In July 2002, A P J Abdul Kalam moved from a single room dwelling in a college hostel in Chennai to the magnificent palace on New Delhi's Raisina Hill -- Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The boy from humble Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu has come a long way -- from selling newspapers in school to heading India's missile programme and finally ascending to the Presidency.
On the occasion of his 73rd birthday on Friday, rediff.com returned to the village where many of the President's family still lead unassuming lives...
Kalam House photograph: A Ganesh Nadar
Text: A Ganesh Nadar