The People’s President is no more, yet he lives on
As I write this, I am at a loss for words. Not just because it is an attempt to encapsulate a man who was so many things wrapped in one—a former head of state, a scientist, an author, a poet and, above all, a teacher—but also because I cannot seem to find an adjective to define a person who has inspired so many people, cutting across all barriers of age, class and caste. This was a man who lived by his words till his very last moment—to be doing what he loved most, teaching young people, and keeping the final goodbye very short.
I just keyed in more than a 100 words and have not yet mentioned a name. Still, I am confident that we could probably go through this entire article knowing fully well that it’s Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam that we are talking about.
It would be an understatement to say that there has been an outpouring of emotion from every corner of the nation, and the world, since news of Dr. Kalam’s death in Shillong, Meghalaya, on July 27 started trickling in. People have taken different paths to express their grief—some have lit candles, while others, like our bloggers, whose vent are their words, have taken to their space in the virtual world to pay rich tribute to the ‘People’s President’.
Blogger Cifar Shayar (www.blogthepoint.blogspot.in), for instance, confers the title ‘Chacha’, otherwise known to address India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, on him. “He was the only one after him (Nehru) who loved and cared for children. Mr. Kalam was as inspirational in life as in death,” reads one of the several lines penned with obvious emotion.
“Few called him Vivekananda of the present times,” reads another blog post on www.creofire.com whose title is ‘A Man, A Magnet, A Mission: APJ Abdul Kalam’. “He made us dream about making the nation a super power. He worked on the field…He lived, is living and will live in our thoughts”.
Saying Dr. Kalam was an inspirational figure would be a repetition. His books have pushed many to dream higher, to have a vision of a better future for the country as a whole and then work towards it. He was, after all, a doer and maintained a grueling schedule until his last moment at the age of 83.
Blogger V. Srinivasa Rao (www.knoweb-india.blogspot.in) says, “Though I have not interacted with him directly, I have been inspired by his words, both verbal and written. I have read five of his books, and three are lying on my desk to be read.”
A number of bloggers have also channeled their feelings of loss towards poetry, penning beautiful lines for the man who has been called many things, ‘Bharat Ratna’ and ‘Missile Man’ to name just two titles conferred upon him.
But some of the most beautiful lines that are encouraging, inspiring and yet simple have been Dr. Kalam’s himself—in the form of quotes which have been compiled and circulated everywhere including the social media and blogs.
One such quote (and a personal favourite) is, ‘Dream is not that which you see while sleeping, it is something that does not let you sleep’.
An entire nation has been awakened by your words and although your mortal self has moved on, that disarming smile, the warm persona and those inspiring quotes will always keep you alive in the hearts of a billion Indians, Sir. The People’s President will, after all, live on.