Monday, 27 July 2015

The Missile goes Silent

A tribute to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Former President of India


Here was a man
Who cared for his entire team
Be it a Director or his car driver.

His empathy and leadership
Tales are legendary.
Like taking the family
Of one of his colleagues 
Out for dinner.
Because the father got tied up late
With project work.
It was his colleague's son's birthday.
Not to disappoint the child,
Dr Kalam himself deputised for his colleague.
How many of today's leaders would do this?

Such was his concern
for his team.
He would take the blame for a mission failure.
But stand behind when it succeeded.
A picture of utmost humility.

Once returning from Hyderabad
He got the aircraft doors reopened
And gangway reconnected
To come down from the aircraft
Only to shake hands with his car driver.
He had forgotten to thank him for his services
Which he did every time.
Can there be a better example of empowerment?
And empathy?
And leadership?

Being a designer himself
He loved being in a laboratory.
Even though head of DRDO
And Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri,
He would quickly finish chairing the meeting
And spend longer time in the labs in WESEE, New Delhi.
His face would lit up
On seeing a new design
Or on seeing its test and validation in the field.

Man of few words 
He embodied humility.
His curls
His infectious smile
His bonding with school children
His clarity of thought 
His visionary ideas
Have inspired many.

Alas
The Missile Man's
Last missile has fired
And left a deathly silence
In the hearts of those 
Who had the fortune of working with him (like me)  
As well as every Indian.

Our salutations
To the greatest son-of-the-soil
India ever had.

His famous quotations will circulate on the net now.
But my all time favourite line from him is
May his soul rest in peace.

Jai Hind.

In respectful homage 
    -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 27th July 2015