My Childhood

My Childhood

Where was Abdul Kalam’s house?

Abdul Kalam’s house was on the Mosque Street in Rameshwaram.

What do you think Dinamani is the name of? Give reasons.

Dinamani is the name of Tamil daily newspaper. It was established in1933 and is owned by The New Indian Express Group. Kalam read the stories of the war in that newspaper.

Who were Abdul Kalam’s school friends? What did the later become?

He had three close friends in his childhood — Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan and Sivaprakasan. All these boys were from orthodox Hindu Brahmin families. Ramanadha Sastry took over the priesthood of the Rameswaram temple, Aravindan went into the business of arranging transport for visiting pilgrims; and Sivaprakasan became a catering contractor for the Southern Railways.

How did Abdul Kalam earn his first wages?

Due to the Second World War trains did not stop at Rameshwaram Station. The newspapers now had to be bundled and thrown out from the moving train between Rameswaram and Dhanuskodi. That forced  Samsuddin to look for a helping hand to catch the bundles and, as if naturally, I filled the slot. Samsuddin helped me earn my first wages

Had he earned any money before that? In what way?

The Second World War erupted a sudden demand for tamarind seeds in the market. He used to collect the seeds and sell them to a provision shop on Mosque Street. A day’s collection would fetch him the princely sum of one anna.

Give the character sketch of Kalam’s father.

Kalam’s father was Jainulabdeen. He was austere and used to avoid all inessential comforts and luxuries. However, all necessities were provided for, in terms of food, medicine or clothes. He was not wealthy and educated but he was honest and generous man. He had innate wisdom.

What characteristics does he inherit from his parents?

He inherited honesty and self-discipline from his father; from his mother, he inherited faith in goodness and deep kindness and so did his three brothers and sister.

How did the new teacher try to spread poison in the classroom?

The new teacher tried to separate Kalam from his friends. He asked Kalam to sit in the last bench. He could not tolerate a Muslim boy sitting with Brahmin boys.

Sivasubramania Iyer was a rebel by nature. Comment.

Sivasubramania Iyer was a rebel by nature because he wanted to transform society and to break social barriers. He was not and orthodox person. He invited Kala to his house for dinner and he himself joined with him.

What was the reaction of Abdul Kalam’s parents when he wanted to leave home?

          Abdul Katam’s father was reasonable and willing to send him out for studies. But his mother was a little worried. At this his father told her that a child is like a seagull. One day, he has to learn to fly alone like the seagull. This cleared the doubts of his mother.

Why did Abdul Kalam want to leave Rameswaram?

Kalam wanted to leave Rameswaram because this place did not offer any options for higher education. It just had an elementary school. An ambitious Kalam who was keen to study further wished to go to the district headquarters at Ramanathapuram that had many educational facilities.

How did Sivasuhramania lyer’s wife react when she saw a Muslim boy in her house for lunch? Ans. Sivasubramania lyer’s wife was horrified at the sight of muslim boy. She refused to serve food to him in her ritually pure kitchen. But her husband was not perturbed at this. He served Kalam with his own hand.

What made Sivasubramania Iyer’s wife change her mind?

Sivasubramania lyer’s wife  had observed Kalam eating his lunch in the same manner as all do. He also cleaned the floor after the meal. This might have changed her mind.

How did Lakshmana Sastry reform the young teacher?

Lakshmana Sastry was Ramanadha Sastry’s father. When he came to know that the new teacher was soreading poison among the children in the name religion he got angry and asked the teacher say sorry. Or else he must leave the school.

How was Kalam’s mother an ideal support to her husband?

Kalam’s mother, Ashiamma, was an ideal support to her husband. She was full of love and compassion for everybody. She was very generous and fed a number of outsiders daily. Kalam inherited the values of kindness and generosity from her.

  1. How was Kalam childhood secured , both materially and emotionally?

Although Kalam’s father was not well off yet he made sure that he provided his family with all the necessities in terms of food, medicine and clothes. Apart from this, Kalam  got all the love and parental guidance from them during his childhood.

Right from his childhood Kalam was very hard working and creative. Discuss.

Kalam was very hard working and creative. He made use of opportunities that came his way. During the war, when there occurred a great demand for tamarind seeds in the market, he used to collect these seeds and sell them off to a provision shop. Thus, he was able to earn some money for himself. The incident shows that he was very enterprising.

How did Kalam’s family participate in the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony?

During the annual Shri Sita Rama Kalyanam ceremony, Kalam’s family participated with full of vigour and enthusiasm keeping aside his own religion. He used to arrange boats with a special platform for carrying idols of the Lord from the temple to the marriage site, situated in the middle of the pond called Rama Tirtha, which was near Kalam’s house.

In what sense was Sivasubramania Iyer ‘something of a rebel’?

Sivasubramania Iyer was Kalam’s science teacher. Although an orthodox brahmin, he was something of a rebel. He was of liberal view he wanted to bring change in the society. He knew bringing change in the society was not easy; one was bound to confront many problems.