It’s that time of the year when everyone is making lists—best-of, worst-of, resolutions, shopping, to-do, guest lists. There are even people making lists to catalogue why they hate year-end lists so much. I like lists; I enjoy making them as much as I do reading them or reading about them. There’s something appealing about the way a list tries to impose a sense of order on the endless options out there. So naturally, lists are rarely objective; they cannot be. No matter what one makes a list for, it is an exercise in selection and rejection, in deciding what is needed and what is not. Lists could even be “cultural achievements”, if you go by the words of novelist Umberto Eco, who curated an exhibition about lists for the Louvre in 2009. “The list,” Eco told Der Spiegel back then, “doesn’t destroy culture; it creates it. Wherever you look in cultural history, you will find lists.” At Lounge, we are not being as presumptuous as to say that our lists are cultural achievements, but they do capture our interests, ideas, pursuits, distractions and preoccupations in the year gone by.
We start with a list of the 22 words that, according to us, defined 2022, from the worlds of relationships, society, social media, fitness, film and work. Considering that most “word of the year” lists are rather Western in their outlook, Lounge columnist Sandip Roy imagines what Indian words would find place on such lists if we created them here. Rohit Brijnath examines the words used in sport all year and the weight they carry, as well as the unspoken words that convey entire worlds of meaning. Shrayana Bhattacharya catalogues the many anxieties of Indian uncles, many of whom are unable to come to terms with ideas of equality and justice.
Some of our lists, like the style trends we do not want to see carrying on into 2023, are composed entirely of our peeves and personal dislikes, while others, like our pick of the best moments from Hindi cinema in 2022, are lists of pure appreciation. But whether we are expressing love or hate, this is an issue that reflects the personal preferences of the team. What, after all, is a good list if not a somewhat biased one?
Write to the Lounge editor firstname.lastname@example.org @shalinimb on Twitter.