Saturday, August 1, 2015

A fitting Farewell

Dr. Kalam, the ever celebrate teacher of goodness passed away while doing what he does best. The best farewell that State governments across India came with was a holiday! Of course we do this to that man who reportedly said 'you have to work twice when I died'. Surprisingly the foreign-based organization that I work for stuck to Dr. Kalam's instruction, you  might think they are dedicate to money and this quote is just reason, don't boo yet; wait till this gets interesting.

We had every little idea on what was planned for the day; I thought its going to be a regular day with bug fixes, extending functionalities and boring documentation. After mails and sync ups we got prepared for the regular work, then our business heads called for the conference that was intimated thru mail the previous day; I got excited as the conference was to be followed by free lunch, though I was partially dreadful as the lunch can every well come from Suprabha, specialist in making food poisoned dishes.

The conference was about Dr. Kalam, on his values and ethos that we are inspired about. I was confused about how well this would work out. I was convinced that people would talk only about random whatsapp forwards and facebook post, it irritated me in a way. OMG I was called up to kick start the discussion, which is always going to be tough; I took a minute to reflect and my throat clogged as I started.


 Prototype: Nandi -the hovercraft.
Being so proud that I have observed him closely for a long time and that I wanted to make it clear that I don't want people to talk about whatsapp messages I stood up and started off by saying "I didn't knew him when he became president, I was eager and motivated that I read his autobiography which turned out to be his science journal." I highlighted his failure as a candidate for pilot and his first project "Nandi - the hovercraft" which was shelved after prototype and concluded that he accepted failure but it didn't deter him, he kept improving and delivering.

Not a theatrical start, still it managed to convince many to say "I didn't follow him but I now", instead of I read... followed by quote from whatsapp. Everyone was engaged though none were happy, here are some from the discussion:

"Dr. Kalam never dodged even absurd questions - Once Arnab quizzed him with politicized questions Dr.Kalam kept calm and replied "There are good politicians, there are bad politicians; next questions"; after long trial and failure Arnab switched to questions related to science and students. Similarly when a reporter asked questions related to Kodankulam Dr. Kalam asked 'Sons had anything this morning', reported said 'yes, baked eggs and bread', Dr. Kalam continued 'Breakfast is important for the day, its good you didn't miss it' and moved on."

"He is a great patriot, he refused multiple offers from international organizations which would have earned him huge monetary benefits otherwise."

"He practices what he wants to preach, that's how Dr. Kalam is different from rest of Indian leaders"

"Leader who was never involved in politics and stuff"

"He is a visionary man and he strongly believed that educating children is utmost important"

"He announced he'd want o meet more than 2 lakh students at the time of assuming 'Office of the President of India'  many politicized the announcement and now they are silenced some are even praising him for what he did"

"More than anything he wanted to be know as 'Teacher' not engineer, scientist, missile man of India or any other title that was given to him"

"He donates his pension to students education"

"He declined to favor anyone, not even close relatives, a strong man determined to stop nepotism in India" ( I murmured practically started by indira gandhi')

"He bared the flight charges for his family when they came to wish him good luck while assuming office as President of India"

"As President of India, he came with couple suitcases with dresses and books and returned with just a suitcase of books while he stayed in Rashtrapathi bhavan. (I know this is insult to the wonderful man just to draw lines, Patil used  lorries to take all the gifts that was given to her during her time as President; official it was not given to her but the President of India thought she sack'em all)

BTW do you know his twitter account was renamed as 'Teacher Forever' after his demises https://twitter.com/APJAbdulKalam , looks they have changed it again

Even after the conference we grouped in 4 or 5 and kept discussing about his ideas and how much India is closer to his vision. It was also announced that the days profit will be donated towards education. Felt so content and happy that we all paid a worthy tribute to such a great man that India will be in debt forever.