Posted by: Prashanth Rajan | January 2, 2009

Knock ! Knock ! NIT-H ! ITS APJ !!!

Jan 2,2009 -The time is 8AM.  I woke up from my everlasting slumber to a lot of commotion. A lot of boys were heading out of the hostel to see what was happening. Even the sleepy legs of mine, eagerly interested in the ‘awakening’ developments, rushed out to see and get a glimpse to see what this melodrama was all about.  And there i witnessed it , dozens and scores of police walking around. If this was not enough, I took a stroll near the Administrative block to see what is happening. And lo behold  ! hundreds of scattered police walking around in an protective circle while some eager looking students were trying to get a peek of what was happening inside the circle. The entire campus had become sort of a fortress and all this just happened overnight!! An overtly eager hand pulls up on my shoulder and I was asked,” Hey, Did you catch a glimpse of him?” . Myself not really the one having the latest insight into the happenings of a college, replied in a meek submissive NO!!!??? coupled with a confused ‘what in the world is going on’ look.  Only minutes later did I realize the gravity of the situation when I was told the man himself, our beloved former president DR.APJ was visiting the campus ! Myself with awe and dumbfounded excitement, I was told to whisker away from the place by the security. Well, I registered myself to attend a lecture cum interaction by him the following evening.

NIT Hamirpur played host to Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, former president of India invited as chief guest for the convocation of the students who passed out of the college. At around 6.30 pm in the evening, students started pouring in the auditorium where Dr.APJ was to make his presence. We had to go through thorough security check ups and metal detectors before we proceeded to the auditorium. We were also told not to carry any mobile phones inside the large hall capable of seating around 500 odd persons. Minutes later, the noisy crowd came to a halt. The man stepped his way into the auditorium to a standing ovation. He started with 4 inspiring stories of 4 nobel laureates to explain strong principles with concrete examples. But before that he addressed the gathering with the following words,”Dear friends !” I was  being a avid listener of his speech, which not only spoke volumes about the man but also showed in me the compassion and belief that he radiated to other fellow human beings. An useful interaction session with the students followed. A wide variety of topics were being discussed pertaining from economic development to fighting terrorism.

An enlightening session for many of those who were present at the audi that day, the words that he spoke have to be treasured for a long time and hopefully his dream India 2020 and now – our collective dream of a developed India will be realized…


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