10 Inspiring Quotes by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

10 Inspiring Quotes by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

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On 27th July, 2015, India’s former president Dr Kalam passed away after he collapsed on the stage during a lecture at IIM , Shillong, Meghalaya.

Born in a humble background on 15th of October, in the year 1931, in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu,  APJ Abdul Kalam joined Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist after studying Aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology.  He came to be known as the ‘Missile Man of India‘, for his involvement in the development of ballistic missiles and served as the project director of India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle at Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and was appointed as the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of the DRDO.

Dr Kalam was elected 11th President of India in 2002 and served as the President till 2007. He received the Bharat Ratna for his contribution to the scientific research and modernization of defence technology in India

The man who ignited our minds, gave India the wings of fire and dared us to dream is no more with us. A role model for millions of Indians, he inspired us with his disarming simplicity, knowledge, and scientific and philosophical outlook.

Here are some quotes by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

On the need to dream

“Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.”

‘Dream, Dream, Dream. Dreams transform into thoughts And thoughts result in action.’


On determination in the face of adversity

“All Birds find shelter during a rain, but Eagle avoids rain by flying above the Clouds.
Problems are common, but attitude makes the difference!!!”

“Adversity always presents opportunities for introspection.”

“Failure will never overtake me if my definition to succeed is strong enough.”


On knowledge, thoughts and creativity

“Learning gives creativity; Creativity leads to thinking
Thinking provides knowledge; Knowledge makes you great.”

“Once your mind stretches to a new level it never goes back to its original dimension”

“He who knows others is learned, but the wise one is the one who knows himself. Learning without wisdom is of no use.”


On life and death

If you want to leave your footprints On the sands of time Do not drag your feet.”

See the flower, how generously it distributes perfume and honey. When it’s work is done, it falls away quietly. Try to be like the flower, unassuming despite all it’s qualities.”


Like the unassuming flower, he inspired people till his last breath. RIP Dr Kalam.

Including here a Hindi poem in memory of the People’s President, shared in the post comments.

Kalam tribute

Shared by Mr Pranab Chakraborti



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  • A huge loss to the nation that can never be repaired. :(

  • He will be missed. If only there were more people like him! RIP, Sir.
    Very inspirational quotes.

  • Very inspiring quotes!
    I see it as my luck that I was in his era!

  • Very Nice.. very inspiring…

  • great post on a great man Somali … and you have truly shared some of his best quotes.. In fact I have observed that words of people who are inherently good , creative, compassionate and genuine, mostly end up as quotes ! the ring of truth can’t be faked …
    RIP .

    • Very true Kokila. The qualities of genuine people show without them making an effort to show off. One can not put up a facade of goodness for long. All through his life Dr Kalam lived in utmost simplicity and that’s remarkable.

  • Lovely collection of Dr. Kalam’s quotes. He will live forever through his work, and words.

  • Great quotes by the great man…

  • He is one flower that spreads fragrance even after it fades. :) Lovely compilation :) I have heard that ‘do not drag your feet’ one. Didn’t know it was Kalam Sir’s quote. Thanks for the info.

  • I love his quotes Somali, all of them so full of reality, no romanticism anywhere. Words of experience and words with a lot of weight.

  • AK was an inspiring men. He was rare human that know no selfish. My quote for him is: Life is a poem some wants to listen, some want to see, some want to feel, some want to taste, some want to sing it. Who knows the poem they just live it.

    • This is such a wonderful way of putting it. Those who know the poem -they just live it. May we have more leaders like him who can inspire us with their lives. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Like there can never be another Picasso, he is a rare human being. He was not a person to lead but there should be people like him to lead humanity. Humanity can flower in wisdom. My quote for this question of your:
        “There have been great and greater person lived on this Planet but what is their greatness if that do not exist on Earth.”

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