I’ve got the opportunity to join the “Toastmasters Club” – an initiative at my workplace. Today was my first speech at the club.
We give our speeches and then there is voting for the best speaker and evaluation of each speaker along with few more activities. We meet twice a month – so far it has been an interesting experience. The last time I spoke before an audience was in my MBA college during my formal paper presentations.
So doing this after a long time made me a bit nervous – though I thought I’d share my speech on this space with you all.
Here goes – the “Icebreaker” Speech where we were to narrate a bit about ourselves to the audience.
The use of the letter “I” seemed so selfish until Steve Jobs walked in and gave it a makeover to make it the most cherished letter. The iPod, iPad, iPhone. Steve Jobs revolutionised the way we saw technology. So why am I beginning the “Icebreaker” talking about Steve Jobs when I should be telling you all about myself . There is a small relation. I’m a huge fan of Steve Jobs – he who dared to think different. Steve Jobs and Apple are the reasons for reviving the iGeek in me. As a kid I’ve loved gadgets – it took my mom sometime to adjust that her only daughter preferred gadgets to dolls. I would sit with my dad to repair all the electronics items in our home. Apple’s products are my little toys – my prized possessions. So I’m going to tell you something more about myself in the Apple language.
iLearn: Education is important – that is one thing that no one can take away from you. My school days were the best days of my life. My engineering college re-engineered my life. I went through the worst & best times & I learnt that success without humility has no meaning. MBA gave me the opportunity to shift streams and get back to finance, it also gave me the love of my life – I met my husband during my MBA days. My education has not stooped. I learn everyday – about life and about work from my friends, family, colleagues, and my boss. Each experience has only made my knowledge richer. It’s a great feeling to know I will never stop learning – cause that remains my biggest fear.
iLove: Cricket. My husband jokes it is my first love. I’ve watched almost every match held at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai since 1993, yes I even watched India lift the WC live at the stadium this April. My papa and uncle took me to the stadium as a school kid and the love affair that started is not likely to end. I don’t need India to be playing to watch cricket – I can watch just about any team play cricket .Cricket makes me believe that miracles are a reality – all that one needs is some self-belief, a little faith, lots of determination and the will to work hard.
iSmile: Always. Smiling is contagious. There is story I’m going to share. As 3-year olds when my neighbour and I were playing in our pre-school , he pushed me and my left cheek hit the corner of a table. I came home with a swollen cheek that turned, red, blue and black and then there was dent that never disappeared. That dent is my dimple – the first thing folks notice about my smile. When I see myself in the mirror I realise sometimes accidents can be good. I cannot thank my neighbour enough for giving me my best gift.
iUnwind : via my music, books, and cooking. They are my anti-depressants. They help me detox my mind. My Ipod is my permanent companion, when I’m travelling I always have a book by my side and I enjoy experimenting and trying out new dishes. Apart from all these I also believe sleeping is the best way to unwind – if I could, I’d sleep for hours – it is the most peaceful thing on this planet
iTrust: The goodness in people. An incident that happened 2 weeks before my wedding taught me not to lose this trust. As my wedding was nearing I was busy shopping and visiting relatives. One evening we returned home by cab after the usual busy day; an hour later I realised my purse had gone missing. I was distressed as it had cash, credit cards and my id cards. Then I received a call from my fiancé who had received a call from the cab driver. His daughter had found my purse in the cab. The cab driver drove back 20 kms just to return my purse – not a penny was lost. He refused to accept any gift from me My mother and I requested him to come for my wedding, not only did he turn up with his family – he even brought me a gift.
IBelieve: Struggles are a must else we don’t appreciate life and the people around us. As the 6-year old Calvin sums up Life:
“Life is like a topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine, and valleys of frustration and failure.”
Those valleys are your struggles. Once in the valley, you can only go up. If it doesn’t kill you, it only makes only you stronger. Struggles give you a choice – to be a cynic or to be an optimist – I choose to be the latter. I learnt that choice from my husband & my friend D. They both are the most optimistic people I’ve met in my life. Cynicism is a word absent in their dictionary.
iAdmire – My mother- because it is not easy to raise a hyper-active, rebellious girl all on your own – and also ensure that Daddy’s little girl never misses her Papa. She is witty, sarcastic, forthright, practical, impartial, loved by one and all. There was a strong reason why God chose her as my mother. I know at times I don’t give her enough credit for the person I’m today.
iAspire : To be the 10% of the person my father was. He the simple middle–class Maharashtrian man, intelligent writer & orator, excellent teacher and guide. Unfettered by life’s challenges. I always saw him reach out to people and help them out but when he passed away I realised how many lives he had truly touched. When I got married every single person we invited turned up for my wedding, including his best friend who was bed-ridden for years – my father’s love and goodwill brought them all to bless me.
These were a few titbits about me. I take your leave with one of my favourite quotes – it comes from the pen of “Grantland Rice” – one of the finest American Sportswriters.
I believe our life is game – and it is in our hands to choose how we play it.