Bharat Ratna Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen “A. P. J.” Abdul Kalam, one of India’s rare gems.

Bharat Ratna Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Bharat Ratna Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen “A. P. J.” Abdul Kalam. Image source: One India

“My story—the story of the son of Jainulabdeen, who lived for over a hundred years on Mosque Street in Rameswaram island and died there; the story of a lad who sold newspapers to help his brother; the story of a pupil reared by Sivasubramania Iyer and Iyadurai Solomon; the story of a student taught by teachers like Pandalai; the story of an engineer spotted by MGK Menon and groomed by the legendary Prof. Sarabhai; the story of a scientist tested by failures and setbacks; the story of a leader supported by a large team of brilliant and dedicated professionals. This story will end with me, for I have no belongings in the worldly sense. I have acquired nothing, built nothing, possess nothing—no family, sons, daughters.”

You leave behind a great legacy Sir. All Indians are indebted to you for living a life dedicated to science and development of our nation. Your life was an example to all of  us. Thank you for being a humble, secular, and an EXTRAORDINARY human being. People from all walks of life, especially individuals occupying public offices have a lot to learn from you.