The death of eminent scientist and former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has saddened the entire country and producer Ritesh Sidhwani has fond memories of meeting him while receiving the National Award for his popular film "Dil Chahta Hai".
"The news is deeply saddening. And I think the country is going to be mourning. He was a fine president and a scientist. I was fortunate to meet him for my first National Award for 'Dil Chahta Hai'. May he rest in peace. I got to know about it... and I feel what everyone is feeling right now," Sidhwani told media persons at screening of the critically acclaimed film "Masaan".
"Dil Chahta Hai", the much-loved friendship-based drama, had won the Best Hindi Feature Film National Award in 2002. Singer Udit Narayan had also won the National Award as Best Male Playback Singer for the film's song "Jaane Kyon" as well as "Mitwa" from a Lagaan'.
Kalam, 83, was delivering a lecture in Shillong on Monday when he collapsed and subsequently died of a heart attack.