Recollection — > MY TRUE TEACHERS – APJ ABDUL KALAAM


To begin with i am going to talk to you about my father Janab Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen,as a teacher. My father taught me a great lesson when I was a young boy. What was that lesson ? It was just after india got indepedence.At that time Panchayat board elections took place at Remeshwaram.My father was elected Panchayat Board member. Rameswaram island was a beautiful place with 30,000 population. At that time they elected my father as Panchayat Board president not because he belonged to a particular religion or a particular caste or spoke a particular langulate or for his economic status.He was elected only on the basis of his nobility of mind and for being a good human being.
I was at that time studying in school. Those days we did not have electricity and we used to study under ration kerosene lamps. I was reading the lessons loudly and I heard a knock at the door.We never used to lock the door in Rameswaram in those days. I opened the door, somebody came in and asked me where my father was ? I told him that father had gone for the evening namaz. Then he said, I have brought something for him, can I keep it here ? I asked the person to leave the item on the cot.After that I continued my studies.
I was reading loud and fully concentrating on my studies. At that time my father came and saw a tambalum kept in the cot.He asked me “What is this ? Who has given that ?” He opened the cover of the tam-balum and found there was a costly dhoti, some fruits and some sweets and he could see the slip that the person had left behind. I was the youngest child of my father,he really loved me and . He was upset at the sight of the tambalum and gifts.
That was the first time I saw him very angry and also that was the first time I had got a through beating from him.  I got frightened and started weeping. My mother embraced and consoled me. Then my father came and touched my shoulder lovingly with affection and advised me not receive any gift without his permission. He quoted an Islamic Hadith, which states that, “When the Almighty appoints a person to a position, He takes care of his provision. If a person takes anything beyond that, it is an illegal gain.“ Then he told me that it is not a good habit. It is like touching a snake and getting the poison in turn. This lesson stands out always in my mind even when I am in my  seventies. This incident, taught me a very valuable  lesson for my life. When I think of my second teacher, I am reminded of my childhood days when I when I was studying in 8th class at the age of 13. I had a teacher, Shri Siva Subramania Iyer. He was one of the very good teachers in our school. All of us love to attend his class and hear him. One day he was teaching about a bird’s flight. He drew a diagram of a bird on the blackboard depicting the wings, tail andthe body structure with the head. He explained how birds create the lift and fly. He also explained to us how they change direction while flying. For nearly 25 minutes he gave the lecture with various information such as lift, drag, how the birds fly in a formation of 10,20 or 30. At the end of the class, he wanted to know whether we understood how birds fly. I said,I did not understand. When I said this, the teacher asked the other students whether they understood or not. Many students said that they also did not understand. He did not get upset by our response since he was a committed teacher.
Our teacher said that he would take all of us to the sea shore. that evening the whole class was at the shore of Rameswarm. We enjoyed the roaring sea waves knocking at the sandy hills in the pleasant evening. Birds were flying with sweet chirping voice. He showed the sea birds in formations of 10 to 20 numbers. We saw the marvellous formations of birds with a purpose and we were all amazed. He showed us the birds and asked us to see that when the birds fly, what they looked like. We saw the wings flapping. He asked us to look at the tail portion with the combination of flapping wings and twisting tail. We noticed closely and found that the birds in that condition flew in the direction they desired. Then he asked us a question, “Where the engine is and how it is powered ?” The bird is powered by its own life and the motivation of what it wants. All these things were explained to us within fifteen minutes. We all understood the dynamics from this practical example.

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