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Most inspiring person Dr. Kalam | Kalvimalar - News

Most inspiring person Dr. Kalam- 20-Apr-2010

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In most of his public speeches for students he makes them repeat these three words like a primary schoolteacher: perseverance, hard work and patience.

Every now and then, Dr. Kalam reiterates this and says that these positive words alone are the path to progress. Later, realised, that it were the very words he has lived by all through his life. They are both philosophical and practical.

His father, Jainulabdeen, a humble boat owner was a devout Muslim and a close friend of the Rameswaran temple priest. Kalam was brought up in a multi-religious, tolerant society; one with a progressive outlook. His father often quoted from Quran to make the young Kalam see the world without fear. He had seven siblings, and a caring mother who, at times, made chappatis for Kalam, while the others were given rice as Kalams day would start at four in the morning and end at 11 p.m.

His father wasnt educated, but he wanted Kalam to study. Kalam would get up at 4 a. m., bathe, and then go for his mathematics class, which was taught by a teacher who took only five students in the whole session. After his morning class, Kalam along with his cousin Samsuddin went around town distributing newspapers.  His town had no electricity; kerosene lamps were lit between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. But because Kalam studied until 11, his mother would save some for him for later use.

Being a bright student, Kalam always had the support of his schoolteachers. Iyadurai Solomon of Schwarzt High School often told Kalam that if he truly, intensely desired something, he would get it. 'This made me fearless,' said Dr. Kalam.

And outside school, Ahmed Jallaluddin, who later became his brother-in-law, and Samsuddin, encouraged Kalam to appreciate natures wonders. So, while growing up, he was exposed to a religious and a practical way of looking at the world. The flight of birds had fascinated him since he was a boy, but it was years later he realised that he wanted to fly aircrafts.

After finishing school, he took up Physics at St. Josephs College, Trichi, but towards the end he was dissatisfied. After discovering aeronautical engineering, he regretted having lost three precious years, but was glad to have discovered Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Hardy and F. Scott Fitzgerald and other English poets in his college time.

At Madras Institute of Technology (MIT), Chennai, where Kalam studied aeronautics, he learnt an important lesson: the value of time. He was leading a project on system design, when one day the principal walked into the class to see his work. He appeared dissatisfied and told Kalam that he wanted the project finished in the next two days; else his scholarship aid would be withdrawn. That disturbed Kalam. In a flash, he realized years of his fathers hardships would come to square one. Kalam toiled without food and sleep. On the last day, his professor came to check on his progress. He was impressed and said:  I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline, recounted Dr Kalam.

Although Kalam led several projects in his professional life, hes treated each like his final one. Such was his passion. It is not a  wonder, he always led projects. His advisor, Major General R. Swaminathan told, He has this unique capability of being a boss as well as a worker. He can take on any role with ease.

He was almost shattered, when Dr. Kalams first major project SLV 3-failed the first time. Also, around this time, Kalam's childhood mentor, Jallaluddin, died. "A part of me too passed away" said Dr. Kalam. But he never thought of quitting after SLV-3. "I knew that for success, we have to work hard and persevere." And so, SLV-3 was launched again, this time with success. He drew strength from philosophy, religion and literature to tide by his professional setbacks; also a life with few companions.

In time, he also learnt to deal with professional jealousy and uncooperative team members.

Success followed Dr. Kalam. Prithvi, Agni, Akash, Trishul and Nag missiles were huge successes. He was awarded Padma Bhushan and Bharat Ratna, and then he became the President of India. He is one of the few presidents who have touched the hearts of so many poor children in the country. Because he also came from a poor background, he knew the power of education in changing ones future.

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