The dark cloud of Covid might have dissipated a little in 2022 as the growth of vaccine availability, reducing the massive deaths, however, the ongoing pandemic, along with other illnesses and aging continued to take its toll on a variety of renowned individuals from a variety of fields, from art to politics, to sports.
In India the death on February 6, of Lata Mangeshkar (92) her voice, who sang the songs for many generations of Hindi film heroines ranging from Madhubala and Madhuri Dixit and many others ended a long and music career. Similarly, the death of the Queen of England Elizabeth II (96) – for many generations of Britons the only monarch they had known on the 8th of September after a record 70-year reign came to an end the second Elizabethan time period.
The assassination attempt of the former Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe (67) on the 8th of July was a shock being in a country where there is no violence in politics.
The last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev (91) who was celebrated in the West for his efforts to end the Cold War (temporarily, as it was revealed) however not much liked in the home for his role in governing the Soviet Union’s demise. He also passed away on August 30.
It is interesting to note that Stanislav Shushkevich (87) is the final Soviet leader/first head of Belarus and Leonid Kravchuk (88) who was final leader of Soviet Ukraine and first the president of Ukraine — a pair who fought Gorbachev’s side to negotiate a deal with his partner in crime Boris Yeltsin to dissolve the Soviet Union and also died in the year 2000 — in May 3, and 10 May respectively. Also, the Ayaz Mutallibov (83) who announced the country’s independence on the 27th of March.
Other prominent political figures who died in 2022 included Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh (95) On January 22. Madeleine Albright (84), the first female US Secretary of State. in March 23 second president of the UAE along with Abu Dhabi ruler Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (73) on May 13 Angolan freedom activist and long-time president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos (79) On July 8, Chinese leader Jiang Zemin (96) who supervised China’s economic boom, as well as the veteran Indian socialist leader who was three times Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and former Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav (82) in October 10.
Also, the globe lost a variety of renowned directors and actors this year, starting with Bahamian-American actor and diplomat Sidney Poitier. First Black to be awarded an Oscar award for Best Actor (for “Lilies of the Field” 1963) and demonstrating his talent in the inter-race comedy “To Sir, with Love”, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” as well as “In the Heat of the Night” (all 1967), Poitier passed away at the age of 94 on the 6th of January.
Hardy Kruger (93), an ardent anti-Nazi who performed the role of dyed-inthe-wool Nazi German officer in movies such as “A Bridge Too Far” (1977) However, he was most famous for his performances in the romantic comedy “Hatari” (1962) and war drama “Wild Geese” (1978) He passed away on January 19 and Italian star Monica Vitti (90) passed her death on February 2 and a renowned actor William Hurt (71) on March 13.
The other actors who passed in the same year also passed away were James Caan (82) or Sonny Corleone of “The Godfather” (1972) On July 6th. Greek actor Irene Papas, known as the tough woman fighter from “The Guns of Navarone” (1961) as well as she played the role of the widow of “Zorba The Greek” (1964) on the 14th of September along with Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane (72), who played the roles of both Hagrid in the film adaptions from”Norba The Greek” from the Harry Potter series as well as James Bond foe and reluctant friend Valentin Zukovsky in “Golden Eye” (1995) and “The World is Not Enough” (1999) which premiered on the 14th of October.
Indian film will miss Marathi as well as Bollywood star Ramesh Deo (96), who died on February 2nd. the actor Salim Ghouse (70) of his stunning gaze and captivating voice on April 28.
French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Beineix (75), who pioneered the ‘cinema de look movement, as well as the highly acclaimed “New Wave” director , Jean-Luc Gouard (91) was also taken off the stage on the 13th of January and September 13respectively.
Musicians from all walks of life has lost Michael Lee Aday aka Meat Loaf (74) on January 20th, Greek composer Vangelis (79) Vangelis, who introduced electronic music to the mainstream through his powerful score for the Oscar-winning sports film “Chariots of Fire” (1981) on May 17, Australian band “The Seekers” singer Judith Durham (79), best known for her song “The Carnival is Over” on August 5, and pop star Olivia Newton-John (73) well-known for her musicals such as “Grease” (197) with the young John Travolta which premiered in August 8.
Indians say goodbye for pianist Neil Nongkynrih (51), the creator of the Shillong Chamber Choir, on January 5 Bappi Lahiri, a music composer (69) the 15th of February, santoor master Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (84) who joined forces with legendary flute player Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia as Shiv-Hari that played the soulful soundtrack to a number of iconic Bollywood films the 10th of May, the playback the singer Krishnakumar Kunnath or KK (53) on May 31 and ghazal master Bhupinder Singh (82) on July 18.
Within the realm of literature authors Harry Patterson aka ‘Jack Higgins’ (92), best famous by his novel “The Eagle Has Landed” as well as other thrillers that take place during World War II and later died on April 9th. Spanish writer Javier Marias (70), who died on September 11th. English the author Dame Hilary Mantel (70) famous for bringing the period of King Henry VIII alive in books such as “Wolf Hall”, who passed away on the 22nd of September.
English scientist as well as environmentalist James Lovelock (103), well-known as the author of his Gaia idea or the earth as self-regulating died on July 26, the day after historian J.S. Grewal (95) who is famous for his work about Sikh history, passed away on August 11, and American Philosopher and logician Saul Kripke (81) breathed his last on the 15th of September.
In the world of athletics, the most surprising loss was that of Australian spin expert Shane Warne, aged 52 on March 4. The same day the wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh (74), part of the famous Australian team from the 1970s, as well as the Chapell brothers and speedsters Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thompson died that same day.
In a separate incident in another shocking incident, ex- Australian All-rounder Andrew Symonds (46) died in a crash with a car on the 14th of May.
The heavyweight Soviet weightlifter Yury Zaitsev (71) who was awarded gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympics was pronounced dead on September 30.
Another notable passing was that by Brazilian legendary Edson Arantes do Nascimento “Pele” (82) who’s fame went beyond football on the 29th of December.
In India there were several hockey veteran players have passed away in the past year. Jaswant Singh (90) who was part of the team that won silver in Rome in the year 1960. Rome Olympics on January 14th. Charanjit Singh (90) who led the team to gold in 1964’s Tokyo Olympics on January 27 and Varinder Singh (75) who was part of the team that won bronze at 1972’s Munich Olympics on June 28.
Former Women’s Hockey captain Elvera Britto (81) was also pronounced dead on the 26th of April.
One of the others to say goodbye was a soldier and avid mountaineer Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia (retd) 85, who scaled Mount Everest as part of the first Indian expedition in the year 1965. He was unaffected by a crippling battlefield injury, allowing him to continue his the sport of adventure and assist disabled people, on January 14.
Asian as well as Commonwealth Games medal-winning discus thrower Praveen Kumar Sobti (74) who decided to pursue a new path in Bollywood including in Amitabh Bachchan’s “Shahenshah”, and then as Bhim in B.R. Chopra’s TV show “Mahabharat”, passed away on the 7th of February.
Notable India industrialist Rahul Bajaj (83) died in February 12 and the architect and engineer Mahendra Raj (98) who contributed to the structural design of buildings such as those of Hall of Nations in Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, as well as the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad passed away in Hyderabad on the 8th of May.