Diary, June 19, 2007

June 19, 2007 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chitra called late last evening.  I haven’t yet received her call today.  She must have been busy submitting her proposal to the panel.  She should call sometime this evening.

During my student days I had walked and pedaled a lot.  Of late I have lost the spirit of walking.  I have become a recluse and an isolationist.  It is as if I am retracting myself into a shell.  There must be a lot of reasons.  Senility is one.  I have read that habitual use of aspirin leads to impotence.  I have been prescribed aspirin and I am taking it since the last over 25 years.

Let me ponder on my heart problem.  I started smoking since when I was 15.  After our wedding, Kala used to call cigarette  my first wife, she being relegated to the second place.  It was such a compulsive habit, and I was so weak willed.  It is a fact that smoking affects lungs too.   I don’t know about my lungs but it  surely has affected my heart.  So I was spending for my cigarettes and my medicines too.  no further introspection.

Would you believe that I have no friends, despite the fact that I am friendly and amenable.  I had classmates, colleagues and acquaintances, but no friends.  I had always been a loner.  I went to the Marina beach alone, sat on the sands alone, pondered life alone; went to movies and libraries and art exhibitions alone.

God compensated with Kala, who was everything anyone would desire, into a bundle.  She was my friend, protection and my white stick.

While I am writing my uneventful diaries, the nation is going ahead to get its new President.  That bring the personality of President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam into focus. I have copied Dr. Kalam’s profile from President of India.nic.in.


“Born on 15th October 1931 at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. Dr. Kalam made significant contribution as Project Director to develop India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 and made India an exclusive member of Space Club. He was responsible for the evolution of ISRO’s launch vehicle programme, particularly the PSLV configuration. After working for two decades in ISRO and mastering launch vehicle technologies, Dr. Kalam took up the responsibility of developing Indigenous Guided Missiles at Defence Research and Development Organisation as the Chief Executive of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). He was responsible for the development and operationalisation of AGNI and PRITHVI Missiles and for building indigenous capability in critical technologies through networking of multiple institutions. He was the Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development from July 1992 to December 1999. During this period he led to the weaponisation of strategic missile systems and the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in collaboration with Department of Atomic Energy, which made India a nuclear weapon State. He also gave thrust to self-reliance in defence systems by progressing multiple development tasks and mission projects such as Light Combat Aircraft.

As Chairman of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) and as an eminent scientist, he led the country with the help of 500 experts to arrive at Technology Vision 2020 giving a road map for transforming India from the present developing status to a developed nation. Dr. Kalam has served as the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, in the rank of Cabinet Minister, from November 1999 to November 2001 and was responsible for evolving policies, strategies and missions for many development applications. Dr. Kalam was also the Chairman, Ex-officio, of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet (SAC-C) and piloted India Millennium Mission 2020.

Dr. Kalam took up academic pursuit as Professor, Technology & Societal Transformation at Anna University, Chennai from November 2001 and was involved in teaching and research tasks. Above all he took up a mission to ignite the young minds for national development by meeting high school students across the country.

In his literary pursuit four of Dr. Kalam’s books – “Wings of Fire”, “India 2020 – A Vision for the New Millennium”, “My journey” and “Ignited Minds – Unleashing the power within India” have become household names in India and among the Indian nationals abroad. These books have been translated in many Indian languages.

Dr. Kalam is one of the most distinguished scientists of India with the unique honour of receiving honorary doctorates from 30 universities and institutions. He has been awarded the coveted civilian awards – Padma Bhushan (1981) and Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (1997). He is a recipient of several other awards and Fellow of many professional institutions.

Dr. Kalam became the 11th President of India on 25th July 2002. His focus is on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020.”

Dr. Kalam is a sterling personality.  To be crowned as President is neither a crown of thorns nor a diadem to him.  If you recall , all our Presidents were great personalities, and in my opinion Dr. Kalam stands taller than all.

His integrity shows in his mane of hair.  I am sure that when he became President,  people and the press would have speculated to no end as to what will happen to his hair style.  To him, his hair style was imperative, and it remains so to this day.

Oh, what a lofty character he is.  He is a born teacher and his approach to students of India was from the view point of a teacher.  No other President, nor for that matter any politician, diplomat had interacted with so many students as President Kalam did.

His humility is genuine as expressed by the way he opened his first Presidential address, greeting the audience as Mahanubhavulu. As everyone knows by now, he is a connoiseur of  music, himself a Veena player.  He is a highly esteemed scientist.  The seat of President is exalted by Dr. Kalam.  He is truly a man of the century.



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