.Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
The name says it all.
Before you begin reading this, let me explain to you what the post is not. This post neither is a biography of the iconic personality, nor is it an essay of bombastic words describing his greatness – only, it needs no mention, and it can’t be mentioned or measured. You, the reader, would probably know better.
This post is just my way of remembering him.
This is my tribute to him.
Dr. Kalam became the President of India in 2002; I was in class V then. To know the name of the country’s president was part of our Social Science curriculum. And that is how; I got to know his name first. 2 years into his role as a president, and he made the country realize the potential of the youth – The future pillars of the nation. His love for children and the youth brought more energy into the work he did and this set him apart from the other leaders of the nation.
His ways were unique, more down to earth and gentle. And this demeanor brought him closer to the people. And the ambition to meet him; increased. It became every student’s dream to meet him. I had the dream too. That was when I wrote this. In 2005. (Coincidentally, this was my first article to get published).
Soon after, a senior of mine at school, Shalini, had informed my mother, how she wrote a letter to the President (Dr.Kalam), and how she got a very appreciative response from him for the same. News was also around that Dr. Kalam was encouraging students to write to him; share thoughts, suggestions and ideas with him.
That was when I sent him a ‘small’ mail.
Firstly, I couldn’t believe the fact that the President of India was personally responding to the letters/mails sent to him.
Secondly, the huge dunderhead that I was (I still am), I didn’t actually know what to write to him, or ask him.
Nor did I sincerely expect a reply. But reply he did.
Not just to me, but to the thousands of others who wrote to him.
And that made a huge difference to my thought process. For the president of a country to take interest in each and every email/letter that came across, and respond to it all with immense politeness, it was a huge, huge deal. His humility amazed me.
People admired him for his simplicity, his intellect, his humbleness. That’s exactly how he has carved a niche for himself in the hearts of people. No pomp, no show. He was the “People’s President” through and through. And that will make him remain alive in their hearts forever, as much as he continues to inspire zillions all over the world.
A huge bit of regret still lies in my heart for not having had the opportunity to meet him in person, yet my little piece of email-memoir of him and the fact that I live in an era that he had lived, strive to reduce the disappointment.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, – You will be missed. Your demise has created a void in this world, that can’t be filled by any other.
Rest In Peace, Dr. Kalam