10 Inspiring Quotes by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

Image credit

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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64 thoughts on “10 Inspiring Quotes by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

  1. Thankyou so much… these two days I am mentioning Dr Abdul Kalam a lot… I did admire him years back, as he was a cheerful, beatiful person inspiring the youth with his silver hair, talks not to mention such a nice role model, perfect even if not married, done so much work for the Nation, indirectly for us… he was fun too, I read his Wings Of Fire, I have seen him at the college convocation, he made us take a oath, the same oath Parliament people take… he is grand… you know he gave us his email id and told us if we have any question we can email him and he will reply… I always will adore this man, I wish I am inspired by him then I would have done lot of things useful, but still oddly enough he was my inspiration…he is also born on my month of October… God Bless him, dear Dr Abdul Kalamji… I hope as long as I arrive I do something to do you justice, as a person who had seen you and has you as inspirationg. Thanks so much for this little writeup… God Bless you too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Maria. The amount of positive influence he has yielded is apparent from the fact that all are paying respect to him on his demise. He was also a blessed person who till his last day inspired people by his teachings. The best homage we can ever pay him is by following the path shown by him. God bless you.


  2. Thank you for your profile of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam 11th President of India and the renowned Scientist and sharing his inspiring quotes .Dr Kalam popular with the young generation loved teaching them most .He talked to the young and old and used Internet as a medium to reach out to the people .Long Live Dr APJ Abdul Kalam .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His modern, scientific outlook balanced with the lessons of life made him so popular among the youth and till his last moment he shared his knowledge and experience with the students.No wonder he is known as the People’s President.


  3. बोलते-बोलते अचानक धड़ाम से
    जमीन पर गिरा एक फिर वटवृक्ष
    फिर कभी नहीं उठने के लिए
    वृक्ष जो रत्न था
    वृक्ष जो शक्तिपुंज था
    वृक्ष जो न बोले तो भी
    खिलखिलाहट बिखेरता था
    चीर देता था हर सन्नाटे का सीना
    सियासत से कोसों दूर
    अन्वेषण के अनंत नशे में चूर
    वृक्ष अब नहीं उठेगा कभी
    अंकुरित होंगे उसके सपने
    फिर इसी जमीन से
    उगलेंगे मिसाइलें
    शान्ति के दुश्मनों को
    सबक सीखने के लिए
    वृक्ष कभी मरते नहीं
    अंकुरित होते हैं.
    नए-नए पल्ल्वों के साथ
    वे किसी के अब्दुल होते हैं
    किसी के कलाम
    अलविदा .अलविदा ,अलविदा

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved all the quotes . This is my favourite and most inspiring :

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

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a great tribute in the form of a poem. Very nicely worded by Mr Chakraborti. Mr Kalam was a very driven person whose idealism and patriotism is an impeccable example of modern free India. A life worth emulating and inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 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 .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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.


  7. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 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.”

        Liked by 1 person

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