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Born to Fly: Fighter Pilot MP Anil Kumar Teaches Us There is No Battle Mind Cannot Win Hardcover – 7 Nov 2016
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About the Author
Commissioned into the Indian Air Force in December 1984, Air Commodore Nitin Sathe has 30 years of distinguished service as a helicopter pilot. Author of Tsunami 2004: A Few Goodmen and the Angry Sea, Nitin Sathe currently heads a premier Services Selection Board for the IAF.
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While the book does mention flying, and life at the National Defence Academy, from both the author's perspective as well as MP Kumar's, the latter half of the book describes the excruciating struggles of a man, born to fly, but destined to be grounded by fate. But, if one thinks that this is a negative perspective, far from it. This is a book about fortitude, of perseverance and of sheer grit in the face of adversity. To call this book an inspiration, would be an understatement. Written with minute first-person detail, with dashes of humour, this is an extremely compelling read and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who aspires to join the armed services of this country, or needs a dash of courage, or just a really fine book to read.
Sitting in the cockpit of an old derelict Howard aircraft, which was donated to his school, and pretending to fly it was the first step towards becoming an ace fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force. In his own words he wanted to, " Zoom into the skies and swoop like an Eagle".
The story tells us of his journey from the School to NDA and then to the Air Force Academy keeping his focus on his dream and never losing sight of it. He finally earned his 'Wings' and the sky WAS the limit !
But life had different plans for him. Soon his most precious and hard earned 'wings' got chopped off in a road accident, which left him completely paralysed neck downwards. He became a Quadriplegic confined to a wheel chair and totally dependant on others.
Born to fly is the story of this remarkable human being who, with broken wings and torn threads wove an extraordinary tapestry , a beautiful masterpiece that will inspire generation for eternity! He found it in his resolve to rise above his miserable circumstances and completely turned around his life and became an inspiration to all whose lives he touched.
This is also the story of growing up; of dreams coming true; of hard work; of rigorous and discipline; of heartbreak and shattered dreams; of total despair and depression; and then of amazing willpower; of never say die attitude; of triumph and success at making ones life more meaningful and proving that, 'there is no battle the mind cannot win' !
This is also the story of deep friendship and strong bonds that one forges in life that holds one in good stead in one's hour of need.
In MP Anil's own words,"The camaraderie we fostered at NDA was cast in shared sweat, hunger, torment, fracas, even tomfoolery. Since our ties were born out of enduring hardship together,ours are 24-carat bonds that would easily pass the test of both time and trial".
The author Air Commodore Nitin Sathe has done a remarkable job. This being only his 2nd book comes across as a work of an expert storyteller. He seems to know his craft well which is evident in the way he has handled this sensitive subject. Without the histrionics or melodrama he has told the story simply in an easy flowing way without trying to step in the spotlight himself. Hence the 'Heroes' of the book - the protagonist and the author himself come out as Shining Stars !!
My personal message to the author:-
Nitin you have an ardent and loyal fan in me for a lifetime! It was an emotional journey of sorts for me also as I have had the privilege of knowing both you and MPAnil . There were many times during reading the book I found myself wiping my tears or became aware of a big lump in my throat!
It was simply an 'un-put-down-able' book which I read in a single sitting! So hat's off to you for doing such a remarkable job of telling the story of MPAnil Kumar in a form of a book which will be read by many and will inspire the readers of all ages.
I wish that this wonderful book can somehow be included in the school curriculum across the nation so that the young and impressionable minds can learn and benefit from it.
My best wishes for the success of this book and eagerly awaiting your next book.
Great work.....keep it up Nitin!
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