Missile Man.

Dear Dr.Kalam,

Last night, made me think a lot about death and immortality.

But the minute I walked into tightly packed Barn Hall, of NITT,  I found myself thinking about inspiration and glory.

I’ve given the process of dying a lot of thought, Dr.Kalam.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you come from or what kind of a person you are, when you die, you strip away a very essential part of the world. It’s the magnitude of the essentiality you take away, that differs from person to person.

And on the night of July 27, I saw the source of light, in almost a billion hearts, being stripped away, and yet, they continued to shine. And that was when it hit me.

Inspiration lives forever. Words live forever. Science lives forever.

We’ve had certain very eminently successful personalities pass away and leave the nation grief-stricken. Maybe that’s the problem. Ever since 1947, we’ve had several successful people, but not as many glorious ones.

I think, over the past few decades, the line between success and glory, has gone a bit askew, and the meanings of those words have been lost.

Aiming to be successful, without reason or motive, is arrogance. Because what makes any person think they can be successful, without giving them a reason to respect them in the first place?

Successful people, demand respect.

But  the glorious ones, receive it, unconditionally and in infinite amounts.

Being successful means, you have a particular field to be successful in.

Being glorious, on the other hand, means you surpass all the boundaries of education, art and entertainment, by living in the hearts of billions of people. Forever.

Being successful is when you die, and a national holiday is declared and everyone takes a day off watching TV and hanging out with friends.

Being glorious, is when people refuse to believe the news of your death, and put it off as a rumor for quite a while because they are not ready to face the fact that they’ve lost you. Glory is when thousands of 17-24 year olds assemble in a large auditorium and grieve the loss, and mean every single word they say.

I am not a big fan of successful people, and I’d like to throw a disclaimer in the way, because this is totally my own personal opinion, and I judge not those who disagree.

I feel like ANYONE has the potential to pick up a particular field and become successful. It requires a very minimal ambition, given that the world is flooded with opportunities these days. Success has become quite a quick and easy task to accomplish. A few years of practice and a few more of hard work, would fetch anyone, success.

That’s where glory differs.

Glory cannot be accomplished, practiced or attained through hard work. One attains glory, through right action, good intentions, and by using the society as a platform to give back all that they received.

Glory is when you make almost an entire country, feel the loss of your death, as much your blood relatives do.

This sudden realization, really threw me off. For I never knew, until a few hours ago, that it was capable, for any human, to glorify death.

I used to strongly despise death and all the other side effects it brought with it. Death was cruel and also, in my opinion, completely unnecessary. It might come across as silly and immature, but I’m going to go ahead and say it. I wanted to be immortal, Dr.Kalam. I never wanted to die.

Over the last two years, I’ve had my share of battles , Dr.Kalam. And the only way I made it back to the world, is because I have an amazing father and a wonderful mother. Every time I used to shut my eyes, and bite into my lips during those awful blood tests, and when I used to cry in the dead of the night, because I was afraid something might happen, my father used to tell me lots of stories. Stories of pain, tolerance, and anecdotes from lives of the Mahatma. I made it out of the hospital walls, but I still fear death.

Deep down, I am repelled and terrified even when thoughts about death hit the remote corners of my mind.

But last night, I saw one man, rise above death. You completely baffled my mind and altered my entire perspective about death.

And last night, I realised that you are to this generation, what Mahatma Gandhi was to the previous one.

If at all my future daughter should worry about failures or fear about dreams, I will do what my father did to me. I’ll tell her the stories of a great hero that started out as an ordinary man, and turned out to change the way the world looked at an entire nation.

Only this time, it would be you.

I used to think immortality is when you live forever. I now know that simply existing, physically, until the end of time, is a very cowardly thing to wish for.

Influencing the lives of a million people, inspiring an entire generation, becoming an identity to a largely diverse, and extremely complicated population, and to live in their memories forever – That’s when you really become immortal.

And as one of my college-mate rightly put it, Dr.Kalam, you’re a Rockstar.

Rest in Awesome.

With Gratitude and devotion,


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  1. So beautifully penned Bala..
    I was searching for words last day to write about him.. And you… You gave a wonderful tribute to him..
    Proud of you my girl. ❤

    Let him live forever and ever in our memories and inspirations..
    Salute to the Legend!
    RIP… Return If Possible… 😦

  2. Nicely done my dear friend… A good tribute to the “Missile Man .. People’s President … Scientist … Teacher … Mentor ..etc”.. A common man with lot of dreams n A man who taught us how to dream … Salute you Sir… ☺😍 Miss you badly ….😟 May your soul rest in peace… We indians… no All people in the world keep you in our memories …. U still live in our hearts…. You are the Inspiration ….. Thank you Sir … #RIPKALAM … Dr.APJ ABDUL KALAM

  3. There are very few people to achieve two aspects of life all together. Successful and Meaningful. Dr. Kalam is one of them. Most of the people becomes successful, some of em becomes meaningful but very few becomes both of em. And Dr Abdul Kalam is nailed both of the categories. #Respect

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