Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A to Z of Friendship

Accepts you as you are.

Believes in you.

Calls you just to say "hi."

Doesn't give up on you.

Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts).

Forgives your mistakes.

Gives unconditionally.

Helps you.

Invites you over.

Just likes being with you.

Keeps you close at heart.

Loves you for who you are.

Makes a difference in your life.

Never judges you.

Offers support.

Picks you up.

Quiets your fears.

Raises your spirits.

Says nice things about you.

Tells you the truth when you need to hear it.

Understands you.

Values you.

Walks beside you.

X-plains things you don't understand.

Yells when you won't listen.

Zaps you back to reality.

Monday, August 22, 2005

DR. APJ Abdul Kalaam's speech in Hyderabad

"I have three visions for India.

In 3000 years of our history, people from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands, con quered our minds. From Alexander onwards. The Greeks, the Turks, the Moguls, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone.

We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others. That is why my first vision is that of FREEDOM. I believe that India got its first vision of this in 1857, when we started the war of independence. It is this freedom that we must protect and nurture and build on. If we are not free, no one will respect us.

My second vision for India is DEVELOPMENT. For fifty years we have been a developing nation. It is time we see ourselves as a developed nation.

We are among top 5 nations of the world in terms of GDP We have 10 percent growth rate in most areas. Our poverty levels are falling. Our achievements are being globally recognized today. Yet we lack the self-confidence to see ourselves as a developed
nation, self- reliant and self-assured. Isn't this incorrect?

I have a THIRD vision.

India must stand up to the world. Because I believe that, unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. Only strength respects strength. We must be strong not only as a military power but also as an economic power. Both must go hand-in-hand. My good fortune was to have worked with three great minds. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai of the Dept. of space, Professor Satish Dhawan, who succeeded him and Dr.Brahm Prakash, father of nuclear material. I was lucky to have worked with all three of them close ly and consider this the great opportunity of my life.

I see four milestones in my career:

Twenty years I spent in ISRO. I was given the opportunity to be the project director for India's first satellite launch vehicle, SLV3. The one that launched Rohini. These years played a very important role in my life of Scientist.

After my ISRO years, I joined DRDO and got a chance to be the part of India's guided missile program. It was my second bliss when Agni met its mission requirements in 1994.

The Dept. of Atomic Energy and DRDO had this tremendous partnership in the recent nuclear tests, on May 11 and 13. This was the third bliss. The joy of participating with my team in these nuclear tests and proving to the world that India can make it, that we are no longer a developing nation but one of them. It made me feel very proud as an Indian. The fact that we have now developed for Agni a re-entry structure, for which we have developed this new material. A Very light material called carbon-carbon.

One day an orthopedic surgeon from Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences visited my laboratory. He lifted the material and found it so light that he took me to his hospital and showed me his patients. There were these little girls and boys with heavy metallic calipers weighing over three Kg. each, dragging their feet around.

He said to me: Please remove the pain of my patients.

In three weeks, we made these Floor reaction Orthosis 300-gram calipers and took them to the orthopedic center. The children didn't believe their eyes. >From dragging around a three kg. load on their legs, they could now move around!

Their parents had tears in their eyes. That was my fourth bliss!

Why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them.


We are the first in milk production.
We are number one in Remote sensing satellites.
We are the second largest producer of wheat.
We are the second largest producer of rice.
Look at Dr. Sudarshan, he has transferred the tribal village into a self-sustaining, self driving unit. There are millions of such achievements but our media is only obsessed in the bad news and failures and disasters.

I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper. It was the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert land into an orchid and a granary. It was this inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments, deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among other news.

In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime. Why are we so NEGATIVE?

Another question : Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with foreign things?

We want foreign TVs, we want foreign shirts. We want foreign technology. Why this obsession with everything imported. Do we not realize that self-respect comes with self-reliance?

I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14 year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is.

She replied: I want to live in a developed India.

For her, you and I will have to build this developed India. You must proclaim. India is not an under-developed nation; it is a highly developed nation.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Rating of Body Parts

The Most Important Part...

My mother used to ask me what is the most important part of the body. Through the years I would take a guess at what I thought was the correct answer.

When I was younger, I thought sound was very important to us as humans, so I said, 'My ears, Mommy.'

She said, 'No. Many people are deaf. But you keep thinking about it and I will ask you again soon.'

Several years passed before she asked me again. Since making my first attempt, I had contemplated the correct answer. So this time I told her, 'Mommy, sight is very important to everybody, so it must be our eyes'.

She looked at me and told me, 'You are learning fast, but the answer is not correct because there are many people who are blind.'

Stumped again, I continued my quest for knowledge and over the years, Mother asked me a couple more times and always her answer was, 'No. But you are getting smarter every year, my child.'

Then last year, my grandpa died. Everybody was hurt. Everybody was crying. Even my father cried. I remember that especially because it was only the second time I saw him cry. My Mom looked at me when it was our turn to say our final good-bye to Grandpa.

She asked me, 'Do you know the most important body part yet, my dear?'

I was shocked when she asked me this now. I always thought this was a game between her and me.

She saw the confusion on my face and told me, 'This question is very important. It shows that you have really lived in your life. For every body part you gave me in the past, I have told you was wrong and I have given you an example why. But today is the day you need to learn this important lesson.'

She looked down at me as only a mother can. I saw her eyes well up with tears. She said, 'My dear, the most important body part is your shoulder.'

I asked, 'Is it because it holds up your head?'

She replied, 'No, it is because it can hold the head of a friend or a loved one when they cry. Everybody needs a shoulder to cry on sometime in life, my dear. I only hope that you have enough love and friends that you will always have a shoulder to cry on when you need it.'

Then and there I knew the most important body part is not a selfish one. It is sympathetic to the pain of others.

People will forget what you said....... People will forget what you did........ But people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.