Happy New Year, readers!
'Wings of Fire' is my first read of the year 2021.
I had saved this book for the New Year. From what I’d read and heard of it, I wanted to commence the year with the inspiration it offered. And I was inspired, beyond measure.
reviews have already been penned about the book and its contents. I choose to
focus only on the aspects that I found unique or endearing.
man and his Gratitude.
will surely lose count of the number of people Dr Kalam has remembered to
thank, mention and acknowledge in his autobiography. It is not confined only to
his teachers, but extends to all the important people he interacted with,
worked with or was influenced by. We live in a world where most people heap the
efforts of others onto their own bandwagon of achievements with easy nonchalance
and lack of guilt. And here is a man like Kalam who influenced millions of
people across the globe and yet, lists out every key individual he dealt with by
name and designation. This is the kind of gratitude that only one in a million
man and his Simplicity
When Dr Kalam recounts how his room was the same humble dwelling, albeit in a different
location, even after he became the Director at DRDO, one wonders what fabric he
was made of. His humble breakfast of idlis, chutney and buttermilk makes one wonder
at his lack of desire for the finer things of life. It is beyond
inspiring to read the story of a man who began with such humble beginnings in
Rameshwaram and went on to scale the greatest heights of scientific technology.
man and his Genius
people claim to be influenced by a host of self-help books that teach people
how to become rich, content, famous, happy or enlightened in life. I have never
been a fan of such self-professed gurus preaching to the world, about how to live and
grow. But reading Dr Kalam’s story teaches us all this and then some.
a mark of Dr Kalam's genius that allows the world to read about the functioning of the defence organization – one of the most secretive aspects of the nation – without
compromising on any facet of its security. Further, highly complex algorithms
of the working of the scientific community, in a completely simplified language
that can be assimilated by the common man. Only someone like Dr Kalam could
simplify even rocket science to a common reader’s level of comprehension.
by Dr Kalam is a gem of gold. He touches upon leadership, teamwork, ambition,
hard-work, sharing, caring, commitment, responsibility, focus…the list is
perpetual, the learning immense.
of Fire’ teaches us how ambition can be completely devoid of material greed;
how being wealthy has nothing to do with money; how contentment is independent
of possessions; how fame is earned through relentless hard work and unselfish
motives and how enlightenment is gained through craving for lifelong learning from
man and his Pride in India
people can instil a sense of patriotism like Dr Kalam does. He shows us that
Indians can achieve a lot more than they are ever given credit for. His
comments on the brain drain of India is bang-on and hard-hitting. No Indian can
help being filled with a sense of pride for the motherland, as her
journey of achievement, to becoming a missile-capable nation with Agni and Prithvi
unleashes in the pages.
man and his Resilience
heart-rending to read about the failures the teams encountered. But Dr Kalam’s
resilience in the face of misfortune, worse the mockery of the media and
negative forces within India and across the world is a story of empowerment in
man and his Family
thrilling to read about how Dr Kalam is distressed to miss his niece’s wedding
and ends up on a helicopter flight to catch the train that takes him to the
venue. His angst at losing his parents and brother-in-law is palpable.
dedication to his work allows us a semblance of comprehension, as to why he remained a bachelor till
the end of his days.
Dr Kalam acknowledges Arun Tiwari’s role in bringing the book out to readers. The praise
is completely justified. Tiwari has undoubtedly put in more than his share of
work to compile the life story of the greatest scientists of India and
juxtaposed it with the growth of India as a missile superpower.
a complete five-star rating, to say that this book is a must-read is an
sure gave wings to my inspiration, and the year has begun on an excellent note
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