While I was glancing through my twitter account, I happened to read the last tweet by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam “Going to Shillong.. to take course on Livable Planet earth at iim. With @srijanpalsingh and Sharma.” The only thoughts that came to my mind after reading these tweets were – Such a noble soul. A huge loss to the nation, and for humanity at large!
At 83, Dr. Kalam was bright and alert, as though he were a 25 year young man. His concerns and worries for India were genuine, and he always endeavored to work towards making India a superpower by 2020. As the eleventh President of India between 2002 and 2007, he gained admiration and respect from the people of India. His popularity and love amongst children was enormous, and he did all he could to guide them to the right path. He utilized any opportunity that came his way to address students, especially school children, to dream big, so that they became achievers in life. He authored many books such as Wings of Fire, Ignited Minds, India 2020 and Turning Points.
A career scientist turned reluctant politician, Dr. Kalam was born on 15th October, 1931 in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor. After graduating from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Dr. Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist. In 1969, Dr. Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he was the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980. He was known as India’s missile man for ensuring the success of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
As they say, a great purpose breaks the walls of human limitation. Dr. Kalam had a single-minded focus of captivating India to greater heights. A motivational speaker and orator, Dr. Kalam’s pearls of wisdom always inspired his listeners. There’s no better way of paying respect to the Peoples President of India, than by reminiscing and reading this thoughts. Here are a selected few:
- You have to dream before your dreams can come true.
- Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.
- To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal.
- Great dreams of great dreamers are always transcended.
- My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.
- God, our Creator, has stored within our minds and personalities, great potential strength and ability. Prayer helps us tap and develop these powers.
- Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.
- Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.
- Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.
- Climbing to the top demands strength, whether it is to the top of Mount Everest or to the top of your career.
- As a child of God, I am greater than anything that can happen to me.
- Writing is my love. If you love something, you find a lot of time. I write for two hours a day, usually starting at midnight; at times, I start at 11.
- We must think and act like a nation of a billion people and not like that of a million people. Dream, dream, dream!
- Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in the second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.
- If you want to shine like a sun. First burn like a sun.
These inspirational words are sure to encourage everyone, and help them achieve their goals and mission. Come, let us take forward Dr. Kalam’s legacy and work towards fulfilling his dream of making India a superpower. If not by 2020, then at least by 2030!
Dr. Kalam breathed his last on 27th July, 2015 at IIM, Shillong, where he was to deliver a lecture on Livable Planet. There would be no better tribute to him, than accomplishing his dreams of a prosperous, self-sufficient, and peaceful India. May his soul rest in peace.