Tuesday, 28 July 2015

An Evening With The Missile Man Of India...

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Yesterday was ominous.
All of us know why I am saying so.

The Missile Man Of India,
The People's President. 

Bharat's Ratna,
A True Indian. 

Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam aimed for the heavens, yesterday, with his wings of fire. 
An inspiration for millions, the luminary breathed his last while pursuing his passion - delivering a lecture, to guide the students at IIM Shillong, on the subject which most interested him and his envisioning of 2020 - 'The Livable Planet Earth'. 

I had been fortunate enough and feel honored to say that I had attended one such conference, as yesterday's where Sir spent his last moments, albeit at the Teen Murti Bhavan on October 30, 2014. 

While I had found those photographs in my portable hard drive just last week and planned to chronicle the same sometime around now, I had not, in my wildest dreams imagined that the reason to pen the post would pursue a different course altogether. 

While it is a matter of pride that I had spent a significant sixteen minutes that day, listening to, and admiring Sir's oratory skills - the time which has come to a standstill for me, I now realize that living in the moment is a priceless experience. 

For, it is at the moment that you're able to cherish the incident. This is a fact, which holds true for those students and Sir, yesterday, as well as for that day, when Sir had graced the inauguration of the exhibition, "The Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing The World".

It was heartening to see that Professor George Smoot, a Nobel Laureate, had flown down for the occasion, and Kailash Satyarthi, who was at that time, yet to be awarded the Nobel Prize, had chosen to grace the gathering as well.

Alongside the inauguration, there was also, a seminar based on 'How Can Scientific Creativity Deliver The Greatest Benefit To Humankind?'

I feel that Dr. Kalam was the best person to speak about the importance of science and technology and its benefit to mankind. There couldn't have been anyone better than him to delve on this subject.

It came as no surprise when he stepped on the dais.

There was pin-drop silence as he began to speak with the facade of the historic Teen Murti Bhavan as a humble backdrop.

They didn't call him as the People's President, for no reason. Without any air about himself having been a former President of the Nation, the effortlessness and the pleasant smile with which he greeted all those who were present at the gathering was admirable. 

Even afterward, when all the dignitaries and the members of the audience were led into the main building for the inauguration of the gallery of exhibits, he was ever-so-involved, praising the course the Nobel Museum had taken and the numerous revolutionary ideas, it had felicitated over the past years. 

The moment to be 'freeze-frame'-d was however yet to come. As I approached Sir, with my Book and a Pen for him to sign, in hand, he intently told me that he would sign that page with his own Pen. 

And, am I thankful to heavens for that? I sure am. Even the INK from such an illustrious individual's PEN is an invaluable gift. 



APJ Abdul Kalam

What you don't see in the image, however, is the fact that the final stroke towards the edge of the page has done a full curve around the rest of the pages of the book, and come back to the current page. 

It is like the underline did a full orbit, like a real Missile and landed back on Earth. :)

Such was Sir's perseverance and dedication towards his passion, that it reflected even in ink. 

As I close this post, I leave you with the oration delivered by Sir, at the occasion.

It is a sixteen-minute long audio recording. It is a prized possession for me, especially now. 

May your soul RIP, Sir. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this prized speech by Dr Kalam.

    1. It is a invaluable gift to have been there to listen to him, first person, that day, Somali.
      Keep Visiting. :)

  2. It must be a memorable evening. Lucky you!
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. wow Poonam.. thanks for sharing such a wonderful speech by Dr. Kalam..
    Cheers, Archana - www.drishti.co

  4. Poonam, thanks for sharing Dr.Kalam's wonderful speech.

  5. In Awe Poonam. I admire everyone who comes in contact with him because I am sure he has impacted them in one way or the other. Autograph! Why it never struck me I wonder probably I took him for granted that I did not see him different. Happy to visit your blog and this post.

    Lionel and Tata can do wonders to our country. A Global ambassador does not stop from being just a celebrity on the screen but can go a long way in providing value. Football in India is gaining exposure and foothold with Indian Supreme League. Now a great legend such as Messi here can give a big boost and belief in the possibility of our guys making it big in International level. Tata Motors has not only brought in a legend as their ambassador but also the necessary push to excel in sports other than Cricket. Way to go!

    Chennai Focus

  6. Thanks for coming over and echoing the emotion, Katie.
    I believe it has been a folly to think of this as my post for the #madeofgreat contest. Sadly, fresh posts are being taken in for the contest and this is an old account.
    Happy to have you here, too.
    Keep Visiting. :)

  7. I had the pleasure of meeting this great soul very briefly almost a decade ago and would always prize it as one of the best moments of my life! The aura of wisdom & peace that he radiated and how humble he was! Thanks for making those memories fresh with this post :)


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