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Mini Mailer

Letter to My Role Model

Dear Abdul Kalam,

Thank you for giving me(us) ‘The Wings of Fire’

A.P.J Abdul Kalam. Source

I remember how I, as an 8 y/o girl, used to nag my father every night to tell stories about you. I remember how I used to live in those stories as my father narrated them. I remember how I used to hug your Autobiography “Wings of Fire” to sleep, dreaming to build rockets along with you. I remember how I would go telling proudly to every other person that I know your full name — Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam. I used to chant your name daily, to be frank.

Years passed, yet nothing changed Kalam baba. I still read your quotes and watch your videos every night to fuel my dreams. At every decision-making crossroad, I think,“What would Kalam baba do if he was in my place.” I still carry your book everywhere I go.

From the son of a poor man who couldn’t afford more than a burnt chapati to their children, to the most beloved president of India, your journey is an inspiration to the entire young generation of India. If you are reading this letter from up there, please know that everyone and everything — from the rockets and missiles you built to the heart of young children you touched, like mine — miss you. We aspire to be like you.

“Dream, Dream, Dream. Dream transforms to thoughts and thoughts into actions” — Kalam

Be Visionary

You taught me how to be passionate and visionary about my goals. If you love your dream and are determined enough to achieve it, you can even transport rockets by bicycles and build them with bare hands. If ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) is on the world map, it is because of you. Thank you might never be enough for you!

“To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal” — Kalam

Young Kalam(right) building India’s first rocket

Be humble and empathetic

I remember how you spent your spare time, cross that, how you created time to spend with school kids. I craved to be among them. Hard luck. You always considered us as the most valuable asset of our country. I would do everything to stand up to your word.

I remember how you thanked the security guard who was standing for so long for you, during Shillong’s speech, with the most touching words ,“Are you tired? Would you like something to eat? I am sorry you had to stand so long because of me.” You taught me how to be humble. This lesson will be etched in my heart, forever.

Set your goals high and work harder

When the western world didn’t support your ideas by not giving the required technology to build missiles, even after proving them our worth, you carried out the task, undaunted, and built the best ever technology possible for the missiles, with your sheer hard work. No wonder they call you “Missile Man of India” — you gave birth to our Missile technology. You set your goals high (almost impossible to reach them), and achieved them.

“Dream is not what you see in sleep. Dream is a thing that doesn’t let you sleep” — Kalam

Be Undeterred

When your deep-rooted, longstanding dream of becoming a pilot crumbled, you didn’t let that pull you down. You put yourself together and stood up stronger, convincing your next opportunity is a better one and leads you to your destined station. I remember this story every time I face a failure. You don’t know what you gave me — A new hope!

“If you’re on a new mission or a complex task, you should also expect to experience equally challenging problems. You should not allow the problem to become your captain. You should become the captain of the problem, defeat the problem and succeed.” — Kalam

Be Philanthropic

Being the President of India, you donated your entire earnings to the social cause — to develop rural India, to uplift the poor, and help students who couldn’t afford the studies — saying “Government takes care of me, and I should take care of them.” Now as I earn money, I remember to donate at least 25–30% of my earnings. Thank you for teaching me how to be a good person.

And I could go on…

If I am something, or If I am what I am, major credit goes to you. Just yesterday, I told my father that I will learn veena(a musical instrument) because you love it. I have changed my reading habits and style, and started adapting to yours.

“Don’t read success stories, you will get message. Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to success” — Kalam

You are my first and the best role model I could choose. I will look up to you in my hard times, and also in my happy times. And promise me that you’ll guide me too.

Finally, I cannot help but say ‘Kalam thuhje salam’ (Kalam, I salute you)

By Author


Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam is my role model. I hope you have read this letter and started thinking about yours. I know that every one of us aspire to be like someone who inspires us to move towards our destination.

I am eager to know who your role model is, and how he/she inspired you. I nominate you to write a letter to your role model. Let us thank them and spread our gratitude. This is the least we can do for them!

Vashni Stories, Thasanya Jayasumana, Sujona Chatterjee, Ananna Dristy, Sushritha Danturi, Ankit Bhandari, Rachella Angel Page, A Rustic Mind (Manali Desai), Kavya, Brina Patel, Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles, Rummy Kaur, Diksha Singh, Annelise Lords, Dr. Preeti Singh and everyone who loves to honor and thank their role models!

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