Of all the years in the recent past most reprehensible year has been 2020. With over 20 million Covid-19 cases in the US with over 347,537 deaths due to this man-made pandemic the only thing that in my memory something parallel to this is the Bengal Famine of 1942-43 nearly 3 million persons died out of a population of 60 m. Historians attribute it due to the “complete policy failure” of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Richard Casey the Governor of Bengal at the time of this terrible disaster. Casey was later decorated as a Baron of the British Empire for what – definitely not for maladministration? My younger brother was 7-years at the time of Bengal Famine and asked my parents to send his entire pocket money he saved for famine relief fund.
The current causalities of Covid-19 are more than the combat deaths of combined World Wars 1 and 2 that this country faced. It is a pity that President is busy golfing when more and more people die, perhaps like Nero was fiddling while Rome was burning!
I am totally dismayed by the families who lost their dear ones in this Covid19 in 2020. It will take more than a generation to put back their lives as it was before 2020, if at all possible.
I hold the persons responsible for this man-made malady and other responsible persons who looked the other way while the disaster was fanning this country. There is always Lord Almighty to take care of those persons sooner than later and such persons have to face the Creator to answer for their actions. Ultimately “there is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them how we will.”
2020 had some oddities – good in addition to disastrous global environment.
The 2000-page 2-volume book priced €234.44 I authored “Wind Energy for Power Generation - Meeting the Challenge of Practical Implementation” published in November 2019 was laudably applauded by Springer as the “most sold publication” from Jan through Sept 2020. In addition the most recent book I edited and also had a 55-page chapter authored by me in “Bio Mass and Waste Energy” in Renewable Energy Series of ASME had an announcement about the global release in November, 2020.
Other than these accomplishments I had a recent, late December turn-around of my back ache problem I endured since Jan 2020 visiting three different Physical Therapists (PTs) in addition to Pain Doctor (MD) and a gift from Pradeep Alur MD with MEDVICE and Foam-Roller by my son Ishu V. Rao MD which showed me the pathway to “total cure. Thank God I do not have to carry this malady to 2021. I should mention a word of thanks to Alfred Sagar who shared his experience by counselling me on a daily basis for several months. Vijay Kumar Srinivasan MD’s occasional phone calls were a welcome boost.
My 91 year older sister who is taken care of by her sons and with one of them she has been for most of 2020 had never been hospitalized even for a day during past several years. She had a minor discomfort in her right eye during the last week of December 2020 which warranted her being in hospital for 48 hours and discharged after umpteen tests. Thank God she is now perfectly okay.
We learnt that in 2020, Indira’s younger sisters in India were afflicted with problems which fortunately got creased over and are reported last to be doing fine now.
Indira and I travelled around the globe, largely because we had 7-Time Share Units and finally after gifting all but the last three in prize locations at Scottsdale, AZ, Las Vegas, NV and Pensacola Beach, FL which we gave away to the owners who were more than willing to take back.
Hindu Temple Society Mississippi (HTSM) was operating with CDC restrictions, nevertheless Indira and I honored our commitment to donate $10,000 funding for a shed so that the erstwhile sanctum sanctorum used for depicting Hindu Mythological Depictions are preserved without cluttering with HTSM articles which Ratan Guduru, Umesh Remata and Loknath Polepalli made it happen.
A heartening note about the year was establishing contact with long lost friends cum relatives Lakshminarayana Turlapati, Dr. Padma Turlapapati, K. Vijaya Rao and Sujatha Rao IAS.
I collected 350,000 stamps which I hoped to give away to my grandson who also received a lofty mint collection of my younger brother as a gift from my sister-in-law. My daughter decided that they cannot house the several boxes of these collections. I and Indira decided to gift it away to parents at Jackson and USA who had children ranging from 6 to 15. Meanwhile Jackson Stamp Club (JPS) decided after 51 years of uninterrupted operation to close their doors. My hopes to have the families I gifted stamps to build up their collection by becoming members of JPS was floored but for the clarion call of Colonel Eckhard Stuart who wanted to revive JPS, so it looks like in 2021 turnaround of the events of 2020 seems to be plausible.
Our daughter and grandson drove from Atlanta to visit us at Jackson and spent a few days with us which was a welcome relief in these COVID days.
My daughter’s children graduated from high school and joined their chosen colleges and spent the first semester on campus. Both Neil and Rekha are the Junior ambassadors to the state department and school state champions in tennis. Granddaughters Leela and Lola are on line attending virtual classes in California. Our eighteen month old grandson Sajan has started going to school and amuses all of us with his activities.
The closure notes for 2020 by Peter Neglen Ph. D., MD and noted macro economist Dr. Narayana Kocherlakota were enlightening and provide a valuable glimmer of hope for 2021.
SO HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF THE READERS OF THIS ADIEU NOTE!