Tribute: Dr Abdul Kalam exemplified simple living, high thinking

By Dr A Lourdusamy
Chairman - PG Department of English
St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru

Mangaluru, Jul 28: The nation has lost one of its illustrious sons. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, the former President of India is no more. The whole world mourns for him.

The ‘Missile Man’, ‘People’s President’, ‘the dream of the youth’ and ‘children’s friend’ is no more.

We came to know more of Dr Abdul Kalam after he was elected the President of India. But he was a man of stature, knowledge and integrity throughout his life. Hailing from a humble family he did not allow the deterrents stop him from his vision of realizing his goal in life. A man of simple living and high thinking exemplifies Dr Kalam.

I always feel proud to declare that both of us studied in the same college - St Joseph’s, Thiruchchirappali, Tamil Nadu, though at different times. He was senior to me by 20 years.

However his physics professor Fr Chinnadurai was my professor too. He taught me philosophy. Though a lot of incidents are told and shared about Dr Kalam, let me share something that is not in the public domain. Once Dr Kalam, the President of India participated in a programme at Gandhigram Rural University, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. He expressed his desire to meet his well respected professor Fr Chinnadurai who was in Dindigul. The organizers in consultation with the President’s security thought it fit to invite Fr Chinnadurai to the university rather that the President going over there due to security reasons. When this was conveyed to the President, he vehemently opposed the idea and insisted that he go there to meet his professor. He seemed to have said: "I am his student and he is my teacher. However great the student is, it is appropriate that the student goes to meet the teacher and not the other way", and believe it, Dr Kalam went to meet his teacher at his place. That was the reverence Dr Kalam had for his teacher, thus proving to the student community that teachers are always teachers.

When Dr Kalam visited St Aloysius college, Mangaluru, I noticed him having a long conversation with the then Provincial of Karnataka Jesuits Fr Ronald Prabhu having the programme schedule in his hand. After the programme I asked Fr Ronnie what the conversation was about the programme leaf. I was told that the President of India asked him as to how to pronounce the names especially the local surnames. Here is a President who always stood for accuracy and precision - after all he is India’s Missile Man.

During his frequent visits to Anna University, Chennai, he was a man of great edification to the students. My brother-in-law, a student of Anna University, remembers Dr Kalam for his scholarship, and above all for his simplicity - a quiet man with deep thinking and unassuming nature.

We call him ‘People’s President’, but look at Providence - a man born at the southern tip of India, who had his life breath at this southern tip had to breathe his last at the northern end. Indeed his life was for the whole of India and he is an Indian through and through. May God grant him eternal rest and let his life be an enduring source of inspiration to this generation and the generations to come. May his vision for India 2020 be fulfilled as a tribute to this great human being.



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Comment on this article

  • paul dsouza, balakunje

    Wed, Jul 29 2015


    Reply Report Abuse Agree [3]

  • Clement Cardoza, Kelmbet, Dubai

    Wed, Jul 29 2015

    No Words to explain the greatness of this great Soul of India.

    Only a a humble & heartfelt Salute to our beloved APJ.

    Our only tribute for APJ should be achieve his vision of " India 2020 "

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [4]

  • Uday Shetty, Shirva/Doha

    Wed, Jul 29 2015

    Thank you Sir, for all you have done for Mother India, and inspired millions of us , made us feel proud of
    our country. Your wisdom will guide us for years to come.
    You were a true son of the soil, proud, scholar, and great
    teacher. Dedicating your life for pride of the nation. Your
    foresight, determination, dedication, tireless effort, to make India safer.

    Rest in Eternal Peace.

    Thank you Prof:Lourdusamy for your tribute.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [2]

  • john pinto, mangalore/dubai

    Wed, Jul 29 2015

    good one!! Dr. loudswamy, nice article.... lourdswamy was my lecturer in st aloysius. Still i remember you sir. I liked your way of teaching.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [4]

  • santoshprabhu, india

    Wed, Jul 29 2015

    its high time ALL POLITICIANS shedding crocodile tears explain to THE NATION why he was not allowed to continue his president term? why he was not reelected?

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [7]

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    Dr. APJ Abdul kalam was a Gem of India...If anybody dislikes this has to be admitted to nearest mental hospital soon, before it is too late.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [7]

  • Anush D' Cunha SJ , Mangaluru

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    I salute the indomitable spirit of our former President Late Mr APJ Abdul Kalam.
    He was man of 3 's' Simplicity, Sincerity and Service mindedness.
    His death is a big loss for the young generation of our country.
    Adieu to you Mr Kalam.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [4]

  • mary dsouza,

    Tue, Jul 28 2015


    Reply Report Abuse Agree [2]

  • khursheed, karkala / abu dhabi

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    A man of simple living and high thinking..... loss of a great personality. I still feel India couldn't utilise his calibre completely due to Indian politics.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [17]

  • Heri Fernandes, MANGALORE/UK

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    Very sad day for India... Probably history won't repeat on this occasion and we may not see another president like this one..A scientist, a president, a poet, a visionary and moreover a patriot who gave everything he could for his country. India salutes you Dr.Kalam and We will dearly miss you...RIP

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [11]

  • PAM Suvarna, Karla

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    Man of Principle,a model President His thoughts are inspiration to young generation,Your ideologies will never die.
    A big salute to you sir,RIP.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [8]

  • sandra, bombay

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    yes mr. john very well said

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [6]

  • Nagesh Shetty, Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    A Great soul !
    We will miss the Peoples President !-Simple and absolutely down to Earth.
    I wish to quote an incident which took place at Bajpe airport some years ago.
    He was waiting at the Reserved lounge before his departure.
    Just as we were talking,he suddenly got up and headed for the Door...I followed him and enquired if he needed which he replied.."just looking for the Driver who drove me to the Airport...I forgot to Thank him !!"..I requested him to wait in the Room and brought the driver to the Room...Mr Kalam profusely Apologised and Thanked him for driving him around...The Humility he displayed really touched all of us gathered there.What greatness !!

    May his Soul R.I.P
    Truly I envy the Angels......

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [27]

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    No words and praise in this world can match the great qualities of a wonderful personality and a great leader, Mother India ever produced. His sparkling sincere smile shall remain in the heart & mind of people for generation to generation, time unlimited. Like another Mahatma of our Country.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [14]

  • Shsm, Doha

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    He was a man of simplicity, humble and down to earth with high thinking and hard working and reached to the first citizen of India from humble beginning. some examples of simplicity are clearly shown in the article. His life story should be made a lesson for all the primary as well as high school students to get inspired and to achieve success in life. Salute to him. Great men never dies in their death, they keep on inspiring others.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [19]

  • John Diogo Nazareth, Mumbai/Byndoor/Kuwait

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    Sir you were truly a new inspiration for our young generation. Hope this new generation will get to know more about you and your teaching. My special salute to you. RIP

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [16]

  • stan, dubai

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    One in Billion......

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [25]


    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    Dr. Kalam is a legend of his own in Politics and science field. wonderful tribute by another wonderful kind human being from Aloysius college ..always enjoyed your classes and your style..thanks sir

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [19]


    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    Thank you Sir, for all you have done for Mother India, and inspired millions of us , made us feel proud of
    our country. Your wisdom will guide us for years to come.
    You were a true son of the soil, proud, scholar, and great
    teacher. Dedicating your life for pride of the nation. Your
    foresight, determination, dedication, tireless effort, to make India safer. I along with millions of Indians are saddened by your journey to heaven. We will remember
    you, worship you for all you have done for us. May you
    still guides us from Heaven, May your memory continue to
    inspire us, May your teaching continue to guide us. We all
    will cherish your memory, and thanks again.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [29]

  • Joe Gonsalves, Mangalore/ Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    I fully agree with D. Lourduswamy's tribute to Dr. Abdul Kalam. A good man of wonderful qualities of heart and mind has gone to his heavenly reward. Mr. Kalam even though a great politician was an approachable man with simple habits. Any one had access to him and was indeed lovely by little children.

    Mr. Kalam will continue to live in the hearts and minds of many.

    Mr. Kalam has made history and I join several others in offering my sincere sympathies to the members of his bereaved family.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [22]

  • Mohammed Ilyas Byndoor/Dubai.U.A.E, Byndoor/Dubai.U.A.E

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    His thoughts & quotes will never die.,

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [23]

  • Fr. L. Enock Rajan HGN, Thuravithangal

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    my respect for the great leader Dr.AbdulKalam is that he is in heaven praying for the nation of India. he taught the youth of India to be young in thinking, and be the instrument of growth in art and science.

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [25]

  • Vasant Raj, Mangalore / Abudhabi

    Tue, Jul 28 2015

    RIP Dear Teacher Dr. Abdul are simply great human body can fill the gap which you left...never..

    Reply Report Abuse Agree [33]

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