The first time I had the privilege to meet Former President of India Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam was in May 2010 at his official residence in New Delhi. At that time I never thought I will get the opportunity to invite him to our office function or share the dais with him, both of which happened to me yesterday. So much for the saying, you can’t get lucky twice!
The venue was Le Royal Méridien, Chennai, time was 3:30 PM, the date was 8th December 2014 (yesterday) is when Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam graced us with his presence by being the Chief Guest for 14th Year celebration at our group event of AnjanaSoft & Vishwak Solutions. I have been interfacing with his office for last few months to get it all organized, it was a pleasure to work with them. Right from the minute I welcomed him along with other directors at our group, to the time he left the venue, it all feels like a dream. You are touched by how “simple” the man is, for his age (83) I was surprised to see how brisk he walks, I found it hard to keep pace with him when I accompanied him from the lobby to the stage and back.
I had a tough time during our internal planning before the event on what to present to Dr.Kalam as our memento?, he has travelled around the world, as President of India he has visited the innermost places and would have received rarest of rare gifts. But we wanted to give him something as a token of our affection, I settled on the idea of “books”, but then a doubt came, he is supposed to be having a well-stocked library in his house. I checked with his office, they insisted on NO gifts to Dr.Kalam, finally relented to receive books but insisted that it has to be presented in open and on stage, I was happy that we got them convinced.
In his captivating speech Dr.Kalam spoke on what he visualizes – a 100% mobile telephony based office, youth of India should stand for being culture of excellence, how creative leadership can lead to nation development and lastly on how to manage success & failure by quoting an example from his own life that happened with Prof.Satish Dhawan. We were all honoured when he administered an oath that “I will work with integrity and succeed with Integrity“, I felt the wordings to have been brilliantly coined, it was not about being with integrity alone, that can be done by not doing anything, but what’s important is to succeed with your integrity intact. Thank you Sir.
Also published on Medium.