“Sir, how did you become so great?”
This was the question a little girl asked, on stage, one day, to our former President, APJ Abdul Kalam?
I loved the innocence with which the little one asked this question. More than that, I loved the innocence with which Kalamji answered it…
“How did I become so ‘great?” (laughter in the audience)...that’s the question… Well, which class you are studying?’
“What’s your dream in life?”
“I want to become a singer” (Laughter)
“Singer… Hindustani or carnatic?” (The girl is unable to get it)
“Hinustani or Carnatic?” (Girl is blank… Kalamji helps) “Any music.”
“Yea… any music.”
“Well, I don’t know how did I (laughs… laughter in the audience)… You know, it is a relative term…So, I personally believe - You must have a dream… (Tells the girl) Say… I must have dream.”
Girl repeats, “I must have a dream.”
“I must continuously acquire… continuously acquire knowledge.”
Girl repeats, “I must continuously acquire knowledge.”
“Hard work,” (The girl doesn’t get it… So, stretches her neck towards Kalamji)
Girl repeats, “Hard work.”
The girl repeats, “And perseverance.”
“One should not be… not afraid of problems.”
The girl repeats, “Not afraid of problems.”
“Then you will be successful… okay?”
And the girl is happy… the audience is happy (Cheer)… I am happy.
Such a simple soul… He tell us through this dialogue with the little angel… that if we just nurse a dream and pursue it with hard work and perseverance and if we do not get get afraid of problems in life… yes, then, we will be successful…
“And what about the ‘Greatness’?
I am still smiling!
Hope, when this little girl grows up, she too will smile listening to her conversation with this ‘Great son of India’!
The rocket man… he makes the ‘rocket science’ so easy for us!
Pic.: Chetna Shetty