I can get the youth to dream. They have fewer biases about society: APJ Abdul Kalam

For most of us who went to school through the 2000s, former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was synonymous with one word – DREAM. In a system which sucked the imagination out of children’s minds condemning them to the rut of mindless learning, in came Dr. Kalam, telling us to be bold and dream. It was no mean achievement for a scientist to inspire an entire generation by encouraging us to do what the rest of the world was asking us not to. And in spite of that, he was admired by one and all. 

 “My teacher once explained on the blackboard how a bird flies... I instantly got attracted to it and I decided to make something fly one day. Every child must have some great aim before the age of 15," Kalam said. 

In his book “My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions”, published by Rupa, Mr. Kalam, who specialized in aeronautical engineering from Madras Institute of Technology, said he was desperate to pursue a career in flying. “Over the years I had nurtured the hope to be able to fly to handle a machine as it rose higher and higher in the stratosphere was my dearest dream,” he writes. Out of the two interview calls Mr. Kalam got, one was from the Indian Air Force in Dehradun and the other from the Directorate of Technical Development and Production (DTDP) at the Ministry of Defence in Delhi. 

While the interview at DTDP was “easy” he recounted that for the Air Force Selection Board, he realized that along with qualifications and engineering knowledge, they were also looking for a certain kind of “smartness” in the candidate. Mr. Kalam bagged the ninth position out of 25 candidates and was not recruited as only eight slots were available. “I had failed to realise my dream of becoming an air force pilot,” he writes. 

He says he “walked around for a while till I reached the edge of a cliff” before deciding to go to Rishikesh and “seek a new way forward.” “It is only when we are faced with failure do we realise that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives,” says Mr. Kalam who went on to put his “heart and soul” at his job as the senior scientific assistant at DTDP. He recounts “staring into the pit of despair” when he failed to make it as an IAF pilot and how he pulled himself up and rose to become the man who headed India’s missile program and occupy highest office in the country. 

In the preface written in his book The Wings of Fire , he has said that he wants to meet his mother after he is dead and give tribute to her and then he wants to tell his mother that he was in the position where he was inspiring millions & even more only because of his mother who had satisfied his hunger preparing rotis in his child hood which has formed the blood, muscle & body called Abdul Kalam. :)

As Dr. Kalam Said, " “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.”

Your demise is an irreparable loss to this nation. But your words have motivated generations of Indians to dream big and work hard towards achieving them. You were a true visionary and will keep igniting our minds. RIP Kalam Sir. 

Team Avishkaar Box 

I can get the youth to dream. They have fewer biases about society: APJ Abdul Kalam I can get the youth to dream. They have fewer biases about society: APJ Abdul Kalam Reviewed by Avishkaar Box on 06:24 Rating: 5

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