THE PRIDE MOMENTS

Club newsletter

Toastmasters Indiranagar Pride
Club # 3078424
Area 3, Division L
District 82 (www.d82.org)

March 2014 (Volume 3)




INSIDE THIS ISSUE

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


Club details/Contact Info
EDITOR


Pratibha Singh
VP - Public Relations
Editor's Note



- Pratibha Singh
From the President's desk


The Speaker
- Kausthubh Rajendran

        We’re in the month of March - the ‘colorful’ month of the year. While we see nature welcoming spring with flowers blooming all around us, the festival of Holi adds that extra splash of color to our lives.

        This year, Holi made me think of the number of shades that have been added to our club in the past quarter. Indiranagar Pride has truly become a kaleidoscope with members from different walks of life- from students to parents, singers to IT professionals and bankers, even mothers and daughters participating side by side! It sure has become one big family. Over the past few months we’ve seen some really talented speakers join us, giving stiff competition to existing members. The fact that most of the awards in the recently held club- level Prepared Speech and Table Topic competitions were won by them bear testimony to that.

        This quarter we also saw new officers taking on responsibilities. Not to forget, we passed an important milestone when we held our 50th meeting.

        In this newsletter, you can take a sneak- peak into all that’s happened in the past 3 months, as well as, read about the wonderful experiences some of our members have had after joining us.

        Wishing you a colorful and exciting year ahead! In fact, since Ugadi is just around the corner, here’s wishing you all a Happy New Year as well!

        "Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth." We are all familiar with this famous saying by Archimedes when he was overcome by his faith in the power of the lever. This saying has a heavy bearing on the Toastmasters community during this season; this season of contests.

        A speaker passes through many phases. The first of these phases is that of falling in love with the art of speaking. Then follows the phase filled with hardwork and perseverance when the speaker hones his skills. It is about this time that the speaker begins to see a message in almost everything around him - in the hustle of the day and the silence of the night, in incidents and in accidents, in what people say and do and in what people do not say or do.

        This is the phase where the speaker's faith begins to chant "Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth." This is the season when leaders should work relentlessly towards giving the speaker a venue, a podium, an audience and most importantly an impeccable judges panel.

        Basking in the limelight of titles when leaders lose sight of duties and responsibilities of their offices, it is the dream of a speaker that is shattered, it is his voice that is killed, it is his spirit that is destroyed. Remember, we are nothing without the speaker - the one within ourselves and the ones around us.

Member Experiences
Expressing Ideas Clearly

Srinivasulu Vaddepalli
Senior Analyst at ISG
Looking Forward to Greater Challenges

Kavitha M P
Investment Banker at SBI

        It was in 2012 in Hyderabad that I first attended a Toastmasters meeting. I was surprised to see a club where people helped each other in developing their communication skills. I was also impressed by the way it had been organized and the way feedback was provided. I then decided to join Toastmasters once I relocated to Bangalore.

        I must admit that at that time, I had poor communication skills and was diffident while speaking to others. I used to be nervous as a result of which I was unable to share my creative ideas with my colleagues and superiors.

        Once in Bangalore, I visited a couple of clubs and decided to join Indiranagar Pride the very day I attended a meeting there as a guest. I began giving speeches and taking up different roles in club meetings enthusiastically. In fact, I now cherish each and every role that I take up. I’m thankful to my mentor who has guided and helped me.

        My communication and leadership skills have developed immensely ever since I’ve joined the club. I can now express my creative ideas clearly, as well as, successfully communicate solutions to different problems at work. I’ve also observed that I’ve started taking on more responsibilities, leading many projects, as well as, encouraging team members towards achieving business objectives. My effort has been appreciated with a "Leadership Spot on Award" by the leadership at ISG. My friends and colleagues have started appreciating my way of speaking and critical thinking. I’ve reached a level where I can provide constructive and spontaneous feedback confidently. All thanks to the Toastmasters community, my club Indiranagar Pride, and my dear fellow Toastmasters!"

        I consider it to be a privilege to have joined a Toastmasters club. I joined Indiranagar Pride not by chance but by choice. People may have read hundreds of books, attended many soft skills training programs and perhaps even given a number of presentations. What then makes Toastmasters different from all these? It provides a structured platform for all those who are passionate about speaking to improve their communication skills. It gives members the courage and confidence to come up onto the stage and speak in front of an audience.

        As for me, I feel empowered after every meeting. It could be a result of the roles I take up (like the Emcee, Table Topics Master) or by preparing my own speeches, getting them mentored, delivering them confidently and finally receiving valuable feedback. In fact, I even got the opportunity to be the contest chair at the club level prepared speech contest that was recently held. I enthusiastically hosted a 3- hour Bharatnatyam program, addressing an audience of 300 at the A.D.A Auditorium in February this year. All thanks to my Toastmasters Club!

        Through its well-developed model, Toastmasters has provided me an opportunity to continuously focus on progressing week after week. I now look forward to greater challenges. How about you?

FOR THE LOVE OF THE WRITTEN WORD

Train to paradise
by Kausthubh Rajendran

        Every hour, a train leaves Munich. The train is often deserted and it is easy to find a coach all to myself. By the time I usher myself to the best seat in the best row by the best window, the city of Munich has receded and the suburbs are already beginning to fade.

        For many miles, the interlude of hamlets keeps me company. As hamlet after hamlet falls behind, conscious thoughts drain from my mind. With the last hamlet that fell behind, the last thought drains from my mind. That is where the pastures begin.

        Draped in lush green, the pastures stretch till the horizon. Their green drape ridges smoothly like long wavy hair of a woman. Like her ribbon that has come undone, the desolate footpath lies sprawled with blithe disregard for the pasture’s beauty.

        The meadows give way to woodlands lavishly sprinkled with snow. The Alps aren’t far now; snow is the harbinger of the Alps. In the woods, handsome pine trees stand tall. They appear miffed; perhaps in the solitude that was, before the train barged in, the breeze was confessing its love. Caught off guard by the train, the breeze seems to have concealed itself but romance is still in the air.

        The train reaches the valley-town of Mittenwald at the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Idyllic Mittenwald nestled in the womb of towering snow-clad mountains is my destination. This is where I get off the train. I walk down its winding stone-paved lanes. The gardens and houses on either side look straight out of a fairy tale. I walk up to the icy lake. By the banks of the lake stand majestic trees dusted with snow. Beyond them, the Alps stand ever so beautiful. Ushered by hallowed beauty and innocent romance, I reached the abode of eternal serenity.

        Lost in time, while I stand there, she walks up beside me and holds my hand. In the palm of such bliss, time stands still. I am in paradise.

        Every hour, a train leaves Munich. I have been on it many times but always with a return ticket. One day I will be on it with a one-way ticket.

Member Article


Match of the Century
- Abilash Gunta
Member Article


I had Arrived
- Nishanth P K

        “The most individualistic, intransigent, uncommunicative, uncooperative, solitary, self-contained and independent chess master of all time, the loneliest chess champion in the world. Bobby Fischer is also the strongest player in the world. In fact, the strongest player who ever lived” – Larry Evans

        1972 saw turbulence in Northern Ireland, the Vietnam War was at its peak and Ceylon became a republic and changed to Sri Lanka. But the world was tuned-on into only one man – Bobby Fischer. 1972 was unlike any year.

        Every sport gets that one genius that comes in once in a lifetime, shakes it to its very core and nothing remains the same ever again. Chess was blessed with Robert James "Bobby" Fischer, popularly called Bobby! The world of chess had been dominated by the Russians since the 1800’s, and often when this domination happens in any sport for such a prolonged time, its popularity takes a hit. Chess was going through its own toughest test in the late sixties. And then came Bobby.

        He was an eccentric, lanky American who was obsessed with one thing - Chess. This obsession fuelled him restlessly to chase his dream to become the world champion and conquer the world.

        Reykjavík, Iceland
        In the fall of 1972, a little country called Iceland became the center of the world when it won the bid to host the world chess championship of 1972, often dubbed since as the Match of the Century. It was between the Challenger Bobby Fischer of America and the reigning World Champion Boris Spassky of Russia. It was played at the height of the cold war between the two super powers, a lot was at stake – outside of chess too.

        Rules
        A World Championship Chess Match has 24 games. 1 point for a win, ½ a point for a draw and 0 for a loss. Bobby needed 12 ½ points to become the new world champion, Spassky needed 12 to retain it.

        THE MATCH

        Opening Moves:  Bobby blundered and lost the 1st game. In a fit of frustration, he started making demands to remove all the cameras in the playing room as he was disturbed by their hum and could not concentrate.

        His appeal was rejected, so he never showed up for the 2nd game. Spassky was awarded the win and this meant Bobby trailed by 0-2. It’s a hard lead to beat in a 24 game match.

        In game 3, Bobby came back to continue and this time he used “Son of Sorrow”, which is the riskiest defense of all and is full of complete unexplored danger. Bobby was saying, we are not going to make a draw. We are going to fight to death here. It was a real test of genius for Spassky. The world held its breath. Bobby won it.

        The Middle Game:  All of Bobby’s antics were finally cracking Spassky’s calm demeanor and he went on to win points in successive games 3, 4 and 5.

        The Wild Card:  Game 6 is the most celebrated game of the whole match – when Bobby did the “Gotcha” on the entire world. Apart from the eccentricity and the air of arrogance he carried, if anything, Bobby was most well-known for his consistent opening move in his chess game. He always first played the pawn in front of his queen to E4 – the most sought after opening in a game of chess. But Bobby cherry picked the moment to surprise the whole world – none more so than Spassky – by playing the English opening C4. It instantly threw all of Spassky’s preparation out the window. Bobby stretched the whole game even more by playing a very anti-Bobby game, an almost slow motion build-up of the attack – first depriving Spassky of his mobility and then taking his pieces gently and finally a poetic capture of his opponent’s king. It was the most different and the most beautiful game Bobby Fischer ever played. At the end of it, Spassky stood up and applauded the American. Of the gesture, Bobby said to his coach, “Did you see what Boris did? That’s a sportsman, he is a real sportsman”.

        The End Game:  Bobby needed only one win to become the new World Champion. Game 21 started and it reached the move 40, the move where it was adjourned for the players to go, study it overnight and come back with a strategy to win.

        The next morning, Spassky was the first to arrive, he walked straight over to the referee and uttered one line. “There is another world champion. His name is Robert James Fischer”. As soon as he came to the venue, Bobby was given the news and was instantly engulfed by the reporters, everyone wanting to know how it felt to have conquered the world. He immediately ran to his car and drove off – saying one less line than Spassky

        I had arrived!!! Both literally and figuratively. I had just completed my MBA from one of the top institutes in the WORLD!!

        I had just stepped off the Bombay local. It was the first day of my job, I was in my pristine white Giza cotton shirt, merino wool blazer and fine Italian shoes. Oh my God!

        My shoes were not polished and I was wondering what to do.

        Just then I heard, “Shoe polish!” and noticed a teenager sitting with his workstation ready to polish shoes. I went up to him, put my foot on his workstation and he began buffing my shoes with all earnestness.

        I looked around the station in the midst of chaos. There were vendors selling fruits. Above, I saw people removing old movie posters from a hoarding. I saw the tangle of electric cables and then I noticed an old blind man in his 80s finding his way through the crowd. He had a bowl into which people were putting coins and he would yell out a “Thank you!” each time the new coins made a sound.

        I thought to make his day and looked into my wallet. The currency of the lowest denomination I had was a 10 rupee note. I placed it into his bowl. He touched it, gave a smile and yelled, “Thank you!”

        Being the modest person I am, I said, “It is ok, you can keep the ten rupees.” From my voice he could sense I was close to him and was not walking away. He held out his hand.

        He held out his hand almost to touch me. I, however, was not interested in shaking his hand. This was a person standing in the ‘railway station’, but in order to stop his hand from touching my pristine white shirt, I held out my hand.

        Now here I was, my feet on a pedestal, the boy polishing my shoe and my hand in a blind old man’s. I was looking like a cricket umpire signaling a leg bye that went for four runs!

        He held my hand and with a big smile said, “Sir you are kind, very kind. May I know who you are?”

        Normally I would have not replied to such a question from a stranger, but noticing his age and the fact that he was blind, I felt there might not be too much harm in doing so, so I said, “I am Nishanth. I am from...”

        Instantly, he replied, “Oh! What a nice name! ‘Nisha’ means ‘midnight’, and ‘Nisha ka Anth’ means ‘the one who ends midnight, the one who ends darkness’. Very nice name Sir. Very nice, but who are you?”

        I was wondering whether he was going to ask me to fund his eye surgery! I told him that I was from Kerala, settled in Chennai. “Oh Kerala! This is the place where you are from, but who are you?”

        I answered that I had just finished my MBA and worked in…, but before I could complete my sentence, he said, “MBA! Wow! That’s very good Sir. My cousin wanted to do a MBA but he is very old now. Very good Sir, but that is your degree. Who are YOU?”

        I was getting confused here. I was being challenged by someone who seemed to be non-existent in my world. I had cleared interviews with consultancy companies, been to top ranked universities in the country. Now here was a challenge I was finding difficult to overcome!

        All of a sudden a light shone upon me. I thought perhaps it was God trying to speak to me. Was I the ‘Chosen One’? Was I the new Avatar? It was Avatar alright, but the poster of the movie Avatar being removed and the light from the metal sheet being reflected onto my face.

        Suddenly the ridiculousness of my answers was apparent. All this while I had thought my identity was my name, the degrees I had earned, the place I had lived in or the designation I held. But these were just labels. I had never thought I could be someone beyond all this! A smile appeared on my face and on his. I stopped fighting to take my hand from his grip, and he loosened his grip and walked away.

        “Sir! Can you put your feet on the ground?” said the boy who had finished polishing my shoes. I smiled and did so.

        Sometimes we think we are what we do, the language we speak, the place we are from. We label ourselves as engineers, IT professionals, MBA degree holders. But we are far deeper and greater than that. I urge all of you to look inward and ask that question and I promise you, it will take you on an incredible journey.

        That day I embarked on a journey to find out who I really was. I have still not got the answer. I thought I had arrived, but now I know, I am seeking.

Highlights

The Pride

Club Contests - Int'l Prepared Speech & Table Topics



Chimmu Kutty (Winner for Speech & Runner Up for TT)
Nishanth P K (Winner for Table Topics)
Abilash Gunta (Runner up - Speech Contest)


L3 Area Contests - Hosted by Pride



Chimmu Kutty - Winner, Speech & Table Topics
Nishanth P K - Runner up, Table Topics

President     KAUSTHUBH RAJENDRAN
VP Education     JITESH DATTANI
VP Membership     CHIMMU KUTTY
VP PR     PRATIBHA SINGH
Treasurer     ABILASH GUNTA
Secretary     JISHNU KUMAR
Sergeant-At-Arms     NIKHIL GOPALAKRISHNAN



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