Remembering a Legend
The author reminisces about an interaction with the late President of India
“The religious man is one-dimensional, just as the scientist is. Albert Einstein is one-dimensional, so is Gautama the Buddha. And between these two a few artists exist who have something of both the dimensions. The true man will be all three simultaneously: he will be a scientist, an artist, and religious. And I call the fourth man the spiritual man”, says Osho.
Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was a scientist who read spiritual books, wrote poetry, played the stringed instrument called Veena, and made his mission to teach and inspire the young generation for excellence.
Thus there could be no better person than the former President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam to whom Osho’s two-volume set, “Einstein The Buddha” published by my friend K. P. R. Nair of Konark should be gifted. His was my first thought when given the opportunity to meet him in 2006. When presented with Osho’s vision of Einstein The Buddha, he said, “Yes, I know about Osho and have read him. Thank you.” This happened at the meeting with some students and publishers following the publishing of one of his books that answered questions from students from all over India who interacted with him on his website.
Always smiling and listening intently to everyone, he responded almost instantly as expected from an outstanding person with a brilliant mind. After the formal presentations, we moved to another hall next door where tea was served. Now he was even more informal and came over to talk to almost everyone. When he came over, I asked him about Osho’s thinking and he said it was out of the ordinary and provided new understanding. Earlier, he met 14-year old student, Sudarkodi, from Kalapur, Vellore district of Tamil Nadu, who was brought in by Mr. K. P. R. Nair, the publisher of Kalam’s biography, Who is Kalam? In a Tamil monthly for children, she elicited the best response from Dr. Kalam to her question, ‘Please rank yourself among the following: Scientist, Tamilian, Human Being and Indian.” His answer was, “One can find all three in a Human Being.’
Earlier on 13 June 2003, she came to Delhi to receive the first copy of a biography, ‘Who is Kalam? A Good Human Being’ by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as she had helped to select its title with her question. When it came to be known that she needed help to complete her studies, a number of generous persons offered to finance her studies. Today, she is Dr. Mrs. Sudarkodi Sukumar. Now 28 years old, she works at IIT Madras after her Ph.D. from National University Singapore. Focused on India 2020, as a real time futurist, Dr. Kalam always motivated the youth. In 20 years, he had personally met 16 million young Indians. Thousands of youngsters visited his site every day and he had a target of meeting many every week. Everyone who met him was given a small card with his photo and a quote by him.