A.P.J. Abdul Kalam became President of India in July 2002. He was a surprise choice. A scientist and not a politician, with an unusual hairstyle and an unassuming way of doing things, and no other agenda except that of seeing India become a developed and strong nation. How would such a man fit into the regal splendour of Rashtrapati Bhavan, and all the pomp and ceremony of a head of state? What followed, however, as P.M. Nair shows in The Kalam Eff ect, was a remarkable presidency that in the next five years transformed the way people looked at this office, and made Kalam popular in a way few politicians have been. Rashtrapati Bhavan became a much more accessible place, and his 'at homes' drew guests in the thousands. Not only that, the website he set up became a huge draw, and people wrote to him on e-mail or otherwise from across the country. His positive attitude infected all those who came in touch with him. While the reasons for his popularity will be analysed for a long time, Nair, who was his Secretary, suggests in this affectionate yet factual account some of the probable causes. One of these being that Kalam is just a very special human being.