A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is a name that invokes respect and a sense of pride in people, especially among the youngsters. It’s proof of the former Indian president’s influence on the present generation that people value his words even a year after his death. Rupa Publications has brought out a book on his lectures on his 85th birth anniversary.Aptly titled ‘Learning How to Fly: Life lessons for the youth’, the book features 18 of his lectures made in the recent past to students.He always began his speeches by saying ‘Hello Dear friends or students,’and added it up with several anecdotes from his own humble beginning to drive in the desire to dream and pursue one’s goals tirelessly. The book begins with the lecture titled ‘I will fly’ and goes on to urge the students to become not just a successful person, but a good human being.
Another laudable feature of the book is in the choice of lectures that also give us an insight into Kalam’s journey from a boatman’s son in the temple town of Rameswaram to the first citizen of the country and in the process taking the nation to the league of nuke-equipped states. That probably is the most inspiring tale ever that India has witnessed.However, the book fails to document his earlier lectures and sticks to the ones mentioned roughly in the period 2014-15.The book works as a gentle reminder on Dr. Kalam and his call to youngsters to ‘dream, dream and dream.