The eleventh President of India, a space scientist, a great inventor, an inspirational writer and visionary par excellence but first and foremost a teacher…it’s in his latter role that Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam breathed his last. Always wanting to be remembered as a teacher, Abdul Kalam’s death due to a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at Indian Institute of Managemnt, Shillong shocked the nation on Monday night as it was grieving the loss of four of its heroic policemen in successfully foiling a terrorist bid in Gurdaspur, Punjab.
The man of many talents Abdul Kalam was as much revered as loved in the country that he became first citizen off in 2002 has left the nation into mourning. Though we all have seen and taken pride in the meteoric rise of this man from humble origins, here’s encapsulating his inspirational life…
Born in Rameswaram, Tamilnadu to Jainulabudeen and Ashiamma. Abdul Kalam started supporting family financially early in life. From his father he inherited kindness and self discipline and from his mother keeping faith and benevolence.
An IIT, Madras student, he studied on scholarship, and worked wonders in the field of aerospace science. While most engineers fly away soon after their education to greener pastures settling down well in advanced nations, Abdul Kalam chose to stay put and make India a superpower in space and nuclear programs.
The road to inventing missiles – Prithvi, Agni, Brahmos – wasn’t an easy path. Doubt, ridicule poured from all corners as villages were vacated and the ambitious Agni launch was deferred more than once. But he didn’t rest till the successful launch. He was also the key man who made us nuclear power.
Kalam made probably the most popular Indian President ever. He was also the one who flew a Sukhoi jet, took ride in a nuclear submarine and joined the jawans on Siachen glacier. A vegetarian bachelor, he took pride in being totally Made in India.
Kalam leaves behind a legacy – a legacy to pursue dreams that bring goodness to masses. He wished that when he leaves, it shouldn’t be a public holiday but appealed, “Work harder if you love me.”We do love the man honoured with Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan who has penned his life story in Wings of Fire…