of questions and some of my questions are pretty
arrogant as you can see it and the first question is:
How many of you like A.P.J. Abdul Kalam?
I can see that they jump out of their seats and every
hand irrespective of religion or caste or color instantly
flies in the air. As I see this I feel that even the nuclear
reactor which Dr. Kalam (pioneer and an outstanding
figure him being a nuclear scientist) makes do not react
so instantaneously as the hands of my students. You
can immediately feel the pulse of the youngsters for the
missile man of India who is turning an octogenarian in
less than 365 days. As I see it my respect and admiration
for him vibrates through every cell of my body.
Now I begin to make it more subjective or personal by
asking questions like:
Q: Is he your friend?
Q: Is he your father?
Q: Is he your brother?
Q: Is he your father-in-law? (being aware of the fact he
is chronic bachelor, yet I ask this question just to get
the feel and pulse)
And the next question of mine is really crucial and
provocative and I really pick one of the prettiest girls
in the class to answer this question. And that question
Q: Is he your husband?
Infact in many classes I even would look for a shy girl
as it is too straight and too personal. But to my great
surprise it has never been so. Well. In one of the classes
a girl straight on my face told me, “If I have a chance I
would consider it as my privilege and it is worth the
effort.” I was really taken aback with this answer and
the tone of her clarity and decisiveness. This answer
sounded me like the saying I have heard in my mother
tongue, “puli onnu perunnathum poocha pathu
perunnathm thuilliyamennu” (it is as good as having
one tiger cub than having the cat delivered ten times
and having a couple of dozen kittens).
Then I asked them if you say he is no way related to
you then why do you have so much feeling and
admiration for him? They don’t give me a paragraph
answer but they give me a very crisp and concise answer
in their native tongue (Tamil) “aavan namma aluthane”
(he is our man). In Hindi we say “vo apana admi hai”
(he is our man). That concise answer has a much deeper
meaning than all your verbal gymnastics put together.
It comes straight from the heart. And that is the
difference. Yes. He is our man. He is the missile man
of India and pride of every Indian who hailed from the
poverty ridden little village of Rameshwarm in Tamil
Nadu. Even for the hardcore Hindutva propagator
whose dharma (duty) is to annihilate a Musalman also
would indisputably say he is our man.
Well. I do a little more postmortem about why they
like him. I tell them that the following reasons that he
is a Tamilian; he was the 11th president of India; a selfmade
individual, is the missile man of India and a nuclear
scientist; a good hearted human being and a
humanitarian; an inspiration and inspiring icon for the
young and old alike are all the adjectives for Dr. Kalam.
But for me only one thing that catches my eye is nothing
but his successful canvas. Dr. Kalam has painted his
canvas so well and meticulously that none of us can
bypass it without giving a look and with loud Wow!
— He is our Man.
Yes. Dr. Kalam we all Indians are proud of you. And
you are the living hero for all of us. I am sure my
readers would unquestionably agree with me and extend
our love and respect for the selfless services you have
been rendering for each of us. Dr. Kalam these words
are straight from our hearts for your dedication and
commitment you have for your country and your fellow
beings. You are the living patriot, humanitarian and
real inspiration to all of us. Your canvas is one of the
most successful, unique and unmatchable — you are
the one in a 1.16 billion. Yes. He is our Man.
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