Probably some news updates are so disheartening that your mind even refuse to sink in to them at a go. And exactly same happened when in the evening I switched on to news channels for follow up to the recent terror attack in Gurdaspur, Punjab. Suddenly I see half of my TV screens flashing with ‘Breaking News’, Former President APJ Kalam no more. And after few minutes news spread like a jungle fire. Yes, India’s 11th President Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was no more.
A teacher, philosopher, scientist, mathematician, philanthropist, environmentalist, educationalist I can go on but out of total 1013913 English words I could not even string few words to describe epitome of his charm and aura.
Born in a poor family on 15th October 1931 in Rameswaram, Dr. Kalam would distribute newspapers after his school hours to support his Father. He also played pivotal role in spearheading India’s second nuclear test at Pokhran. He served as a scientist in DRDO for more than four decades and thereon to being the President of largest democracy in the world.
His four literary creations “Wings of Fire”, “India 2020 – A Vision for the New Millennium”, “My journey” and “Ignited Minds – Unleashing the power within India” have become household names in India and remains one of highest selling books in every book fair across the country. Perhaps he remains a single leader in who has millions and millions of followers across the religious lines (possible more Hindu followers than Muslims) and from all walks of life.
Being one of most distinguished scientist of the country, Dr. Kalam was honoured with honorary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions and consequently with highest civilian honour in India, Bharat Ratna, in 1997.
I still remember when in 2005, a student delegation from our school was taken on educational trip to Rashtrapati Bhawan. Dr. Kalam proving to be the best host met every student individually and inquired about their respective dreams and future plans.
His last tweet being-
Going to Shillong.. to take course on Livable Planet earth at iim. With @srijanpalsinghand Sharma.
— APJ Abdul Kalam (@APJAbdulKalam) July 27, 2015
Possibly even he would have desired to leave this world doing what he loved most- addressing and sharing knowledge with young Indians.