APJ Abdul Kalam – We need you!

It was about 11PM, when a random car in our apartment parking lot started beeping. It was loud, annoying, piercing, and coming through into the bedroom that is closest to the lot. It had been like that the day before and we called many different authorities and each one of them told us it was another persons job and our efforts to find the owner fell futile. Even as we were trying to get a make shift bed setup in a room farther away from the bedroom our little one woke up scared and looking for comfort in Mommy and Daddy. We were holding him and he was cuddling into us tighter with each passing minute. After we settled in, he went to sleep giving us a tight hug. The reassurance in that hug was consoling/comforting for him and was a reminder for me and probably many parents like me about the present and future we leave behind for our children.

Even as we were turning to fit ourselves in the make shift bed and I was pondering about the sweetness of the moment, a notification on my phone apprised me of a terror attack in India. The story developed faster than I could basically keep up with in the middle of the night – a bus attacked, people killed/injured, and police station taken hostage. Army/Police deployed and a battle ensues for the next 11 hours. Disgusting as it is, I started reflecting on the divisive world we live in and the debates that hog the limelight in media every single day.

  • Terrorists vs. Good Samaritan
  • Pro-gun control believers vs. Anti-gun controls believers
  • Conservatives vs. liberals
  • Pro-gay vs. anti-gay
  • Black vs. White
  • Pro-policy vs. anti-policy
  • Democracy vs. Communalism
  • War vs. Peace
  • Love vs. Hatred
  • Pro vs. Anti
  • Borders vs. Barriers
  • ….

The list goes on and hurling of abuses, insults, terrors, anger, and such are becoming the norm.

Through those ordeals emerge some valiant stories. The Nanak Chand – the bus driver emerged an unlikely hero for demonstrating his presence of mind,  drive right through the terrorist firing, and diverting the bus to the hospital saving many lives, Baljit Singh a police officer lost his life along and later we realize that his dad also passed away in a terror situation,  and Alert villagers finding bombs on a railway line and stopping a train 200 metres from the bombs and they simply fade away in the shadows of extensive analysis/paralysis, blame games, and just many meaningless conversations.

Today, had much more store in it. Death of Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (APJ Abdul Kalam) former president of India almost symbolizing the turn of events. This just when the world needed him to inspire. He embodied India. A middle-class Muslim born in the Rameswaram, India (a place best known for its Hindu belief relevance/importance), started out a newspaper vendor to learn, grow, and win unmatched laurels. He adopted the best of Hindu and Muslim teachings to emerge as a human being.

We needed him today to stand up and share stories that matter, outcomes that matter, to symbolize values that matter. Unfortunately, he collapsed sharing his thoughts on Livable Planet Earth at one of the premier management institutes in India again symbolizing the day.

There can be nothing bright about the day but may be he saw the Nanak Chand, Baljit Singh, the Villagers or even better left the mantle to each mom/dad out there to share stories of love, unity, positivity, solidarity, and all things that define human beings and victory of human spirit. Let’s share them today and everyday to make this a Livable Planet Earth.

Image Credit: Sourced from Indianexponent.com on Flickr. Click here for the actual source

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