Why should you read “Wings of Fire” By A.P.J Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari?

Why should you read “Wings of Fire” By A.P.J Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari?

Why should you read “Wings of Fire” By A.P.J Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari?

“To succeed in life and achieve results, you must understand and master three mighty forces— desire, belief, and expectation.”- APJ Abdul Kalam

Here goes the quote from the famous autobiographical text “Wings of Fire” by APJ Abdul kalam. Kalam is not only a renowned scientist but also the 11th President of India. The text is written by Kalam and Arun Tiwari cooperatively. The book covers Kalam’s life before he became president of India.

The autobiography is based on Kalam’s life incidents. The main focus of the book is his work in space research and missile projects. The book has been prevalent and also is translated into 13 languages. The story revolves around a boy from a humble background and his journey from a researcher to India’s president. It emphasizes the importance of family, relatives, and friends in helping achieve each other’s goals and turning dreams into reality. It teaches one to become a patriotic citizen of the country shown in the book as a determinant India and countless efforts of its scientists in achieving superiority in aeronautical, space and rocket technology.

The initial chapters of “Wings of Fire” give a vivid picture of our country during the 1950s. Kalam, born in Rameswaram, Tamilnadu, provided an exciting glimpse of religious harmony before India’s partition in the initial chapters.  In his youth, Kalam wanted to be an officer in the air force, but he couldn’t clear the interview. After this failure, he met Swami Sivananda, and his words to Kalam were compelling as well as prophetic. The words of Sivananda motivated Kalam’s self-esteem.

In the later part of the book, Kalam started his career in Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). Soon he moved to Indian Space Research. In 1963, Kalam went to NASA facility in the USA as part of a training program on rocket launching techniques. The book gives vivid, detailed information about India’s satellite and missile programs like SLV-3, Prithvi, Agni, Trishul, Akash, and Nag. This might interest technically inclined readers but is sure to put off readers who got the book to get to know Kalam or his ideas.


The last segment is connected with the later years where Kalam is bestowed upon with a series of awards, his visions for a proud India. It is almost impossible not to be inspired by his life. This segment, along with the conclusion, also mentions of Kalam’s dream for the year 2020.

The book itself is written in simple English, and it seems like the author is speaking directly to the readers. One must read this to know more about India’s greatest scientist story, military and defense research, missile technology, India’s vital space programs, and general knowledge. Throughout the book, some morals and principles groom everyone. Kalam tells readers how the finest of people can be refined through expertise. Again, the spiritual scientist proved his ability not only in science but also he was a renowned poet. The book contains many of his poems.


However, “Wings of Fire” covers Kalam’s personal life only briefly, which does not suit the context of autobiography. All the information is typically contemplated about space and his research without covering his own life.



At the core, Kalam’s positive thinking throughout the book is evident through the lines. The book puts forward about the great Indian dream, a wish all the founding fathers of a country had, a wish fulfilled by Kalam. A country which is divided by religion and caste and A country with a corrupt political system and where money rules, Kalam who is simple, secular, and an inspiring humanitarian made millions of citizens of India a proud nation. 


Swagata Chongdar

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