Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ten things you didn't know about Pakistan's Nobel laureate

1. Dr Abdus Salam never kept a television in his house. He regarded it a wastage of time meant for creativity. He preferred reading books over television. He also encouraged his kids in this regard.

2. In order to create new things, Salam, the only Nobel laureate of Pakistan, always preferred to do one hundred things, ten of which were wrong, eighty right but normal, and ten excellent, rather than carefully analyzing a new idea before trying, and in this way avoiding failures by doing only ten things, nine of which were right and normal and only one excellent.
Dr Abdus Salam: The man with deep  roots.

3. He would go to bed early. He would wake up after some time, start reading then doze off. The reading and dozing sessions would continue till morning.

4. One side table of his bed was stacked with dozens of books on almost every subject. The other side was laden with a flask containing sweet tea and snacks for late night munching.

5. Dr Salam spent a lonely life. His first wife didn’t adjust to his way of life. She preferred to live in Pakistan when confronted with social isolation abroad.

6. Where heads of states of various countries would invite and meet him, he would be forced to wait for days and then refused an appointment with the prime minister in his own country.

7. No one noticed his Nobel prize in Pakistan until New Delhi invited him to India. The Pakistani Embassy in the UK informed Islamabad about the Indian invitation. It was then, when Islamabad invited him. Abdus Salam first came to Pakistan then went to India.

8. Years before getting the Nobel Prize, when Salam was teaching in the Government College Lahore, he was told by his superiors and education ministers many times to leave the country.

9. Salam would meet every one with the same charm and hospitality. No one was VIP to him. One photograph showed him shaking hands with a French premier. The photo showed Salam holding a plastic shopping bag in one hand and shaking the other with the premier. Imagine someone doing that now.

10. If for any reason it is not possible to take me to Rabwah, then let my tombstone read: “He wished to lie at his mother’s feet.” It was Professor Abdus Salam’s last wish.

11. The news of arrival of his dead body was practically blacked out by the official media in Pakistan.

12. Despite living for decades in the UK, Dr. Abdus Salam never applied for British nationality.

Courtesy: These points are excerpts from Dr Mujahid Kamran's book The Inspiring Life of Dr Abdus Salam.

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