Book Review: Pupil’s President APJ Abdul Kalam, edited by Satyam Roychowdhury

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“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

These words from Mitch Albom’s book Tuesdays with Morrie are so true. The strength of a relationship – be it love, friendship, or any other – doesn’t dwindle with death. The memories that were created previously in life linger for long, and it makes the presence of that person still felt, still so prominent in life. It holds true for the relationship between a teacher and his student as well. The lessons that have been taught stay for long, and with them, I do not feel that that person has truly gone.

It was a sad day when APJ Abdul Kalam left this world for heaven. For a long time that day, I felt a void. Then I realized, he lives on through his books. Till his final breath, he stayed true to his path. He had taught in life, and his final moments came as a teacher too. Non-fiction is not my cup of tea, but his books, they are an exception. When this book was released, I knew it’d make its way to my shelf sooner or later. And thankfully, it was sooner.

“My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards.”

His words on the back cover are but an inkling of the wisdom in this book. Essays, speeches, poetry, tributes, the book has it all. The blurb said it’d be like journeying through his life in its entirety. I do not know if this book encompasses entirety, but it feels surreal. I have this tendency to imagine what I read. Imagining that I’m hearing APJ speak as I read his speeches, that’s an experience I can’t put to words.

Show me so that I can stand
On your shoulders.
Reveal yourself so that I can be
Something different.
Don’t impose on me what you know,
I want to explore the unknown
And be the source of my own discoveries.
Let the known be my liberation, not my slavery.

The student’s prayer is not new to many of us, but it was to me till I read this book. I cannot say much more about this book. It is a beautiful compilation of moments of his life, and how much he is remembered after it too. The only flipside, and a small, personal one at that, is that it is a hardbound book, and not a paperback. The feel of it wasn’t as nice as I wished it to be.


The Bookworm Rates This: 5/5
The Bookworm Rates This: 5/5
Book Details
Title: Pupil’s President APJ Abdul Kalam
Editor: Satyam Roychowdhury Genre: Non-fiction
ISBN/ASIN: 9789380925295 Publisher: Bee Books

A review copy was given to me as part of the b00k r3vi3ws blog tour. No other payment was taken. The views expressed here are my own, frank and uninfluenced.


(© 23rd October 2015)

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