Read here the first post on my trip to Rameswaram.
A few weeks back I got to visit Rameswaram town after a decade or so. After the temple darshans and sight-seeing, on being invited by Kalam International Foundation, I visited “House of Kalam” – the residence of Dr Kalam‘s family. Visiting the house and the museum, an unmistakable feeling of proudness overwhelms you – seeing that a young boy from this (then) fishing village rose to great heights in defence engineering and to became the President of India. The museum called “Mission of life gallery” is on the first floor and is open for public for free. When we went, even though it was closed briefly for lunchtime, we could see dozens of tourist from all over India waiting outside – I am hard pressed to think of few other Indian leaders who have earned this kind of unconditional love from all Indians.
After “House of Kalam”, in the evening we went to the newly inaugurated memorial dedicated to Dr A P J Abdul Kalam in Peikarumbu, Rameswaram. In the past, I had the privilege of meeting and talking with Dr Kalam on 3 occasions – in 2010 at his Delhi residence, in 2014 during our office event and lastly, in Chennai Raj Bhavan which was few months before he passed away – unforgettable moments for me. The memorial has been built in the shortest time by DRDO (Department of Defence, Govt. Of India) and thanks to Government of Tamil Nadu, it had been inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on 27th July 2017. The building has an earthly appearance and showcases photographs from Dr Kalam’s life, artefacts he used and awards he received – it is sure to positively impact young minds visiting the place to influence them to take up a career on science or engineering.
The draft of what has become his last speech is exhibited as “FINAL” – it is interesting to read the quote from Lao Tzu that Dr Kalam had written in that which goes like this:
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say; we did it ourselves” – Lao Tzu
தான் சொன்னதுப் போலவே செய்துவிட்டவர் டாக்டர் கலாம்:
“நமது பிறப்பு ஒரு சம்பவமாக இருக்கலாம், ஆனால் இறப்பு ஒரு சரித்திரமாக இருக்க வேண்டும்”.
The memorial is to be equipped as a learning centre with plans for a conference hall for science programs – a boon for people living in these parts of our country.
Also published on Medium.