Respected Kalam Sir,

I am a simple boy from a simple town of north India. I am still in my teenage and I know that I have a long way to travel. I never had the chance to meet you personally but it will be no lie if I confess that you are one of the people who have certainly transformed me. Since the kinder garden I know about you and I started admiring you from that age. In eighth class I developed the habit of reading and one of my first books contained “My Journey” penned by you, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam which enlisted your whole life. I loved the way you used the words starting from the first chapter which talked about the morning walk of your father and it was followed by the boat and so on. From that book I learnt one of the most important things that you don’t need luck and money to succeed. And the best thing was that I could see the live example in front of me. I could feel your childhood and struggle in those pages and suddenly and I could witness your simplicity and success being televised on the TV. The best part of the book which I found was the chapter titled as “When I failed”. It taught several lessons that life will not offer you the same opportunities which you have planned out for your future. But still you can create your own opportunities and more than that you can create your own destiny.

I still admire you for the fact that you gave everyone the equal credit for your success. You talked about your sister, your mother, your mentor, your professors, your father, your siblings, your friends, your partners at the work and the books too. Each incident which you talked about has touched me whether it is about eating more at the dinner or the new teacher arriving at the school and separating you and your friend or the feeling which you felt in your mother’s lap after a long day’s work at just the age of 9. Each and single incident is enough to transform anyone. And it is a blessing for us that we are getting them in bundles.

In the present condition of Indian society there is a new trend related to showing one’s patriotism towards the motherland. What I feel is that you showed us the best way to do it. You have certainly transformed Indian science and technology. You had the opportunity to join foreign scientific agencies but you refused all of them. You were born in India, you grew up in India, you studied in India, you worked in India, you served India and you died in India. What more patriotism one can ask? Not all presidents of India are remembered every day. But the fact is that every Indian remembers you daily. You came as an ocean of simplicity and knowledge at that period when everyone could just manage a single drop of it. And you left us leaving behind your ocean in different forms.

India is fortunate to have you. Two years back we lost you. It was one the saddest moment in the history of independent India. But your soul is still alive. You are still alive. You can be found in that anxious child holding the bundles of newspapers in his hands at the railway station with the thirst of knowledge in his eyes. You can be found in those children reading under the streetlights in hope for the better future. You can be found in that man who is fighting for his existence honestly. You can be found in the corridors of each and every school. You can be found under those uniforms carrying school bags. You can be found in those soldiers who are ready to receive the bullet from front for our motherland. You can be found in the millions of pages of several books. You can be found in all those satellite launches done by ISRO. You can be found in the rooms of Rashtrapati Bhavan. You can be found in me, my friends, my folks and all the fellow Indians. You have not left us; you just have spread among us. With love,

An Indian

Ayush