Sunday, January 18, 2009
The House of Kalam
When you visit Rameswaram, the one name that comes to mind is that of APJ Abdul Kalam. India’s Missile Man who later on became the People’s President hails from Rameswaram, once a fishing hamlet.
We visited the House of Kalam on Mosque Street and learnt that the President’s elder brother stayed here. His nephew runs a small store next door. It is called Kalam Sea Shell Mart, and the visiting card mentions the names of places to see in Rameswaram - the Ram Zarokha, Ram Kund, Sita Kund, Laxman Kund, Panchmukhi Hanuman, Floating Stone and the Vibhishanji Temple. No trappings of Rashtrapati Bhavan here. Kalam is, of course, known for his austere lifestyle – he started his career as a newspaper vendor. And no wonder everybody holds him in such high esteem. You realise the greatness of the man when you are here.