Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam by Alyssa Sara Kokkatt 

Untitled design-23

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam by Alyssa Sara Kokkatt 

This essay won the Bronze Award at the Queens Commonwealth Essay Competition 2022

“What is the secret of success? Right decisions. How do you make right decisions? Experience. How do you gain experience? Wrong decisions. ” Here, I quote none other than Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, whom I consider to be the greatest visionary of the twentieth century. It is often said that wisdom is the ability to recognize when you are not wise. More than two thousand years ago, the great philosopher Socrates famously denied being wise, and we have taken him at his word ever since. I believe there is a link between the above viewpoints because bad judgements cause you to consider the “correct thing to have done,” which helps you realise your blunder. This is why making wrong decisions doesn’t count as a “failure”; instead, it establishes a mental precedent known as “experience.” Experience provides a basis for you to confront the challenges that come your way.

Having risen from humble beginnings in Rameswaram, India, to great success, Dr. Kalam has made immeasurable contributions to building a powerful India. Dr. Kalam was the 11th President of India. He is referred to as the People’s President because he was the first Indian president to build a deep rapport with the Indian people. He restored the President’s status, which many thought was merely a signing job. The Presidential Palace was renovated and refurbished during his tenure. He then made a point of opening it up to the general public. He could relate to the people because he understood their point of view. He reintroduced and encouraged young people to get involved in politics. While serving as president, Kalam made it a priority to meet one-on-one with as many young people as he could. He came close to reaching a record-breaking goal of 500,000 throughout his five-year term. He was affectionately referred to as “Uncle Kalam” before he left office in 2007 because he frequently received hundreds of emails from young people who were motivated by his advice to “dream, dream, dream!” According to reports, he answered nearly all of them personally. To better understand the country and to see the work being done locally, he travelled the entire country. He would meet as many individuals as he could and listen to their ideas and perspectives. 

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, an extraordinary scientist, president of the people, and outstanding teacher, is credited with developing most of India’s cutting-edge technology. He was an accomplished aeronautical engineer who collaborated with India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to enhance rocket technology. Dr. Kalam was the man who elevated India’s sights to the skies and raised India to join the fraternity of spacefaring nations as the heir to Professor Vikram Sarabhai’s concept of a socioeconomically based space program. His contributions, which range from satellites to local healthcare, will always be remembered when talking about science and technology in India. 

Dr. Kalam was a man of dreams and creative ideas. “Ponder” is the pinnacle where he has greatly influenced my thinking. His way of dreaming was rather unique. “The dreams are not those which you see when you sleep but are those which never let you sleep.” These are, without a doubt, golden words of wisdom. As a toddler, hearing this made me wonder if he ever slept. The inferred meaning precedes the literal meaning, alluding to dreaming from within with open eyes. Dreams here refer to a passion for your goals, and enthusiasm prevents you from thinking about anything else than your ambitions. It is also critical to work towards them. Those that work toward their goals have a stronger incentive to be involved in this world, to be innovative and inspiring, and to attain success one day. Kalam, a scientist and philosopher, has written a lot of books. His beliefs and philosophy were to serve as an inspiration to India’s young thinkers. His thoughts and writing style is straightforward, but his ideas are quite extraordinary. Dr. Kalam has been through a lot in his life, and it shows in his writings. Some of his works contain instances from his own life, events and lessons he learned, difficulties he faced, and accomplishments he achieved. However, as a writer, he is cautious enough to let the readers make their own decisions about the trajectory of their lives. He was interested in sparking the imaginations of young people so that they might make their own decisions and choose their own path.

Dr. Kalam has been and continues to be a model of humility and courtesy. It’s difficult to comprehend that a man of his stature can remain so humble. Above all, he tells us that being kind to people is the most vital human value, regardless of who you become or what you become.  Dr. APJ Adul Kalam should be honoured not as a scientist or as India’s President, but because his story reflects the challenges and inner aspirations of the average Indian. His youth was difficult, yet he overcame all barriers to forge a powerful purpose, which I equate to water dashing against solid rock. Water can shift and displace the rock from its old place, but it can never crush it. The same wave may completely wash away a sand construction in no time, leaving no trace of its existence. Somewhere, I hope to leave an imprint on the sands of time.