"My National Flag flies in my heart and I will bring glory to my Nation." - Guru Kalam

House of kalam

A P J M Maraikayar, elder brother of former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam

Delay in memorial work hurt me; but I am hopeful now: APJM Maraikayar

By Team Billion Beats | JUL 2016

A P J M Maraikayar, elder brother of former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam said on Tuesday that he was hurt and embarrassed by the delay in the memorial work.

Maraikayar, who is set to turn 100 years this November, said he was often speechless when people asked him about the delay in building a befitting memorial for his younger brother. In an assisted interview at House of Kalam, Maraikayar said every visitor who met him in the last one year was upset over the delay.

“So many people meet me every day. Despite my advancing age, I oblige people’s request. I sit and chat with them. Everyone wanted to know what the government was doing. Many times, I had no answer. It was embarrassing,” Maraikayar, said before heading to the memorial at Pei Karumbu to offer his prayers at the kabar.

He said Dr Kalam was accepted by all people cutting across all religion and faith only because of his simple living and inspiring teaching.

“I thought it was the duty of the government to build a respectable memorial. I feel unhappy with the progress and process,” says Maraikayar, who surprisingly uses no reading glasses.

I felt helpless many times answering the queries

Saying that he felt helpless many times, Maraikayar hoped that the government won’t delay the memorial work anymore.

“I am very hopeful now with some activities beginning now. I am told that the foundation stone will be laid tomorrow. This memorial is not for the family, it is for the people of this country. It is for his children, who loved him. It is for millions who follow his footsteps,” he said.

Maraikayar is the man in command at House of Kalam and his word is final for every family member. Before stepping out of the house for any work, Maraikayar gives one rupee coin to everyone, a practice the family has been following for many decades

“Even if we are headed to Rameswaram town, we will have to take the one rupee coin from thatha,” says Dr Nazeema Maraikayar, his youngest daughter.

I am proud to be Kalam’s elder brother

Interestingly, Maraikayar launched an online signature campaign on Change.org last year seeking public support for a memorial at Pei Karumbu. Though the campaign (#JusticeGuruKalam) ownership was later shifted to Dr Kalam’s followers, Maraikayar’s initial push gave mission the impetus.

Over 1,12,500 people have signed the campaign which promises to carry on till the memorial work is completed.

“He (Dr Kalam) was a selfless soul. He was a tireless man. I am proud to be his elder brother,” says Maraikayar, before being assisted to the car.

The family members joined Maraikayar for a prayer at the kabar and later distributed PasiParuppuUrundai (a laddu made out of green gram), a favourite sweet dish of Dr Kalam.

(Reproduced with permission from Mathrubhumi English.)

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