Meanwhile, across the rest of the world, the Doomsday fever is rising. In China, where 20 percent of the population believes that the end is near, a farmer is giving his survival pods the final touches. The Russian government actually thought it necessary to ask its citizens to stay calm.
Down Under, the Australian PM had a laugh over a mock ad where she spoke of how the end might come at the hands of “flesh-eating zombies, demonic hell-beasts or the total triumph of K-Pop”. NASA took the effort to issue reassuring statements while the National Geographic is most likely to start airing Evacuating Earth and similar programmes in a loop.
Non-believers, how long can you hold out against the hype?
Chef Manu Chandra attributes it to our innate need for cheap thrills. “We all love to indulge in a bit of fear psychosis. It’s programmed in our DNA. We derive perverted pleasure from watching people run around scared,” he says. Neither the date nor the whole Mayan angle seemed to ring a bell in his mind till he was reminded of the movie, 2012 (Thank you, Hollywood!). “On yeaaah...Is that next week? Oh no, I am worried now. I have payments to collect!” he said in mock concern. But if the world were really ending, the chef wants his Christmas early. “I love Christmas and it would be shame to miss it when it’s so close. I’d rather deck the halls, put up trees and eat pudding on the 21st,” he said.
After the resounding success of the Bangalore Literature Festival, author Vikram Sampath is in no frame of mind to dwell on these macabre thoughts. “Still, it’d be wonderful to die doing what I enjoy the most, writing, singing. So it’ll be just another day for me, despite how it ends,” he says. Another citizen who’ll be reporting for duty as usual is comedian Praveen Kumar, who, however, considers the whole apocalypse buzz great for business. “These 2012 jokes just write themselves,” he laughs while being dismissive about anything destructive happening on that day. “There have been no signs indicating that the end is near.
Rakhi Sawant still hasn’t spoken a single line of coherent English and Rahul Gandhi is yet to show any glimmer of intelligence, so I think we are safe,” he says.
DJ Rohit Barker simply refused to get into the spirit of things, despite the ironic fact that on 21st he will be manning the decks alongside Nikhil Chinnappa at the End of the World party. When asked about his preferred kind of natural disaster, he says dramatically, “Now that’s just wrong. It’s just wrong.” (Okaaaay...!)
Comedienne and socialite Rubi Chakravarti’s outlook on the whole affair is pragmatic (and not to mention, a little gloomy). “You’ve got to be kidding me! Can’t you see that it all comes down to doomsday pundits trying to make money selling lucky bobbles and charmed stones and what not? We are all going to die anyway. How does it matter if it’s December 21st or December 4th or January 3rd. In fact, one is more likely to die crossing the road tomorrow than in a global annihilation next week,” she says. Well-known fashion choreographer Sheetal Sharma, however, has some happy news to share. She says matter-of-factly, “Didn’t you hear the latest rumour? I got an SMS saying that the date has been postponed to 3012 or something. I think I’ll go with that.” Yes, in fact, let’s all do that.