Turning Points: A Journey Through Challenges by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Turning Points: A Journey Through ChallengesTurning Points: A Journey Through Challenges

Author : A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Book Publisher : Harper Collins Publishers India
Pages :182
Price : Rs. 225

‘Turning Points,’ a book that unveils a journey of not just a man, but a billion of hearts nationwide comprising energetic youth, aspiring politicians and experienced men; a journey which unwraps a story of the man, who refines his vision for development of not just India as one, but for per capita, and several parts & parcels breathing therein; a journey where the leader leads, desiring his followers to walk along with him; a journey, serving which, a leader turns old, just to keep his motherland young and full of life; a journey which destines towards dwelling in a developed and well-satisfied nation. Being the twenty first book of Sir A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, his pen stretches out to lakhs of people, versing the glory of his life into a collection of various inspirational and devotional events. These events range from delivering inspirational words to youth via various educational institutions and organized gatherings all across the nation, being appointed as a rocket engineer at ISRO, being appointed as a President, appointing a Prime Minister, visiting places and occasions, and utilizing every single of such opportunity for discussing varied core competencies of our nation and learning from the practices of others. The book disentangles a beautiful tenure of a President, along with defining the transformations of his life, before and after the office of presidentship. It gives us a detailed picture of a living legend’s Turning Points of life that sculpted his future aims and deeds therefrom.

Sir Kalam considered power of youth as a tremendous move to the country. Holding meetings in person with youth, farmers and social-political leaders of the nation, whenever the opportunity knocked, aimed at keeping a personal touch with the force that composed a major moving part of India and Indians, that turns out to be a lesson learnt for aspiring political and social workers. The dream of India 2020 (India a developed nation before 2020) laid its foundations on the strong and valuable grounds of responsive, transparent and corruption free governance. The book remains an answer to questions like-

– What does a nation desire, after being bestowed with resources, value-based education, talented flock of scientists, scholars & investors;

– How to serve the best when you get the opportunity to interact with common public, be it Swearing Ceremonies, or National Day’s speech;

-What do we receive, when we start giving.

The reason behind discussions presented in this book, by Sir Kalam, turn out to be the real eye-charmer, for it gives a subject to understand and learn about happenings at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. It narrates a story before and after the important and useful events taken place in the country which remain unknown and confined to walls around the President.  Sir Kalam has also shared various small and out-of-the-box ideas. Certain of which were –

1.      Initiating e-governance, a system whereby all the letters, files and documents, that arrived at the President’s secretariat would be digitized and bar-coded, in order to promote swift and absolutely secured data transformation to the respective departments,

2.      Classification and reduction in the pendency of number of cases in the high courts, on the basis of an age analysis, and introducing e-judiciary.

Addition of poems to the context and personal interactions has been the originalities of the book, taking the author a little more towards the readers. My personal favorite poem throughout the book have been Message From Mother Earth, which touches the nodes of various sentimental conclusions of various battles and wars, addressing the European minds to let their stretch expand to the unexplored and spread everywhere boundlessly. The description laid for villages, occupying a major land of India, has been done rhythmically and beautifully by the idea of providing proper adequate opportunity for earning and improving amenities, where emerged the strong and fruitful idea of Providing Urban amenities to Rural Areas (PURA). The most illustrative achievement that the highness made was visiting 21 states all over the nation in 10 months, and making each visit an educational as well as an inspirational one.

Away from political and social interactions and ideas, there are also morals discussed at personal levels by the chapter Learning From Others. The chapter includes a small discussion on Sir Kalam’s small lesson deriving from his father, Janab Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen, which quoted a saying from Hadith, ‘When the Almighty appoints a person to a position, He takes care of his provision. If a person takes anything beyond that, it’s an illegal gain.’ The lesson learnt in childhood, as the president says, holds hand of Sir Kalam till date. The chapter also moves ahead with a number of more preachings in the form of A nurtured value system, A Haj pilgrimage, explaining the experiences of an interaction with Khushwant Singh, In giving we receive.

The book also talks on how the actual journey towards making India a developed nation starts after completing the tenure of Presidency. After the tenure, Sir Kalam continues back his teaching assignments to various reputed and one-of-their-kind institutions including IIT, IIM, Banaras Hindu University, Anna University, etc. The addition of meaningful and motivational quotes at the end of every chapter adds an extra essence to the whole read, making it worth every minute. The Epilogue and Afterword conspires an idea to be taken into account by all the aspirants and desiring hearts of the motherland. At the end, to keep the reader acquire a touch with the writer, we are presented with an interview, that lets out various achievements of the past, as well as various achievements yet to be made, in order to make our country a best and a well-desired place to live in.

The book is described as a sequel to the book Wings of Fire, but honestly speaking this was the book in my shelf as the first one by A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. The simple and subtle writing style is an attribute that makes it a crisp and continuous read all throughout. The journey of a patriotic heart, whose only mission is to see a developed and risen India will touch the heart of every reader. All in all, the book is a must read for every Indian, for it shapes vision and polishes the same for our universal India 2020 mission and, for we all believe that there’s no specific age of gaining inspiration. I’ll end my views on this marvelous piece of work by Sir Kalam by a quote from the pages of this book –

‘I would like to ask you, what would you like to be remembered for? You should write it down. It could be an important contribution, whether it is an invention, an innovation or a change that you bring about in society that the nation will remember you for.’

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