Monday, March 26, 2007

toastmasters speech - 1

I just thought of putting my toastmaster speeches here. So here is the first one of the series, which is called 'Icebreaker'; all you need to talk about is 'yourself' in this speech. I like the title of this speech, I don't know how I got that idea!

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Thursday Blues

It’s a nice Thursday morning, a beautiful day, the clock is almost hitting 9 o’ clock, and the world is all up and about. But, there is this one person who is away from all the action, enjoying the sweeter-than-sugar late-morning sleep!!!!

This person is an ardent disciple of Oscar Wilde who said “action is the refuge of people who have nothing whatsoever to do”.

And this is me.

Today I am going to share with you a little bit about myself.

Well, it’s a bad world, it doesn’t allow me to be Oscar Wilde’s disciple, so I need to push myself up from the bed and head towards office where I work as a Technical Writer. Technical writer? What’s that? That’s the usual question I face when I introduce myself as a technical writer. Let me tell you what a technical writer does. They say it’s a sad thing that we don’t come to this earth with instruction manuals. Fortunately all the other things we use in day-to-day in life come with instruction manuals. The people who write those manuals are technical writers. And that’s what I am.

The next question often is - ‘what have you studied to become a technical writer?’ Let me tell you, writing doesn’t need any qualification other than to be interested in things around you. As someone said, writing is turning one’s worst moments into money.

Having said that, yes, I too have gone to schools and colleges - more out of my parents’ interest than my own. School was nice; it’s college where the problems began. I enrolled into math’s, physics, and chemistry much against my interests.

February 1996 ---- PUC board exams ahead ----- Wills world cup in India ---- being the kind of cricket fan that I am, I watched ALL the matches. Result: I failed in Physics. My family didn’t want me to waste a year, so I was enrolled into a computer diploma course. Surprisingly, I did well in that course, which earns me a living today!

Now let me go back a bit and take you through my childhood days. I come from a small beautiful village in Udupi district in Karnataka. We were a big family of 9 - my parents my 6 elder sisters and me. We made our living in agriculture and my parents were able to attend to just our needs, not our wants. But if I can explain my childhood in words, it was “just damn good!” We had cows at home, and it was rule that kids had to take the cows out for grazing. We used to roam in fields and forests, play nice games, pluck and eat all those delicious nameless fruits, steal tender coconuts from neighbors’ trees. I have never eaten anything tastier in my life than those stolen coconuts! It was during these carefree childhood days that I developed interest in nature and wildlife.

Even now I venture into forests to learn about nature and wildlife. I go trekking often. It was a magical moment when I encountered a herd of elephants from very close distance in a recent trek at Bandipur wildlife sanctuary!

My other great passion is reading. I read at least 2 hours a day, I start reading by 11 pm and go on till the wee hours of the night. My late-morning sleeping schedule is thus well-justified!!

I read almost everything: Sidney Sheldon, Bernard Shaw, Jim Corbett, R K Narayan, and of course, a big list of Kannada writers… There are very few things which interest me enough to get up and go out. A comfortable couch, an engrossing book, and a hot cup of coffee - that’s heaven for me!

I am a typical Piscean. Lazy, kind, procrastinating, sensitive, unworldly, weak-willed, affectionate, intuitive, introvert.. all the good and bad of fish – is what I am.

I adore simple pleasures. Just a song by my favorite singer on the radio or a smile by a cute kid in a passing car does wonders to my day at work. Small things matter to me. I believe that life is all about stopping for a while and smelling the roses!

Well, that is all about my present and past. What about my future? I - don’t plan anything; I believe - life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. I don’t dream big; but yes, I do dream of owning a library at home and driving a Reva car of my own. I also dream of taking a trip to Amazon forests.

Let me tell you all a small story. “Ignorance is bliss”, they say. I agree with that. When I was 10 years old, I was bitten by a highly poisonous cobra. I fought death for 2 and half days. According to the doctors, the only reason I survived was that I didn’t have mental breakdown after the snake bite. Generally in snakebite cases, people die more of fear rather than the venom. Being a kid, I was so innocent and ignorant of the dangers of snakebite that I wasn’t scared and that blissful ignorance brought me back to life…

Life.. what’s it? Is it a reason to indulge in ignorance? Or is it an opportunity to learn? Well I have learnt only one thing about my life so far... “it goes on”!

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I did this speech way back in October 2005. I have changed quite a bit since then; in fact I am even amazed with that!


Jagali bhaagavata said...

I believe that life is all about stopping for a while and smelling the roses.....Well said. Life has become so fast paced that we no longer are living the moments.

Keep it coming.

Vinil said...

hey.. your writing skills are very good. Hope I too can blog like you :)

so you are good toastmaster

ಸುಪ್ತದೀಪ್ತಿ suptadeepti said...

Well written indeed. Innocent nature and smelling the rose are not different, I suppose. "Be young at heart" is my favorite slogan. "Keep the wonder in my eyes, smile on my face and love in my heart" is my goal in life.

Thank you for yet another good reading material.

Shrilatha Puthi said...

thanks all..

ಶ್ರೀನಿಧಿ.ಡಿ.ಎಸ್ said...

I believe that life is all about stopping for a while and smelling the roses!- chennag bardideeri! nice write up..

Shrilatha Puthi said...

thanks srinidhi, it's interesting that everyone is noticing that very sentence.

Ramya said...

Hey, thanks for posting this. I missed your icebreaker, but got a chance to read it here. Got to know a little bit more about you.

Anonymous said...

The write-up/speech just brings out the beauty of life. Just enjoy maadi!!! Cheers.

Shrilatha Puthi said...

thank u Ramya, i've missed ur ice-breaker too.. pls put it up in ur blog page.

Pushpa, is it u?!!!! i can't believe this :)
anyways, let me bring to ur notice that i joined toastmasters b'cos of u, & i owe a lot to u for that..

Kavin said...

Its wonderfully written... lots of beautiful lines... Its good to know u should b ignorant sometimes...