You Know the Glory, Not the Story | Engineering to Ikigai

Discover your IKIGAI

The book You Know the Glory, Not the Story tells the extraordinary life stories of 25 scholars who were awarded the Singapore Airlines Neptune Orient Lines – SIANOL scholarship to pursue university education in Singapore, and I am stoked to be one of those featured. To read #MyIkigaiStory and that of others, get the book here internationally, or here in India under the title Engineering to Ikigai.


The Singapore Airlines Neptune Orient Lines – SIANOL scholarship was awarded to approximately 50 Indian students every year for 20 years between 1993 and 2012 after a rigorous selection process, to pursue university education in Singapore at NUS and NTU. This wonderful book penned by Naresh Agarwal, PhD and Rahul Singh narrates the inspirational stories of 25 select scholars who set out on the path to Ikigai…

The Japanese word, Ikigai means ‘reason for being’, something that makes life worth living for. Think of what you love, what you are good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs. When these come together, you get your Ikigai. However, Ikigai can be beyond these four components and doesn’t have to include any or all of them. The moments each day where you live fully—engaging in a hobby or pursuit, learning, connecting with people, being useful, choosing empathy over apathy, being in the present, and the small joys that inhabit those moments make your Ikigai. You can have more than one Ikigai and it can change with time. You already have your Ikigai and just need to discover it!

The 25 protagonists in the book

This book unveils the life journeys of 25 teens that left India for the uncharted waters of Singapore in the 1990s and early 2000s. Each story started with engineering and took the person to one’s calling; dance, filmmaking, globetrotting, mountaineering, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, research, and even monkhood. Among few protagonists of the book, there are Uber Chief Products Officer Manik Gupta,  Rotimatic Founder Pranoti Nagarkar, Monk Swami Turiyananda, Pilot Saurabh Wadhawan, Public Policy Educator Nitin Pai, World Traveler Baisakhi Saha, Bureaucrat Puneet Gulati, Social Worker Aarti Kumar, Founder of Telco Circle Life Abishek Gupta, Founder of Milaap -India’s biggest crowdsourcing platform Anoj Viswanathan, Hollywood film Editor Varun Viswanath, and more.  Did they find their Ikigai? Uncover the pages to find out!

International version | You Know the Glory, Not the Story

Get your copy of the book on Amazon or directly at the Publisher’s store World Scientific with promo code WSIKIGAI20 to get 20% discount until 31 October 2021. Get the Indian version on Amazon or at Indus Publishing with 8% discount, for a sale price of ₹300 only. If you are in Singapore, or in India, or anywhere else in the world, you must avail this offer now, and get truly inspired!

The foreword to the International version is written by Shri Kumaran Periasamy, the High Commissioner of India to Singapore and was unveiled by acclaimed motivational speaker and bestselling author Shiv Khera. The foreword to the Indian version is written by engineering marvel Padma Shri Awardee, Arunachalam Muruganantham, who is now a household name post the Akshay Kumar starrer Bollywood movie Pad Man

The book has also been commended by Singapore’s foreign minister Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan as well as Singapore’s education minister Chan Chun Sing. Recently the book was presented to NUS President Prof. Tan Eye Chye. During India’s COVID crisis early this year, many of the protagonists of the book came together to create Mission #SUMO (Singapore Universities’ Mission Oxygen) which collected more than 230K SGD or 1.3 crore INR and deployed 200 oxygen concentrators to various parts of India. This work was highly appreciated by Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, the Indian High Commissioner to Singapore Shri Periasamy Kumaran, and the President of Shannon Bouton.

Indian version | Engineering to Ikigai

So far, the authors have donated books to 100 schools in India as they strongly believe that education is the greatest leveler in the world, and aim to increase this target to 1000 should they get help from some good Samaritans. Additionally, 33% of the royalty of the international version is being donated to NUS and NTU while for the Indian version 33% is being donated to Arunachalam Muruganantham’s organization to improve feminine health and hygiene through engineering innovation. The authors and the protagonists are currently posting under the hashtag #MyIkigaiStory

“It has been a long wait from this article in 2018 to finally the book being released in October 2021,” say authors Naresh Agarwal and Rahul Singh. “The idea behind the book was as much to inspire the younger generations as was to document these fabulous Ikigai journeys which otherwise would have been lost forever. While these stories of grit, perseverance, and resilience have been etched on paper, they now need to be impressed upon young minds.” The book is aimed at students and young adults between the age of 15 to 40 and is a perfect gift for anyone looking for direction in life and career. In these tough COVID times, the book becomes all the more important as humanity as a whole is soul searching and looking for its purpose.  It is available internationally at as well as in India at

You Know the Glory, Not the Story -25 Journeys towards Ikigai (International Version)

ISBN 978-981-123-043-1 (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-981-123-044-8 (e-book for institutions)
ISBN 978-981-123-045-5 (e-book for individuals)

Engineering to Ikigai -25 Journeys towards Purpose  (South Asian Version)

ISBN: 978-93-90508-34-1 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-93-90508-37-2 (e-Book)

For more about my story, read my article titled Wandering the globe | #MyIkigaiStory.

Enjoy the read, enjoy the ride . . . to Ikigai!

While writing the book, I realized Ikigai is not one thing but a spectrum. “The fire within”—a bit like electricity. The same electricity manifests itself differently in different devices—when it goes inside a kettle it heats, while inside the fridge it cools, in a fan it rotates the blades, in a car it moves the vehicle…

~Rahul Singh, co-author of You Know the Glory, Not the Story

Author: boi

Hi, I am a storyteller; I tell real stories about real people to fictitious characters!

8 thoughts

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