Transformation of a young boy into A.P.J Abdul Kalam
By Ajit Mitra
“Na Hindu bano na Muslim bano
Ho sake to Kalam bano”
These quoted lines are taken from a message sent by one of friend during his (A.P.J Abdul Kalam Sir’s) first death anniversary. Though it would be wrong to say he is no more with us, a person with his larger than life achievements, great philosopher and scientist, my dear A.P.J Abdul Kalam Sir is immortal. Once in my lifetime I wanted to meet with my hero but he left us before I could fulfill my dreams. I felt sad but not broken as he is living in my heart.
I have worked with his writings to know about him though it is not possible for me to understand his life and work even if I work throughout my life and yet I would love to continue to work with his work to understand his philosophy.
“This earth is His, to Him belong those vast and boundless skies;
Both seas within Him rest, and yet in that small pool He lies ”
ATHARVA VEDA (Book 4,Hymn 16)
A.P.J Abdul Kalam was born into a middle-class Tamil family in the island town of Rameswaram in the erstwhile Madras state. His family background, poor state of family income and even remote location couldn’t stopped him to achieve high peak of success. Sometimes people like me give excuses of our area, facilities and thousands of other reasons for all our failure. A boy who used to collect the tamarind seeds and sell them to a provision shop on Mosque street, a boy who used to sell news paper during the outbreak of the second world War became the Missile man of India! Yes only A.P.J Abdul Kalam can do this.
Much of his philosophy he learned from his parents. His father Jainulabdeen possessed great innate wisdom and a true generosity of spirit. When A.P.J Abdul Kalam was preparing to leave his home for better studies, his mother was not in a position to allow him (one can’t judge mother’s love with their logic). His father came in to explain why she must allow his son to go for higher study. He said (quoted khalil Gibean) “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. ”
After completing his engineering degree in Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) he left for appearing in the interview. He had two options, to join in the Air Force or job at the Directorate of Technical Development and Production, DTD&P(AIR). After covering almost 2000 km from his own town to Delhi and then Dehra Dun he appeared in the interview for both. About the first interview, he wrote in his autobiography ‘Wings of fire’, “I was excited but nervous, determined but anxious, confident but tense. I could only finish ninth in the batch of 25 examined to select eight officers for commissioning in the Air Force.” He wa so disappointed that it took time to accept the failure which dragged him outside of the selection. He had ample of questions about his life and his failure but no answers. He had lost mental peace. He bathed in the Ganga and revelled in the purity of its water and walked into Sivananda Ashram to get answers of those questions which were striking his heart so hardly. He explained his failure attempt to Swami Sivananda, Swami replied with his smiling face..
“Desire, when it stems from the heart and spirit, when it is pure and intense, possesses awesome electromagnetic energy. This energy is released into the ether each night, as the mind falls into the sleep state. Each morning it returns to the conscious state reinforced with the cosmic currents. That which has been imaged will surely and certainly be manifested. You can rely, young man, upon this Angeless promise as surely as you can rely upon the eternally unbroken promise of sunrise…and of spring. ”
He further said” Accept your destiny and go ahead with your life. You are not destined to become an Air Force pilot. What you are destined to become is not revealed now but it is predetermined. Forget this failure, as it was essential to lead you to your destined path. Search, instead, for the true purpose of your existence. Become one yourself, my son! Surrender yourself to the wish of God.
A.P.J Abdul Kalam returned Delhi with joy, with more energy in his mind, though his heart was broken for the first failure but he got answers for what he was looking for. He was more energetic than ever. He got the result of the interview in DTD&P(AIR). He has been selected as Senior scientific Assistant on basic salary of Rs. 250/- month. And a young unknown boy in the crowd of Delhi stepped in to become our A.P.J Abdul Kalam.
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