If 2012 was a strife-ridden year then, there is only one way to describe 2013 - as the year of scams. There was a scam waiting around the corner to pounce on the unsuspecting Keralite right through the year. The solar scam, though it had a rather sedate start, gathered speed as it went along, decimating the reputation of many, included saintly looking Chief Minister, who on any other occasion would’ve complacently donned the role of amused bystanders. By the end of the year, this Sarita-powered and Biju-induced solar panel scam had gained a perch over the label ‘Mother of all Scams.’ Then there was the ‘Main Main - Tu Tu’ kind of war of words between Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala over Deputy Chief Ministership, among other things. As if that was not enough, many airports in Kerala started witnessing flashbacks of high-octane scenes from Hindi films of yesteryear, with variations of Pran and Ajith as the villains and Helen and Bindi as the sexy sirens hiding gold biscuits in unlikely places. It was as if the Kerala underworld, bitten by the retro bug, was saying Goodbye Dawood, Hello Haji Mastan.
It was that age-old message going out to the government: you try to curb the natural flow of the yellow metal and we will find a way out or in, as in this case.
All this even as the reel life hit an all-time high with a record 158 films getting released during the year, half of them directed by debutants, and most importantly, hero-centric themes got canned, giving space for storylines with some originality. For a crossover from phobia over Mullaperiyar dam breach to anger over farm land getting frozen in the name of western ghat protection, it took only a few months. In between all this, The New Indian Express went all out with reports that made an impact, day in and day out. Looking forward to an equally happening 2014.