Meeting Astronaut Rakesh Sharma

Some chance meetings are so special …. today happens to be the 36th anniversary of (then) Sqn Ldr Rakesh Sharma becoming the first and so far the only Indian to have journeyed to space. After the space odyssey he came back and went around meeting students, to motivate and inspire them. As part of that exercise, he also visited KV Air Force Academy Dindigul and it was sheer luck that I happened to be studying in that school at that particular time.

Its even more interesting and heartwarming that my friends from that time managed to reconnect over the new modes of connection – email, whatsapp, Facebook etc ! So today when I posted the short video clip that was posted on Twitter – on my school whatsapp group, Ravindra sent me the following two pictures from that historic day.

Then Sqn Ldr Rakesh Sharma and Wg Cdr Ravish Malhotra with all our teachers at KVAFA
My friends and I are in this picture listening to astronaut Rakesh Sharma with rapt attention 🙂

What a privilege ! Suddenly many of us wanted to be astronauts … well, some of us still go around with stars in our eyes, but this kind of interaction is so inspirational at that age. All schools must invest in bringing sports stars, scientists and other inspirational achievers to interact with the students as nothing works better than having a genuine star amidst you.

I remember watching the TV clip thats been posted as a video where our late PM Indira Gandhi asks Sqn Ldr Rakesh Sharma about how India looks from space and his classic reply “Saare Jahan Se Accha” … I can never listen to that song without tears welling up in my eyes. India is and will always be Saare Jahan Se Accha !

Jai Hind.

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