You landing up here, reading this, in itself, is a projection of your love for reading. In fact, everyone should read. Why? Because reading has several benefits, such as improving one’s monotonous imaginative powers and leveling up your vocabulary game. There is a lengthy list of all the advantages that reading has in store for us. Few such advantages are improved brain connectivity and, surprisingly, our power to empathize with other people. Reading has proven itself to be recreational as well as an excellent activity of entertainment for preceding generations. Needless to say, today, the modes have all gone digital, but that should not hinder one’s love for reading, especially in the presence of options such as kindle. Reading acts as a healthy food for the brain. There is a wide range of genres to choose from, literally or literary (pun intended). There is no excuse for the non-readers out there to not indulge in reading. Apart from all the brainy advantages, today in this anxiety-ridden world, reading can prove to be a stress reliever. Enough about all the goodies of reading, now let us dive straight into a “fiery” book recommendation that is “The Wings of Fire” and why one must not miss out on it.

     What is the book “The Wings of Fire” about? The answer to this lies in the book’s full title, which is “The Wings of Fire: An autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam.” Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was the former president of India. Even after his heavenly abode, he remains a highly influential figure. It is a common misunderstanding that the autobiography is entirely written by APJ Abdul Kalam as the writing was actually assisted by an Indian scientist, Arun Tiwari. This autobiography comprises not only about all the facts and technical jargon about missiles etc., but also consists of the golden experiences accumulated by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam throughout his life.

Moreover, it is insightful. Hence, one must not shy away from reading this great book simply because it is co-written by a scientist and seems factual. This autobiography is complete in itself, as it includes everything, right from Dr. Kalam’s early life and childhood to his rise to becoming the President of India and everything in between. The book brims with something for which we all long for – knowledge. The book is warm in its approach and will leave a lingering beautiful experience once you read it.

     In this fantastic book, you won’t be reading about the great Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam but rather a young Muslim boy from a poor financial background who is rich beyond monetary aspects. This book will show you how a young boy, despite all the difficulties and challenges, faces all the odds with the strength to achieve his desirable dreams. The book is so filled with power that even a common man could be persuaded into achieving their goals. What is really interesting and special about “The Wings of Fire” is that it comprises the smallest of the small details from Kalam’s sir’s life and puts them forward beautifully. An individual can understand or decode the book as per their understanding and perception. The book’s simple yet potent language enables everyone to read and comprehend. This book is written not only for the highly knowledgeable audience but also for those who can simply read. “Simple and significant” is how the book can be correctly described. The book narrates the story about how an ordinary man grows up to become a successful engineer and President of India. As mentioned earlier, the book is not simply factual but consists of the delicacies of Kalam Sir’s personal life too. It delves into the remarkable journey of Dr. Kalam sir amidst herculean odds. We get to know almost everything, right from what education really taught him, his interests, kindness, friends, personal thoughts, his striking passion for becoming a technologist, and so forth. One need not be well-versed with the technical domains to understand the technical stuff mentioned in the book. Another interesting fact that is touched upon by the book is the altering relationships between Hindus and Muslims and how it impacted Kalam Sir’s life and ideologies. The significant themes in the book remain to be that of family, relationship, bond with the self, various communities of India, and above all, the gist of achieving what is dreamt by one.

     The book oozes patriotism and shows us what loving one’s country is really like. Dr. Kalam’s story is nothing less than purely inspirational, with a glimpse of what really matters in this earthly life. The book conveys the miracles of co-dependency and how helping each other out can indeed make this world a better place. The major bit of the book consists of the efforts put in by scientists so as to achieve great heights in aeronautical, space, and rocket engineering. This is definitely good news for all the nerds out there. This autobiography doesn’t fail to throw light upon the mini-stories of hard work put in by other prominent scientists. “The Wings of Fire” is supremely motivational, and a huge chunk of the book is beneficial for curious students and budding scientists. Dr. Kalam’s autobiography teaches us how to become capable and thrive in the face of adverse circumstances. “Work is Worship” is another, rightly said, consistent theme. What Dr. Kalam has done is astounding, and it has contributed a lot towards the future of our beloved country. Kalam sir was an extremely humble human being. His stories teach us to harbour humility and immerse our body’s each cell into kindness. For the convenience of the readers, the book is divided into four clear sections, namely, “Orientation,” which focuses on his early life and family background. The “Creation” section is regarding his education and work, which gradually culminates into involvement with military defense. The “Propitiation” part shows us the years from 1980-1991 when Dr. Kalam served the post of ISRO and, later, military defense labs. This peculiar section is filled with images. The last section , “Contemplation,” comprises all his honors, awards, achievements, and Dr. Kalam’s humble thoughts about the same. These four sections are self-explanatory and tell us what precisely should be expected from the book.

     “The Wings of Fire” is written in first-person narration, making the author more and more relatable. Along with the informational doses of missile technologies and space programs, this book is embedded with vital insights and lessons of life. These lessons will help you crack the complicated code of life, make you reach life’s core, and enable you to introspect about what is really worthy. Let’s not spoil it any further, and in the end, it needs to be said that, for all the information and knowledge junkies in the limbo of what should be read next, “The Wings of Fire” is a perfect pick.

By Harshita Kirnalli

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