A visionary who taught us to dream…dream and dream has flown away flapping his wings of fire. Maybe he has glided towards an unknown dimension. There is even a possibility that he still out there in the dark sky watching over us with the same innocent smile he always carries with him. We know you cannot just leave us like that dear Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. You are too precious to be lost and no Indian can ever forget you till time’s end.
What Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has left behind is an unparalleled legacy. He is not just a person to be defined in mortal terms…he is a sensation and an immortal pride of every Indian. He had set an all new benchmark for how a President should be when he was in office. Dr. APJ awed the world a million times over with his scientific genius, management capabilities and most important of all- his down to earth attitude and humble life style. Guess we all remember how years after his retirement from President’s office, people used to think that Dr. APJ was still the President of India. We just could not let go of him then as a president. And we cannot let go of him even now as a national treasure.That is the kind of impact he had on the minds of people. He made us feel that someone is out THERE, who cared for us, who strived to make India a better place for all of us. He always strived for excellence and toiled hard every moment of his life to project India as a super power on the world stage. A hero and a true motivator in every sense not only for the young, but for every generation.
I still remember reading the amazing story of a news paper boy and his journey from a remote fishing village in Rameshwaram to the office of President Of India. Guys, “Wings of Fire” became an instant national sensation. He was the 11th President of India. Dr. A.P.J has laid down his own life in front of us to show that nothing is impossible. After making DRDO and ISRO proud with his PSLV and SLV projects (both successful), his signature ballistic missile projects Agni or Prithvi earned him the name Missile Man Of India. He truly dreamed of making India a superpower and not only that, he made the entire nation envision his dream. He played a key political and technological role in Pokhran-II. When many considered the development of Thermo-Nuclear bomb by India as a frizzle, he went ahead with the project taking complete responsibility. The rest we know is history. The world made way for the arrival of a new India…a mighty India and at the helm of the ship was a man with long hair and twinkling small eyes full of dreams.
This is not the only reason why millions like us love Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam. He came out of the air-conditioned luxury of Rashtrapathi Bhavan, bridging the gap between the common man and the President’s Office. He walked, played, sang, dined, danced and spoke amongst us in terms of Aam Aadmi’s dreams and aspirations. When a generation started loosing hope in the future of this nation, he marched ahead, teaching us to take pride in what we are and what we were. Slowly over a period of 5 years i.e. from 2002 to 2007, he instilled a kind of confidence and optimist in the youth of this country like no other leader. Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam is thus hailed as the ‘People’s President’. I still remember a set of students from my school who were lucky enough to meet him. And guess where they met Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam?? In Attapadi, a tribal settlement in Silent Valley, almost 2000 feet above sea level. He had landed there to interact with the tribal population from almost 135 hamlets. That is kind of reach he had. I have always known him through his writings. Through his ‘Wings of Fire’ and ‘India-2020’ (fond memories of how eagerly we students waited to grab that single copy in the school library flashes in front of my eyes).
A loss of this magnitude would be too much to for a country to bear. Especially for those citizens who were lucky enough to meet/ interact with him. But we need to stay on and work towards his dream of India-2020 where India is a knowledge-super power.
I submit this blog as a tribute to the great visionary who inspired us to dream beyond dimensions… Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam…we miss you…
Let this be the words that reverberate across the country at this moment and let us take one step forward towards realizing his dream…
“A developed India by 2020, or even earlier, is not a dream. It need not be a mere vision in the minds of many Indians. It is a mission we can all take up – and succeed.” – Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam
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