Former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s tragic passing away on Monday evening was termed as the loss of a noble soul by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as leaders and journalists poured tributes with fascinating anecdotes from his ‘simple’ life.
“A dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that doesn’t let you sleep,” the former President had once famously said.
Take an oath today.my national flag shall always fly in my heart & I will bring glory to my nation
— APJ Abdul Kalam (@APJAbdulKalam) July 5, 2015
A former wing commander Ranjit Varma, who was Dr. Kalam’s chopper pilot for two years, said the former President would always bring his tiffin with ‘Thayar Saadam’ or curd rice to eat and never touch the fancy stuff on board. “Such was the simplicity of the beloved son of India,” Varma reminisced.
During a convocation event once organised at IIT-Varanasi, Dr. Kalam refused to sit on a chair that was designated for him because it was larger than the other chairs on the stage. Another chair was then made available for the former President.
While he was President, Dr. Kalam took to Yahoo Answers to post this question, “What should we do to free our planet from terrorism?” People like Sri Sri Ravishankar, Kiran Bedi and Leander Paes then answered the question.
Also, during his first visit to Kerala as President, Dr. Kalam invited the likes of a road-side cobbler and the owner of a very small hotel as ‘Presidential Guests’.
While his love for children is widely known throughout the world, Dr. Kalam was equally fond of nature. Once, Dr. Kalam rejected the suggestion to put broken glass on the wall of a building that needed protection because the same could be harmful for birds. This was when Kalam was with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and his team was discussing steps for security.
We leave you with some of the great man’s best quotes:
“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.”
“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.”
“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”
“Unless India stands up to the world, noone will respect us.”
“Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended.”