In The Life Tree A.P.J. Abdul Kalam takes us on a walk, through anecdote and poetry, over the terrain of his life. Kalam's world is one of simplicity and beauty, in which nature figures prominently, as do human relationships and love for the country. There is also the constant, benign presence of God, an encouraging force motivating us to share happiness and destroy the barriers, whether of caste, religion or language, that prevent us from reaching out to others. For, as he says in one of his poems: Some build rock walls all their lives/ When they die miles of wall divides them...I build no wall to confirm either joy or sorrow/ To sacrifice or achieve, to gain or lose. In Kalam's world, there is room for all creatures, great and small, and he always has moments to spare, even in the midst of a busy schedule, to wonder at the beauty of God's creation. He empathizes as easily with a child, distraught at being separated from his best friend, as with an adult anguished by the violence of a communal riot. And he is candid when the subject is deeply personal, as in his reminiscences of his mother. As Atal Bihari Vajpayee says in his foreword, -Dr Kalam shows a deep understanding of the problems of Indian society, and attempts to find solutions to problems with compassion, detachment, forbearance and sympathy. In this, Dr Kalam's poems have enormous value for our society.' In addition, these poems serve as an intimate introduction to Dr Kalam the man and his life, and are both moving and inspiring.