The temple town of Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, the native place of former President A P J Abdul Kalam, awaits the final arrival of it’s most beloved son. A pall of gloom descended on Rameswaram, since the news about his death reached this island town where he had spent his childhood and grew up to become one of India’s most respected scientists and later the eleventh President of India.
Born into a poor Tamil Muslim family, Kalam sold newspapers at a very young age to contribute to his father’s income who ferried a boat to earn a living for his family. Being a bright and hardworking student, Kalam joined IIT Madras to study Aerospace Engineering after completing his graduation in Physics from St. Jospeh’s College, Trichy.
The news of the death of ‘India’s Missile Man’ has seen large number of people gathering in front of his house named ‘Kalam House’ located at the Mosque street in Rameshwaram, to offer their condolences and mourn his death. Kalam’s eldest brother Mohammed Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraicker, who is 99, still lives in his ancestral home while his parents and other siblings had passed away long back. Kalam who was constantly in touch with his family, last visited Rameshwaram a few months back when his brother fell ill. Since the news of his death broke out, his brother and other relatives were weeping uncontrollably and demanding to see his brother for the last time.
Although, there is news about his final rites conducted in Rameshwaram on Thursday in keeping with his family’s wishes, the state government is yet to receive any information on this regard or about when President Kalam’s body will be sent to Rameswaram, which is around 600 km from Chennai.