Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby chandrasekaran » 28 Jul 2015 07:15

Please watch this, preferably with your children - though this is in Tamil, has very nice sub-titles. Can assure that its one of the best 25 minutes you will spend. Striking simplicity and humility
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY_oMRu-tIE

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Dumal » 28 Jul 2015 07:31

What a beautiful majestic death, perfectly fitting end to a beautiful, magical life. He managed to only bring joy around him whatever he did, wherever he was. Some of the images that will be forever green in my memory - the old b&w picture of him riding a bicycle with a sounding rocket tied to the back, his considered decision not to cut his hair shorter having become the President, climbing into the cockpit of a Sukhoi for a well deserved twirl and his ever - smiling, Mickey Mouse - like face. We have been very fortunate to have had him President even if for only five short but sweet years. Somehow I think his life and times are a lesson in the philosophy of how every single mortal soul can transcend itself, how fate is in our hands and is up to us to shape it and how even death can be nice to us. Grateful to his mother and father and his early environment for nurturing such a unique gem. When will we see another like him?

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby shiv » 28 Jul 2015 07:50

uddu wrote:I was hoping that once the term of President Pranab ends we can have Dr.Kalam as President again. I do remember when the whole nation wanted Dr.Kalam to be given a second chance to be the President.

Only Pratibha Patil left now :((

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby vasu raya » 28 Jul 2015 07:56

Kalam's Charkha was giving inspiring speeches and it went silent today, someday his memoirs would come out.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby member_23360 » 28 Jul 2015 08:10

RIP Kalam Sir,

Great Son of Mother India, Please come back, India needs you .. :( :(

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby rahulm » 28 Jul 2015 08:21

A great man of humility who graced the country.

In addition to this great achievements which gave India the strategic space in the world, his enduring achievement is to instil in every Indian the belief that we can be right up there with the best and even better.

I saw his house from outside when I was in Dhanushkodi as few years ago. In fact, I specially made the trip from Madurai to see the place where he came from. His house looked very plain and ordinary, like that of a commoner - unlike the houses of even junior level bureaucrats/police/politicians.

"Wings of Fire" is one of the very few books that I was able to read in one sitting.

Flesh goes the way all flesh does. That is the law. His life is to celebrate and to carry on his good work.

Maybe, the government can buy his house and convert it into a museum to honour the missile man who created AGNI and entertained the possibility of it delivering flowers. Very Indic. :-)

RIP Sir. Present and future generations of this nation owe you that which cannot be repaid. Thank you.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby member_22539 » 28 Jul 2015 08:35

Image

RIP most worthy son of Bharat, you are a guiding light for every patriot, a true giant among giants.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Nick_S » 28 Jul 2015 09:53

RIP sir.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby SSridhar » 28 Jul 2015 10:17

Image
Picture Courtesy: Dinakaran

A great son of India has departed after fantastic service to his motherland.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby schinnas » 28 Jul 2015 10:21

Once Kalam remarked about why we are so focused on negatives in our nation. Re counted an incident when he was visiting Tel Aviv, on a day after a terror attack, the morning news papers carried a positive news of an elderly Jewish person who created an orchid in a deserted area very prominently in the first page and discussed the sad news in the inner pages and at the same time responding strong to the attack.

Even in his passing, he managed to send a message of inspiration and gratefulness to the nation which would have been in doom due to the Punjab terror attack by Pukis. The terror attack is an utter failure as due to President Kalam's passing the focus shifted from discussion on Khalistan that our media was bound to do and which was probably one of the aims of the perpetrators.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby member_28640 » 28 Jul 2015 10:21

My Facebook feed is full of people who met him, had a quick friendly word and got inspiration, how many children, teens and young adults would this great man have met how many would he have made a better person for just that 2-3 minute long meeting , that selfie? His reach was so wide and that too without much use of the internet. The whole nation is in tears, I say we haven't given this man his due. A true patriot, a mould for all others after him.
God chose to honour this great man, he wished to die working, doing what he loved and he attained mosh, without pain, without fear. Like the proud magnificent Indian he is.
RIP Sir, may your words never be forgotten

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Philip » 28 Jul 2015 10:25

When one thinks of APJ,one thinks of Gandhi and his dream and singlemindedness to free India from oppression and colonial rule. APJ sought to free our minds from the shackles of "it can't be done" .Like Martin Luther King,he too had his dreams...and achieved them! There is a lovely quote in a paper about his words of "defeating defeatism" and the advice given to him by a Swami in Rishikesh,originally from TN,who told him to accept the fate ordained for him but to do his duty to the utmost.

I was lucky to meet him on a few occasions. At one function where he was chief guest, knowing he eschewed mementos,I had a book as a gift for him,which he was so excited to see,and like a child grabbed it from my hands, tore off the wrapping and immediately started flipping through the pages and pics ! They say that all he's left ,personal belongings are a few boxes of books.

My most vivid memory of him however was at an Aero-India long before he became pres.It was at the DRDO pavilion,which was separated from the aisles by glass partitions. I watched him on the other side,a few feet away examining the displays.But what seemed to fascinate him was one display where he spent a long time. Curious to see what he was looking at I went across after he moved to another item. It was photos of a mobile man-portable fire-fighting device meant for use to put out fires of crashed aircraft at bases,the contraption meant to traverse difficult terrain which vehicles couldn't. That showed the man's heart,that the lives of the pilots was what mattered and meant so much to him. I mentioned this incident to him years later at a function and he smiled and said that he remembered it.

His greatest achievements are probably set in the future,in the future achievements of the lakhs of young schoolchildren whose minds he "ignited" whenever he addressed them at school functions.His family,the body of scientists ,his colleagues and all those Indians whose lives he touched and inspired will find this loss irreparable. He came into this world with nothing,he left it with virtually nothing,but left behind riches for India without price.

RIP our "People's President",you are now one with the cosmos,from whence you came and hopefully for India from where you will return.

PS: I mentioned BRF to him,how it was formed and its objective of making Indians aware of defence and strategic affairs and requested him to check out the site.He was eager to check it out and I gave him the details . We will never know if he did "lurk" .
Last edited by Philip on 28 Jul 2015 10:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby sarkar » 28 Jul 2015 10:30

I was so sad to hear it yesterday.
He lived his life building a nation on the foundation of Science. This is what needed from today's youth. Children should be taught to open their brains and let in the curiosity for science than just reading the books to get 98% is exams. I always admired Indian scientists like Kalam, JC Bose, SN Bose, CV Raman who have inspired millions others. Govt have declared 7 day of state mourning, but a true tribute to that legend would be to encourage students to get out of tv & facebook and explore world with scientific curiosity. May be a "Mann Ki Baat" session for science. A country like ours riddled with superstition and caste system for centuries, we need more APJ Kalams to break us out of the limbo.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby schinnas » 28 Jul 2015 10:38

This quality of him contributed to making him such an inspirational figure. During duty as worship giving ones best effort with full enthusiasm, and not distressed by negative outcomes on the way are the signs of a Karma Yogi. #RIPKalam.

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/former-p ... eststories

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Atri » 28 Jul 2015 10:46

:)

Image

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby schinnas » 28 Jul 2015 11:03

President Kalam's last moments. Quoting this in full as for truly great men, their life is their message. Just reading about his last few hours is enough to understand what made him so great and such an inspirational figure.

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/on-faceb ... ay-1201268?

This was posted on Facebook at 4 am by the former President's aide, Srijan Pal Singh.

Here is the full text of the post:

What I will be remembered for... my memory of the last day with the great Kalam sir...

It has been eight hours since we last talked - sleep eludes me and memories keep flushing down, sometimes as tears. Our day, 27th July, began at 12 noon, when we took our seats in the flight to Guwahati. Dr. Kalam was 1A and I was 1C. He was wearing a dark colored "Kalam suit", and I started off complimenting, "Nice color!" Little did I know this was going to be the last color I will see on him.

RELATED
Opinion: Citizen Kalam: Fine Mind, Biggest Heart
Public Tribute to Former President APJ Abdul Kalam At His Residence in Delhi
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam Congratulated Cop Moments Before He Collapsed
Long, 2.5 hours of flying in the monsoon weather. I hate turbulence, and he had mastered over them. Whenever he would see me go cold in shaking plane, he would just pull down the window pane and saw, "Now you don't see any fear!".

That was followed by another 2.5 hours of car drive to IIM Shillong. For these two-legged trip of five hours we talked, discussed and debated. These were amongst hundreds of the long flights and longer drives we have been together over the last six years.

As each of them, this was as special too. Three incidents/discussions in particular will be "lasting memories of our last trip".

First, Dr. Kalam was absolutely worried about the attacks in Punjab. The loss of innocent lives left him filled with sorrow. The topic of lecture at IIM Shillong was Creating a Livable Planet Earth. He related the incident to the topic and said, "It seems the manmade forces are as big a threat to the livability of earth as pollution". We discussed on how, if this trend of violence, pollution and reckless human action continues we will forced to leave earth. "Thirty years, at this rate, maybe", he said. "You guys must do something about it... it is going to be your future world"

Our second discussion was more national. For the past two days, Dr. Kalam was worried that time and again Parliament, the supreme institution of democracy, was dysfunctional. He said, "I have seen two different governments in my tenure. I have seen more after that. This disruption just keeps happening. It is not right. I really need to find out a way to ensure that the parliament works on developmental politics." He then asked me to prepare a surprise assignment question for the students at IIM Shillong, which he would give them only at the end of the lecture. He wanted them to suggest three innovative ways to make Parliament more productive and vibrant. Then, after a while he returned on it. "But how can I ask them to give solutions if I don't have any myself".

For the next one hour, we thwarted options after options, to come up with his recommendation over the issue. We wanted to include this discussion in our upcoming book, Advantage India.

Third, was an experience from the beauty of his humility. We were in a convoy of 6-7 cars. Dr. Kalam and I were in the second car. Ahead of us was an open gypsy with three soldiers in it. Two of them were sitting on either side and one lean guy was standing atop, holding his gun. One hour into the road journey, Dr. Kalam said, "Why is he standing? He will get tired. This is like punishment. Can you ask a wireless message to be given that he may sit?" I had to convince him, he has been probably instructed to keep standing for better security. He did not relent. We tried radio messaging, that did not work. For the next 1.5 hours of the journey, he reminded me thrice to see if I can hand signal him to sit down. Finally, realizing there is little we can do - he told me, "I want to meet him and thank him". Later, when we landed in IIM Shillong, I went inquiring through security people and got hold of the standing guy. I took him inside and Dr. Kalam greeted him. He shook his hand, said thank you buddy. "Are you tired? Would you like something to eat? I am sorry you had to stand so long because of me". The young lean guard, draped in black cloth, was surprised at the treatment. He lost words, just said, "Sir, aapke liye to 6 ghante bhi khade rahenge".

After this, we went to the lecture hall. He did not want to be late for the lecture. "Students should never be made to wait", he always said. I quickly set up his mike, briefed on final lecture and took position on the computers. As I pinned his mike, he smiled and said, "Funny guy! Are you doing well?" 'Funny guy', when said by Kalam could mean a variety of things, depending on the tone and your own assessment. It could mean, you have done well, you have messed up something, you should listen to him or just that you have been plain naive or he was just being jovial. Over six years I had learnt to interpret Funny Guy like the back of my palm. This time it was the last case.

"Funny guy! Are you doing well?" he said. I smiled back, "Yes". Those were the last words he said. Two minutes into the speech, sitting behind him, I heard a long pause after completing one sentence. I looked at him, he fell down.

We picked him up. As the doctor rushed, we tried whatever we could. I will never forget the look in his three-quarter closed eyes and I held his head with one hand and tried reviving with whatever I could. His hands clenched, curled onto my finger. There was stillness on his face and those wise eyes were motionlessly radiating wisdom. He never said a word. He did not show pain, only purpose was visible.

In five minutes, we were in the nearest hospital. In another few minutes, they indicated the Missile Man had flown away, forever. I touched his feet, one last time. Adieu old friend! Grand mentor! See you in my thoughts and meet in the next birth.

As I turned back, a closet of thoughts opened.

Often he would ask me, "You are young, decide what will you like to be remembered for?" I kept thinking of new impressive answers, till one day I gave up and resorted to tit-for-tat. I asked him back, "First you tell me, what will you like to be remembered for? President, Scientist, Writer, Missile man, India 2020, Target 3 billion.... What?" I thought I had made the question easier by giving options, but he sprang on me a surprise. "Teacher", he said.

Then something he said two weeks back when we were discussing about his missile-time friends. He said, "Children need to take care of their parents. It is sad that sometimes this is not happening". He paused and said, "Two things. Elders must also do. Never leave wealth at your deathbed - that leaves a fighting family. Second, one is blessed if one can die working, standing tall without any long-drawn ailing. Goodbyes should be short, really short".

Today, I look back - he took the final journey, teaching, what he always wanted to be remembered doing. And, till his final moment he was standing, working and lecturing. He left us, as a great teacher, standing tall. He leaves the world with nothing accumulated in his account but loads of wishes and love of people. He was successful, even in his end.

Will miss all the lunches and dinners we had together, will miss all the times you surprised me with your humility and startled me with your curiosity, will miss the lessons of life you taught in action and words, will miss our struggles to race to make into flights, our trips, our long debates. You gave me dreams, you showed me dreams need to be impossible, for anything else is a compromise to my own ability. The man is gone, the mission lives on. Long live Kalam.

Your indebted student,
Srijan Pal Singh

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby hnair » 28 Jul 2015 11:24

Kalam-sahib, that you will be missed is an understatement!

Every time I go to Sree Guruvayoorappan Hotel here in Trivandrum and sit below the photos of at the place that you had food for 25 long years, it used to bring great pride for the owner Parameswaran Nair-chettan to narrate about a President who still come regularly to meet the humble chap who served him "warm veg meals", whenever he is in town. A Krishna-Kuchela relationship, that I had seen since I used to eat lunch at the tiny hole-in-wall place since 80s (during my 11th-12th times). At that time, he had left town for the rose-petal work. But his casual ambience around us students remained till the end

Too numerous moments that you have affected all our lives. Adaranjalikal, Kalam-sayiippe....

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Yagnasri » 28 Jul 2015 11:39

One of my friends worked the Kalamji long time back while he was working on Agni Project. He used to tell how single minded kalamji was. Spending day after day on work with no regard for time, sleep, food etc. Truely a great son for the mother land.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby RKumar » 28 Jul 2015 12:01

Salaam Kalam Sir!!! Jai Hind!! .... we will always remember you, RIP.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby ShauryaT » 28 Jul 2015 12:16

APJ Abdul Kalam ji: Deepest gratitudes for showing millions the way of how to live a glorious life. May you attain Moksha for your Karma was certainly Nishkam!

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby member_20453 » 28 Jul 2015 12:25

schinnas wrote:President Kalam's last moments. Quoting this in full as for truly great men, their life is their message. Just reading about his last few hours is enough to understand what made him so great and such an inspirational figure.

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/on-faceb ... ay-1201268?

This was posted on Facebook at 4 am by the former President's aide, Srijan Pal Singh.

Here is the full text of the post:

What I will be remembered for... my memory of the last day with the great Kalam sir...

It has been eight hours since we last talked - sleep eludes me and memories keep flushing down, sometimes as tears. Our day, 27th July, began at 12 noon, when we took our seats in the flight to Guwahati. Dr. Kalam was 1A and I was 1C. He was wearing a dark colored "Kalam suit", and I started off complimenting, "Nice color!" Little did I know this was going to be the last color I will see on him.

RELATED
Opinion: Citizen Kalam: Fine Mind, Biggest Heart
Public Tribute to Former President APJ Abdul Kalam At His Residence in Delhi
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam Congratulated Cop Moments Before He Collapsed
Long, 2.5 hours of flying in the monsoon weather. I hate turbulence, and he had mastered over them. Whenever he would see me go cold in shaking plane, he would just pull down the window pane and saw, "Now you don't see any fear!".

That was followed by another 2.5 hours of car drive to IIM Shillong. For these two-legged trip of five hours we talked, discussed and debated. These were amongst hundreds of the long flights and longer drives we have been together over the last six years.

As each of them, this was as special too. Three incidents/discussions in particular will be "lasting memories of our last trip".

First, Dr. Kalam was absolutely worried about the attacks in Punjab. The loss of innocent lives left him filled with sorrow. The topic of lecture at IIM Shillong was Creating a Livable Planet Earth. He related the incident to the topic and said, "It seems the manmade forces are as big a threat to the livability of earth as pollution". We discussed on how, if this trend of violence, pollution and reckless human action continues we will forced to leave earth. "Thirty years, at this rate, maybe", he said. "You guys must do something about it... it is going to be your future world"

Our second discussion was more national. For the past two days, Dr. Kalam was worried that time and again Parliament, the supreme institution of democracy, was dysfunctional. He said, "I have seen two different governments in my tenure. I have seen more after that. This disruption just keeps happening. It is not right. I really need to find out a way to ensure that the parliament works on developmental politics." He then asked me to prepare a surprise assignment question for the students at IIM Shillong, which he would give them only at the end of the lecture. He wanted them to suggest three innovative ways to make Parliament more productive and vibrant. Then, after a while he returned on it. "But how can I ask them to give solutions if I don't have any myself".

For the next one hour, we thwarted options after options, to come up with his recommendation over the issue. We wanted to include this discussion in our upcoming book, Advantage India.

Third, was an experience from the beauty of his humility. We were in a convoy of 6-7 cars. Dr. Kalam and I were in the second car. Ahead of us was an open gypsy with three soldiers in it. Two of them were sitting on either side and one lean guy was standing atop, holding his gun. One hour into the road journey, Dr. Kalam said, "Why is he standing? He will get tired. This is like punishment. Can you ask a wireless message to be given that he may sit?" I had to convince him, he has been probably instructed to keep standing for better security. He did not relent. We tried radio messaging, that did not work. For the next 1.5 hours of the journey, he reminded me thrice to see if I can hand signal him to sit down. Finally, realizing there is little we can do - he told me, "I want to meet him and thank him". Later, when we landed in IIM Shillong, I went inquiring through security people and got hold of the standing guy. I took him inside and Dr. Kalam greeted him. He shook his hand, said thank you buddy. "Are you tired? Would you like something to eat? I am sorry you had to stand so long because of me". The young lean guard, draped in black cloth, was surprised at the treatment. He lost words, just said, "Sir, aapke liye to 6 ghante bhi khade rahenge".

After this, we went to the lecture hall. He did not want to be late for the lecture. "Students should never be made to wait", he always said. I quickly set up his mike, briefed on final lecture and took position on the computers. As I pinned his mike, he smiled and said, "Funny guy! Are you doing well?" 'Funny guy', when said by Kalam could mean a variety of things, depending on the tone and your own assessment. It could mean, you have done well, you have messed up something, you should listen to him or just that you have been plain naive or he was just being jovial. Over six years I had learnt to interpret Funny Guy like the back of my palm. This time it was the last case.

"Funny guy! Are you doing well?" he said. I smiled back, "Yes". Those were the last words he said. Two minutes into the speech, sitting behind him, I heard a long pause after completing one sentence. I looked at him, he fell down.

We picked him up. As the doctor rushed, we tried whatever we could. I will never forget the look in his three-quarter closed eyes and I held his head with one hand and tried reviving with whatever I could. His hands clenched, curled onto my finger. There was stillness on his face and those wise eyes were motionlessly radiating wisdom. He never said a word. He did not show pain, only purpose was visible.

In five minutes, we were in the nearest hospital. In another few minutes, they indicated the Missile Man had flown away, forever. I touched his feet, one last time. Adieu old friend! Grand mentor! See you in my thoughts and meet in the next birth.

As I turned back, a closet of thoughts opened.

Often he would ask me, "You are young, decide what will you like to be remembered for?" I kept thinking of new impressive answers, till one day I gave up and resorted to tit-for-tat. I asked him back, "First you tell me, what will you like to be remembered for? President, Scientist, Writer, Missile man, India 2020, Target 3 billion.... What?" I thought I had made the question easier by giving options, but he sprang on me a surprise. "Teacher", he said.

Then something he said two weeks back when we were discussing about his missile-time friends. He said, "Children need to take care of their parents. It is sad that sometimes this is not happening". He paused and said, "Two things. Elders must also do. Never leave wealth at your deathbed - that leaves a fighting family. Second, one is blessed if one can die working, standing tall without any long-drawn ailing. Goodbyes should be short, really short".

Today, I look back - he took the final journey, teaching, what he always wanted to be remembered doing. And, till his final moment he was standing, working and lecturing. He left us, as a great teacher, standing tall. He leaves the world with nothing accumulated in his account but loads of wishes and love of people. He was successful, even in his end.

Will miss all the lunches and dinners we had together, will miss all the times you surprised me with your humility and startled me with your curiosity, will miss the lessons of life you taught in action and words, will miss our struggles to race to make into flights, our trips, our long debates. You gave me dreams, you showed me dreams need to be impossible, for anything else is a compromise to my own ability. The man is gone, the mission lives on. Long live Kalam.

Your indebted student,
Srijan Pal Singh


This read has gotten me into Tears. A truly glorious passing for one of India's finest sons. RIP dear Kalam sir, we know today you walk with angels, teaching them a thing or two about being a true human being.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby SSridhar » 28 Jul 2015 12:57

chandrasekaran wrote:Please watch this, preferably with your children - though this is in Tamil, has very nice sub-titles. Can assure that its one of the best 25 minutes you will spend. Striking simplicity and humility
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY_oMRu-tIE


Oh, what a great man. In the end, he blessed the teachers! Thanks for posting.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby vipinM » 28 Jul 2015 12:58

RIP Kalam Ji...May you attain Moksha

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby prahaar » 28 Jul 2015 13:09

Kalamji, you have been an inspiration to many. Very sad, and a big loss. Just a few weeks back, I heard a short lecture describing APJK interactions with Pramukh Swamiji (BAPS, Swaminarayan). It was enchanting. A big loss. I will be greedy and wish, he comes back, to either make (or at least see) the India he envisioned.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Dileep » 28 Jul 2015 13:31

When the student is ready, the teacher shall incarnate. Bharatham needed a teacher, and the teacher incarnated as Maharishi Avul Pakir Jainulabdin Abdul Kalam.

Thus we pray:

तन्मामवतु ।
तद्वक्तारमवतु ।
अवतु माम् ।
अवतु वक्तारम् ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

We do not pray RIP. We do not pray moksha. We pray only अवतु वक्तारम्

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Hemanth » 28 Jul 2015 15:02

RIP sir. India lost a true son. I'm sure you'll inspire generations to come.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby jimmyray » 28 Jul 2015 15:08

RIP Kalam Sir. You were not my family or a personal friend even then I will miss you dearly and so would India.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby alexis » 28 Jul 2015 15:16

RIP to the greatest president and scientist India has seen....

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Raja Ram » 28 Jul 2015 15:24

Shed Not a Tear!

Bharat Ratna Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has reached the heavens! God granted his wish of taking him back whilst he was doing his life’s karma – teaching and sharing his wisdom! The exit was a fitting to this modern Bheeshma amongst men!

Is it possible for any eulogy to capture the life, time and thoughts of a great man who lived his entire life for the sake of the nation? More so, if he was a man of not only great accomplishments in myriad fields but also a man who was responsible for capturing the imagination of millions, is mere words enough to capture the enormity of the legacy he leaves behind?

Yet, as an ordinary Indian, who has never had the opportunity to meet him in person, except from afar, I do feel that the message that his life’s work and achievements have meant for me personally should be shared.

What then was his life’s message? For me there are many dimensions to this question.

His life was a message of the eternal India - As we look back at the phenomenal journey of this son of a boat man’s rise from the southern shores of Rameshwaram to the Himalayan heights of high office, we can see that the best and noble ideals of this ancient civilization have shaped him. It was as if Mother India ensured that the upbringing of Kalam was influenced by the best and brightest of individuals that captured the diversity of thoughts and systems of this land.

Starting from his parents, his father’s friend the Priest of the Rameshwaram temple, the Primary school teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer who introduced him to Aerodynamics, or Iyyadurai Solomon of Scwartz School, his professors in St Joseph’s College Trichy and Madras Institute of Technology, his mentors Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan, Brahm Prakash and UR Rao – each one of them shaped his thinking and development and each one of them were themselves dedicated Indians representing the best work ethic and noble values of this land.

It is therefore as that his life, is in essence a product of the best elements of our heritage and legacy. In that sense, his life is a message of eternal India!

Positive Karma Yoga as a way of life – By the same token, his approach to life has been one of practicing Karma Yogi who went on undeterred by failure and criticism and unswayed by adulation and high office. It is not as if he that he did not feel the ups and downs of his life. Growing up his ambition was to fly and join the IAF, yet when he met with failure during selection trials, and as a despondent young man, wandered aimlessly to the ashram of Swami Sivananda, it was the great master who instilled him in the confidence of a Karma Yogi.

The many other incidents that he faced in his long career at ISRO, DRDL and the many mentors who demonstrated to him by their example qualities of leadership and nishkamya Karma yoga, the instinctively philosophical and spiritual Kalam became a consummate Karma Yogi – a fantastic transformation of Karna into an Arjuna – if one were to draw a parallel.

Inspired by his mentors and gurus, as well as by his idols of Gandhiji, Vivekananda and Kalifa Umar, shaped by their thoughts and his deep study of all spiritual philosophies, he had tutored his soul and mind to become a true Stithapragnya of our times

He combined the art of being impelled by noble thoughts, practical purposeful action without attachment to the results and resolute faith in the grace God to help achieve the impossible! If such a life is not a worthy example of a Karma Yogi in action what is?

Life lived as journey on the path to excellence – His long and distinguished career had many achievements to his credit and many failures too. He understood very early in his career that a life well lived must necessarily mean a lifetime dedicated in the pursuit of excellence.

He never allowed negativity and constraints to come in the way of taking on the biggest of challenges. He believed that we are all capable of much more than we think we can. Not for him was the safe and risk free, for he believed that he must throw himself with all the talent he could muster at the greatest of tasks with the greatest of risks.

Neither was he, satisfied with success, for he was ever seeking out for the next challenge, the bigger dream and how he could make a positive difference in every field that came his way. He, more than anyone, realized that his persona and image itself could be used in a positive way to inspire and make others dream and take on the challenges that the nation faced.

His personal quest for excellence and his persistent articulation of the need for that quest for excellence till his last breath itself held out the message that life is a journey on the path to excellence!

Life dedicated to building Leaders – Kalam was a leader that was shaped by leaders amongst men. Therefore it was no surprise that his life to was spent in building Leadership. It takes a leader to recognize the need for creating leaders. One can cite numerous occasions where he has demonstrated leadership and even more so the kind of leaders he has developed.

He developed a brand of leadership that was not dependent on just individual capabilities and brilliance, or merely on the strength of collective endeavours of talented teams. His was a brand of leadership that was founded on something more than just traits of character or function of habits. It was based on the strength of inspiring vision, on values and empowering belief in the Almighty. He was at once able to combine the more practical and visible aspects of leadership with the more difficult to perceive and tap, yet real, aspects of leadership. Not only was he able to practice that kind of leadership, he was able to impart that to a whole army of Indians ranging from children, to women, from scientists to farmers, from soldiers to saints, from businessmen to politicians, from sportspersons to movie stars.

It is this life message of Leadership that he has bestowed on himself and others that will continue to burn bright in the hearts and minds of a new resurgent India and its young Indians for years to come!

Life as a Unifier – India is a country that has been truly blessed in that it has from time immemorial borne witness to the advent of great unifiers. Kalam is definitely in that list.

He conducted his affairs based on stressing what unites all of us, not only Indians but also all of us in this world. His worldview was that of building on the harmonious while leaving behind that is negative and divisive. One cannot forget that inspired speech to the Parliament of the European Union, which represented his soaring aspirations of an indivisible world, anchored in the reality of positive purposeful action.

He travelled, to every corner of India and across the world, and gave his message of harmonious vision with practical suggestions. He spoke to Children, he spoke to political leaders, to businessmen, to international leaders. Power point presentations and talks left everyone amazed and touched by the nobility of that vision and sincerity and passion of his belief in that vision. Presidents, Princes, Children and Commoners were all touched by that vision and his living example. They saw in him and his life the living example of that vision and thus he became a Unifier across all barriers. It pushed them towards their own inherent nobility and into purposeful action.

He sought out harmony, practiced it with all his heart and mind, and shared that unifying vision of harmonious living that was rooted in the Indian way of Vasudeiva Kutumbam –A world for all species and nature living harmoniously

A Rasika of Life – I do not want to use the word Connoisseur for the word Rasika means much more than that. He was a true Rasika of life. The way he found time to his passion for playing the Veena or listening to music, or his passion for getting into the cockpit of Sukhoi or into the Captain’s bridge of a Submarine, he did not waste his time of thinking about things. He just did them and enjoyed that moment.

If he wanted to walk, he did, anytime of the day, if he wanted a garden or a hut built, he just did it. If he wanted to read or write a book or a poem he just did. He liked his dose of comedy and humour and he ensured that he watched such movies and plays. He enjoyed it and was not at all bothered about what it meant for others. He loved nature and gadgets and celebrated life itself. That is the true Rasika.


To many an ordinary Indian, he was the distant Acharya who taught us all the many dimensions of a life well lived. As an ordinary Indian, as I read the many articulate eulogies, I am reminded of the immortal Subramanya Bharati’s poem Agni Kunju

agni kunjondru kandaen – adhai
angoru kaatilOr ponthidai vaithaen
agni kunjondru kandaen – adhai
angoru kaatilOr ponthidai vaithaen
vendhu thanindhathu kaadu
vendhu thanindhathu kaadu – thazhal
veerathirkunjendru moopendrumundO
thatharikida thatharikida thithom

Agni’s fledgling spark, I saw once,
That I place in a tree hollow in a forest nearby;
Burnt to a cinder was the forest;
In the furious blaze; Is there
a difference between the spark and the inferno? (translation by me)

So too is the message of the life of APJ Kalam; a spark of Mother India’s Agni. He has placed his life and message in the forest of our minds; may it burn to cinder negativity and ignorance and let there be no difference between the teacher and the taught.

I am sure that in the many villages, cities and towns of this vast nation, there are many more Kalams inheriting the legacy and values as he once did, being molded by great teachers and mentors, as he once was, inspired by heroes as he once was, getting themselves ready to achieve that impossible dream as he once did.

As I grew up, I watched from a distance, at first drawn to him by my interest in Defence related matters, his emergence as a leader of men, as a President and finally as a teacher. I shared with him my inspirational heroes and saw how he himself became an inspiration. I also witnessed first hand his effect on children and how he capitalized on their admiration to plant within the courage to dream and transform India.

When such a person, whose very life was a message, passes on to eternity, I do not see the reason to shed a tear or feel any sorrow. As he himself had said, “Your birth may be just an incidental event, but let your passing away be a history”. He is one of those rare persons who has entered in some way or form our very thoughts and indeed the soul. Knowingly or unknowingly we have all learned a lesson or two from him and it will issue out in our thoughts and actions.
May many more Kalams arise with the flame of his life’s message in their hearts and minds.

Therefore:
Shed not a tear, nor lament his absence,
For he lives through his life’s message
And through us n our Billion dreams and
And his death is but a passage
For him to reach the heavens
And take his place amongst the immortals!

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Philip » 28 Jul 2015 15:57

Dear RR.that was a very moving eulogy.
[quote]“Your birth may be just an incidental event, but let your passing away be a history”.[/quote]

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby KJo » 28 Jul 2015 16:55

From Facebook, about his last day.

What I will be remembered for.. my memory of the last day with the great Kalam sir...

It has been eight hours since we last talked – sleep eludes me and memories keep flushing down, sometimes as tears. Our day, 27th July, began at 12 noon, when we took our seats in the flight to Guhawati. Dr. Kalam was 1A and I was IC. He was wearing a dark colored “Kalam suit”, and I started off complimenting, “Nice color!” Little did I know this was going to be the last color I will see on him.
Long, 2.5 hours of flying in the monsoon weather. I hate turbulence, and he had mastered over them. Whenever he would see me go cold in shaking plane, he would just pull down the window pane and saw, “Now you don’t see any fear!”.
That was followed by another 2.5 hours of car drive to IIM Shillong. For these two legged trip of five hours we talked, discussed and debated. These were amongsthundreds of the long flights and longer drives we have been together over the last six years.
As each of them, this was as special too. Three incidents/discussions in particular will be “lasting memories of our last trip”.
First, Dr. Kalam was absolutely worried about the attacks in Punjab. The loss of innocent lives left him filledwith sorrow. The topic of lecture at IIM Shillong was Creating a Livable Planet Earth. He related the incident to the topic and said, “it seems the man made forces are as big a threat to the livability of earth as pollution”. We discussed on how, if this trend of violence, pollution and reckless human action continues we will forced to leave earth. “Thirty years, at this rate, maybe”, he said. “You guys must do something about it… it is going to be your future world”
Our second discussion was more national. For the past two days, Dr. Kalam was worried that time and again Parliament, the supreme institution of democracy, was dysfunctional. He said, “I have seen two different governments in my tenure. I have seen more after that. This disruption just keeps happening. It is not right. I really need to find out a way to ensure that the parliament works on developmental politics.” He then asked me to prepare a surprise assignment question for the students at IIM Shillong, which he would give them only at the end of the lecture. He wanted to them to suggest three innovative ways to make the Parliament more productive and vibrant. Then, after a while he returned on it. “But how can ask them to give solutions if I don’t have any myself”. For the next one hour, we thwarted options after options, who come up with his recommendation over the issue. We wanted to include this discussion in our upcoming book, Advantage India.
Third, was an experience from the beauty of his humility. We were in a convoy of 6-7 cars. Dr. Kalam and I were in the second car. Ahead us was an open gypsy with three soldiers in it. Two of them were sitting on either side and one lean guy was standing atop, holding his gun. One hour into the road journey, Dr. Kalam said, “Why is he standing? He will get tired. This is like punishment. Can you ask a wireless message to given that he may sit?” I had to convince him, he has been probably instructed to keep standing for better security. He did not relent. We tried radio messaging, that did not work. For the next 1.5 hours of the journey, he reminded me thrice to see if I can hand signal him to sit down. Finally, realizing there is little we can do – he told me, “I want to meet him and thank him”. Later, when we landed in IIM Shillong, I went inquiring through security people and got hold of the standing guy. I took him inside and Dr. Kalam greeted him. He shook his hand, said thank you buddy. “Are you tired? Would you like something to eat? I am sorry you had to stand so long because of me”. The young lean guard, draped in black cloth, was surprised at the treatment. He lost words, just said, “Sir, aapkeliye to 6 ghantebhikhaderahenge”.
After this, we went to the lecture hall. He did not want to be late for the lecture. “Students should never be made to wait”, he always said. I quickly set up his mike, briefed on final lecture and took position on the computers. As I pinned his mike, he smiled and said, “Funny guy! Are you doing well?” ‘Funny guy’, when said by Kalam could mean a variety of things, depending on the tone and your own assessment. It could mean, you have done well, you have messed up something, you should listen to him or just that you have been plain naïve or he was just being jovial. Over six years I had learnt to interpret Funny Guy like the back of my palm. This time it was the last case.
“Funny guy! Are you doing well?” he said. I smiled back, “Yes”. Those were the last words he said. Two minutes into the speech, sitting behind him, I heard a long pause after completing one sentence. I looked at him, he fell down.
We picked him up. As the doctor rushed, we tried whatever we could. I will never forget the look in his three-quarter closed eyes and I held his head with one hand and tried reviving with whatever I could. His hands clenched, curled onto my finger. There was stillness on his face and those wise eyes were motionlessly radiating wisdom. He never said a word. He did not show pain, only purpose was visible.
In five minutes we were in the nearest hospital. In another few minutes the they indicated the missile man had flown away, forever. I touched his feet, one last time. Adieu old friend! Grand mentor! See you in my thoughts and meet in the next birth.
As turned back, a closet of thoughts opened.
Often he would ask me, “You are young, decide what will like to be remembered for?” I kept thinking of new impressive answers, till one day I gave up and resorted to tit-for-tat. I asked him back, “First you tell me, what will you like to be remembered for? President, Scientist, Writer, Missile man, India 2020, Target 3 billion…. What?” I thought I had made the question easier by giving options, but he sprang on me a surprise. “Teacher”, he said.
Then something he said two weeks back when we were discussing about his missile time friends. He said, “Children need to take care of their parents. It is sad that sometimes this is not happening”. He paused and said, “Two things. Elders must also do. Never leave wealth at your deathbed – that leaves a fighting family. Second, one is blessed is one can die working, standing tall without any long drawn ailing. Goodbyes should be short, really short”.
Today, I look back – he took the final journey, teaching, what he always wanted to be remembered doing. And, till his final moment he was standing, working and lecturing. He left us, as a great teacher, standing tall. He leaves the world with nothing accumulated in his account but loads of wishes and love of people. He was a successful, even in his end.
Will miss all the lunches and dinners we had together, will miss all the times you surprised me with your humility and startled me with your curiosity, will miss the lessons of life you taught in action and words, will miss our struggles to race to make into flights, our trips, our long debates. You gave me dreams, you showed me dreams need to be impossible, for anything else is a compromise to my own ability. The man is gone, the mission lives on. Long live Kalam.

Your indebted student,

Srijan Pal Singh
(pic .. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam meeting the jawan who stood in the gypsy)

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Rahul M » 28 Jul 2015 18:08

Raja Ram ji, thanks for that.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby member_29128 » 28 Jul 2015 18:21

I never saw Gandhiji but I'm fortunate enough to see Dr Kalam now I know how the great persons are like.If only we could make MISSION 2020 our vision it would be a true tribute to him. RIP Sir.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby fanne » 28 Jul 2015 19:11

RR, very well written. I would say, please have it reach a larger audience.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby chaanakya » 28 Jul 2015 19:13

Words would not be enough to describe Dr Kalam and his accomplishments. He was a true Bhartiya. He lives amongst us through his works. I shall not mourn this true Soul of India.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby shiv » 28 Jul 2015 19:45

Cross posting a story I had posted earlier with reference to Kalam's "Inspiring Leadership" - not named but unmistakeable
http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.c ... -pokharan/
The component had malfunctioned and the warhead had not exploded. The recorded parameters were checked and the video film taken from another helicopter that had flown alongside were analysed; they showed the missile not going down vertically — obviously, there was some configuration error in the centre of gravity! Just one more prototype missile was left at Pokharan (and none at Hyderabad) and the dilemma for the scientists was whether it should be risked in another trial drop, as only some hurriedly calculated changes could be made to its centre of gravity at the desert site. The consensus was that the trial be postponed by a few months and a drop undertaken only after a detailed analysis back at the lab in Hyderabad. We, the Air Force pilots, were told that the decision would be taken by a senior scientist arriving in the evening from Delhi.

In the starlit evening in the desert of Pokharan — whose mesmerizing ethereal beauty has to be experienced to be appreciated — the scientist arrived. After listening to our debrief and viewing the video and telemetry recordings, he took a decision to go ahead with the drop. On hearing a few murmurs of disagreement the scientist said that in life one has to take informed risks and that he, as the programme head, was going ahead. So, in real field conditions of a dusty windy desert, in the middle of the night, the scientists put their heads together and worked to get the missile ready for the next day.

A new day dawned and the sun came out blazing, as it always does in the desert of Rajasthan. The Mi-17 was started and brought to a hover above the stand, the Prithvi warhead lifted cleanly and carried aloft to the designated altitude and dropped! While we were descending rapidly to land and see the result, the range safety officer piped up on the radio that the warhead had performed as desired. WOW, is all that I remember exclaiming in the cockpit!

To this day I carry the vivid image of the scientist with a light, almost fragile, frame and long silver hair locks dangling on his forehead, taking the ‘informed risk’ to go ahead with the warhead drop at the fledgling stage of the Prithvi programme; as they say, the rest is history and the Prithvi has cemented its place in the Indian Guided Missile arsenal of the Armed Forces leading now to the firing of the Agni V. The scientist later rose to be the Supreme Commander of our Armed Forces and the most popular President of India.

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby disha » 28 Jul 2015 20:29

Third, was an experience from the beauty of his humility. We were in a convoy of 6-7 cars. Dr. Kalam and I were in the second car. Ahead of us was an open gypsy with three soldiers in it. Two of them were sitting on either side and one lean guy was standing atop, holding his gun. One hour into the road journey, Dr. Kalam said, "Why is he standing? He will get tired. This is like punishment. Can you ask a wireless message to be given that he may sit?" I had to convince him, he has been probably instructed to keep standing for better security. He did not relent. We tried radio messaging, that did not work. For the next 1.5 hours of the journey, he reminded me thrice to see if I can hand signal him to sit down. Finally, realizing there is little we can do - he told me, "I want to meet him and thank him". Later, when we landed in IIM Shillong, I went inquiring through security people and got hold of the standing guy. I took him inside and Dr. Kalam greeted him. He shook his hand, said thank you buddy. "Are you tired? Would you like something to eat? I am sorry you had to stand so long because of me". The young lean guard, draped in black cloth, was surprised at the treatment. He lost words, just said, "Sir, aapke liye to 6 ghante bhi khade rahenge".


Words fail to express the feelings ...

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Picklu » 28 Jul 2015 20:30

Did not post so far as did not want to say RIP. I always felt somehow that does not go with our culture.

So far there was no better alternative but now I do.

So, will follow that humble jawan and express my gratitude the same way.


"Sir, aapke liye to 6 ghante bhi khade rahenge".

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby Rahul M » 28 Jul 2015 20:36

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Re: Abdul Kalam passes away Oct 15, 1931 - July 27, 2015

Postby asbchakri » 28 Jul 2015 21:00

Rest In Peace Sir. This is truly a great Loss to the nation.


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