Dr. Kalam, playing his Veena

The musician within a scientist – The ‘Dream’ man, Dr.Kalam

The 27th of July 2015 was a fateful day for the country of India. She lost her golden son who was loved, adored and respected by every Indian irrespective of their age and status. The great visionary and achiever, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam passed away, leaving a void space amongst all of us.

Having been born in the state of Rameswaram, TamilNadu, Dr. Kalam’s roots and origin was of a typical middle class South Indian. He was a personification of simplicity. What category did he actually belong to? A scientist? A politician? A teacher? An author? A Visionary? How to describe this great man who touched millions of hearts just by his simplicity and tireless energy to dream and accomplish! The multi-faceted personality always chose himself to be identified as a simple teacher who always worked towards igniting the minds of the youth who were the future of our country.

It is but a wonder how this missile man of India had all the time and energy to accomplish and make his mark in so many fields. When we look further into his life, it is even more fascinating to note that Dr. Kalam was not only active in science and educational reformation, but this great man also managed his time to have hobbies, amongst which playing his Veena was one of the most regular activity and close to his heart. Let us now get some insights about the musician hidden inside this great scientist.

Dr. Kalam, playing his Veena
Dr. Kalam, playing his Veena

Dr. Abdul Kalam was very fond of Carnatic Music. He mastered the art of playing Rudra Veena, which is a rare type of Veena, under the guidance of Ms.Kalyani who belonged to a Tamil family settled in Hyderabad. Bharat Ratna Dr.Abdul Kalam had a strong desire to give a Veena concert someday. “One day I’ll play a concert so that I can make people happy”, he had told in one of his interviews. He had a deep liking for Pancharatna Kritis. He was very keen to learn to play a popular kriti called Endaro Mahanubhavulu. He even knew the meaning of the lyrics of this kriti. Infact, during the convocation address at IIT Chennai, he started his speech by addressing the crowd with the words from this kriti -Endaro Mahanubhavulu, Mee andariki na vandanamulu, which means, To all great personalities here, I offer my humble salutations. The dais which consisted of many prominent academic and research scholars as well as the audience which was a gathering of some of the brightest engineers spontaneously stood up and applauded for his apt use of the Telugu kriti to match the occasion.

This eminent personality has lived a life which will serve as an exemplary role model and inspiration to each and every youth. He is undoubtedly a ‘dream’ man to every Indian. The soul of Kalam now resides in every student’s heart and it is our duty to express our love and gratitude for him by living his dreams. Dare to dream and march forward to keep the Kalam era alive!

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