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Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam - The Missile Man

CA Richa Goswami , Last updated: 01 August 2015  

On the 15th Day of October 1931, child was born to a boat owner. It does not seem to be something special about this...Children are born every other day but for the fate of India - The 11th president was born who was also called as "Missile Man". His Father's name was Mr. Jainullabudeen and his mother name was Mrs. Ashiamma. His father owned a boat that helped the Hindu pilgrims to Rameshwaram. He was brought up in poor conditions, even being the youngest of the 4 brothers and 1 sister he had to work at a very tender age to support his family. He was very hardworking with a desire to learn. After his schooling he distributed newspapers to support his family income. He completed his graduation in Physics in 1954 from Saint Joseph's College, Tiruchirappalli. He then pursued Aerospace engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology. While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with his lack of progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. Kalam met the deadline, impressing the Dean, who later said to him, "I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline".He wanted  to become a fighter pilot, but could not as he placed ninth in qualifiers, and only eight positions were available in the Indian Airforce. After the graduation he joined the Aeronautical Development establishment of the DRDO as a scientist and there his journey started. 

On the 27th Day of July 2015 - an ill fated day - Dr. Kalam died of a Cardiac arrest. That news made me spring up on my feet and i switched on the TV and then the news channel and it was everywhere - Dr. Kalam no more - The Missile Man no more. His contribution to the world and our country as uncountable and priceless. Who could have said that a 'boat owner's son' can do such wonders - He did not have a background and all he had was vision of his dreams. As in his own words he quoted,

" Dreams is not what you see in sleep, is thing which does not let you sleep."

He had a clear vision of his dreams and worked day and night for it. He achieved. One of the Major contribution of his is the Pokhran-II nuclear test. He also played a very important role in developing ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology. It was then he was named as the Missile Man. He was one of those presidents who lived in the hearts of the India and it's people. His simplicity and humanity was the major contributors of the same. He has set an example to those who always complain that they weren't rich enough to pursue their dreams. He certainly proved to them that if one believes in his dreams he can certainly achieve it. 

This guru poornima, lets pay homage to the Missile Man of India. He is my favourite president. I would also like to include in this article some line of the post by his adviser Mr. Srijan Pal Singh on facebook , " Often he would ask me, “You are young, decide what will like to be remembered for?” I kept thinking of new impressive answers, till one day I gave up and resorted to tit-for-tat. I asked him back, “First you tell me, what will you like to be remembered for? President, Scientist, Writer, Missile man, India 2020, Target 3 billion…. What?” I thought I had made the question easier by giving options, but he sprang on me a surprise. “Teacher,” he said." and when he died he was actually delivering a speech in the IIM-Shillong. He died as teacher.

(The full post you can view is in the link - 


The post by his adviser had me dumbfounded with tears in my eyes. I admired him a lot...I would always search for his quotes and about him now and then. I had this urge to meet him one day but that moment never arrived and it never will. Anyways, the best i can do now is that i can contribute to his efforts a little more by pledging that i will one day educate atleast 1 poor kid in my life. If we all come together and take this step may be one day our country will have more people like him. He died as a teacher, lets carry on his work in the feild of education.

Last but not the least, i will conclude by his quote,

"My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people."

May your soul Rest in Peace.

India has lost a very important person whose place can never be filled by anyone.

You will be alive in our hearts forever.


1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._P._J._Abdul_Kalam

2. https://www.facebook.com/logical.indian/photos/a.430765593719832.1073741828.

3. Image downloaded from: 

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CA Richa Goswami
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