An Ode to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

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“My story – the story of a lad who sold his newspapers to help his brother; the story of a pupil reared by Sivasubramania Iyer and Iyadurai Solomon; the story of student taught by teachers like Pandalai; the story of an engineer spotted by MGK Menon and groomed by the legendary Prof. Sarabhai; the story of a scientist tested by failures and setbacks; the story of a leader supported by a large team of brilliant and dedicated professionals. This story will end with me, for I have no belongings in the worldly sense. I have acquired nothing, built nothing, possess nothing – no family, sons, daughters.”

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Well, for us your grace on this earth will never cease, for it is eternal.

I have many people that have been very close to me and have had a huge influence on my life. I also have role models that I have never met before. The list overflows as I look up to many great human beings, that all have had a hand in developing the way that I carry myself and my way of thinking. There is no way that I could ever claim to be Self Made. Of all the wonderful people that have had a great impact on my life, other than my spiritual gurus and others that I am very close to in my personal life, You have influenced me so much. What you accomplished in your precious life speaks for itself. You are one of the greatest leaders India has ever had. In my opinion, you are also one of the greatest human beings of all time. I have studied you since I was sixteen years old and I have always been fascinated. How you spoke with such intelligence and carried yourself with such charisma. Your confidence, faith, determination, work ethic, how you stood up for what you believed in regardless of the consequences. I draw so much inspiration from you. Your autobiography, “Wings Of Fire” gave me my love of reading. I remember how motivated I was as I watched you speak. I watched your interviews, speeches and I always find your words full of wisdom. I’ve never met you but I’ve travelled with you for a long time by reading and re-reading your books “Wings Of Fire” and “Ignited Minds”

When I heard the news, tears welled up in my eyes and I cried for you as if I’ve lost my very near beloved. May be because I’ve never got a chance to say thank you. Then I realised You are never gone because You ignited our minds and gave us wings of fire which Fill the world with the glow of its goodness. From myself and the millions of others around the world that you have influenced more than you could ever know. We would like to say thank you for all you’ve done.

“When your hopes and dreams and goals are dashed,

Search among the wreckage,

you may find a golden opportunity hidden in the ruins.”

– Excerpt from Wings of Fire

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