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

House of kalam

Nazeema with her father A P J M Maraikayar.

I miss long telephone calls with Guru Kalam: Dr Nazeema Maraikayar

By Dr Anantha Krishnan M | JUL 2016

Dr Nazeema Maraikayar, niece of former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam was the most sought-after person at House of Kalam. When we visited her for an interview, she was seen constantly attending to her father A P J M Maraikayar (elder brother of Dr Kalam, who is set to turn 100 years on November 5) in addition to take care of non-stop visitors.

“Everyone comes to meet us saying that they knew Dr Kalam,” she says while attending to Maraikayar. “But we never turn back anyone. People see Dr Kalam in every object in this house. Life has been different ever since he left us,” says the soft-spoken 61-year- old scholar in Thirukkural.

As the founder Chairperson of Abdul Kalam International Foundation, Dr Nazeema’s role has increased in the last couple of months. “When he (Dr Kalam) was alive, my schedules were fixed and predictable. I used to wait for his telephone calls every day. They were long… really long… And, meaningful. Now, I feel those calls were messages for all of us. He was a man who cared for every minute detail in life. I miss those long telephone calls,” says Dr Nazeema.

He gave multiple solutions to all our concerns

Calling Dr Kalam as a guide to the family, she said the former President’s demise has left a huge vacuum. “Even on July 26, we had long conversation over the phone. The land phone rings differently when he calls. May be, I felt like that. He always gave multiple solutions to every issue in life. He ensured that none misused his name, including the family members,” she said.

Dr Nazeema says the former President’s name is being misused by some of his former aides and friends, but refused to get into the details. “I am spending lot of time these days that none tampers with his name and image. Dr Kalam wanted us to carry on the good work for the nation. For him, the love for nation came always first,” says Dr Nazeema.

When asked about the controversy over installing Dr Kalam’s statue at his kabar in Pei Karumbu, she said it has come a blessing in disguise. “I am personally against statues. Even he never approved such events that glorified an individual. But, it’s a government decision and we did not oppose it. Now, I feel the statue will be a blessing because people will stop entering the kabar. They will now garland the statue and offer their pranams. And, Dr Kalam will rest in peace at his kabar,” she adds.

(Reproduced with permission from Mathrubhumi English.)

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