On day two of the Lucknow Literature Carnival Dr Kalam said, "I have met 16 million youths below 25 years in the last 20 years and they are living a story. They want to become astronauts, pilots, soldiers, doctors, sailors and so on. The young live in a landscape of make believe." He gave examples from his own life, he said "literary or poetic value" is not available in his two books, Wings of Fire and Ignited Minds; yet millions of copies were sold because he "wrote them with a heart."
He said, "They are nothing but facts of live...everyday experiences that I wrote from my heart. You also have these experiences around you,like other behaviours, to ensure our survival."
"The imagination is an awesome evolutionary adaptation that allows people to teleport mentally into alternative worlds. A story is a thing that does, rather than a thing that is," he said.
When Dr Kalam was asked what did his thought comprise of when he was 14, by a 14-year-old school boy, he replied , "At that age, I used to think I'm in 15th orbit around the Sun."