Reema beamed, “TWENTY TWENTY-ONE Or WON? Fun with words, twist and turn and make them unique. Agree?”
Initially, her wit fell flat on them.
Then the auditorium echoed with a thunderous applause.
“That’s a good one,” the audience responded.
“Think of it, 2020 has won and has set the ball rolling for 2021.”
“That’s intriguing,” they wondered.
“What makes us say 2020 won (1)? The year has been one of stress, distress, disease and death. Misery and death struck us; the fear of contracting the deadly virus, shook the very roots of life. Amidst such mayhem, 2020 ushered in 2021 and has taught a valuable lesson – ‘don’t take life for granted.’ It has taught us to stay safe, eat healthy, to improve our immunity, to show gratitude to our fellow beings, to remain connected despite ‘social distancing’.”
“But for the virus, we would continue to be vindictive. The virus has brought out the better side of human beings; empathy and compassion that had taken a backseat are being reinstalled in our lives.
The world has united to fight against the common enemy- the virus; isn’t this solidarity and faith? 2020 has opened up new vistas for humanity, we are bidding adieu to the morose, mechanical life and reviewing the standards of life……”
A whacking interruption, “Madam, I beg to differ. The year has been one of fear, anxiety, pain, ill health, and misery. I lost my father and brother. The pain they went through is indescribable. It is easy for you to speak from the dais. Those who have suffered the loss, know it.”
She knew she was treading on a perilous path. Her take on the ‘2020- YEAR THAT PASSED AWAY, 2021-THE YEAR THAT IS’ was going to be tough one, the grey spots were emerging faster than she had expected.
“Sir, may I have you on stage?” Reema requested.
When he spoke from the stage, the acute pain in his voice moved the audience, “I don’t think we should talk about the gone year in such a frivolous manner. The intense suffering and the irreparable loss may make us compassionate, if that is what Madam Reema is hinting at, but not immediately. Reality is a bitter pill to savor; it takes its own course to digest.”
The audience waited with bated breath.
“Sir, it means there is hope, human race is trying to reinstate values.”
The roaring applause reinforced her thought.
“2020 (1 -won). It is not a lost battle. The incessant efforts of many through 2020, has seen 2021 conquering the fear of death and suffering; it is not a distant dream, vaccine is here, and isn’t it a compassionate gesture that the land of Vedas and Upanishads is supplying vaccine to underdeveloped countries?”
“2020/21, ‘it resonates with energy, conscientiousness, and teamwork,’ Google guru’s take on the year.”
“It is like 1729, the magic number of Srinivasa Ramanujan.”
“Madam,” he acknowledged with a sense of pride, “2020 (1-won). Add value to life and life to values.”
The take on the prompt is inspired by a WhatsApp message I received on the New Year Day. (TWENTY TWENTY OR 2020 (ONE / WON)
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