Why Dr. Kalam was the true man

RIP Dr. Kalam… the man who needs no elaborate introduction. He achieved more than a team of scientists combined and yet was so grounded. God hardly makes people like him nowadays. He was adored by kids for his pleasing smile and calm demeanour.

Dr. Kalam possibly had least tantrums and was nothing like the seasoned politician we are used to seeing. After his retirement from the job of being the first citizen he took the role he always loved-the role of a teacher. For him retirement was probably equal to death so he decided to take up the teaching job at Anna University. This is the mark of a true man indeed-sharing your knowledge with the world so that they use it for their own good!

The mark of a true man is that he never really gets obsessed with star-like attention which every mediocre celebrity craves for. If you are doing the work for the fame, you end up doing practically nothing which you are capable of. It is like a writer doing some creepy reality show because that’s how he gets more recognition among  the masses! Men like Gandhi, Bernard Shaw, Socrates, Einstein had no PR teams to get recognition. In fact they did their own thing and let the world follow the path created by them. All this creating the path thing may sound cliched but that is how these men roll.

He has been bestowed with Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan and Padma VIbhushan along with 40 honorary doctorates from the universities around the world and as usual had no sense of pride after attaining such a level of respect! This reminds me something that my dad taught me,”A respected man is like a tree laden with fruits which lowers itself instead of standing tall .” Ideally this should be the conduct of every successful man around us, getting more humble with success. That is how we become a class apart.

Dr. Kalam never married anyone, worked at least 16 hours a day and was always concerned about his nation’s betterment. Even though he was called the missile man, he always propagated peace and disarmament of nuclear weapons. He was even once subjected to insult by the staff of JFK in America yet he never made a fuss about it. Indeed, the man was a sage and knew that the way you interpret someone else’s behavior is entirely upon you. It was not surprising that after that the US officials themselves apologized for their sheer ignorance. But what was really commendable was the way he handled the whole situation with grace. In a nation where public service is often tarred by greed, nepotism and high-handedness, Kalam fulfilled the vital role of an authentic national hero.

Born to a poor Muslim family in the southern state of Tamil Nadu—the future president’s father rented a boat to fishermen—Kalam started life with the odds stacked against him. But he made up for his lack of privilege with intelligence, hard work and a quiet knack for acquiring mentors.

Isn’t his life’s story like that of a hero, who faced all the odds and yet came out winning. No words, poems or books can elaborate his character. No awards are enough to honor his contribution to the nation. Yet, as a fan and proud Indian I want to dedicate this quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar which were said by Antony on the death of Brutus,

“This was the noblest Roman of them all.

All the conspirators save only he

Did that they did in envy of great Caesar.
He only in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world,”This was a man”

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