PREFACE - Turning Points : A Journey Through Challenges

24 April 2023

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My book Wings of Fire covered my life up to 1992. Ever since it was published in 1999 the response has been astounding and the book has sold more than a million copies. More heartening still is that it appears to have made a positive impact on thousands of people, helping them change their lives for the better.

As I wrote Turning Points the thought occurred to me why I was writing the book. One could say that my story echoes the concerns, anxieties and aspirations of many Indians. Like them I started my life from the lowest step in the ladder. My first job was as senior scientific assistant. Gradually I moved up to greater responsibilities, finally assuming the office of the president of India. Certainly much has happened in the past decade and more which needs re- counting. One could say that it has been a very intense experience.

However, my reasons for writing Turning Points were slightly different. Seeing the response generated by Wings of Fire I felt that if in the same way this book too could benefit a few people it would be well worth the effort. In fact, if even one person or one family find their life chang- ing for the better because of something gleaned from this book, I will feel fulfilled. Hence this book for you, dear reader.

30 May 2012

New Delhi


More Books by HarperCollins India

Turning Points : A Journey Through Challenges
It was like any other day on the Anna University campus in Chennai. As I was returning to my room in the evening, the vice-chancellor, Prof. A. Kalanidhi, fell in step with me.Someone had been frantically trying to get in touch with me through the day, he said. Indeed, the phone was ringing when I entered the room.When I answered, a voice at the other end said, 'The prime minister wants to talk with you.' Some months earlier, I had left my post as Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India to return to teaching. Now, as I spoke to the PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, my life was set for an unexpected change.Turning Points takes up the incredible Kalam story from where Wings of Fire left off. It brings together details from his career and presidency that are not generally known as he speaks out for the first time on certain points of controversy. It is a continuing saga, above all, of a journey - individual and collective - that will take India to 2020 and beyond as a developed nation. The inspiring sequel to Wings of Fire. Over 3 lakh copies sold.