Three volunteers from Team Everest met Dr.AbdulKalam on Oct-07, 2009. This is my third meet with him
Our First meet happened at Pollachi, where I shared his photograph with 100 other people.
Second time, I met him in at Raj Bhavan in Chennai by midnight 12.00AM. This time, I took a photo standing just behind him along with 12 more people. Also, I got an autograph from him.
Action2020 forum brought me the third chance. As I have already got a chance of sharing a beautiful snap with him and also his autograph, this meet made me look forward for something special from him. In my last post about my meeting with Dr.Kalam, I mentioned -’In the 45 min interaction which we had, I would have learned at least 45,000 lessons from him’. This time too, I’m exactly looking forward for such lessons from him. Every movement of him, each word from his mouth will teach us thousands of lessons.
This time, we got his appointment at 8.30PM on Oct-7th at Raj Bhavan. We are also allowed to bring 2 volunteers from our respective teams. So, I decided to invite Thilagavathi Venugopal-the pillar of Everest and Karthik Ilango who is supporting Team Everest from 2006. This was a tough decision as we have many active volunteers who deserve to meet Dr.Kalam. We 3 assembled in front of Raj Bhavan by 7.00PM. We had loads of fun while standing in the platforms near Raj bhavan. Also, we got introduced to other 32 voluntary groups.
By, 7.45pm, we started walking inside Raj Bhavan. We are not able to see any deer’s around us this time:-(. I think, they might have got scared of our huge group. After, the regular checks, we are asked to seat in a big room in 1st floor. This is the same room where I met Gandhi’s secretary last time.
We three, carefully selected our seats so that we can see Kalam in a much better view
Around 8.45PM, Kalam came in.
All 70 people inside the room stood up and told in one single voice- ‘JAIHIND’. A real moment to be treasured throughout life. He gave a smile to everyone and repeated the word ‘JAIHIND’. Kalam was seated in a big sofa which had place to accommodate 2 more persons. After seeing it, Kalam told, ‘You are all sitting in groups, but trying to leave me alone. Don’t leave me alone. Please someone come and sit with me.’ On hearing this, I moved 2 steps forward. Suddenly, the topic changed and they invited six volunteers who are the core members of action2020 forum. My name was called as the 5th name. All the six people were standing near to him.
Out of the 3 seats available in the sofa, the center seat was accommodated by Kalam. Kalam invited Mr.Srinivasan, moderator of India vision2020 and Action2020 forum to sit towards his right. All the 6 volunteers were standing towards his left and no one sat near him. Kalam asked someone to sit near him. Everyone hesitated, but I took the chance, went and sat near him. Sitting with Dr.Kalam now. Wow! Opportunity knocked everyone’s door. But, only few people get up and open the door. I’m glad that I opened the door this time! Everyone loves to go to heaven. But, I got a chance to sit along with God though I’m not to heaven. I can say, he made that place heaven.
(The one sitting near to Kalam in White and Blue t-shirt is me)
I will share the speech by Dr.Kalam in a separate post.
Now, let me list out few points which I noticed during the meet:
1) During the Teams introduction session, a person will call the team name; the concerned volunteers from that team will get up from their seat. Every time, the team members stood up, he will see them and say a hello by shaking his head. This shows his importance towards individuals.
2) In one of the teams, there were two old women aged 50+ representing their team. When their turn came, they stood up. Kalam looked at them and told ‘Vanakkam’ in tamil. This shows how much respect he gives to old people. Also at the end, when he puts autograph to everyone, there was much crowd around him. Even by that time, he called those old ladies and put his signature for them so that they will not suffer in the crowd.
3) He insisted on Individual social responsibility even during this meeting. He told his famous lines once again:
Righteousness in the heart brings beauty in the character,
Beauty in the character brings harmony in the home,
Harmony in the home brings order in the nation,
Order in the nation brings peace in the world!!!
He asked every one of us to repeat the lines along with him. This is the 3rd time I’m repeating those lines along with him. While repeating those lines, I saw the police who came for Kalam’s security, standing at the corner of the room too were repeating the words along with us. What a surprise?? How many leaders will inspire people like this?
At the end of the meeting, they too took photo along with him.
4) 15min, before the meeting ends, I got up from the seat so that others can come and sit near Kalam to take the photograph. Almost everyone sat near him and took a photo. I sat near him for almost an hour.
5) I asked Thilaga to sit with Kalam and take a photo. Initially, she hesitated. But, later on she understanding that it is a life time opportunity and took a photo along with him. See the photo below:
6) We 3 stood behind him and took a photo as well. Have a look at it below:
7) I got 5 signatures from him this time. 2 for me and 3 for my friend Thilaga. Out of 5, he signed 3 on Everest’s ‘Ilam Indiaviku’ book.
8) At the end of the meeting, all the volunteers felt that they have spent 10mins personally talking with him. But, there was no personal time allocated during
the meeting. It is the effective communication skill of Dr.Kalam which made each and every volunteer think that they had spent some personal time with
9) I gave two copies of ‘Ilam Indiaviku’ book to Kalam. After the meeting, we gave a copy of this book to all who attended this meeting. Later, many of them mailed us and shared positive feedback about this book.
While returning home, I was keep thinking on what was the reason behind the success of Dr.Kalam? I can say it as, his humbleness, positive attitude, thinking big, having a vision and his acts towards achieving that vision. More importantly, he thinks about ‘WE’, whereas most of us think ‘I’ for 90% of our life time. I think these are his secret of success.