Everyone wanted a slice of the action. Broken marriages vied with steady relationships for top attention, Rakhi Sawant and Rakhi Vijeyan went from Big Boss to Big Bytes without skipping a beat. And their hijinks kept us from succumbing to our depression in a year of recession and worse. A close look at the top newsmakers of 2008
Priyanka Chopra: By far the most successful leading lady of 2008, Priyanka's smouldering performance in Fashion followed by the impish diva's act in Dostana left the competition bewildered. By year -end everyone wanted to know what Priyanka had done to herself. How about hard work?
Amitabh Bachchan: He suffered fools and politicians, he blogged. He survived another bout of illness and attacks from political outfits that claimed he didn't belong to Mumbai.
By the end of the year everyone wondered whom Mumbai belonged to! AB survived all the attacks, God and man-made. From Sarkar Raj to Raj Thackeray, he braved them all. And found time to write blog entries almost every single day. Time management to koi insey sikhe.
A R Rahman: In an era when music has been reduced to a series of programmed noises A R Rahman brought us four full-blooded melodious scores.
And what range! From the period passion of Jodhaa-Akbar to the peppy new-age hip-'hope' of Jaane Tu ….Ya Jaane Na…to the melodious balladry of Yuvraaj (Tu muskura was the best melody of the year) and finally the triumph that was Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman showed us what separated a true composer from the band-baaja wallahs of la-la land
Kareena-Saif: From the tattoo on the arm to tattu (pony) on the Alps… everything that this golden couple did in 2008 made news.
From their open confessions of mutual affections to separately-expressed agony over 26/11….even Pataudi-Sharmila didn't get so much attention. But then they didn't live in the era of tattoos, love bites and sound bytes
Avika Gore: The 11-year old small-screen queen from Balika Vadhu left all the sobbing television actresses from the Saas-Bahu sagas panting for attention. Little Avika Gore played on every middleclass individual's favourite fantasy, Mothering a child forced to grow up by circumstances. Kyunki child bhi kabhi bahu thi.
Raja Chowdhary: From Bigg Boss to Big Bully …this part-time television actor and full-time controvery ka Raja, this guy needs to be put on a leash. He represents all the pitfalls of paparazzi journalism where anyone who drops his pants in public is news worthy.
John Abraham: Dear John dropped his pants and a lot more. And boy, did he make news! To John goes the credit for getting beefcake out of the closet. Many felt John went a little too far in flaunting his physique.
But you've to hand it to the guy. He sure knows how to market his assets. In Dostana Abhishek was chosen for the acting. John was the body. He gave it all he had. And more
Aamir Khan: Standing…..er, tall next to his 6-foot nephew, or promoting his own film Ghajini at the end of the year in a hairstyle that defied gravity Aamir sure knows how to pull the plugs…and sock it. He even launched a scheme to monitor and screen mediapersons before giving them interviews. Blessed are those who got chosen.
Javed Akhtar: He recited his poem on the relevance of independence on Jan 26 in Delhi. Then he returned to Mumbai and wrote some of the trendiest songs for his son in Rock On. At 60 Javed Akhtar's pen rocks.
Rahul Mahajan: His fast-talking closet-politician's act on Bigg Boss had the nation in splits. What was the guy up to? What was he all about? Whom was he wooing, Payal or Monica? Maybe both, or none?
Maybe Rahul loved only one. Himself! Who knows! A whole soap opera could be scripted on Master Mahajan's machinations and antics inside Bigg Boss. Yup. He put the pep back into our television.
Akshay Kumar: He raked in the moolah in Singh Is Kinng in a turban, modelled for a denim jeans shirtless, dubbed for a Korean animation film without too much effort championed the cause of the underdog at the Olympics for special athletes and kept instructing key media persons what to write about him, and how.
The interviews didn't sound anything like Akshay. Yup, it was full-on re-invention time for King Khiladi.
Preity Zinta: From playing the Punjabi kudi in Heroes to breathing life into the battered wife's tortured soul in Heaven On Earth…. From helming the IPL matches to accompanying the Bachchans on their Unforgettable tour, Preity was this yaer the hawa ka jhonka here there and everywhere.
Shah Rukh Khan-Aditya Chopra: Solo, SRK made news throughout the year even when he had no releases. Things he said, didn't say. Places he went to, didn't go…any which way SRK made news.
At year-end he finally showed up on screen, teaming up with Aditya Chopra after 8 years for a film that has broken all the rules, Yes, only Rab could've made the SRK-Adi jodi.