At Indira Bhavan Lodge in Thiruvananthapuram, A P J Abdul Kalam had led a reclusive life.
The single room at one end of the ground floor of the lodge was not a sought after by friends or outsiders, recalls B Indira Devi, who had been the owner of the lodge when Kalam lived there.
“He came to our lodge in 1968 and lived in the same room for 15 years. Although he had moved out of Thiruvanananthapuram in 1982, Kalam retained the room for another year mainly because the room had several bundles of books,’’ says 78-year-old Devi.
Kalam stayed in this lodge only throughout his VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre) days in Thiruvananthapuram. The room did not ave an attached bathroom then, but only a common one in that floor. With a single cot, a table and a chair, the small room was meant only for single accommodation.
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Devi said he was engaged in reading all the time at the lodge. “Kalam did not have visitors at the lodge. Once he was back from office, he would sit for reading. At the lodge, he communicated with only a watchman (security guard) whom he depended for getting provisions and food from nearby hotel.’’
Devi does not recall the amount Kalam had paid as monthly room rent, but said it would have been below Rs 100 even at the time he left the lodge.
Devi said she never met Kalam after he left the lodge somewhere in 1983.
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