Wings of Fire- An autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam

Wings of fire- An autobiography by APJ Abdul Kalam

Reading autobiographies have never been my thing, and I have always been skeptical about reading them. But when the opportunity presented itself, wasn’t it worth giving a shot? Come on! It was Wings of Fire by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam– the former president! I would not have missed it for the world.

Dr. Kalam has been a source of inspiration for many. Be it being a science, be it being secular, or be an exceptional president and a down-to-earth man. For me, Dr. Kalam would always be in a few and top names. Wings of Fire is just one testament to the kind of person the former president was.

This article is the book review of “Wings of Fire” by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. What else? The book wings of fire is about being an Indian, the importance the word “Indian” holds in Dr. Kalam’s life and what meaning should it hold in your life. The book is inspiring, cliffing and compelling.

So, let’s directly dive into the ocean of words woven into words by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam called Wings of Fire also, co-written by Arun Tiwari. Although an autobiography- a real-life story, it is not less than a movie itself. In a while, you too, will know why. But is the movie worth watching?

General Overview of Wings of Fire

All reasonable men adapt themselves to the world. Only a few unreasonable ones persist in adapting the world to themselves . All progress in the world depends on these unreasonable men and their innovative and often non-conformist actions.

Wings Of Fire

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam wrote the book along with the co-writer Mr. Arun Tiwari. The book is considered to be one of the most inspirational books of modern times, with more than 30 reprints selling more than a million copies, being translated into 18 languages.

About Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the name speaks for itself- so many hardships, so many battles fought, so many struggles, one extraordinary life of a commoner. (Am I exaggerating? You tell me.)

Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, born on 15th October 1931, in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu. An Indian aerospace scientist, 11th president of the nation, well versed in physics and aerospace engineering. He spent a significant amount of time of his life building the country we call India today.

Dr. Kalam was personally involved in India’s civilian space program and militarys’ missile development efforts and came to be known as India’s missile man. He has been honored with Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Hoover medal for his priceless contributions to India as a scientist and president.

The former president succumbed to a heart attack on 27th July, 2015, when he was aged 83.

Abdul Kalam

About Mr. Arun Tiwari

Mr. Arun Tiwari, born on 10th of February 1955, is a missile scientist, author, professor and was one of the colleagues of Dr. Kalam who has accompanied him to write in total of 5 books out of which one is Wings of Fire.

If you want to leave your footprints in the sands of time, do not drag your feet.

wings of fire

Brief Summary of Wings of Fire

The book is primarily focusing on the early life of Dr. Kalam and slowly escalating to the time when he started working in DRDO and ISRO.

Wings of fire, The book is full of profound insights, personal moments, and life experiences of Dr. Kalam, sometimes even revealing the social construct of that time-

One day when I was in the fifth standard at the Rameswaram Elementary School, a new teacher came to our class. I used to wear a cap which marked me as a Muslim, and I always sat in the front row next to Ramanadha Sastry, who wore a sacred thread. The new teacher could not stomach a Hindu priest’s son sitting with a Muslim boy. 

APJ Abdul Kalam, Wings Of Fire

This incident, along with a few more mentioned in the book, shows the social behavior of people back in the 1930-40s and, among them, how Dr. Kalam were different from those.

It is “more than” an autobiography which starts from a “not-so-wealthy” boy, hungry and eager for knowledge to a man who believed in the abundant power of dynamism and innovations that seemed mere theories. Wings of Fire is the story of the former president outshining the poor background, his struggles- both personal and professional, and the story of the missiles that became near the backbone of the Indian defense system and brought India into the international headlines.

Title Concept- Wings of Fire

The word “fire” in the title is for the fire that lies within us, the deep set passion and the wings are for that fire making it, “WINGS OF FIRE”.

My Take On The Book

After reading Wings of Fire, I sure did question myself for not reading more non-fiction, and I sure am working on it. The book is tons and tons of worth- pure gold.

The way Dr. Kalam has penned his almost lifetime into mere pages, one indeed has to take a deep dive into the ocean to understand. Sure, it is easy to read and comprehend how the words are making sense, but if you know what is written, the book will surely be a life-changer for you.

As I was going through the course of the book, this one quote from the book did catch my eye. It was-

The trouble is that we often merely analyse life instead of dealing with it. People dissect their failures for cause an effect but seldom deal with them and gain experience to master them and thereby avoid the recurrence.

Wings of Fire

Dr. Kalam was not just a scientist or president but what really hit me after reading his autobiography was him being the gem of a person. He was an incredible inspiration for the youth. If you are looking for inspiration stories do have a loot at our review of “The monk who sold his Ferrari“.

What To Take Away From The Book?

Well, although the book is an abundance of “things to take away”, here are a few-

Let me start with the very basic one.

It does not matter from where you start. What matters is the amount of dedication, passion and hard work you put in to reach where you want to be.

Stop blaming that no opportunity is presenting itself. You have to find it and you will.

Secularism and brotherhood is to taught to everyone from their very childhood. These values should be embedded in children so they grow up to be peaceful. These values can’t be on surface, they have to penetrate.

I can keep going but that would take me a whole eternity. so, I’ll just ask you to read further.

Ratings for Wings Of Fire

Without a doubt, this book is a 5/5 stars! One reason being, it really moved me to read more of autobiographies.

Conclusion and Do I recommend Wings Of Fire?

Although as I said that I am not a fan of autobiographies but I have read a few of them, and Wings of Fire is one of the finest of its kind.

Its writing is simple, not confusing the readers with fancy words yet not missing out on the emotions while reading, bringing out a fine blend of living a simple and humble life despite the 7th sky of success.

Do I recommend this book? You don’t even have to ask, the answer is YES in bolds! This book is excellent for everyone, but for those aspiring to be leaders someday, you must read wings of fire; otherwise, you are really missing out on something.

I don’t know how else to say this, but- THIS BOOK IS A MUST FOR YOU AND GO GRAB IT RIGHT NOW!

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1 thought on “Wings of Fire- An autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam”

  1. Dear sir I want to know about Dr kalam said about Baba sivanand ji when he had gone Reshikash after he failed his competition exam his service.

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