Write the summary of “My Childhood”.


Snehal, Subject matter expert at Edumarz

The chapter ‘My Childhood’ is based on the autobiography of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam- “Wings of fire”. This chapter gives a short glimpse of his childhood and various incidents from his early days. Kalam was born in a middle class Tamil Muslim family. There were six members in his family ( his parents, three brothers and a sister). His parents were philanthropists and generous who always helped others. His father believed in living the simple life and worked hard to fulfill the requirements of his family. Kalam learnt self discipline and honesty from his father. All members in his family were optimistic and had a secular mindset. Kalam elaborated that his mother and grandmother used to tell him the tales of Ramayana and the Prophet Muhammad.


       In Rameshwaram, he had three close friends- Ramanadha Sastry, Aravindan, Sivaprakasan who hailed from orthodox Hindu Brahmin families.

They all lived like brothers and never let the cast and religion come amid each other. In the upcoming journey, they all took up their preferred professions. Aravindan undertook the business of transport arrangement for visiting pilgrims, Ramanadha Sastry became a priest and Sivaprakasan became a contractor for the catering services in Southern Railways.

           In his childhood, when Kalam was in 5th standard, he witnessed a perplexing incident in school. One day, Kalam was wearing a cap that had the print of his Muslim identity and a new teacher noticed it. Seeing Kalam sitting next to Ramanandha, a Hindu priest’s son, got him agitated. He asked Kalam to sit separately in the back bench. After this sight, his friend started sobbing miserably. Later, they both demonstrated this to their respective family members. Ramananda’s father demanded an apology from the teacher and asked him not to discriminate against any caste and religion. The young teacher apologized and swore not to do this irrational behavior again. Subsequently, Kalam talks about his Science teacher, Sivasubramania Iyer, who never discriminated and treated everyone equally irrespective of caste and religion. 

            In the coming years, the second world war ended soon and the Indian people started conflicting for Independence. Kalam decided to leave Rameshwaram for his higher studies and had asked for his father’s permission. His father allowed him to do so but his mother had grown emotional. Kalam’s father consoled his wife and stated that children come to this world and receive immense love from their parents and loved ones but this love doesn’t emphasize that they can force their opinion and discussion on them and constrain their life.

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