Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dream dream dream….

Dream dream dream… That’s how it started … as a dream, a hope. Anybody could have brushed it off as a lofty thought, too high an expectation. But it came true…because dreams turn into thoughts, thoughts become actions.

The dream was to meet Dr. Kalam Sir and invite him to be part of the event that we would be organizing in Mysore. All we knew at this point was that we will be organizing “some” “big” event and we want Kalam Sir to be part of it. Nothing more. This thought or dream had such purity and such strength, that it actually came true. We did invite Kalam Sir for our event, and yes, he did agree!

The first action was to get in touch with his personal secretary. We called him up and the dialogue with him turned out to be unusually optimistic and fruitful. We geared up for the dream meeting and set out to Delhi. Before this, we all had a chance to meet and draft a plan of the event that we were to organize. After a few mail exchanges we were ready with the initial draft. Kalam Sir would address a group of like minded people – CEOs, industrialists, beaurocrats, policy makers, students, citizens, rural folk . This would set that stage for a series of lectures, debates, and brain storming sessions on various topics such as entrepreneurship, bridging the urban-rural divide technology for the masses, and the like. The focus would be to awaken the spirit of pride and sense of duty among masses. With this background, We were supposed to meet Kalam Sir personally in Delhi.

Some knowledgeable people say that there are no coincidences; all events are just the unfolding of destiny. Destiny that unfolded before us was incredible! We were told that Kalam Sir would be visiting Mysore and we could meet him at Mysore itself! That meant something really incredible; we would all get to meet him!

Quick change of plans, we decided to reach Mysore on Thursday to meet Kalam Sir at Lalita Mahal Palace at 8.00 pm. Ananth Sir would join us with Sachin and Mahesha. My father was an unexpected addition to the list. We hurriedly packed a few gifts, papers and literature about Divyadeepa.

We reached at the right time and we had to wait in the lobby. The excitement was high, each of us wondered what to speak with Kalam Sir. We shifted places in the lobby hoping to catch just the right amount of attention. At the back of our minds, we were still unsure about actually getting to speak to him. Jat was one guy who seemed at ease, he told us to just speak out what our heart says at the moment and his words made so much sense.

We were then instructed to wait at the entrance, as the bureaucrats and other important people geared up to welcome him. There was the traditional ‘Mysore Olaga ’ too. About 2 or 3 groups waited along with us, setting up cameras and choosing the right vantage points. And then, he arrived, with his usual charming smile. Sachin and Mahesha handed him the hand-made card, he smiled back at us. And we were so thrilled! He proceeded to his room with a swarm of people behind him.

We had to wait for our turn. We were yet to speak to Kalam Sir's personal secretary, most of us still wondered who and where he was! And we also wondered if we could really get to speak to Kalam Sir, or was this all? Just a fleeting glance?!

Thankfully our D.C., Mr. Manivannan was there to help us out. He asked us to wait patiently, our turn would come. It was close to 9.00 pm. “it could be today or tomorrow”, we thought.

Our excitement increased marginally, I could hear myself say “This is it, we are going to meet Kalam sir. Yes, but not yet, what if he has other plans?” We kept ourselves busy. Some of us spoke to the tahshildar Mr. Natesh, sharing our thoughts and experiences. Policemen kept a vigil, I was surprised to note, and nobody were frisked before they were led in. We waited patiently, we knew our turn would come.

And then we were called. One of the security guys stopped us as we all queued up to go in. he asked us if we have an appointment. The answer was an emphatic “Yes!”, we had appointment from Delhi! We moved in, in a line. Kalam Sir welcomed us. He greeted us with his charismatic, almost child-like smile. We sat around him and almost instantly I started clicking away on the camera.

After a brief exchange of glances and smiles, he asked us “What can I do for you?” A moment of silence and then we went non stop. We told him about Kaliyuva Mane, about our volunteering, about Mysooru unplugged and about our upcoming event too. He chatted with us as if he had known us since a long time. There was no need for a rapport to be built, it was there already! He asked each of us what we did. He whole heartedly praised our work. He made children repeat his famous words ‘dream dream dream…..’.

He said he would correspond to us through e mail about our plans. He agreed to be part of our event. He spoke to us with child-like enthusiasm. We felt at home, at ease. It was a group of students speaking to their beloved teacher.

He signed in our books, we clicked pictures. We parted with a deep sense of contentment. His smiling face kept flashing across my mind. And one thought kept coming to me, ‘His smile is so child-like’.

We made it. And I believe we learned 2 important lessons among many. One is about power of thoughts. We wanted to meet Kalam Sir, we were hopeful but not skeptical. Things fell in place.

And the 2nd one about humility. We were well acquainted with Kalam Sir’s ‘down to earth’ attitude. Through his writings, he comes across as a simple, humble, interesting person who believes in the power of dreams and action. We learned about humility again when we met him. It was a simple but profound lesson. We left from the place joyfully and with a sense of achievement

If any one of you wants to meet Kalam Sir, ask us. We will tell you “just go and meet him!”.

- Rashmi

No comments:

Post a Comment