Thursday, July 25, 2002

Prof. Abdul Kalam

Year 1998: Siri Fort Sports complex: Time – Post dusk evenings. I would cross Prof Abdul Kalam every evening when I would go for jog; often this would happen along the golf course on the dirt track provided for joggers. He would have a brisk walk all by himself. Here was a man who was an architect of missile systems in India, a recipient of Bharat Ratna and there was neither security nor any paraphernalia around him

I saw him next time toilet airport toilet when we were next to eachother. I could observe his unobtrusive behavior at the airport. He was carrying a small briefcase and he had no hesitation standing in a security queue and having him frisked by security officials.

These memories came to me when I saw him swearing on as President of India on 25th July 2002. ‘Wings of Fire’- his autobiography is short, sweet, and inspiring. I liked the way he observed the American way of managing things ‘Americans meet their problems head on. They attempt to get out of them rather than suffer them’.