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Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam – wherever he went, he munificently radiated the fragrance of wisdom. Silently, he fell into everlasting slumber, doing what he loved the most. Like he always used to believe, “We will go when our time will come.” He was like that flower, humble despite all his accomplishments in life.
His simplicity was his extraordinariness. He outlived life through his deeds for a nation. Even at 83, he had indomitable verve and spirit. He was the ‘Missile Man’ of a country, which transported its first satellite on a bullock cart; such was his dedication and toil. Yet he always said that life is not rocket science. And with every phase of my life, like a flower, petal by petal, I too can feel the deeper meaning of his words.
His mission in life was truly dedicated to ‘Making a Difference’ in the lives of people and the manner in which work needed to be done.
Being a part of the arena of academics, and literature being my passion, somewhere deep within me, I have introspected to have built a connection with this great soul. That connection is the bridge of inspiration. Thus, this book!
Over all the bygone years, I have seen and interacted with thousands of students and academicians. I believe that without a dream to chase, nobody can achieve success.
As Dr. Kalam used to say, ‘Dreams are not those which you see when you are asleep, dreams are those you see when you are awake.’
When we are young, our impetus evolves from how seriously we dream, and our dreams must keep us awake and thinking. I strongly opine that more movies like ‘I am Kalam’ should be released nationwide, because a huge populace of the present generation draws inspiration from the 70mm. This 2011 film seemed to be a gush of fresh air with a simple yet profound narrative; a salient cinematic essay that delivered the essential social message.
Dr. Kalam has been an inspiration ever since my early youth and especially when I ventured to set up Techno India Group with my elder brother, 30 years ago- to invest in the future of our younger generation. The story of his life, the intensity of his quotes, and the depth of his books– everything seemed to have merged effortlessly to form a motivation within me. A boat-owner’s son in a small island town of Rameswaram, struggling at the age of eight to make ends meet by vending newspapers, chasing his dreams to become a scientist and finally stepping into the highest office of the nation – it was a journey he himself hadn’t imagined. He was the boy who stared wide-eyed at his father making a boat, and grew up to steer India’s space research and missile policies three decades later.
This book should not just be read, or made part of one’s collection, but it must make its way onto the shelves of millions of the young generation for them to draw inspiration from it. The matchless energy that Dr. Kalam had exuded until his last day to ignite the passion to dream in young students should forever be kept alive. To pay real tribute to him is to make his dream of India 2020 come true. If young students can follow the path Kalam paved for them, then they will be able to conquer all obstacles to reach their dreams.
The way he assimilated the verses of the holy Quran, the Gita and the Bible has inspired me deeply. To me, Dr. Kalam has been not just a teacher but also a concept and a vision in entirety.
This book is an edited compilation of articles, speeches, media reports and other sources from print and the web, and tributes from scientists and academicians from across the globe, to the authors of which I express my sincere gratitude.
I hope that this compilation makes as mucha as an inspirational read as much as I enjoyed putting it together.