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My Journey : Transforming Dreams Into Actions by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Book Review

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My Journey : Transforming Dreams Into Actions
Author: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Illustrated by: Priya Sebastian
Publisher: Rupa Publications

For years, one of the most loved leaders of modern India has been the simple man, the people’s President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. The man is referred to as a scientist, a visionary and most importantly an inspiration to millions. His latest novel, My Journey : Transforming Dreams Into Actions is a compilation of short tales from his own life. While many have known him to be the missile man or President of India only, the beginning of his long journey towards these milestones is as fascinating as his later life.

There seldom are seen men in history who are loved and respected at the same time. This man with simple tastes in life attributes everything to his humble beginnings, his family and his mentors. The book has twelve parts

  1. My Father’s Morning Walk
  2. The Boat
  3. A Working Boy at Eight
  4. Three Great Hearts Resolve a Problem
  5. My Mother and My Sister
  6. My First Mentor: Ahmed Jalalluddin
  7. When I Failed
  8. My Favorite Books
  9. A Brush With Fire
  10. My Mentor: Dr Vikram Sarabhai
  11. A Life in Science
  12. Miles to Go

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The book is not centered on any one major event or person in his life. The lens is turned onto different people in his life including his family, his mentors and his friends. This mesmerizing book records the childhood of Abdul Kalam when his family was poor by riches, but not by deeds; his education in which he gave his heart and soul; his work where he came across great men like Dr Vikram Sarabhai and how they molded him into the man he is today. The thread running throughout his narrations stretches from pre independence era to present day in the twenty first century.

In 1783, Johann Friedrich Zöllner, a theologian, posed a question “What is enlightenment?” As we try to answer the question correctly, we seem nowhere near to doing it. However, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s book can take us one step closer to answering it. As the reader takes a walk alongside his father in the early hours of the morning in Rameswaram, as they build a ferry from scrap, as the young boy with a smile on his face patters his tiny feet across the town to deliver news papers, and as this boy grows up into a man who builds rockets and satellites; the reader reaches nearer to enlightenment than any other source could provide.

The heartwarming accounts of some of the key moments of his life with the struggles and sacrifices, the grit and determination and of course the great humility, can teach us a lot of things. A good book is one that leaves your soul richer than what it was before you had picked up the book, My Journey : Transforming Dreams Into Actions by APJ Abdul Kalam enriches you in more ways than one.

Verdict

TOUCHING, INSPIRING AND HEARTWARMING, MY JOURNEY : TRANSFORMING DREAMS INTO ACTIONS BY APJ ABDUL KALAM IS A MUST READ FOR THE YOUNG AND OLD. IT WILL MOTIVATE YOU TO ASPIRE FOR YOUR DREAMS, TRY TO REACH YOUR GOAL AND AT THE SAME TIME TEACH YOU THAT EVEN ONCE YOU REACH THE TOP, STAYING HUMBLE AND TRUE TO ONE SELF IS WHAT WILL HELP YOU REMAIN TRULY LOVED AND RESPECTED BY ALL.

Rating

Story: 4.9/5
Writing Style and Diction: 4.95/5
Language: 4.9/5
Inspirational and Motivation factor: 4.95/5
Overall: 4.93/5

Memorable quotes

I KNOW YOU HAVE TO GO AWAY TO GROW. DOES THE SEAGULL NOT FLY ACROSS THE SUN, ALONE AND WITHOUT A NEST? YOU MUST FOREGO YOUR LONGING FOR THE LAND OF YOUR MEMORIES TO MOVE INTO THE DWELLING PLACE OF YOUR GREATER DESIRES; OUR LOVE WILL NOT BIND YOU, NOR WILL OUR NEEDS HOLD YOU. – JAINULABDEEN, FATHER OF A.P.J ABDUL KALAM, WHEN HIS SON HAD TO GO AWAY FROM HOME TO COMPLETE HIS EDUCATION .

My Journey : Transforming Dreams Into Actions by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam – Official Synopsis

From a small boy growing up in Rameswaram, to becoming the country’s eleventh President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s life has been a tale of extraordinary determination, courage, perseverance and the desire to excel. In this series of anecdotes and profiles, Dr Kalam looks back on key moments in his past, some small and some momentous, and tells the reader how each of them inspired him profoundly. With warmth and affection, he talks about the people who left a deep impression on him as he was growing up and as an adult and the lessons he drew from his interactions with them. He describes those who have been the closest to him, his father with his deep love of God, his mother and her great kindness, his mentors who helped shape his thoughts and outlook. There are heart-warming accounts here of his childhood years spent in a small town by the Bay of Bengal and the many struggles and sacrifices made on the path to becoming a scientist and then the President of India. Dr Kalam also writes about the times when failure and dejection nearly overtook him and how he prevailed over those obstacles by drawing strength from books and spirituality.

Nostalgic, honest and deeply personal, My Journey is the story of a life as rich as it is unusual and the beautiful lessons to learn from it.

About the Author – Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Born on 15 October 1931, at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Dr Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam specialized in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. Dr Kalam is one of the most distinguished scientists of India and has been awarded the Padma Bhushan (1981), the Padma Vibhushan (1990) and India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna (1997).

Dr Kalam became the eleventh President of India on 25 July 2002. His focus and greatest ambition remains finding ways that will transform India into a developed nation.

More books by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Wings of Fire: An Autobiography Ignited Minds : Unleashing the Power within India Turning Points: A Journey Through Challenges