4 excerpts from ‘Wings of Fire’: Words that inspire every Indian!


Now, who doesn’t know the ‘Missile Man’?


The most loving and humble person born on the face of earth, yes, we talk about Late Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam. Or in fact, we talk here of an autobiographical account of the same most beloved president, which came with the name of ‘Wings of Fire’. This remarkable autobiography incorporates the story of Dr. Kalam’s early life, including his work in Indian Space Research and Missile programs.It is one of the most inspiring narratives, which evoke patriotism and pride in every Indian.


Therefore, at PU Mirror, brings to you four most inspiring excerpts of the same book, which can stir even the darkest of clouds.


1) The beginning of the book engrosses its readers by giving an interesting glimpse of religious harmony existing in India, before its partition. This incidence happened in Tamil Nadu, where Dr. Kalam was born.


“The famous Shiva temple, which made Rameswaram so sacred to pilgrims, was about a ten-minute walk from our house. Our locality was predominantly Muslim, but there were quite a few Hindu families too, living amicably with their Muslim neighbors.”


“The high priest of Rameswaram temple, Pakshi Lakshmana Sastry, was a very close friend of my father’s. One of the most vivid memories of my early childhood is of the two men, each in his traditional attire, discussing spiritual matters.”


“One day when I was in the fifth standard at the Rameswaram Elementary School, a new teacher came to our class. I used to wear a cap which marked me as a Muslim, and I always sat in the front row next to Ramanadha Sastry, who wore a sacred thread. The new teacher could not stomach a Hindu priest’s son sitting with a Muslim boy. In accordance with our social ranking as the new teacher saw it, I was asked to go and sit on the back bench…After school, we went home and told our respective parents about the incident. 


Lakshmana Sastry summoned the teacher, and in our presence, told the teacher that he should not spread the poison of social inequality and communal intolerance in the minds of innocent children. He bluntly asked the teacher to either apologize or quit the school and the island. Not only did the teacher regret his behaviour, but the strong sense of conviction Lakshmana Sastry conveyed ultimately reformed this young teacher.”


2) In his younger years, Dr. Kalam wanted to be an officer in Air Force. However, he couldn’t clear the interview. He met Swami Sivananda after this failure and what the former’s said to Kalam is not only motivating, but also prophetic.

“Accept your destiny and go ahead with your life. You are not destined to become an Air Force pilot. What you are destined to become is not revealed now but it is predetermined. Forget this failure, as it was essential to lead you to your destined path. Search, instead, for the true purpose of your existence. Become one with yourself, my son! Surrender yourself to the wish of God.

3) In 1963, Kalam went to NASA facility in Maryland (USA) as part of a training program on sounding rocket launching techniques. There he came across a painting which depicted Tipu Sultan’s rocket warfare against the British.

“Here, I saw a painting prominently displayed in the reception lobby. It depicted a battle scene with a few rockets flying in the background. A painting with this theme should be the most commonplace thing at a Flight Facility, but the painting caught my eye because the soldiers on the side launching the rockets were not white, but dark-skinned, with the racial features of people found in South Asia…It turned out to be Tipu Sultan’s army fighting the British. The painting depicted a fact forgotten in Tipu’s own country but commemorated here on the other side of the planet. I was happy to see an Indian glorified by NASA as a hero of warfare rocketry.”

4) Kalam was a poet himself and was a huge poem enthusiast. Wings of Fire, encompasses a collection of his favourite poems and some of his personal composition too. One of the most inspiring verses in the book which captures our mind, heart and soul is,

“Do not look at Agni
as an entity directed upward
to deter the ominous
or exhibit your might .
It is fire in the heart of an Indian.”

About The Author

Srishti Jaswal (MCM College 36)

Srishti Jaiswal (MCM College 36)

I am doing psychology hons from MCMDAV College.
I love travelling and cooking.
I am DIY enthusiast.



About Author

Comments are closed.