screens in 2018. In India, there is an authority even greater than the Supreme Court, Arnab Goswami, and the CBFC. It is the all-powerful mob, that will be hopefully kept in check in the coming year. It would defeat the whole purpose of getting rid of the Sanskaari CBFC if unelected mobs could dictate film releases.

The trend of nepotism in Bollywood and bombarding social media with pictures of star-kids is all set to continue in 2018. These things are deeply rooted in our culture – like corruption and never being on time. 2018 is also going to be a field mine for DC and Marvel fanboys as they both bring out the big guns in a string of mega releases this year. It is also time for Britain’s Virushka moment as the Royal Wedding takes place in 2018.

While many things change, some things will remain eternal, like failed new year resolutions and money wasted on gym memberships.

While we are still not ready for flying cars that we were told about in our childhood – although seaplanes are another matter – 2018 is probably going to be another big leap in the world of tech. 2018 could very well be the year that defines Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency so volatile, it’s like following Dinesh Karthik’s cricket career. The evolving world of Virtual and Augmented Reality is set to go mainstream this year because the way things are right now in the world, we’ll lap up any reality except actual reality. Personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa will be seen penetrating a lot more homes in the coming year. It will be interesting to see how these devices deal with desi instructions like turning off the gas after five seetis.

As the larger world around us changes, it is going to affect our lives in smaller ways. For starters, kids are going to struggle with the date column in their books for the first few days of January 2017. Sorry, I meant January 2018. It is also the year when we race against the deadline to link our Aadhar cards with our bank accounts, mobile numbers, insurance, and eventually heart, kidney, the air, planets, galaxies and so on. We are going to get new WhatsApp forwards about how 2018 is a mathematical anomaly and certain combination of dates only occur once in 137 years.

While many things change, some things will remain eternal, like failed new year resolutions and money wasted on gym memberships. It is going to be another year, where weekdays in office just won’t get over but the moment we head into October, everyone starts telling everyone else how quickly the year has disappeared. And just like that, another year will pass us by. We hope you have a good one.