Tuesday, July 17, 2007


My passion for public speaking brought me to this forum called "The Toastmasters Club", dedicated to making effective communication a world wide reality. The first project (speech) is called the "Icebreaker". I delivered this speech 3 years ago.

Read on..................................

She stands tall. She is fair. She is beautiful especially on a moonlit night. She casts a spell on everyone who gets a glimpse of her. If you are all thinking that I am talking about myself then you are absolutely……………….wrong.

I am not talking about myself but I am talking about something that is very close to my heart, my person, my existence. I am talking about the Taj Mahal, in the city of Agra , where I was born and spent the first 2 years of my life.

I can’t explain, just like you cannot explain so many things in life, but there is a strange connection between me and the monument. I visited the place twice later when I grew up.
Each time I was left mesmerized, hypnotized by that colossal beauty, and returned with a heavy heart, with a craving to go back to a world of another time.

Incidentally, this place where we meet every Wednesday evening, is also called the Taj.

That brings us to the reason as to why we were in Agra .
My father was a manager in Canara bank. It was a transferable job. Every two or three years we would be transferred. When we were just becoming close to one soil, getting adjusted to one culture, learning one new language, we had to leave to another land far and strange.
While the others would have complained about the pain of having to shift every now and then, we thoroughly enjoyed it. The best part of the whole thing was, we got to taste different variety of food. I love food. I have taken to my father when it comes to this.

My dad also loved traveling. It is only because of him that I can boast about having visited almost every state in the country. I can never forget the heights of Kedarnath, the confluence of the Ganges with the other rivers. I can never forget the way I felt when I saw Pakistan border at Wagah.

Coming to my family, we are a family of four. My dad. My mom who is a housewife. My brother who is still studying. We hail from a small village called Hulikal. We never stayed there but my dad was born and brought up there. Although he has traveled a lot, although he has been all over the country, seen a whole lot of palaces and resorts, he still loves his old village.

He says, no matter where we go or what we become, we must never forget our roots. We must always have our roots firm in the soil. A man’s worth is estimated not by how tall he is or what heights he has reached but by how deep his roots are and how proud he is of his belonging. This is a part of a strong value system he has attempted to impart to us.

Regarding my education, I completed my BSc, and then my MCA. Through campus recruitment, I got into Cognizant Technology Solutions, and I work there as a programmer.

My hobbies. I love painting. I love poetry. I love music. I love traveling. I love reading. Procrastination loves me.

Some of my poems which were composed at moments when I felt extremely intense are “Love understands and therefore waits”, “ Dangerous Heights ” and “A Struggle to conquer Destiny”.

I have always believed in broad acquaintanceship and selective friendship. Because of a nomadic life that we lead, the concept of a childhood friend remained unfamiliar because the set of friends changed very often. I have had a very few friends but very loyal and very close friends.

When I was a student, I thought money was very important. Like most of the girls, I wanted to buy the best of clothes, accessories, cosmetics. The possessions of these I thought could make you very happy. Once I got a job, I did a lot of shopping. I bought a lot of things with enthusiasm and excitement. But very soon a realization followed that material happiness/possessions cannot satiate a person beyond a certain extent. True happiness in life comes only through people and relationships.

Since all my close friends were geographically distributed, I did not have anyone to talk to everyday. I felt tongue tied. There was a void in life and a search began. A search for people. People to whom I could talk to and share ideas with. Someone like me who was looking for fine people and sensible talking, could not have found a better place than the toastmasters club. The search came to an end.

Regarding my aspirations, I aspire to become a well read person someday. I aspire to study Sanskrit. I aspire to learn Music. I aspire to kill procrastination which has been a faithful companion in all my endeavours.
I am not particularly ambitious, but no matter what I do, where I go, I want to make a difference. To spend all my life in dark shadows, without being noticed is one thing I certainly do not aspire for.
To be honest, my aspirations revolve more around my personal life and less around my professional life. It becomes very difficult when you have a lot of love inside to bestow upon and there is no recipient at the other end. I am a person who treasures the best of my resources /possessions for people who deserve them the most. Be it my time, money, gifts or my love. I do not squander them here and there but withhold them and patiently await the arrival of the right recipients.

If I can find this right person who will add music to my poetry and turn it into a song, who will someday share with me those moments of magic when we behold together, the Taj Mahal, then I will consider it, a life well lived. And then I will be able to say that I have stood tall, I have been fair, I have been able to cast a spell, not on everyone, but on that someone special.

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