“India has lost a priceless jewel”

The kind of man he was, who loved India with an intense passion, beyond measure, will never be born again.
Shahnaz Husain

It seems like the end of an era……Dr Abdul Kalam, President of India, from 2002 till 2007, also known as the Missile Man, is no more. India has lost yet another precious jewel, who dedicated his life to his country. We all know how he rose from a simple childhood to be one of India’s greatest minds and occupy the highest position of President of India……and yet, he never lost his humility.

The news of his passing evoked memories of the times I had met him. What struck me most was his simplicity. I remember the day when I received the Padma Shri Award from President Abdul Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It was an added honour for me to receive it from the Missile Man. He congratulated me for the work I was doing in my effort to popularise India’s ancient Ayurvedic heritage. He said, “You are doing great work but you must document it.” The next time when I met him was at Rashtrapati Bhavan, when he was kind enough to launch my book, “Absolute Beauty.” Surprisingly, he remembered and said “Have you started documenting your work?”

Dr. Kalam was so right when he said, “You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” He also said, “Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.” These struck a real chord within me, because I know how true and profound his sayings are. They will inspire generations to come.

Indeed, Dr. Abdul Kalam will always be remembered for his phenomenal mind and also as a great human being. The void he has left in the world of science and in our hearts will never be filled. Today, let us celebrate his love for India and his humble brilliance.