10 April 2009

Wings of Fire - chapter 20-24

Wings of Fire
1. Was the launch of Prithvi smooth? What was the response of the west to launch of Prithvi?

The surface to surface weapon system became Prithvi(Earth). Col.V.J.Sundaram was selected as leader for Prithvi, who belonged to the EME corps of the Indian Army.

He had an extraordinary capability to evaluate alternative ways of operation. He would suggest moving forward in new terrains

In 1988, work on Prithvi was completed. They setup special facilities at SHAR for the launch of Prithvi. They are launch pad, Black house, Control consoles and mobile telemetry stations. Kalam worked with the director of SHAR, MR Kurup.

Prithvi was launched on 25 February 1988. It was an epoch-making event in the history of rocketry in the country.

The launch Prithvi sent shock waves across the neighboring countries the response of the west shock and anger. A seven-nation technology embargo was clamped. The emergence of India as a self-reliant country in the field of guide missiles upset all the developed nations of the world.

2.What were the set backs in the successful launch of Agni?

Kalam’s long cherished dream of REX, gave the name Agni [Fire].

R.N.Agrawal, an alumnus of MIT, with brilliant academic record, selected as a leader of Agni.

Agni had more than 500 scientists and may organizations.

The launch had been scheduled for 20April 1989. Unlike space launch vehicles, a missile launch involves wide-ranging safety hazards.

All activists preparing to the launch went according to the schedule. They decided to move the people from nearby village’s to safety areas. This led to media controversies.

Besides, foreign pressure was exerted to abandon the flight trial.

They were at T-14 seconds when the computer warned that one of the instruments was functioning erratically. That was rectified immediately. After sometime down-range station asked for a ‘hold’, another few seconds, multiple holds were necessitated. They had to abort the launch.

After a detailed analysis it was decided that the missile was ready for launch on 1st may 1989. But due to technical problems it was postponed.

Kalam spoke to the DRDL-RCI community, at a gathering of more than 2000 people. He promised to the gathering that they will be back after successful launching of Agni before the end of the May 1989.

It was amazing to know that hundreds of scientists and staff worked continuously and completed the system readiness with acceptance tests in just 10 days. This time, it was the weather that posed as obstacle. There was a cyclone threat.

Finally, the launch was scheduled for 22nd May 1989. The Defence Minister KC Pant asked Kalam that how would he like to celebrate Agni’s success. Kalam replied that “We need 1 00000 saplings of plants at RCI”.

3. What was the mood in India during the Gulf War of 1991? How did the successful testing of the missiles assuage the situation?

On 23rd may Agni took off at 0710 hours it was a perfect launch. The missile followed textbook trajectory. All flight parameters were met. They had achieved success after five years of continuous work. They had survived pressure from everywhere to stop the programme. And it was a great success at last.

India celebrated the nation’s forty-fourth Independence Day with the test firing of Akash. This was an important step in ground based air defence.

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi called the Agni a major achievement in our efforts to safeguard our Independence and security is self-reliant means.

President R.Venkataraman saw in the Agni success, the fulfillment of his dream. He congratulated Kalam and said that it was a tribute to his dedication, hardwork and talent.

In today’s world technological backward means a threat to our freedom and it was impossible to compromise on security and integrity of our nation.

The launch of Nag and Agni took us in an area of competence where there was little competition.

The year 1991, 15th January, the Gulf War broken out between Iraq and Allied forces led by the USA. India had satellites by that time, the rockets and missiles were captured by television. People started discussing about scud and patriots. People often wondered if the Prithvi and Agni were equal to scud and patriots. When Kalam said that ‘Yes’ their faces would light up with pride and satisfaction.

Iraq was fighting with by and large vintage weapons of sixties and seventies the worked was now exercising superiority through technology. If you deprive opponent of the latest technology then you can dictate your terms. Electronic warfare and not guerrilla combat had come to dominate politics of war in the 21st century.

5. why, according to the author, should the culture of working for material possessions be discarded?

In 1991, Kalam decided to write his memories. He wanted to express his observations and opinions on certain issues.

The biggest problems, today’s youth faced is the lack of clarity of vision, a lack of direction. It was then that Kalam decided to write about his life. He did not want the poor or underprivileged to feel disheartened. Problems are a part of life suffering is the essence of success.

He quotes saying:

God has not promised

Skies always blue,

Flower-strewn pathways

All our life through

God has not promised

Sun without rain,

Joy with sorrow

Peace without pain

But God had promised

Strength for the day,

Rest for the labour

Light for the way

He wanted his life to be a model for any child who is living in an obscure place, who is underprivileged. It could perhaps help any child liberate themselves from the bondage of their backwardness and hopelessness. They should be aware that God is with them and nothing can go against them. He had come across many people and organizations, which he had to deal with who were so full of limitation that they could not prove their worth.

Technology is a group activity. It is based on interacting intelligence of many. The biggest success of IGMDP is what a few superb teams of scientists and engineers created. He pins down his success to a team of young people who created and put their heart and soul to the creation.

A Service of Love



- O. Henry

O Henry is the pen name of American writer William Sydney Porter. Porter’s 400 short stories are known for their wit, word play, characterization and the clever use of twist endings. O Henry stories are famous for their surprise endings, to the point that such an ending is often referred as an “O Henry ending”.

A service of Love is based on one’s love (one loves one’s Art no services seems too hard) for his best love story.

Joe Larrabee came from the Middle West. He was a genius in painting. When he was six years old child, he drew a picture of the town pump with an important person passing in a hurry. At twenty with a small amount of money, he left for New York to learn painting.

Delia Caruthers came from the South. She was a promising singer. Her relatives colleted a small amount for Delia to go to New York and to music.

Joe and Delia met at a studio, they fell in love and in a short time they were married. They began to live in a flat and were very happy as they had their art.

Joe was painting in the class of the great Magister and Delia was studying under Rosenstock, a famous musician. Their aims were clear. Joe would learn to paint old gentle man with side whiskers and thick purses. Delia was going to master the piano and fell concert halls all over the country.

After a while art became weak. They had spent all their money. They did not pay the fees to Mr Magister and Mr Rosenstock. Delia felt that she must give music lessons to buy their food. One evening she came with high hopes. She had found a pupil General A.B.Pikney’s daughter, Clementia. She is eighteen years old. Delia had to give three lessons a week. For that she would get fifteen dollars per week. Joe did not happy with it. He wanted to earn some money. But Delia insisted that Joe should not give up his studies.

During all the next week Joe had an early breakfast. Joe was very must interested in morning-effect sketches. He was doing in the central park. Delia lived at 7’O clock and he would return at 7’O clock in the evening.

At the end of the week, Delia proudly threw five-dollar bills on the center table. She complained about Clementia, trying her patience. She commented on their house, their drawing room and the rugs that covered the floor. And they Joe, with pride, drew forth a ten a five, a two and one dollar and laid them beside Delia’s earnings. He said Delia that he had sold one of his paintings and had ordered another an oil sketch of Lackwanna goods yard. Both of them were very happy that they had thirty two dollars on hand.

On next Saturday evening Joe reached home first. He washed his hands which had a great deal of paint .Half an Hour later, Delia arrived her right hand tied up in a shapeless bundle of wraps and bandages. Joe was concerned.

Delia told the story of Clementia who wanted Welsh rabbit at five in the afternoon. The general had the dish prepared. Clementia was so nervous that she poured it hot on Delia’s hands and wrist. But general Pinkney was concerned and sent someone out a drugstore for some oil and things to bind it up with.

Joe pulled out some white threads beneath the bandages and asked what this is?

Delia replied that the bandage had some oil on it. Joe asked what time in the afternoon had she been burn. Delia said five o’clock. Joe drew her to the sofa, sat beside her and put his arm across her shoulders. He asked her “what have you been doing for the last two weeks. She could not lie any longer. She put her head down and started crying. She said that she worked at a place where ironing shirts in twenty four street laundry. But she was happy that at least Joe could sell his paintings.

Delia asked him that what made him suspect that she wasn’t giving music lessons to Clementina. Joe replied that he did not suspect till that night. It was he who had sent up cotton waste and oil from the Engine-room that afternoon to a girl who had her hand burned with an iron. Joe had been working the Engine in that laundry for the last two weeks.

Joe’s buyer from Peoria and Delia’s General Pinkney were both the creations of the same art. They were creations of imaginations.

Both of them began to laugh and said when one loves ones art no service seems too hard-when one loves.


1.How did Delia earn the fifteen dollars that she threw on the table at the end of the week?

Delia earned the fifteen dollars by ironing shirts in a laundry.

2.How did Joe earn his eighteen dollars?

Joe earned his eighteen dollars by working in the engine room in the same laundry.

3.Why did Joe need to wash his hands so hard before Delia returned?

Joe needed to wash his hands so hard to wash off the grease and dirt from the engine he worked.

4.At what point in the story did Delia and Joe guess the truth about the other?

When the day Delia came home with a burnt hand tied up in bandages.

5.Why was Delia’s laughter not very joyous when she tried to explain the fact that her hand was in a bandage?

Delia’s laughter is not very joyous, because she was in pain and in a situation where she could not tell Joe the truth.

6.Is this a story about great art or great love?

It is a story about great love between two people who think nothing of making sacrifices for the sake of each other’s happiness.


Human interest – in newspaper articles or broadcast ect. reference to people lives and their emotions

Genius - someone who has outstanding creative or intellectual ability

Promising – talented

Hung about –to move things slowly

Praised the sky – praised a lot

Side whiskers – the lines of short hair growing down in front of each of a man's ears

Concert halls - a musical performance given before an audience by singers or players.

Mistress – controlling position

Wearily – make some one very tired

Oysters – a large sea fish

Champagne – a white wine made in France

Welsh rabbit - dish consisting of melted cheese, usually with butter, ale and seasoning mixed in, served on toast

Awfully – extremely bad or unpleasant

Tenderly – gentle, caring or sympathetic


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...