Today’s story is not just about a historical character but it’s about a man who recreated the history of India and gave it a new direction.

“You have to dream before your dreams come true!”

     -Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Former president of Modern India

There was a feeble , far off voice that woke me up from sleep as though trying to tell me it’s time to wake up  on the morning of 28th July 2015.

I woke up with hazy eyes and a worn out face like most of us do unless we have won a lottery with the very thought that I would surely go and execute the person who was watching T.V AT 8a.m in the morning.

“Mom! Switch it off!”

I yelled from my bedroom, tucking my ears as perfectly as I could with the nearest pillow I could locate so that it could prevent the voice from penetrating my ears any further and I could complete my beauty sleep. But when your mind is awake it will receive every information that comes its way.

The news kept talking about Dr APJ Abdul Kalam ,Former President of India and his journey through his life.

In a fraction of a few seconds I found myself so interested in listening that I threw the pillow and went rushing downstairs to join the family in the living room.

Surprisingly, I saw all of them glued to the television screen as if it was the most awaited popular INDO-PAK final 20-20 championship going on.

I joined in!!

AVUL PAKIR JAIMULABDEEN ABDUL KALAM also humbly called as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was born on the 15th of October 1931 and was the 11th President of India. A scientist turned statesman Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied Physics and Aerospace engineering.

The reporter went on to talk about him while all of a sudden my cousin sister went:

“Rameswaram!! Is that the same place they spoke of in Chennai Express!?”

And everybody turned towards her with resentment and anger.


“I am sorry!” She said and settled down trying to focus on the T.V screen as best as she could like everyone else.

“On the 27th July 2015, yesterday Sir Kalam travelled to Shillong to deliver a lecture on “Creating a livable planet Earth” at “ The Indian Institute of management!”

While climbing a flight of stairs, he experienced some discomfort but was able to enter the auditorium after a brief rest. At around 6:35pm IST only five minutes into his lecture he collapsed.

Despite all efforts in the intensive care unit of Bethany Hospital, he was declared dead due to sudden cardiac arrest at 7:45p.m IST.

His last words to his aide Srijan Pal Singh we reportedly

“Funny guy! Are you doing well?”

While she was saying this I felt my heart choke my throat and a weird sustained feeling of loss.

The feeling took me back in time where I remembered his visit to our college and his inspiring words on success and failure, life and luck.

I was reminded of the poster on our college notice board that read


  1. I am the best
  2. I can do it
  3. God is always with me
  4. I am a winner
  5. Today is my day

                                        -Dr APJ ABDUL KALAM

And the poster in the corridor that read:

“Don’t read success stories, you will get a message.  Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to get success!”

And the one at the entrance:

“Goodbyes should always be short, really short!”

With his picture on it

And so it was a really short goodbye by “THE MISSILE MAN OF INDIA” who had a vision of a better India and relentlessly worked to inspire the youth to work for it.

So there it was, the 11th President of India was declared “FORMER!”

It is only when you lose all possibilities of meeting someone you truly realize you probably want to see them one last time, but there’s never a retake in life.

I decided to try and follow just one advise by this man.

A man who believed in us: THE YOUTH OF INDIA

I remember reading in one of the magazines during a question-answer session how he answered a very motivating question.

“ what is the biggest challenge facing India today and What should we do to contribute positively towards challenge?”                                                -JSS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL(DUBAI)

He replied:

“The youth needs to develop an attitude I CAN DO IT! We can do it! INDIA WILL DO IT!”

The very next thing I did after college the next day as I signed the form the community youth association dropped into my letterbox a few days back.

It read


The youth association of our community is organising a campaign to support the “CLEAN INDIA GREEN INDIA!” project initiated by the government of India in an attempt to spread health and hygiene awareness and make a more liveable country-DREAM INDIA!

We request your humble cooperation and participation to the cause on the 1st of August 2015.

On the 1st of August 2015, we were a group of 12 college students who organised and campaigned for the mission to clean our community: our society and neighbourhood.

We went to each and every house and explained the necessity of a clean environment and proper garbage disposal.

At the end of the day, we did not find any significant results and were disappointed.

Just when we were having our late evening coffee I decided to read a few quotes by Dr APJ ABDUL KALAM.

The first one I stumbled into reading

“Without your involvement, you can’t succeed.

With your involvement, you can’t fail!”

It  felt as if a superior divine power was trying to help our weak minds to pick up courage and give inconsistent efforts for


For one whole month, we worked day and night into our cause and mission and successfully completed cleaning up 10 communities and neighbourhoods.

On the 5th of November, we were a group of 50 keen and interested Indians from all age groups and genre with the same vision and goal





Dr. Padma Nathani

Thanks for reading.

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