“Dream is not that which you will see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep.”
Every once in a while, a man is born who doesn’t conform to societal thinking. He has a humble beginnings, a strict childhood, a passionate youth, and yet, achievements which make everyone proud. Every once in a while, a man stands on his character, and not on his laurels. He is know for his compassion, his kindness, his passion for achievement, his far sight, and more than anything, his humbleness. And yet, like everything, what begins has to end. Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam died on 27th of July 2015. A day when I knew that the death of a person I am not at all related to can wrench my heart.
I have heard about stories of Kekule, where perseverance has lead to the discovery of Benzene structure. Or that of Da Vinci, where the very idea of invention and creative thinking were redefined. But of that of a person whose humbleness shames you? Not always. I have learned about Dr. Kalam for a long time now. My dad told me three of his stories. The first one was about how he was sitting alone outside the office of a Junior Technical Manager, when he was in a high position at ISRO. When asked if he would like to come in and take some tea, he refused saying he is totally comfortable outside on the humble seat he was sitting ( I would complain about sitting on the same seat! ). The second one of how he created panic among the security, as he slipped the guard and was found playing with a bunch of children. And the third, which is a bit on the geeky side, was about how he woke up the whole technical wing of a hotel, as his computer stopped working.
Yet, we learn more of his stories, where he never takes credit for the missiles of India, or his role in some of the space missions. In his book, “The wings of fire”, he talks about how Dr. Sarabhai protected him when he goofed up. For me, it is a sign that he always gives credit where it is due. I don’t know any of his relatives, because he never showed them. I hardly know his religion, because he never talked about it. He always addressed us as friends. The subject of this blog is inspired from his talk in my undergrad school, “Friends, I completed 81 revolutions around the sun a couple of months ago”. A tiny man struggling on the stage and asking no one to bother about him.
I am aware of the fact that a person has to die eventually. I am aware of the fact that what starts has to end. I am aware of the fact, that an inspirational figure will eventually turn into a quote by an inspirational person in the history. Suddenly, his story has become history. It still saddens me, that one of my most inspirational character can’t revolve the sun any more.
I am writing this article to promise to myself to be a micro-fraction of his dream and vision. “Each one teach one”. I have grown to believe in education and that it is one of the greatest ways to up lift the society. It only makes sense that everyone who is willing to study should get all the opportunities to study. I hope that I will earn enough one day to fund a kid’s education every year. I hope that this post will constantly remind me of my promise. That is how I want to remember Dr. Kalam.
On a finishing note, I hope these quotes inspire anyone who reads them. It inspired me: