APJ Abdul Kalam is a person known all over the world as a space expert, missile man and nuclear scientist, and now as a former President of India. His having risen from very humble beginnings to the highest level shows his mettle. Many of us would like to know about the happenings in his life. The author covers this journey in this book, both from the point of view of his personal life and professional life. This is based on his recollections of past events, incidents and persons. For any nation, security and economic and technological powers are very important for exercising controls. Major powers thus become leaders. The writer describes his experiences, and effect of some of his role models, gives details of his successes (and failures also), and also of the science and technology establishments in India. The author has been deeply involved in three scientific establishments in India viz. Space, Defence Research and Atomic Energy. He has many honours and awards to his credit. He speaks high of the innovative minds and the untiring efforts of Indians, even in difficult situations, being comparable to those anywhere in the world. He is lavish in his praise on some of the visionaries of India. He covers these aspects in four Chapters entitled Orientation, Creation, Propitiation, and Contemplation. These cover periods 1931-63, 1963-80, 1981-91, and 1991 onwards. The book gives quotations from Atharva Veda, Lewis Caroll, Qur’an, extracts from poems of Paradise Lost of Milton, John Trowbridge, Gita, TS Eliot, Auden, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and some of author’s own poems.
Chapter one starts with narration about the family of his parents, their personal difficulties and problems, his education at different places, tributes to several of his teachers and professors etc., training, initial interviews for a job, different places of posting like Kanpur and Bangalore, initial projects, their successes and failures, and proceeding to NASA, USA for training etc. This book has been written admirably, in a lucid manner and narrative form, especially for the young persons, so that they can learn and also get inspiration from it. But it provides only a sketch of his life and not full details. The author builds a quick rapport with the reader, who is spellbound. It stresses on the point that the youth should not get disheartened by failures. According to him, source of hidden knowledge is within us, with whom we should communicate. It is an inspirational book for everyone, especially the youth, with a message not to get bogged down in life, due to personal tragedies and setbacks in professional life.