Club newsletter

Toastmasters Indiranagar Pride
Club # 3078424
Area 3, Division L
District 82 (

December 2013 (Volume 2)

Editor's Note From the President's Desk
Experiences For the love of the written word
Articles Highlights

Club details/Contact Info

Pratibha Singh
VP - Public Relations
Editor's Note

- Pratibha Singh
From the President's desk

- Kausthubh Rajendran

        The festive season is back and with it celebrations and cheer. As we bring out the second edition of The Pride’s newsletter, I cannot help but smile back at what a celebration the previous quarter has been for the club. From the Charter Ceremony to an unimaginable number of members participating in the humorous and evaluation contests, from members delivering demo speeches for contests in some of Bangalore’s oldest clubs to the Club hosting the Area Level contest (and winning some as well!), it sure has been one enjoyable roller coaster ride. As the editor, I must confess that while the first newsletter saw us scratching our heads trying to think of what matter to put in, this one has been relatively easier as we’ve tried to capture all the action, enthusiasm and victory we’ve witnessed of late.

        This is also the time of the year when we begin to realize that 2013 is coming to a close (didn’t it just begin?!?). A time when we begin turning back pages of our journals to mark our achievements and take note of things that didn’t quite turn out the way we’d wanted them to. A time to once again start afresh and gear ourselves for newer challenges 2014 may have in store for us, challenges that will help us scale greater heights.

        With that thought, let’s bid an appreciative adieu to the year that’s nearly gone by and give a warm, energized welcome to the one that’s round the corner.

        Three cheers everyone! Hip Hip Hooray!

        “Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves ‘Will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?’

        The sentiment of mankind towards immortality is beautifully captured in this opening monologue of a famous movie. Immortality – an age old vice of man. To a lot of people it still holds it inane literal meaning. To the intellectual mind, that meaning is nothing but farce!

        Our mortal world is a labyrinth of immortal worlds. The world of words of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, the world of poems of Blake and Keats, the world of gallantry of Arthur and Alexander, the world of teachings of Gandhi and King; oh we live among immortals, there is no doubt about that! Immortality’s new meaning – to live across the ages in the thoughts and actions of generation after generation.

        What, in you, has the power to echo across the ages? Your ideas, that are born from your intellect. Your actions, which are guided by your virtues. But where is the world for your ideas and actions? I know of a place where you can give life to your ideas. I know of a place where equally intelligent men will listen to your thoughts. I know of a place where you can voice your opinions sans prejudice and repercussion. Here, at toastmasters.

        Toastmasters have many progressive skills – they hear, they listen, they think. But their most remarkable quality is that, if your idea helps them discover something, they take away a piece of you with them. That is your idea's first step on the journey to eternity.

        The podium at the club is the mythical rainbow bridge to fame and immortality in the world of toastmasters. Come up and give life to an idea. Kindle it. Embellish it. Fortify it, to leave the four walls. And it might echo across the ages.

Member Experiences
Visitor's Corner
Scaling a Communication Peak

Shubhodeep Sarkar
Senior Consultant at Hitachi Consulting
Towards my Ambition

Sunitha Menezes
Project Manager at Volvo India Pvt. Ltd .

Kavya Gowda
President, Blue Expression Toastmasters Club

        My company, Hitachi Consulting has an initiative called “The Chapters, which is for the employees to review a book. Around a year back, one of the members of the Learning and Development team came up to me and told me that she expected me to facilitate a book review sometime in the near future. At that time my journey in Toastmasters had not begun, and understandably, the idea of doing a 2 hour book review in front of an audience of more than 50 was as unimaginable as sending a spacecraft to Jupiter! In fact the latter still felt more feasible!

        But then I started attending Toastmasters’ meetings where I actively took up various roles like the Table Topics Master, the Master of Ceremonies, even that of Evaluators. I also finished a few of speech projects simultaneously. Then I thought that perhaps a book review was not such an impossible task and that I could give it a shot. I nominated myself for it much before reading the book thoroughly, but I did get a month’s time for preparation.

        I prepared the review more like a story and tried to include all the feedback I’d received when I’d delivered my speeches, as well as feedback my fellow Toastmasters’ received. Pauses, emotion, voice modulation, a dash of humor, engaging the audience- I tried to include them all.

        I finally presented to a 60 member audience that day. Those who worked outside Bangalore were included via a video conference. I was confident and composed, and it went rather well- as opposed to what I had thought a year back.

        In fact I received direct appreciation mails from many in the audience. I also got a rating of 7.8/10 in the anonymous feedback poll, which is one of the highest for book reviews conducted in my company so far. This is a peak I’ve successfully scaled in my journey with Toastmasters and I would like to whole heartedly thank my mentors and fellow members for this victory. Looking forward to many more!

        To become a Toastmaster was a desire I long had as I’d grown up watching Toastmasters taking up important roles in society and community events back home. I’d always envied the charisma and magnetism with which they carried themselves and hence wanted to be one. This is what made me look out for a club nearby, what made me join The Pride.

        It is the discipline, enthusiasm, support and encouragement for each member that I witness every Sunday evening that brings me back. The spirit to excel among club members is something I value. By regularly taking up various roles in meetings, I have found my strengths and identified areas to work on that will make me a better communicator. In fact, what I like the most is the honest evaluation I receive along with suggestions for improvement. It is no wonder then that I eagerly await the evaluation session in every meeting.

        Sunday evenings spent at The Pride are fun but at the same time instill in me a sense of growth and satisfaction.

        We find utmost happiness in little intricate words of daily life. In them will be the memories that we hold of people we lose and people that matter, the most intense bits of joy and our day-to-day reason to be. The big moments come and go. But the little words remain. The words always remain. The greatest gift is to be able to understand words, articulate them and share them with someone else.

        When I joined Toastmasters 8 years ago, it took me exactly 8 months for my passion and interest in public speaking to fizzle out. I ran for my life not returning for 2 whole years! The reason was the methodical, process oriented approach that Toastmasters appeared to be from the surface. Body language, voice modulation, speech organization; the rules and tools seemed endless. Being the stubborn, non-conforming girl that I was, the rigorous approach did not appeal to me.

        I came back in 2 years to give it another shot for the sheer love of speaking. This time I told myself that I would do it my way. I got into the system only to chew it from the inside. I began delivering my speeches and focused on the quality of content. Not on -how my hands moved, how much I used the stage or whether my eyes rolled everywhere! What now mattered was whether my audience had enjoyed my speech, whether it had made them change their thought process and left them with things to ponder, and possibly, made a tiny change in someone’s life.

        After a long, fruitful and entertaining journey, I’ve realized that we can wax poetic about the technicalities of speaking but it’s always about the people. The people who speak and the people who listen.

        Your learning is always in the details of someone else’s thought process because words, when uttered, can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. Words.


The Spirit of Winter
by Kausthubh Rajendran

        In Bavaria, fall is receding. The leaves and grass have all withered. They now lie shrouding the ground of its scars and blotches. Bereft of their leaves, the trees wept. Their tears have frozen into frost in the first wave of winter. The wind howling through the trees reeks of malevolence but its air is short-lived because snowfall has begun.

        Snow that blankets the ground. Snow that buries the frost. Snow that deafens the howl. Pristine snow whose heavenly hue is unmatched, transforms the whole scene into a charming sight. In this fairy tale backdrop of snow-clad streets, that lie bathed in the glimmer of street lamps, there is a promise in every element; the promise of a spirit.

        In the chill and cold of the breeze, there is a mirthful spirit. It flows down the street twitching at every girl's hand for a dance, teasing their faces for a blush. In the whiff and waft of the steam from pots of Glühwein, there is a spirit of euphoria. It rouses a spring in everyone's gait, a cheer in every conversation.

        In the gardens and houses, there is a gleeful spirit in the Christmas trees. It glows in delight at its twinkling stars, glinting ribbons, sparkling lights and gifts wrapped in glitter. In the notes and tones of pipe organs playing away in churches, there is a zestful spirit. Its music fuses with the carols and together they dance down the streets putting a smile on everyone's face, a tune in everyone's heart.

        I carry a part of them with me;
        A part of me stays on with them.

        In the breeze and the steam, in the trees and their decorations, in the music and the dance, down snow-clad streets there is a spirit in every element; the spirit of Christmas.

        The spirit of Christmas is with me,
        When it is winter, in Bavaria.

Member Article

- Abilash Gunta

        “And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high” – Ayrton Senna

        Day - 29th April Friday, 1994. Place - Imola, Italy.
        It was a very interesting period in the sport of formula one. A time when new teams joined in and many rules were being re-written, trying to increase the role of man and lessen that of the machine. Expectations were very high going into the Italian San Marino Grand Prix formula one race, one of the top draws every year.

        Rubens Barrichello, a young driver then, who would later go on to achieve greater things in the sport, was driving for Team Jordan in the practice session. He hit a kerb at a corner at 225 KMPH making his car air-borne flying side-ways with zero control. It then hit the tyre barrier and came grounding to a stop. Rubens got knocked unconscious and ended up with a bruised nose and a few broken bones. Although the crash looked horrifying at best, he had a lucky escape with the few non-fatal injuries. However it did raise a few eye-brows among the officials about the safety of these men and a discussion about the measures that were needed. Not one of those officials could have predicted what was to ensue.

        Day - 30th April Saturday, 1994. Place - Imola, Italy.
        Going into the qualifying session on Saturday, things were still just settling down with news that Rubens was out of danger and was actually at the track to cheer on his fellow men. The cameras captured him looking over the monitors as Roland Ratzenberger started his lap.

        But very early in his lap, Roland lost all control over the car and had a more disturbing crash than Rubens. He didn’t look good when his car ground to a halt after what seemed like an eternity. Looking at his injuries, he was immediately rushed to the hospital.

        Sport is an innate part of human celebration that gives hope to many. However, that day, Formula One- often viewed and enjoyed for the engineering prowess displayed, had its most human moment. It was the moment when Ratzenberger succumbed to injuries after his accident.

        It was the first death on a formula one race track in 9 years. Time stopped and things slowed down for the first time in the world of Formula One. But the race next day was still ON, almost as if the world of motorsport didn’t want to lie down but wanted to challenge some unseen forces.

        However, a dark cloud loomed over the race next day while Italy wept.

        Race Day - 1st May Sunday, 1994. Place - Imola, Italy.
        There’s only one way people described Ayrton Senna. FASTTT.

        Ayrton Senna, formula one’s first darling child was arguably the fastest man on the planet. He was the underdog from Brazil who conquered the hearts everywhere he went with his sheer pace. He would dance a dance with his car, flying into those corners at insane speeds, braking much later than usual and giving it his all every time he was in that machine. And it didn’t just come naturally, he was as persistent as a sportsman there has ever been. He would sit down with his crew every day, suggesting the finest of changes to engineering, practicing the car at high speeds and then back to the garage with more modifications - until the changes yielded results – until every last millisecond of it was obtained. He was a phenomenon that the sport cherished.

        In his debut season, with a mediocre team and an average car, he had given tough fights to the world champions. His talent was seen very early by bigger teams and he was soon picked up by McLaren, whom he took to the World Title 3 times in 4 attempts. It was one of the most successful pairings of a car and a driver of all time.

        However, a couple of unsuccessful seasons followed as the rival Williams team’s engineering marvels put McLaren in the back seat. Senna’s McLaren car couldn’t compete with the new technology driven machines. Though he had some memorable drives, achieved a few personal milestones during this time, it still wasn’t the same anymore. After this dry run, the rival team –Williams- offered Senna a seat and he moved in as their main driver.

        But as fate would have it, new rules were enforced that same season, to take away most of technology’s help to level the playing ground. Senna just shrugged and went about his business as usual wanting to do better despite the rules working against him yet again.

        On lap 7 of the race that day in Italy, Senna’s car left the racing line at 310 KMPH and hit an unprotected concrete barrier. The car hit the wall at a very shallow angle incurring maximum head on damage and eventually spun to a halt, standing upright. Ayrton Senna lay motionless in the open cockpit, as overhead television cameras from a helicopter relayed the scene to the shocked millions across the globe. Ayrton Senna seemed vulnerable for the first time as doctors rushed towards him.

        Senna was pronounced dead soon. Formula One had lost its finest hero of all time. Ayrton Senna, the man who every child wanted to be like, died doing his favorite thing – racing a formula one car.

        Dr. Sid Watkins, his close friend and doctor, later said of Senna after the accident, “He looked serene. I raised his eyelids and it was clear from his pupils that he had a massive brain injury. We lifted him from the cockpit and laid him on the ground. As we did, he sighed and, although I am not religious, I felt his spirit depart at that moment”.

        It was later revealed that, as medical staff examined Senna, a furled Austrian flag was found in his car—a flag that he had intended to raise in honor of Ratzenberger after the race.

        The dark clouds from that fateful weekend never left the sport of Formula One for years to come.


The Pride

Club Charter on 4th August

Chief Guest - Kumaran Pethi DTM, District Governor
Newsletter launch - Gauri Seshadri, LGM
Educational Session - Dr. Rajdeep Manwani DTM
Installation - Kunwar Alok, L3 Area Governor

Club Contests - Humorous Speech & Evaluation

Jitesh Dattani (Winner for both)
Nikhil Gopalakrishnan (1st runner up for both)
Pranath Chada (2nd runner up - Evaluation)

Area Contests - Hosted by Pride

Jitesh Dattani - Winner, Evaluation
Nikhil Gopalakrishnan - Runner up, Evaluation

Club President Kausthubh Rajendran hosts District Finals of Humorous Speech Contest.

Division C Governor, Yang Zhao from District 85, China visits The Pride

VP Membership     CHIMMU KUTTY
Treasurer     ABILASH GUNTA
Secretary     JISHNU KUMAR

We meet every Sunday
from 4:45 PM to 6:30 PM
at Indiranagar Rotary House of Service, near Lohitha Hospital

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For more details contact
Pratibha Singh   +91 99867 42987
Kausthubh Rajendran  +91 99000 16875
Triumph with Pride