Ready To Fire: More Compelling Than The Movie

Ready to Fire co-written by Nambi Narayan himself is a book that leaves you with many thoughts much like the movie Rocketry which was released earlier this year. It makes us think about the heavy price that Nambi Narayan had to pay, because of his hefty dreams. It also makes us angry towards those who framed him as a traitor, and built up a false case against him. However, there is one major difference between the movie and the book. There is no denying that Madhavan’s directorial was a touching account of the brilliant scientist, but the book is definitely crisper. The book has two aspects. One is his scientific journey, and the other is the trials and tribulations he faced both professionally and personally. The chapters involving his wife are less but they still move you. Also there is less of technical jargon compared to the movie Rocketry.

In a nutshell, Ready to Fire covers the various aspects of ISRO spy case, Narayan’s development as a scientist and the passion that he had for his pet project Vikas among other things. This project Vikas played a major role in the PSLV and GSLV success later on. The book also touches upon the power struggle between Left v/s Congress in a subtle but impactful way.

The book is 350 pages but we don’t feel the length much. Ready to Fire is interesting for those who are not so much into science as well, because beneath the science it is a moving human story. Don’t know who has written more pages but the writing style of both Nambi Narayan and also Arun Ram keeps you engrossed.

One of my favourite chapters in the book is regarding the evolution of ISRO. The journey of ISRO from the inception to its present is filled with many interesting details. These anecdotes give a different dimension to the book. They are both hilarious and stunning.

The chapters involving the police investigation is painful to read, but there is also a fair amount of sarcasm in the way Nambi Narayan writes about the obvious loopholes in the case registered against him. You can clearly tell that police were under a great deal of pressure to prove that Nambi Narayan was indeed a traitor.

As said earlier the chapters involving his wife are less, but you are not likely to forget her. Her animal like cry on seeing her husband after a long time is easily one of the most disturbing parts in the book. She suffers a severe psychological condition leading to depression also. Finally she comes out of it with the help of her husband.

There is a part in the book where Nambi and his wife step out after a long time to attend a reception. During lunch Nambi gets a call that he has been declared innocent by the Supreme Court of India. At last justice is done. We feel immensely happy.

Lastly the bond of Nambi Narayan with Vikram Sarabhai and Abdul Kalaam also makes an interesting read.

Ready to Fire is a story of human spirit that one shouldn’t miss reading. Both the book and the movie should definitely be on your bucket list.

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