Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has many names – ‘Missile Man of India’ and the 11th President of India being just the tip of the iceberg. We are commemorating his 8th death anniversary today. What better way than by sharing the books he loved and recommended? Read on to know more!
Who was Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam?
APJ Abdul Kalam left an indelible imprint on science, technology, and politics in India. He was the 11th President of India and was lovingly referred to as the ‘People President’. APJ Abdul Kalam has served as an inspiration for several children who dream of space, science, and achieving the extraordinary.
Born on 15 October 1931, Dr. Kalam was reared amidst the humble background of Rameswaram where he used to deliver newspapers as a child. His journey from his humble roots to becoming an aerospace scientist and then reaching Rashtrapati Bhavan is incredible. His work with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has inspired hundreds of young Indians to aspire for more.
A dream is not that which you see while sleeping; it is something that does not let you sleep Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
Which books did the ‘Missile Man of India’ love and recommend?
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a writer himself. He wrote a host of motivational books based on his own experiences. He encouraged young people to read and garner knowledge. He believed that books let everyone “view the past, use experience for the present, and dream for the future”.
The following is a list of books that APJ Abdul Kalam recommended all youngsters to read:
Light from Many Lamps: A Treasury of Inspiration by Lillian Eichler Watson
On a walk, Dr. Kalam entered a second-hand store. This became a life-changing moment for him. He picked this book up and it turned into the ‘guiding light’ of his life. This book broke several of his depressive and stressful spells.
Light from Many Lamps: A Treasury of Inspiration by Lillian Eichler Watson is an anthology series of essays, motivational stories, and real-life anecdotes from famous writers and personalities across the globe. These include the likes of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Shakespeare, and Confucius.
Everyday Greatness by Stephen R Covey, David K Hatch
Dr. Kalam read a lot of inspirational works and among them, Everyday Greatness by Stephen R Covey, David K Hatch was placed on a pretty high pedestal. He recommended this book to all young minds who wanted to reach their goals in life.
The book recommends that people make three important decisions regularly. Where do they want to spend energy? What is their ultimate aim in life and for the day? Are their principles intact? This book has the life stories of some well-known inspirational leaders, including Jack Benny, Henry David Thoreau, and Maya Angelou.
Tiya: A Parrot’s Journey Home by Samarpan
APJ Abdul Kalam suggested this book for the youth of India. He named this book among his favorites during an interview he gave to DNA. In fact, the cover of the book has his recommendation printed on it.
This book tells the story of a precocious little parrot named Tiya. He has a cloistered and sheltered upbringing. One fine day, a strange voice guides him outside his home and takes him on the adventures of his lifetime. This book espouses that one can truly grow after leaving the comforts of their home. Breaking shackles and embracing independence is the best way to live.
APJ Abdul Kalam and His Legacy
Dr. Kalam passed away on July 27, 2015, while giving a lecture at IIM Shillong. He died of heart failure. However, his legacy in the form of his work and his inspirational books life continue to act as a source of strength for the youth of the country.
If you want to shine like the sun, first burn like the sun
APJ Abdul Kalam