Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s life is a fairy tale. The story of a not-so-rich-in-money, but an abundantly-rich-in-ideas-young lad. Rising, rising and rising steadily in life till he touched the stars of the sky. And became the brightest of them all!
We love this kind of story. After all, Hindi films have been our staple diet where the driver ran away with the heroine. In the filmi world, anything can happen.
So when we see it happening in real life, we’re clapping our hands in glee because now the whole of India has a new story to tell. The right amount of pathos when we Whatsapp our friends about his humble beginnings. We excitedly tell our friends that he didn’t take any chuttis during his illustrious career. We brag about the time when he paid for his relatives’ stay at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. ‘Arre, why can’t our politicians be like him”.
And we’re suddenly beginning to fight over the ‘People’s President’. Like a true filmi end, we have tear-filled eyes when the White House lowers the American flag in tribute. Now that is the ‘ultimate’ tribute, because nobody can do it better than “amreeka”.
Sadly, it remains only a story. The very next minute after eulogizing him, we’re back to maaro-ing chuttis from office, finding ways to change our car from Maruti to Audi – our passion for excellence fuelled more by money than by anything else.
Our politicians of course led the way by paying the best eulogy to the gentleman by shouting through Parliament rooftops before adjourning the House. When Dr Kalam insisted that there be no holiday in his name, the government declares a 7-day mourning. With sad, morose faces, politicians paid their tributes to the man. In this, they only told us again and again why they were the world’s best actors. Of course, it’s too hideous a thought to even imagine that any of them could try to remodel their lives on Dr Kalam’s!
I wonder how did this ‘missile’ man escape the essential Indian missiles of being selfish, rude and corrupt and being glued to the seat of power? It was our system’s failure that it could not break this man. With corruption running in our blood, this man was traversing on the lonely road of honesty. Why didn’t the seats of power in ISRO, at the Rashtrapati Bhawan tug at this man? Why was he not interested in pulling strings and getting every Pappu, Raju, or Rahul in his family employed?
This is a big time system failure. We must not allow this to happen. So let’s all pledge that after we’ve exhausted our social media content on how much we all adored Dr Kalam, we get back to business.