For someone who had a humble beginning, where life passed over a steep ladder to climb instead of an elevator, Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam had a dream run. He wasn't the man to count his achievements every morning, but was sure to catch up on a good breakfast.
During his ISRO days, Kalam was known to frequent 'Sree Guruvayoorappan Hotel' in the capital city of Kerala. Owned by Parameshwaran Nair and his wife Leelavathy amma, this humble eatery echoes Kalam's humility.
In a chat with Onmanorama, Rajeev, son of Parameshwaran Nair shares his memories of the great man.“Throughout his ISRO days, he used to visit the hotel religiously for his breakfast staple, one appam with milk. Sometimes, two! He had to leave a little after 7am, for his bus would come to pick him, so he would invariably walk in at 7 in the morning for his coffee and breakfast. That was his preference, and it continued until his last days here,” he recalled.
“When he moved away from ISRO, taking up the position of Prime Minister's Chief Scientific Adviser, there were security personnel around him all the time; his mobility was limited, and it was difficult for him to come to the hotel during the time”, Rajeev said. He continued that it was after a very long time that they finally got to see him at close quarters at Raj Bhavan. “We invited him to our hotel again. He said that he would like to visit, but regretted being bound by security measures, which made it difficult for him to come visiting.”
What else did he like from the hotel? “An occasional dosa in the evening with tea sometimes”, Rajeev said.