My Childhood Chapter Summary Class 9 English: This article gives you summary of the class 9 English lesson ‘My Childhood’ by Abdul Kalam. This lesson gives a glimpse into Abdul Kalam’s early years in Rameswaram
Summary: My Childhood
The story begins with Abdul Kalam’s humble origins in Rameswaram, a tranquil island town in the southern part of India during the early to mid-20th century. Born into a middle-class Tamil family, young Kalam’s early life was shaped by the simplicity and wisdom of his parents.
Jainulabdeen, Kalam’s father, may not have had formal education or wealth, but he possessed innate wisdom and a generous spirit. Ashiamma, Kalam’s mother, epitomized kindness and faith in goodness. Their home became a haven for more outsiders than their own family, highlighting their selfless generosity.
Kalam’s childhood friends, Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan, and Sivaprakasan, came from diverse backgrounds, yet religious differences were inconsequential. This demonstrated the harmonious coexistence among children, irrespective of their varied upbringings.
Influence of War:
The outbreak of World War II brought unexpected opportunities for young Kalam. The demand for tamarind seeds led him to earn his first wages, an experience that instilled in him a sense of pride and independence.
Kalam reflects on the values inherited from his parents—honesty and self-discipline from his father, and faith in goodness and deep kindness from his mother. These principles would guide him throughout his life.
Social Dynamics in School:
A poignant incident at Rameswaram Elementary School reveals societal prejudices. Kalam, a Muslim, is asked to move to the back bench, leaving an enduring impression on him.
Stand Against Discrimination:
Lakshmana Sastry, a teacher, takes a stand against discrimination, forcing a remorseful teacher to reevaluate and ultimately change his attitudes. This incident becomes a testament to the power of conviction in breaking down societal barriers.
Anticipation of Independence:
As World War II ends, India stands on the brink of freedom. The anticipation of independence permeates the air, and Kalam expresses a desire to leave Rameswaram for broader educational opportunities.
Kalam’s father, understanding the necessity of growth, quotes Khalil Gibran, encouraging his son to venture out like a seagull flying across the sun, alone and without a nest.
In a society rigid in social segregation, Kalam’s science teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer, challenges norms. Despite his orthodox background, he encourages Kalam to aim for heights beyond the constraints of the small town.
Invitation to Dinner:
Sivasubramania Iyer extends an invitation to Kalam, breaking barriers of religious differences. The teacher’s wife, initially hesitant, eventually welcomes Kalam into her kitchen, symbolizing a transformative change in attitude.
Conclusion: A Tapestry of Values and Change
In the tapestry of Abdul Kalam’s early years in Rameswaram, we see the threads of simplicity, generosity, and the winds of change. The town, with its close-knit community, laid the foundation for the remarkable journey of a boy who would later become a revered scientist and the President of India.