My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions

Abdul-Kalam

The book, “My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions” is the autobiography of Dr Abdul Kalam. Dr Kalam was born in 1931 in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India and is one of the distinguished scientists of the time. He specialized in aeronautical engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. He received honorary doctorate from 45 universities and institutions from India and abroad.
The author takes us through his childhood days, schooling, constructing defense assets (missiles) to becoming the 11th President of India. If any reader wants to find a science and spiritualism in one person this autobiography is the answer.
What shines out in this book is the simplicity one can find in a brilliant man. Dr Kalam demonstrates a deep sense of affection to his parents, family, mentors, and colleagues. He continues to extend gratitude to all those who made difference in his life till day.
The author is not only an acclaimed scientist but a renowned writer and a voracious reader of serious literature. I am tempted to reproduce few examples of his powerful linguistic expressions used in this book: “from the cockpit of a fighter jet to the highest office in the nation; the cries of widows, the grief of the devastated parents and the wailing of the infants remained with me. The fact that they did not even get to see the men for the last time and had to make symbolic coffins broke my heart when I thought about it; I feel a profound aloneness too. In sadness you are alone; each one of us has to confront death and heartbreak in our lives; it is the perfect coming together of science and spirituality-the twin driving forces of my life; the relevance of such a programme (developing missiles) when a vast majority in the country was battling the demons of hunger and poverty; he was the giant among men and I was fortunate that I could grow in his shadow; for each person I lost I found a new layer of grief to cover myself; do not make rocketry your profession, your livelihood-make it your religion, your mission; to be able to be gentle and forgiving, compassionate and kind are finally all we need to be in times to come whether we develop missiles or teach in a school; hard work and piety, study and learning, compassion and forgiveness-these have been the cornerstones of my life.

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Singye Namgyel
Reviewed by on July 13th, 2015