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Remembering Dr. Kalam

It is hard to imagine that someone I have never met left such a profound sense of personal loss when he passed away. Though he has had many titles bestowed upon him, and he was popular for leading the nuclear tests and as one of the greatest presidents of our country, many do not know that he came from humble backgrounds, and was not born into a privileged background.

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam delivering a speech

Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam delivering a speech

He used to sell newspapers to supplement his family’s income, and had difficulties paying the fee of his course at Madras Institute of Technology. I have never, in my entire life that I followed the media, heard a single remark or comment by him or others about him, that put him in bad light. Recipients of various honours by the government, Mr. Kalam cherished his connection to academics, youth and children. No wonder that he was nominated for the MTV Youth Icon Award twice in 2003 and 2006. Anecdotes of his graciousness and humility towards his colleagues, and during his stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan are aplenty to speak about his great character. A poet himself, it seems oddly poetic that he bid us goodbye among students, and doing what he loved most: talking to them. He clearly brought dignity, respect and inspiration to any role he played, and did so with utmost grace and wisdom. As the nation enters a 7-day mourning period, I request every reader to read his autobiography once, and seek inspiration, and work towards an Indian that he envisioned. The world lost a proficient writer, a talented scientist, a great leader, a nurturing guide and above all a humble soul yesterday. I am sure; he is inspiring and mentoring people, helping them in whatever capacity, wherever he is.

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