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Friday, July 31, 2015
Kalam after Gandhi
The nation cried after a very long time. It wept when Gandhi left, tears trickled down when Nehru departed and now an avalanche of tears and emotions flowed when Kalam passed away. That mere religion is not at the root of genuine love, respect and emotion is the true learning from this incident that engulfed the nation into sadness.
Today is Guru Punima, the day of reverence to all our teachers and what can be better than to remember the true teachers that this nation had, Gandhi, Nehru and Kalam. Gandhi gave us our greatest gift, the gift of freedom that he snatched from the jaws of the British, armed only with the greatest power on earth, the power of non violence, the power of non submission to what is inherently wrong. Gandhi was also the most powerful man ever to walk on earth for his power was truly personal, the genuine power that emerges from being truthful and one with humanity and this trait alone ensured the submission of the greatest nation of that time to the rightful demands of a very big section of the humanity. And Nehru led this nation in its most difficult times.
Kalam, I met for the first time properly when along with Arunima, my better half we went to his residence to invite him for the annual function of the railway women’s organization. His simplicity was just amazing for we could never have visualized such a big man to be so simple, so down to earth and so humble. Accustomed to the rough ways of those in power and also out of it, we were simply charmed into submission and at that very moment we fell in love with the greatest of human being we had ever met in our lives. He came for the event and conquered forever the hearts of all the railwaymen present for the grandest yet simplest function of their lives.
Kalam, the truest teacher that this nation has ever had showed us the meaning of words like humbleness, humility, commitment, truth, integrity and being true to oneself, the organization and the nation. That these are not mere words from the english vocabulary but have a great inherent meaning and value for the humankind is the biggest learning imparted by the greatest missile man and the finest president ever born in this republic.
He mingled with the differently abled kids on the day of the function as if he were a kid himself and therefore could feel the pain and the joys of being one whom the allmighty has made not like many others. His beaming face, his voice laced with emotion and love and his direct connect with the people, especially the children who are the future simply transports one to a different environment.
And to the men in power and out of it, his life is a subtle message that authority is vested only for the good of people at large, not for self aggrandizement.
His soul left his body while he was teaching at Shillong, a true teacher he was.
Gandhi once said “My life is my message”. Kalam never had to say it, yet his life shall forever remain the most powerful message for the nation after Gandhi.