On Friday, Indians remembered the Former President and Missile Man with fondness. While he has always managed in the past to ignite young minds with a spark of knowledge and determination, his teachings continue to do so till date. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam or better known as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was born on October 15, 1931, in Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram, and he served as the 11th President of India between 2002 and 2007. He died on July 27, 2015 due to a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Shillong.

Kalam was an integral part of the 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests and closely associated with the India’s Space Programme and Missile Development Program and thus earned the nickname, Missile Man of India. After serving his full term as a President, he devoted himself to nurture the young minds of the country. 

He was awarded with many prestigious titles and awards but his highest form of recognition came when he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour, in 1997. Being a teacher, Kalam was closely associated with the young minds of the nation and he penned several titles that young people of India could read and enrich themselves with. His notable works are: India 2020: A Vision for the New Millennium, Wings of Fire: An Autobiography, Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India, Mission of India: A Vision of Indian Youth.

As a man who has influenced the youth, time and again Dr. Kalam has shared his wisdom and mantras of life that have acted as beacons of knowledge and guidance time and again.

Listed below are some of his most powerful quotes:

“Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.”


"Dream, dream, dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action."


"If you fail, never give up because FAIL means "First Attempt In Learning".


"To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal."


"If you want to shine like a sun. First burn like a sun."


"Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough."


"All of us do not have equal talent. But, all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents."


“The bird is powered by its own life and by its motivation.”


“Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.”


“Teaching is a very noble profession that shapes the character, calibre, and future of an individual. If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me.”


On this day, as the nation remembers him, it is his words that would ignite the nation’s ‘wings of fire’!