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Book Review: Wings of Fire- APJ Abdul Kalam

The book Wings of Fire, the autobiography of A P J Abdul Kalam constitutes an extraordinary reading for all ages. There is something that everybody can extract from this book. In this book, the authors tell us the story of a young Muslim boy who has big dreams about his future and what inspires him to become an eminent scientist. This real story tells us the role of family, relatives and friends in helping a person in achieving his goals. Apart from the very indicative title, the chapters of the book are also touching –orientation, creation, propitiation, and contemplation.

Orientation contains 32 years of his early life – days as a child, going through adolescence and getting into rocketry. His description of the people, who shaped his life, interweaving religion and education, is a charming part of the book that almost nobody would miss reading.

Chapter 2 entitled ‘Creation’ describing the next seventeen years till 1980 covers his struggle at ISRO going from one-engineer-amongst-many to the successful project director of SLV bringing pride to the nation through the technological achievement of putting a satellite in the orbit.

The next ten years are set out in chapter 3. These constitute the outstanding accomplishments at DRDL. The way he transformed the laboratory from one which had a weak heart with little confidence to one which felt a sense of strong self-esteem and could feel proud by contributing developed missile systems to the services, is a remarkable saga.

The last chapter entitled ‘Contemplation’ contains a condensation of ideas and thoughts arising out of his colourful life, the awards that he received (the highest honour, namely Bharata Ratna that he received does not find a mention in this book) and some messages for the future generation.

The author through this book and the various chapters builds a quick rapport with the reader, who is spellbound. It stresses on the point that the youth should not get disheartened by failures. According to him, source of hidden knowledge is within us, with whom we should communicate. It is an inspirational book for everyone, especially the youth, with a message not to get bogged down in life, due to personal tragedies and setbacks in professional life.

Prof. Jharna Lulla

Faculty Economics and Placement Officer

International School of Management Excellence

The author of the article is Prof. Jharna Lulla, faculty at International School of Management Excellence, Navi Mumbai. She has done her Masters in Economics and PGDM. She has extensive experience in Industry before moving to academics. Prof. Jharna is currently writing a book on Macro Economics and is a prolific writer in journals and magazines.