On the day after the former president of India, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam passed away, I lifted my pen, as I must every day. Thirteen years ago, when I got married for the first time and was ready to go to America, my mother’s professor- a freedom fighter who had been beaten up by the British and jailed several times had asked me sadly, ” For whom did we fight? What will happen if the future generations of this country, the educated citizens leave India? How can this country prosper?” I remember holding his hand, I remember looking into his eyes and I remember wondering, how many men like him remained in India? My mother’s professor, Kapila Chatterjee passed away ten years ago. Yesterday we lost A PJ Abdul Kalam, a man who once said about himself that he was made completely in India, a man who was proud of his Indianness. He died doing what he loved most- teaching.
Somewhere on the other side of this world, in a storage container in America I have his books. Ian Jack who was my writing instructor at the UEA writing workshop, once told me that he believed people bought more books than they actually read. He was right. Today, I will go buy again “Ignited Minds” by Kalam and finally read it.