My Journey

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Book Highlights

Title: My Journey

Author: Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Genre: Self-Help

Publisher: Rupa Publications

Pages: 146 Pages

Difficulty Level:  Easy

My Journey: Book Review

Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam is a name I do not think anyone in India will refuse to identify, at least today. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has had a remarkable life with numerous contributions to the country and hundreds of lessons for the youth. Also known as the missile man of India, Dr. Kalam, in his book “My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Action” has given us a peek into different parts of his life. The book contains his entire life, not in great depth but great width. From delivering newspapers to putting food on the table at 8 to becoming the “People’s President.” Every part of his life gets covered in the book.

Dr. Kalam is one of the most respected people in India, and looking at his life, one does get an idea why that is. The book starts by explaining Kalam’s relationship with his father and describing what his father taught him verbally and through his actions in life. The book can be divided into two parts; one where Kalam tells us what he learned from different people in his family and another where he shares what he learned from various people he worked or studied with. The familiar part here, obviously, is that he learned from everyone he met. Being the curious mind he was, he would ask questions and could make conversations with anyone. He has even mentioned how in his later years when he’d be interacting with the youth of the nation. He would make it two-way learning so that he learned from the kids.

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The book is nothing but a delight to read, a fresh breeze, though short but relaxing. Kalam tells us how his mother would sacrifice her dinner so he could be fed well. When his engineering fee was to be borne, his sister sold her wedding jewelry. Apart from his family sacrifice to shape his talent, he also tells us how professors and Dr. Vikram Sarabhai played a pivotal role in his life. An entire chapter of the book talks about the mentorship of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, showing how much Kalam respected him.

The book contains all the parts of Kalam’s life, but a lack of depth can be felt. Maybe he wanted to keep some things private, or maybe for some other reason, the book is kept so short that it doesn’t quench your thirst. When reading about Kalam, I wanted to know more about many things, but the length of the book curtails the depth of the book. But it is written so beautifully that one feels you’re chatting with him about his life. You can feel he is in a bit of a hurry, but he wants to share his life’s wisdom as well. A man who has probably lived one of the completest lives, in his book, “My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Action,” shows us how no dream is impossible, how sometimes believing in God’s plan helps you deal with failures, and how at all points in his life he dreamt and made sure to take action on those dreams.

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