COIMBATORE:In yet another incident that throws light on late President APJ Abdul Kalam’s principle of not accepting any gift or favour, V Adikesavan, the managing director of Sowbhagya wet grinders, recounts an occasion when the Missile Man refused to accept a grinder gifted to him and insisted that he pay for the appliance.
Narrating to Express the mesmerizing tale with veneration, Adikesavan said, “Once Kalam had come to Erode to attend a function sponsored by Sowbhagya in August 2014. On that occasion, we gave him a grinder as a gift. He refused to accept it, but said he needed one for his family and wanted to pay for it. He then sent a person to our shop with a cheque for Rs 4,850 dated August 25, 2014.”
Adikesavan was reluctant to receive money from Kalam and did not encash the cheque for over a month. But Kalam threatened to return the grinder till Adikesavan assured him that the cheque would be encashed. “A month later, I received a call from Kalam’s office asking why the cheque has not been deposited. Further, Kalam directed me to deposit the cheque to avoid returning the grinder,” Adikesavan continued.
Trapped, Adikesavan reluctantly agreed to deposit the cheque. “I did not want to let go of the treasure on my hands and decided to keep a copy of the cheque. I got it scanned and have framed it. The very next day I deposited the cheque and received a message from Kalam’s office thanking me for doing so,” Adikesavan added.
Pointing to the framed copy of the cheque, which is displayed in the shop, Adikesavan proclaims it as one of the greatest treasures of his life. “Kalam is the greatest person I have ever met and he was not a person who would receive any sort of favour from anyone,” Adikesavan concluded.