Posted in Books

Book Review: Wings of Fire, by APJ Abdul Kalam

About the author:
APJ Abdul Kalam is one of India’s most distinguished scientists. He served as the 11th President of India, between 2002 and 2007. He was fondly referred to as “The People’s President” during his term. He has honorary doctorates from over thirty universities and is the recipient of the country’s three highest civilian awards – the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Vibhushan and the Bharat Ratna.

My thoughts on the book:
Inspiration comes in various ways. To read a book and be inspired by it is really a wonderful feeling. Over the last few days, I have had the pleasure of being inspired by few such books. Two of them were written by the man I have had the pleasure of seeing two times as well, the eleventh President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam.

The two books are two parts of his autobiography, and this book, Wings of Fire is the first part.

I’m at my wits end as to how to review an autobiography, but it doesn’t feel right not to say this book is inspirational and something that needs to be read. It is a journey through leadership, through hardships, through the life of a man who inspired the nation. It shows a different perspective to things, one that we don’t usually see. The book has a lot of things that can be quoted, but I choose to share this one…

“He who knows others is learned, but the wise one is the one who knows himself. Learning without wisdom is of no use.”

I chose this particular quote because it tells me to look into understanding the person I am too, and not just look to understand others.

Another excerpt that looks into life was…

“The trouble is that we often merely analyse life instead of dealing with it. People dissect their failures for causes and effects, but seldom deal with them and gain experience to master them and thereby avoid their recurrence. This is my belief: that through difficulties and problems God gives us the opportunity to grow. So when your hopes and dreams and goals are dashed, search among the wreckage, you may find a golden opportunity hidden in the ruins.”

I have also got bogged down by failures rather than dealing with it. I guess that has stopped me from growing atleast a little bit. Maybe I failed for a reason, and that opportunity is still there. I think it’s about time I started to search for that opportunity now.

The book is inspiring, but it probably might not sound as much if you aren’t Indian. Still, there are things to take out of it.

A rating of 8/10
A rating of 8/10

Book details:
Title: Wings of Fire
Author: APJ Abdul Kalam
Genre: Autobiography
ISBN: 978-81-7371-146-6
Publishers: Universities Press
Price: INR. 275


This book is a personal copy. No payment was taken for this review.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Shared with
1) First Reads Challenge at b00k r3vi3ws
2) Indian Quills Reading Challenge at Tales Pensieve.

(Aug 3rd, 2013)


Poetry and writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

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