Wings of Fire


This weekend I read this lovely book, was longing to get hold of it for quite some time.Well actually can’t say weekend coz it took me around 4 hours to read it back to back.My colleague at office was asking me, Is it true you read it in 4 hours???

Well, YES. One reason is I read quite fast and on top of that it was a very simple 180 page book (simple in the sense, simple writing style). Actually its very Kalam, I mean simple book but has lots in it that one can learn. The second reason is I am a voracious reader. So when I read anything I get totally engrossed in it. I am in a different world altogether. I am totally in the milieu the author takes me into.

If there was a public facility (if I had to chose) that I utilized to the maximum extent while my stay in Copenhagen then that’s the Royal Library.

As a matter of fact there are two of them, one is the old one which is housed in a very majestic royal building which is breathtakingly beautiful and the other is called “The Black Diamond”, which has very modern architecture. It is even more beautiful coz it faces the waterfront. It also conducts book, art and music festivals.
And the Danes are extremely proud of it. Who wouldn’t be?

Apart from these two biggies, every municipality has its own library. And we could order books online and they would be delivered to your doorstep. Yeah you heard it right……Advanced technology.

But I rarely used this facility. I preferred going to these lovely places, pick a book, order a coffee and croissant and get going for 4-5 hours. Sheer bliss. And on the way back home pick some more for the week. Greedy me J

I used to get totally lost out, I mean in choosing them coz I get very selfish when I see books.

I feel as if each one of them is just looking at me and waiting to be picked.

Sounds funny, but that’s how I feel.
I had read some of the most amazing books during my stay there.
And I used to read from evening till the break of dawn without even realizing I had been awake all night……..

I miss having such a library in India. And I can’t afford to buy all those wonderful ones.
But down the line I wish to have my own small little library at home and my own study.
My long cherished dream. A study with hand-picked collection of books; a table where I can write and a couch where I can read; and sufficient space in the room so that I can block print at peace.

Coming back to Wings of Fire, what I loved about this book is its sheer simplicity.
Its strikingly simple and gives a preview of Kalam’s life.
I always admired Kalam for his modesty and humbleness and after I read this my respect just grew.

Quite a lot of times I wanted to say “Hurray” while I was reading the book. But these few lines impressed me and inspired me the most, this is exactly what I feel and it felt great that I “think like Kalam” in this issue. I feel proud and good about myself……………

“What makes life in Indian organizations difficult is the wide-spread prevalence of this very contemptuous pride. It stops us from listening to our juniors, subordinates and people down the line. You cannot expect a person to deliver results if you humiliate him, nor can you expect him to be creative if you abuse him or despise him. The line between firmness and harshness, between strong leadership and bullying, between discipline and vindictiveness is very fine, but it has to be drawn.”

How rightly said Mr. Kalam! How I wish all the managers learnt this basic skill. Life would be so much better for all of us…


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