Do you remember the epic scene from the movie NAYAK where Amrish Puri asks Anil Kapoor-the reporter to be Chief Minister of the state for a day? The wicked smile on Amrish Puri’s face, the profuse amount of sweat accumulating on Anil Kapoor’s forehead, the thunderous reaction of the audience… Everything of that scene is epic and it goes a level higher as soon as Anil Kapoor agrees to his challenge. The scene swap the emotions. Anil Kapoor starts smiling, nefariously. Amrish Puri starts sweating, profusely. And audience starts clapping and rejoicing, excitingly. And the rest movie shows how Anil Kapoor lived life of a Chief Minister for 24 hours, successfully. Similarly, today for 7 hours, I lived life of President of India. Yes!!! Through APJ KALAM AZAD’s “Turning Points”. The book is written in such a sweet and simple manner, yet inspiring and encouraging that you feel as if you are sitting in the seat of President of India and performing each and every activity. Reading this book is an extra-ordinary experience. Unforgettable!!!
“Turning Points” is sequel to APJ Kalam Azad’s autobiography- “Wings of Fire”. Wings of Fire was about his journey as a scientist while Turning Points is his journey from the day he swore in as President till May 2012. This book has a tagline “A Journey Through Challenges- The inspiring sequel to Wings of Fire”. But the way Mr. Kalam has described each and every scenario that came in his path never let me believe that any of those things were challenges for him. He has stated very appropriately that he never feared while announcing or claiming any thing as he wasn’t a politician. He never was concerned about which party is in Parliament. His motive was development, improvement, Vision 2020. And hence reading Kalam’s journey as a President is interesting and one of its experience as there’s no talk of politics in it. Just the welfare of nation, state and Parliament.
Every page makes you feel that you are yourself A President and it’s you who is ordering and suggesting others in place of Mr. Kalam. In the first half of the book, how Kalam as President tried to make use of Internet in Parliament and Governance is the best part. How he started getting all his files in Digital format to get the access even when he would be traveling was interesting to read. How he tried to execute E-Governance is another exciting thing to read. The chapter where 7 Turning Points in Kalam’s life are stated is another interesting read. “Learning from Others” chapter is the most fruitful chapter in terms of human values and learning. The PURA mission for villages and villagers is the best execution by Kalam during his Presidency. Video-conferencing initiation is another big revolution that took place because of Kalam’s lead and power. Love for his Presidential residency- Rashtrapati Bhavan can be clearly seen in his writing. The way he tried to proliferate the essence and serenity of the Bhavan is too nostalgic. The schedule of his life in May 2012, that is mentioned in one of the End Chapters says so much. He is no more a President but still his involvement in inspiring the nation is no less, even at the dithering age. The controversial decisions that he used to take as a President is something that I got most excited while reading the book. Even I am still thinking of why no Governmental party came forward to take the Parliament for those 3 days. The interview in the end of the book is another masterpiece from the book which shows how visioned Mr. Kalam was/is.
The book is written in a very simple English. I didn’t get a feeling that it’s the best President of India who has written the book. Because one assumes that a persona like Mr. Kalam shall always use a high level language to describe and mention each and every thing. The best thing is- Mr. Kalam has not let any secret or security rationale to come out through this book that was accessible only to him as PoI. He has very cleverly recorded each and every thing keeping in mind what to speak and not to. He has also mentioned how Anna Hazare’s movement is not very good but also right according to the performance of the Parliament. And many more might arise. Haha. Every factor and point that Kalam has mentioned in the book for improvement in any sector of India is so valid and knowledgeable. The way Kalam tried to implement his ideas in every sector of India during his tenure tells how versatile this man is in knowledge and wit. I would just ask all of you to get this book. It is very different from Wings of Fire. In this, Kalam sir has tried to let us know what really he is. In Wings of Fire, he has just made us feel that every other person in his life was better than him. But in this, he lets us know why is he THE ABDUL KALAM. Please read this book. PLEASE.
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ABHILASH RUHELA – VEERU