Fantastic!" Dr A P J Abdul Kalam reacted when P Dhanapal showed him A Little Dream.
A little Dream is a documentary on the former President. When Dhanapal first formulated the idea of making a film on him, Kalam was reluctant.
"That is not necessary. Why do you want to do it? You concentrate on your work. You develop your own vision."
But Dhanapal was insistent. When he revealed the idea behind the project -- to make children realise the importance of education and motivate them to study -- the former President relented.
"He is from a lower middle class family, from a village and it was only because of education that he became what he is. I want to motivate children by telling his story," says Dhanapal as he explains the inspiration behind the film.
That was in April 2004. But it all began when Dhanapal developed nationalist poet Subramaniya Bharati's songs in multimedia form and gave a copy to Kalam. Needless to say, Kalam was impressed. His next venture was Pattampoochi, a children's magazine in Tamil in CD format, which had children's stories narrated using interactive animation. Dhanapal wanted an interview with Kalam for the magazine. This time, Kalam agreed immediately.
Image: Documentary maker P Dhanapal (right) presents a CD of the film to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
Reportage: Shobha Warrier
President Kalam on the Rediff Chat
Snapshots of the President's family