That was 2006, I was in 10th class; TERE NAAM hairstyle was eminently popular those days. I also increased my hairs upto my eyes and got a TERE NAAM hairstyle. One day in school, when I could not solve a Maths problem, the teacher grabbed me by hairs and said ” Your all attention in these hairs, why don’t you study?”
” I want to see them short from tomorrow. Do you understand?”
I nodded. But I loved my hairs too much that I didn’t cut them down.
2 days later, same situation arose and he again grabbed my hairs. In a mood of joke, he asked me ” So, do you follow the style of Salman?”
“No sir, I follow the style of Abdul Kalaam”
He got red in anger. ” Do you even know who is Kalaam? What you know about him? Do you know how much he has worked for country? Okay tell, what you know about him?”
” He is our president.. Ah.. Umm. He is a scientist…Umm.Umm”
“Only this much you know? Study him Raman.”
That day passed long ago. I read his many books since then i.e. Wings of Fire, My Autobiography, Ignited minds, India 2020, Good governance . More you read him, more he fascinates you. He is one of the persons whose fluid soul can’t be bidden by a single religious philosophy, no negative thought is enough to stop him; everything about him was positive. His personal life was free of all clots, his public life was of the highest standard.
When he walked for speech, he would walk in a robotic style. When he speaks, he does it with full energy and loud enough. Even at 83, his voice was never trembling or a dim candle, it was always a beam of white light. His English, so unpolished that even after living in Delhi and Bangalore from many years, his tamil accent is naturally visible.
Some people would say that Kalaam died but I refuse to accept. He is alive in my library and within me and perhaps would always be.
I won’t stretch my article talking about his family background and professional achievements, they are on fingers of everyone. If someone is planning to purchase a new book, it should be nothing else than INDIA 2020; his vision about a developed India before 2020.