Happy Independence Day

Today is the 69th anniversary of Indian independence that commemorates the nation's struggle for freedom nearly 70 years ago on 15th August 1947. It's a day when my country relives the proud moment when it attained its long deserved freedom from the shackles of oppression, inequality and injustice. More so, Indians can be especially proud of it since the independence was attained not through violence but mostly passivism and civil disobedience. Since then both my country and the country-men have come a long way, slowly progressing towards a goal of being one of the most developed countries in the world.

However, attaining something as precious as freedom can never be simple and comes at a price (from what I have learned in history). Freedom in India came with years of struggle and sacrifices of some of the greatest people of our country who gave up their own lives for the greater good, both before as well as after the independence. But the struggle did not quite cease post independence either. India had to pay heavily in the form of partition to India and Pakistan, causing numerous riots, bloodshed and fights in the name of religion. Something that my country still struggles with to date, a major set back holding this great country from becoming even greater. But, what's done is done, we can either brood over it or try to forgive and forget, looking forward to improving the country by working together, progressing into a brighter better future of the country.

Today is also commemorating the independence of Pakistan, Republic of Congo, Korea, Bahrain and Liechtenstein.

 Happy Independence Day to you all!

Anyway, on this occasion, I would like to remember one enlightened soul that I missed the chance to meet and thank for the biggest inspiration in my life, a revered scientist, an extraordinary man, and the 11th Indian president, fondly known as the "Missile man of India," Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Much to the nation's shock and mourning, the great leader and pioneer sadly passed away on 27th July 2015, while at his visit to Indian Institute of Management Shillong for a lecture on "Creating a Livable Planet Earth". He died doing what he loved most, inspiring and motivating the youths into making the world a better place.

A great man as he can never ever be easily forgotten. Not only was he a pioneer in Indian space research, he was the man behind India's first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV- III) under Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and a top nuclear scientist. in 1980. Even before his feat at politics, he worked as a scientific advisor to Indian government that made Indian forces strong. He was the main brains behind some of the most successful ballistic missiles, like Agni and Prithvi, developed by Integrated Guided Missile Developement Programme (IGMDP). He has worked hard to inspire the youths of India into success. His autobiographical books such as Wings of Fire, Ignited Minds and India 2020  have and continue to inspire millions everyday. I remember my dad mentioning about when he had met him years ago while still working for Indian Air Force, when Dr. Kalam had not yet been involved with presidential campaigns, he was an extremely witty and amicable person with a charming sense of humour no one could deny. "I had applied to Air Force too, was rejected. Perhaps they didn't like my hairstyle," he had joked with my dad, smiling warmly as he always did.

How I regret the chance that I missed. He will forever be one of the most influential people in my life, and the best president India ever had! With that, I would conclude with some of the immortal quotes of this great man:

"Dreams is not what you see in sleep, it is the thing which doesn't let you sleep!"

"You have to dream before your dreams can came true."

And my personal favourite:

"Don't read success stories, you will get only message. Read failure stories, you will get some ideas to get success!!!"