Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening my friends, wherever you are! This is 8:00am. 15thAugust, 2015, Saturday in India. Today is the Independence Day of India; a proud day for all the Indians! And this day is more special for us, because, you know that it’s our anniversary day! I want to congratulate you all for the 3rd anniversary of this blog; because, this journey never be completed without your love and support. Thank you so much my friends for your love!
This Independence Day, I really miss a person, who is not in my family list, or I didn’t know him personally, but, I remember his words in several times in my life! He is our former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He has passed away on July 27, 2015. It is really a great loss for India as well as Indians. His life is a ‘Teaching-Institute’ itself, I think! Today I want to remember him and show him my respect by telling you some unknown stories about him. Here I go………
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam who was popularly known as APJ Abdul Kalam was one of the most influential personalities of India. This former president of India (11th president of India) is a lot more than just a political figure. He is a scientist, thinker, Inspiration and a youth icon. Undoubtedly he was in true sense “the missile man” of India. Despite achieving such a stupendous success on every front in life, he always believed in simplicity and humility. People know him as a renowned scientist, played a pivotal role in giving spur to India's space technology. But very few would be aware about multifaceted life of Kalam.
Abdul Kalam was born as the youngest of five children of a Muslim boat owner named Jainulabudeen and his wife Ashiamma, in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. His father, a humble boat owner, Jainulabdeen, was a devout Muslim and a close friend of the Rameswaram temple priest. Kalam grew up in humble surroundings and had to take up a job while he was still in school in order to augment his family’s meager income—he distributed newspapers to help his father in providing for the family. He was a bright young boy, blessed with a thirst for knowledge and was always eager to learn new things. Kalam used to get up at 4 am, bathe, and then go for his mathematics class, which was taught by a teacher who took only five students in the whole session; and bathing before class was a condition he had laid to all his students. He completed his schooling from Ramanathapuram Schwartz Matriculation School and proceeded to study physics at the Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli, from where he graduated in 1954. Then he studied aerospace engineering in Madras Institute of Technology, graduating in 1960. His childhood ambition was to become a fighter pilot but he narrowly missed achieving his dream.
Muslim by religion, he believed in all religion. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam used to read both Kuran, Bhagvad Gita. Not only that, he was expert in playing Saraswati, Veena. Dr. Kalam was a scholar of Thirukkural (a classic of couplets or Kurals). In most of his speeches, he quoted at least one kural.
Kalam was the third President of India to have been honored with a Bharat Ratna before being elected to the chair of President. The Bharat Ratna was conferred on Dr. Kalam by K. R. Narayanan who was then President of India. Not only that, the Government of India has honored him with the nation’s highest civilian honors: the Padma Bhushan (1981), Padma Vibhushan (1990) for his contribution in ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government of India. In 2003 and in 2006 he was nominated for the MTV Youth Icon of the Year award.
Kalam was a part of country’s first nuclear test. He was the Chief Scientific Adviser to Defense Minister and Secretary, Department of Defense Research & Development (July 1992 to December 1999). Pokhran-2 nuclear tests were conducted under his leadership. He is the first scientist and first unmarried person to become the President of India.
Sir Kalam took great care of his colleagues. He is very kind and caring person. A co worker had promised his kids that he would take them to the local carnival after returning from work, the co-worker had also obtained the prior permission of Mr.Kalam to leave early. The colleague was involved in his work that it was well into and then he realized that he had made a promise to his kids. On rushing back home, he came to know through his wife that Mr.Kalam had come earlier and taken his kids to the carnival!
Soon after becoming president in 2002, he was supposed to address students at a school function. When he was about to start his speech, the electricity suddenly went off. Nothing was working but Kalam remained nonchalant. He told huge crowd of students to gather him around listen him. Kalam gave the mesmerizing lecture without any interruption for hours. Such was the aura of the Kalam.
Once Kalam ordered not to put broken glass on the wall for its protection as it will harm birds. This had happened when he used to serve at Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).When Organization had planned to put glass on the wall as a protection cover, Kalam rejected the idea without thinking it twice.
In one of the event when President Kalam was offered special seat to him, he had refused the offer. The reason being the chair was bigger in the size and was meant to give Kalam special honour. He had given up all his life savings and salaries to a trust he founded named PURA (Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas).
As the President, Dr. Kalam was entitled to invite anyone as the “Presidential Guests” to the Raj Bhavan of Kerela during his first visit to Trivandrum. Dr. Kalam had spent a significant time as a scientist in Trivandrum and he invited a road-side cobbler – who was quite close to Dr. Kalam during his time in Kerala; and so was the owner of the small hotel where Dr. Kalam would often have his meals. Can you imagine any other politician or a celebrity inviting a cobbler and a small business owner as their most prestigious guests?
Truly, Dr. Kalam was a man who believed in serving the humankind with love and magnanimous attitude.
That’s all for today! Hope you liked today’s story. I’m always trying to manage more time to blog, as you all want; hope this year I can blog more here! Take care of your family, children and of course of yourself! Have a good day/ afternoon/evening/night! Namaskar.
Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.’ – APJ Abdul Kalam.