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Saturday, 23 January 2016

The man who had a positive impact on me

There are very few things that really impact you. There are even fewer people who make a lasting impact in your mind. One of the person who really impacted my attention was Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam. I never really heard of him as a child. Nor did I know much about him even when I grew older until he was nominated for President of India. He served as the President of India from 2002 to 2007 and definitely one of the most respected Presidents compared to all his predecessors and also became popular as 'People's President'. He was also the first bachelor to be a President of India. Though I never heard of him much when he was a scientist, I was amazed by the work he has done for the country. He is rightly known as the missile man. I was even surprised that he was born and brought up in Tamil Nadu. He was born in Rameswaram one of the southern cities in India and passed away when he collapsed in Meghalaya, one of the north eastern states in India while giving a lecture at the age of 84.

He was born Jainulabdeen and Ashiamma on October 15, 1931 in a poor family. To augment his family's income, A.P.J had to do odd jobs like delivering News paper when we was young. He was a great reader and writer and has written over 20 books, including his auto biography 'The wings of fire' in 1999. He was the Chief Project Coordinator for Pokhran II nuclear tests which brought him into the limelight. After passing out of Madras Institute of Technology, he joined Defence Research and Development Organization. Though he had the opportunity to work with the renowned space scientist Vikram Sarabhai, Kalam was not much satisfied with his career and moved to ISRO. He was instrumental in laying the foundation for rocket launcher systems in Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) over the 2 decades he spent there.

He is very energetic and active even at his old age. Even when he died, he was doing what he liked most, speaking to an audience, giving his speech at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong due to heart failure. It is very rare to find a person as talented as Dr Kalam.

His 79th Birthday was recognized as world student's day by United Nations. He was the recipient of a large number of awards. He was awarded Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian awards in the 80's and 90's for his contributions in modernizing government defense technology. It is very difficult to find a person like Dr Kalam in one's lifetime and I was glad that he had  a very positive impact on me.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.


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