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Kalam: I will go with two small suitcases...

New Delhi, July 19
“I will go with two small suitcases,” said an emotional President APJ Abdul Kalam on Wednesday as he prepared to leave Rashtrapati Bhawan with a desire to see India as a developed nation by 2020.

In possibly his last public function as the head of the state, Kalam had an advice for the countrymen — `don’t take gifts that come with a purpose and build families with character and good value system.

“On the 25th I will leave Rashtrapati Bhawan after having spent five glorious years there. What I have got are two small suitcases. I will go with two small suitcases,” he said in his address at the India Islamic Cultural Centre (IICC). The statement, that came on a day when polling was held to elect his successor, evoked a huge round of applause.

The President went on to add that besides the two suitcases, he had a big reserve of books that he would be taking with him.

“I will take the books with me. They are my own books,” said Kalam, who plans to teach at Anna University, Tamil Nadu, after his tenure is over.

The 75-year-old scientist-President, who turned philosophical and nostalgic in turns, recalled how his father had taught him not to accept any gifts.

“Yesterday, a well-known person gave me a gift of two pens. I had to return them with unhappiness,” he said, also quoting from the ancient Hindu code of law `Manusmriti’ that by accepting gifts the divine light in the person gets extinguished. — PTI

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