Kalamji Birthday

Courtesy: The Hindu

ALAPPUZHA: The former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who arrived here late on Thursday night, is one who prefers to stay away from the limelight, particularly on his birthdays. And when the clock struck 12, he welcomed the 80th year of his life in his own style – very quietly, with a few close associates and then, in the unusual company of policemen.

Mr. Kalam, who spent the night at the State Guest House here, cut a cake in the presence of personal secretary R.K. Prasad, advisor V. Ponraj, a couple of former associates from his Hyderabad days, and then, the policemen who were on duty at the guest house and the guest house staff as well. The policemen, tired after the day’s work and in for a long night, were pleasantly surprised when Dr. Kalam called them into his room and gave them slices of his birthday cake. “I am entering my 80th orbit,” he told them.

Later, slipping into an informal chat with The Hindu, even as he wrote a message for another late night visitor, Dr. Kalam, looking back at the past years, said the happiest and the most important moment for him was when the technology for the Agni heat shield was used in Floor Reaction Orthosis (FRO) lightweight callipers for physically challenged people.

The other important events for him were the entry of the country into the satellite launch vehicle phase (the SLV-3 for the Rohini Satellite) in 1980; the launch of the Agni missile; and when India became a nuclear weapon State in 1998. The political system discussing his India Vision 2020 too was a significant development for him.

Pointing out that he was proud of “nature smiling” at the Research Centre Imarat in Hyderabad, hinting at the scenic environment at the centre, Dr. Kalam said he had met 9.5 million youth across the country. “I know their pains. I know their dreams too.”

And at 80, what he desires most is to see smiles on faces all over India, who he firmly believes will be a super power in no time.

Incidentally, this was the second time Mr. Kalam was in Kerala on his birthday. Last year, he spent the day in Kozhikode.


Published in: on ಅಕ್ಟೋಬರ್ 18, 2010 at 2:19 ಅಪರಾಹ್ನ  ನಿಮ್ಮ ಟಿಪ್ಪಣಿ ಬರೆಯಿರಿ  
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