APJ in TOI

APJ in Times of India. (excerpts from wings of fire)    
 
I will never forget a lesson I learnt when I was ten years old. My teacher, Subramaniam Iyer, was telling us how seagulls fly. I had a billion doubts and he offered as many clarifications. He took us to the seaside and showed us the birds, explaining every movement, every action… Wonderstruck, I listened to my teacher — the man who, while teaching me about the flight of birds, gave me a purpose in life — to fly!
   People talk of the lack of role models in Indian society. My only statement to such people is — if we fail in our family system, we have no right to look for moral leaders anywhere outside.
   I will not be presumptuous enough to say that my life can be a model for anybody; but some poor child living in an obscure place in an underprivileged social setting may find a little solace in the way my destiny has been shaped. It could perhaps help such children liberate themselves from the bondage of their illusory b a ck w a rd n e s s and hopelessness?
   People wonder how I manage to balance my scientific approach with my spiritual beliefs. I’d say it’s very simple. When I look up into the sky, I see a million stars. One star — the sun — is enough to keep our whole solar system running. We are yet to discover how many more solar systems are there. The thought is overwhelming! It makes me realise that we are just specks in the universe. It gives me reason to believe that there is something, somewhere that I can turn to. And so, I pray.
   I have been given everything I wanted in life — and much more. I don’t feel the need to pray for myself. I pray for my nation, for the people of India, for the young minds that will take this country to the greatest heights.
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