Club newsletter

Toastmasters Indiranagar Pride
Club # 3078424
Area 5, Division C
District 92 (

December 2014 (Volume 5)

Editor's Note From the President's Desk
Experiences Leaders amongst us!
Articles Highlights

Club details/Contact Info

Abilash Gunta
VP - Public Relations
Editor's Note

- Abilash Gunta
From the President's desk

- JItesh Dattani

        It’s the Holiday season! Are y’all excited? Are you? Okay, I will take that as a yes! I am excited for many reasons, not the least of which is this fantastic new edition of our newsletter. Boy o boy, is this edition good or what! We have just come off a strong season of contests and that is the understatement of the year. We did a clean sweep of the Area level humorous contest (a 1-2 finish), and then ran through the contestants and blew the roof off at Chorus 2014, Division level humorous contest (a 2-3 finish amongst all the other brilliant and funniest speakers of Division C). And this is just the tip of the iceberg. You will see more in the highlights section and the member articles about our awesome and strongest contest season in our history.

        We are also very proud and not at all modest to tell you that Toastmasters Indiranagar Pride has won the Fast Five Award for the 2014-2015 term. The Fast Five is awarded to all clubs who achieve 5 DCP points with an active membership of 20 (or base membership+5) by November 15.

        The club has also grown leaps and bounds in terms of numbers, adding some really great speakers to its repertoire. New members like Pratap, Savita and Shakti had a very strong debut term with some of them giving a run for their money for the experienced speakers in the contests.

        In this newsletter, you get a sneak - peak into all the above and even more that’s happened in the past 3 months. Wishing you a lively and exciting year ahead!

        It gives me tremendous joy and excitement to welcome you to the 5th edition of our newsletter “The Pride Moments”. This is on the back of an incredible couple of months where we have continued our journey towards self-improvement and excellence in a very profound way. Along the way we are privileged to have many new faces joining our existing troop of talented and corporative members who redefine the spirit of team work and incandescent leadership.

        We are proud to have won several awards and recognitions at different levels which encourage us to move ahead in a more aggressive and meaningful way. We have won the “Fast Five Award” at the District Semi-Annual Conference “Jamboree 2014” and “Best Club Website award” in Semi Annual Conference of Division C “Chorus 2014”. Our members have won several awards at area and division levels, in the evaluation and humorous speech contests, which inspires us with their brilliance and vocal supremacy.

        Along with these successes we truly celebrate our toastmasters meeting which is a perfect platform for improving our communication and leadership skills. The supportive environment helps us overcome our fear of public speaking and sharpen our management skills. All the members contribute to this aura in a very unique way with their valuable messages, role plays and encouraging presence in the weekly meetings.

        I would like to congratulate VP PR Abilash for his fabulous efforts in bringing this newsletter to life. This magazine is an integral connection between our members, our growth, knowledge, and our own “outside Toastmasters worlds”.

        Happy reading and I hope you enjoy this edition of “The Pride Moments”

Member Experiences
Public Speaking was a fear!

- Savitha
So, what happened when i write a speech

- Nishanth

        Public speaking, the 2 words I dread the most. When I was working I did every possible thing to avoid public speaking either by faking illness or passing on the opportunity to someone else. After I quit the job, I was glad I didn’t have to do any of this and no one to force me.

        But I felt I had to make the best use of my sabbatical, and thought why not conquer my fear. I started looking for an opportunity to work on my fear, and that’s when I found TM Indiranagar pride in the Meet up groups. I joined the club in November with a bit of anxiety and a hope to improve. The whole concept of Toastmasters was new to me. I first attended a session as a guest and was impressed with the way it was conducted.

        Evaluation and Time management is the strength of any speaker, the feedback given to every individual playing the role is definitely constructive and something to learn from for any anyone who wants to take up a role the next time.

        After I became a member, I immediately got an opportunity to speak in a Table topic session, even today I don’t remember what I spoke then but I definitely remember the faces of the members filled with encouragement, motivation, and reassurance. This gave me the confidence to give my Ice breaker speech within 2 weeks of joining.

        The culture of giving a standing Ovation after the Ice breaker speech made me feel like a winner. But the Icing on the cake was when I received “Most Improved Speaker Award”. Yippee I am in the right place and I definitely know my goals will be met here. My belief became stronger when the feedback from one of the Guest was that the Toastmaster Indiranagar is one of the best clubs in Bangalore that he had seen with such good speakers and evaluators.

        I am really Proud to say that I am part of the Pride team.

        Its been a year now since i joined the Indiranagar Pride. I was attracted to speaking since my school days hence the opportunity to come in front of an audience and deliver a speech felt as natural as water to seahorse. However what i have got out of speaking has been far more than what i ever expected.

        My journey in the last few months as a speaker has been interesting. Other than the contests - what i have found interesting is how much a speech reveals to me about me.

        Beyond the act of delivering a speech is the writing of the speech, i have found this deeply enriching. When i pen down a script or story that would become a speech, the metamorphosis that is unfolding on paper is simply orgasmic. These are the moments when i enter the deepest realms of me, explore, find out and understand the vastness and depths (and sometimes the lack of it) of who i have become. I have seen myself in a new light after every speech i have written.

        Nowadays the act of writing a speech has gone from a mere jotting down of the main points to a spelunking session where i am the cave and i am the explorer. Take time in writing your speech cause the red card comes after 7 minutes for everyone, but your can traverse 7 worlds in the course of writing your speech.

Leaders amongst us!

An Education by itself

- Chimmu Kutty
No power comes with no responsibility

- Srinivasulu Vaddepalli

        It started off innocuously enough. In June 2014, I was approached by the then VPE, Jitesh, with a request. He wanted me to cover for him for a couple of weeks as he was going out of town. Let me tell you, Jitesh is a suave salesman. He made the task look easy with a hint of challenge which caught my interest. Well, I enjoyed writing the Agenda and choosing the topic for those two weeks. I felt much empowered when my topic was elaborated on during the meeting.

        Little did I realize that this was an appetizer before the main course! Before I knew it, Jitesh became the President for the July – December 2014 term and I? I BECAME THE VPE!! (Since there are no emoticons to help me here like in WhatsApp, the sentence above is in bold and CAPS represents PANIC). The guiding principle of Toastmasters is DO and Learn. So that’s what I HAD to do – LEARN!

        And learn I did. I realized that the mantle of VPE is not to be worn lightly. You are the maker of all meetings. With great power comes great responsibility. It was up to me to ensure that all members got to play roles. The VPE has the task of getting speakers for every meeting. Some weeks I had 5 speakers. At other times, I was left with cancellations and had to scramble to find even one speaker. I became identified in the club as the member who pursues others with a book and pen in hand garnering roles for the next meeting. Certain members proved too slick for me and managed to escape before I could corner them (naming no names!).

        This roller coaster ride taught me several things.

        The first and foremost was the power of persuasion. In this, I was following in the footsteps of my predecessor. I applied his techniques diligently with great success. Make the role sound easy and throw in a challenge as bait. (Oops! Should I be giving away our trade secrets? ) I am happy to say that the results have been good from my side!
        Being the VPE means you have to take care of your Toastmasters family. You have to identify the strengths in each person and help them to see it too! This was a role that I enjoyed. It gave me great pleasure each meeting when a member took up a new role and played it with confidence and panache (in spite of my reminder calls and attempts at coaching).

        In the beginning, I was apprehensive about getting a new theme every week. Where do I go for themes? They have to be crisp, short, fun, universal, educative, contemporary, reflect what the club is doing at the moment (contest, Jamboree), have the flavor of the season thrown in (Diwali, Christmas etc.), and yet be easy enough to enable everyone to speak about it. To my surprise, I found this to be the most enjoyable part. Every Monday, I would enter the meditative state and wait for inspiration to strike. Seriously, Google helped a lot! Contest season was an eye-opener for me. It suddenly dawned on me that I was responsible for getting the contestants. I’m very proud to state that we had FIVE contestants for the Humorous Speech Contest and EIGHT contestants for the Evaluation Contest. Of these, 50% were new members! The experience as contest chair was enlightening. I learnt a lot about people and the expectations of Toastmasters International. I was also humbled by the overwhelming support I received from all the members who volunteered as role takers for the contest. It truly was a team effort. That’s when you realize that the work you do week after week does make a difference.

        My term as VPE has given me a lot more in return than the effort I put in. I became closer to my Toastmasters family and gained a whole lot of friends. I also had to live up to the standards of my mentor – a hard taskmaster indeed who would not accept anything less than the best. Yes folks, I’m talking about the Charter President, Kausthubh.
        The only advice which I have to give my successor (wonder who’s the lucky one?) is this: You will have the most enjoyable term as the Club VPE. Whatever you invest, you will be assured of getting a double return!

        For the last few months, most of my close friends and colleagues were telling me that I have changed the way of talking, the way of looking at the problems and the way I’m giving feedback for any discussions in formal meetings or even a chit chat over a cup of coffee. They have also told me that I have been transformed looking at things positively and taking every challenge as opportunity in every situation.

        I kept wondering what transformed me and how did this come upon me. Finally, I thought it may be the association with Toastmaster International but I was not sure how to validate this thought. To figure it out, I started observing how I’m behaving and talking at office with colleagues and at home with my friends for quite some time. What I observed is that I’m giving constructive feedback to pessimistic colleagues and fault-finding management. My colleagues often get into many negative discussions during breaks about the management which deteriorate the situation between employees and management. For example, one of my colleagues always complains about his work, manager, and policies which are noticed by the leadership. He was asked to change his behavior or change the company. I tell him with the positive note that we are hired to change the policies for the betterment of the employees and we are here to raise the concerns which help everybody and company to create positive work environment.

        I have also helped the senior leadership providing constructive feedback to improve the processes and environment at work. Leadership has valued my feedback most of the times and tried to incorporate best policies in the team in last few months. For example, there is neither appreciation nor compliments from the management for the good work done by the team member due to which the team members lost motivation for work. I highlighted this with some good examples and made the management realized their gaps and they saw the positive results with great energy from the team after they started appreciating the good work.

        Due to this transformation, I received a promotion to “Team Leader” from Senior Analyst in October 2014. I was the only one who received the promotion before completing two years in the history of the company. As you all know the reward for the good work is more work. Now, I’m not only responsible for my deliverable but also for my team. No power comes with no responsibility.

        I strongly believe that this transformation has happened for two reasons – one, Toastmasters International and second, the feedback of my fellow toastmasters of Indiranagar Pride.

Member Articles
Just keep going

- Ranjani Ranganathan

- Abilash Gunta

        “Live for the journey, not the destination” – Ranjani Ranganathan

        It was a very cold Saturday morning. The sky was blanketed with a thick lining of fog. Slowly, I managed to drag myself out of my warm quilt, to get dressed and leave, to attend Jamboree. I was excited for two reasons, this is the first ever conference of District 92 and my first ever District conference. So yeah, I was all pumped up to participate... as a listener. And the fact that this was happening in Mysore was splendid. Out of Bangalore for two days – away from the noise and crowd and these pride meetings– Oh yeah! I couldn’t be more excited. Two to three days before I left, I thought, why not make this a road trip and shared this thought with over 50 of my friends and all of them were very excited about this and… 3 of them agreed to join me.

        After a lot of struggle with the sleeplessness and the cold, cold weather, we left on our bikes with one destination in mind – Kamat restaurant. Yes, we were all excited but we need food alright! And so the journey of the 4 began. Since it was a fine Saturday morning, we expected comparatively less traffic on Bangalore roads and much more on the Mysore road. We breezed through Bangalore in no time and before we knew it, we were breathing in some fresh, unpolluted air – my body couldn’t take it, it was so fresh. The weather was so pleasant that my ride took me all the way to my cloud nine. I love road trips and if they are on bikes, I fall for it like... Kausthubh at a hair salon or Abilash at an all-you-can-eat buffet or Pratibha at…you get the point right. On the way, I saw a number of cyclists, some hiking their way to Kamat, just like us, some to nearby open spaces and some even to Mysore!!

        Within no time we reached our destination, “Kamat”, and it was crowded at 7 in the morning. Struggling, we made our way through the crowd and found a corner table overlooking a nearby plantation – greenery all around. Quickly, we ordered all possible Idlis and Dosas. And I finally found my inner peace for my hunger. Heavenly food or so I thought, thanks to my insatiable hunger. As we were eating, I ran into some friendly faces from the Pride and Abilash and suddenly the waiting time for idlis and dosas got longer. All this only got me all the more excited about what was to unfold over the next two days. With that excitement in the air, we hit the road again; all charged up to cover the rest of the 100 kilometers.

        The rest of the journey seemed to pass by rather quickly as we were headed to the next destination – Lalitha Mahal Palace, Mysore, our home away from home for the next two days. As we entered Mysore, it gave us the ancient town feel, still reminiscent of the then princely state of Mysore. We went around looking for our palace and we crossed so many big and beautiful bungalows and villas on the way, which are now the offices of Mysore Police and Municipality departments.

        On a low hill, just outside the royal city of Mysore, stands a shimmering white palace – a splendid Italianate palazzo with a sprawling terrace and landscaped gardens. The interior of this palace contains furniture made of rosewood, life-sized portraits of the royalty, a central Belgian glass dome. It also has an ancient elevator with a royal cushioned seat, still in working condition. The palace was up and standing even at 93 years and still mesmerizing every visitor.

        As soon we entered, we were greeted by the royal guards who took us through the different sections of the palace before leaving us at the reception. We checked in only to know that there is more awesomeness awaiting us.

        In one of the chambers nearby, there was a movie shooting in progress. We entered the chamber to find out who’s the reason for all the commotion around. There in front of us sat this man on a magnificent chair looking intently at the table and writing something. And then the director says, CUT!!! As he gets up to take a break, his stance and his husky voice made my heart stop beating. I couldn’t believe my eyes at the person standing in front of me. He is known the big, bad man of South Indian cinema who is also known for his versatile roles. And it was none other than Prakash Raj. I was over the moon. The opportunity of meeting such a great legend is definitely not an everyday thing. We poured him with our greetings, got some photographs clicked and finally made our way to the rooms. And it was time for me to come back to mother earth now as I had to get ready and leave, to attend the Communication Carnival – the main purpose of my visit. While all my friends were getting ready to snooze away, I had to get ready to go and LISTEN!

        You know it is said that the journey is more important than the destination, that you have find your happiness in the journey itself so that the destination shouldn’t really matter, and yes, I found it in my journey too. But sometimes you can get lucky with the destination. And in my case it was brilliant - Jamboree 2014. And it was just getting started...

        A few days back, I told my 5 year old nephew that I was color-blind. Well, yes there was an actual reason why I told him, I didn't just get up one fine morning and decide to bore my nephew. I will get to the details in a bit, but I told him that I was color-blind and asked him if he knew what it meant. He said, " means you cannot see any color", which is actually the MOST wrong answer to that question. But then he is only 5 right. So I went around and asked a few friends of mine and surprisingly half of their answers were exactly like my nephew’s.

        The word 'color-blindness' is a misnomer. It seems like I am blind to all the colors, like my nephew thought. That is incorrect. Color blindness only means a decreased ability to see some colors. In my case, I don’t really see the difference between some shades of red and some shades of green but all the other colors are fine!

        Now some of you may be thinking about traffic signals! They use red and green, and this guy has a problem with it. Should he be allowed to drive!? It’s funny because when I am driving with my friends and I AM the one driving, and I am approaching a traffic signal, THAT’s the time I pick to tell them that I am color-blind. You should see the look on their faces, the blood just runs out and they start shouting "WHAT!! Stop the car… stop it now…" Well the truth is, I CAN tell the difference between red and green when it's in the form of big huge lights. And also at most signals now, they use arrows when it turns green, you see a green arrow telling you to go. But also, come on, who we are kidding? We all know that EVEN if you miss the signal turning from red to green, as soon as that happens there are 75 people behind you honking telling you to move. That’s the 2nd thing…traffic signals are

        But when the lights are small. Like LED’s, they are the small lights that are on the end of your TV remotes, on microwaves and even on your internet WI-FI routers. THEN it becomes a slight problem, for me.

        EVERY small light that was EVER created looks yellow!! It’s all yellow to me! - It's unbelievable. So a few days back, when I was at my uncle’s place, the internet stopped working. So I called up the customer care and a LADY answered - I don't know why that's important but a lady answered. At first she was not interested in what I was saying - at all. We all know the drill: she was just busy asking and noting down all my details - name, customer-id, date of birth - you name it!

        Finally after 10 minutes, she got around to the problem and asked me to restart my router. I did but it was still not working. Now she says to me, in a very strict and professional tone, "Sir Can you check the lights on the router?" And NOW I start to feel tense and I think, "Okay... I may be color-blind... but I can still count right. So I count (1-2-3-4-5) and tell her... Yes all the 5 lights are blinking. She responds to that sarcastically, “Sir of course all the lights will blink because the router is powered ON". I was little insulted here - I won't lie. BUT the next question she asks is the toughest question anyone has ever asked me. I personally can never ask anyone this. She says with a straight tone, “Sir can you check if you can see - 1 green light, 1 red light, 1 yellow light, 1 greenish yellow light and 1 reddish green light”?


        I take a deep breath and say (a little shyly), "Um...I can’t see some colors". There's a long silence. And then she says to me,

        "Sir Can you be a little louder please?"

        "Yes, yes. I... I am a little, I am color-blind. Yep, can’t see some colors. Color-Blind is what I

        And guess what she says.

        "Sir Customer care is not supposed to be used for jokes and entertainment!" What!! I know.

        So I convince her that I am color-blind by giving her this same 5-7 minute speech! And that’s when I went and asked my nephew for his help. I went up to him and said,

        "Hey just come quickly… Um, help me with this. Just tell me what colors these are…” And he looks at me, his face with this beautiful cocktail of confusion, anger and whatnot.

        Oh. God

        "The optimist sees Green, the pessimist sees Red. A truly wise person is color-blind" - Abilash Gunta


Division Contest (Chorus 14) Best Club Website

Division Contest (Chorus 14) Humorous Speech

Abilash Gunta (1st runner up)
Nishanth PK (2nd runner up)

Area Contest - Humorous Speech & Evaluation - Hosted by Pride

Nishanth PK (Winner for both)
Abilash Gunta (1st runner up for both)

Area Contest Poster - Hosted by Pride

The Pride

President     JITESH DATTANI
VP Education     CHIMMU KUTTY
VP Membership     PRATIBHA SINGH
Secretary     AKHILA S

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

For more details contact
Abilash Gunta   +91 88846 09888
Kausthubh Rajendran  +91 99000 16875

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Triumph with Pride