CHENNAI AIRPORT – TAMIL NADU – INDIA JULY 28, 2015 6.30 P.M.
Last night when I was sitting in my hotel room in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, I switched on TV for news. It was everywhere. People’s President Kalam is no more. He is dead. He breathed his last in Shillong, Meghalaya.
I was pained and shocked and immediately wanted to write this obituary but internet in Port Blair is still in primitive ages. I was unable to get connected. After trying for some time, I gave up. I took early morning flight from Port Blair and reached Chennai few hours back. Waiting for my connecting flight for Mumbai, I thought to write and post this obituary.
All the daily news papers are full of the news of the sad demise of Dr. Kalam. I have nothing more to say. But one thing is crystal clear. No other President of India enjoyed this popularity. He was truly people’s President. Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India was second to none. I don’t remember much about Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the 1st President. But I have seen and vividly remember all the other 9 Presidents of India, who preceded him and the other 2, who became Presidents after him. None enjoyed such popularity, such regard and genuine affection from the classes and masses alike.
His books sold like hot cakes. Students rush to listen to his lectures. He always got thunderous ovation from the young audiences. Here are some of his most memorable quotes which will continue to inspire us in the time to come.
1. Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.
2. If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.
3. I’m not a handsome guy, but I can my hand-to-some one who needs help. Beauty is in the Heart, not in the face.
4. It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone.
5. For great men, religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool.
6. We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us.
7. Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.
8. My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.
9. Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.
10. Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.
Awarded Padma Bhushan in 1981, Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and country’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 1997, Dr Kalam was born in October 15, 1931 at Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu in a very poor family. He studied Aeronautical Engineering and graduated from Madras Institute of Technology in 1960. While working for ISRO, he was instrumental in developing India’s SLV III ( satellite launch vehicle ). Later on he developed guided missiles at DRDO. He was the man behind AGNI, PRITHVI, NAG & TRISHUL missiles. He was behind Pokhran II nuclear tests during Atal Behari Vajpayee’s regime.
And finally he became 11 th President of India in 2002 and served his full term till 2007. This glorious journey ended yesterday i.e. July 27, 2015. While delivering lecture in IIM, Shillong, he collapsed and died before reaching the hospital.
The above mentioned facts are known to everyone. I have not stated anything new. I just want to pay my respect to a poor boy of Rameswaram, who sold newspapers to eke out a living and became our President. I just want to salute the muslim gentleman, who was a vegetarian and played Rudra Veena. I just wish to be like him, who can quote Quran and Gita alike. I want to bow before a giant, who was popular among titans and kids alike.
Farewell Kalam sir! I salute you for igniting my mind! I bow to you for teaching me to dream and dream big. Thanks for giving us “Wings of Fire” so that we can fly and fly high!
On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my condolences to the departed soul.
I will be eternally grateful to Kalam sir for giving me wings of fire to fly. Farewell missile man! There will not be anyone like you ever. People like him are never born, never dead, they just visit the planet earth and leave after accomplishing their destined job.
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
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