My Journey – Transforming Dreams into Actions is a memoir by Dr APJ Abdul kalam who was one of India’s top notch scientist and later became the most popular President of India. He is known as the Missile man of india and also fondly called the People’s President.
In this short book of 12 chapters that President Kalam has written in a conversational manner, he gives some highlights of his life journey and the lessons that he has drawn from them. He speaks about the influence of various people on his life, especially, his father, his mother, his sister, his mentor and brother-in-law, his mentors and colleagues at work and shares some of his failures and successes.
Several things really stayed with me after reading this book.
The first is the kind of religious harmony that was pervading in small town Rameswaram. The meeting of the heads of Hindus, Muslims and Christians, as described by kalam, really paved the way for this.
The second thing that I noticed is that Kalam was in every stage of his life guided by mentors. Be it when he was in school, or in college or during his work life. And this book infact is a tribute of gratitude that he has given to all his mentors.
There are several stories which stick with me, be it how his father’s boat was built and how it was lost to the storm, or how Kalam’s sister Zohra, selflessly mortgaged her jewellery to fund the college fees for kalam.
He also pays rich tribute to Dr Vikram Sarabhai who was his boss and mentor. He admires him as a great leader. The basic qualities that Dr Sarabhai had were:
- · He was always ready to listen
- · He had the ability to think creatively
- · He had an ability to build teams
- · Ability to look beyond failures
Overall this book is a quick and easy read. Since it is a memoir, it does not tax ones mind or gives new challenging concepts. It is an inspirational book, not only to know how someone from a small town can rise to become the President of India, but also provides ample of opportunities to young adults who may not be aware of the different avenues in science and technology.