What is toastmasters to me ?

What is Toastmasters to me ??

1) I once picked a quote as the theme for our club’s toastmasters session. The quote was “We Shape Our Tools, and Thereafter Our Tools Shape Us” (http://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/06/26/shape/). I found it on the quoteinvestigator where I usually look for such interesting quotes & the stories behind those quotes.The theme turned out to a brilliant pick, for I got to listen to some really amazing speeches by the fellow toastmasters on the Table topics around the theme. Well I was the table topic master 🙂

As I was ending the Table topic session, I realized something & I presented my realization to my fellow toastmasters saying “Toastmasters is one such tool that is shaping us today. Ralph C. Smedley founded Toastmasters international in 1924 to help people communicate better. And that tool he created back then is shaping us today. There is no better example to this quote “We shape our tools & there after our tools shape us” than toastmasters.

To me Toastmasters is a tool that has been shaping people since it conception in 1924, and will continue to shape people into better communicators for generations to come.

2) Give shape to your thoughts.

Our brains are brilliant beyond our wildest imagination; well our brain help us with our wildest imaginations; so I am sure we all accept how brilliantly beautiful our brains are. Our brains bombard us with countless thoughts. Some are so beautiful that people actually penned down their thoughts & today we read those amazing poems, literature from the past. Mind you, thoughts are elusive, they disappear from your brain before you could actually pen down. You will know what I am talking about if you watch this – https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius?language=en . 

At this point I would like to pause & ask, do you think we do justice to our brilliant brain with the kind of command we have over our language. All those thoughts our brain helps us come up with, can only be expressed or conveyed using a language. Language is such a handy tool there, but how many of us truly take advantage of this tool to convey our thoughts clearly. How many of us struggle to get a point across ? How many of us consciously like to sharpen our skill at using this tool ?

If C++ is the language that can get you through your career, what length do we go to, to master the language. Then why do we not do the same to master the language that is  most crucial for meaningful survival ? 

To me Toastmasters is a tool that helps me shape my thoughts to convey them clearly to the people who matter to me, whom I would really like to understand the person that I am, what I have to say & share.

3) To be continued



Because difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “On the Edge.”

We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?

I trek.

I trek to get my life back on an even keel. Yes, life puts us on the edge sometimes. And when it does, I just want to run far away to some place quiet, serene and thought-provoking, to clear my mind.  And what better way to do that than go on a trek to a place you’ve never been to and with people you’ve never met before. 

Treks have an amazingIMG_20150614_132258 therapeutic power especially to heal a distracted mind. Trek is all about focusing your mind on the target. No scope for distractions for a single wrong step could end your life and you know it. With such demand physically & mentally one would forget everything else going on in life and place ones focus on getting to the peak as soon as possible. Off course you get to rest & enjoy the picturesque views from the altitude & breathe some fresh hill aromatic air. And sometimes you just might meet some interesting people who will change your life forever…

When life puts you on edge live on the edge \m/

IMG_20130615_121525 IMG_20130615_121851DSC02023 DSC02083   IMG_1227 IMG_1228 IMG_1243 IMG_1311

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Life is a story

Life is a story.

You have a story, I have a story. And, our stories are as unique as our finger prints. No two people in this world will have the same story. Here I am today to share my story.

These 3 points here in this picture have a huge significance in my life. My life revolves around them. They form the triangle of my life, independence, love and more .. Triangle is the answer!

So it all started at the point NI. I call this point – The phase of ‘No Independence’ or may be I was too small to know the meaning of independence. Born in 1989 in a beautiful, serene, self-sustained, cosmopolitan township called Vizag Steel Plant township. So beautiful that most of the roads there, were covered with tree covers, off course until hud hud happened. So self-sustained that I don’t know which bus goes to the city, because I never needed to take one. We have got all kinds of schools, sports stadiums, parks, shopping complexes, clubs, you name it we have got it. And so cosmopolitan that we have representation from across the country. You name a god, we have got a temple. In a nutshell, I could call our township a microcosm of India. And I was lucky to grow up in such a beautiful township because of my dad who was an employee of Vizag Steel Plant. I did my schooling at DAV public school. I was dumb as a kid, so dumb that I did not know what annual day was, till I got invited for one. It so happened that I stood 3rd in my 6th class, and was invited for the following annual day to attend the award ceremony along with my parents. That was the moment of epiphany, I always assumed annual day to be a regular school holiday, always stayed home and enjoyed the day off. But that particular annual day changed my life, winning that academic award was a proud moment for myself & my parents. Not a big achievement but big enough for a small girl. That is when I realized when you give your best, life gives its best. Since then, I always gave my best to whatever I took up. With that inspiration I secured myself an engineering seat at Vellore Institute of technology & my story moved to Tamil Nadu to the Point – PI.

I call this point PI – The phase of Partial independence.  For the first time I was looking at the world without my parents looking over my shoulders. I enjoyed the freedom of making decisions by myself. Like any other college student I had my share of fun, fear of exams, burning midnight oil, last-minute assignment submissions, bunking classes, low attendance … I was a studious kid though, stood top at academics, won some scholarships & secured an internship at GE for my last semester project. And that’s when my story moved to Bangalore.

I call this point CI – The phase of Complete Independence. I started to earn money, suddenly I am financially independent, do not have to borrow from my parents anymore. I can make my own financial decisions. Internship got converted into full-time employment, got into the EEDP(Edison Engineering Development Program).

Life is good. Life seemed pretty easy & straightforward – you give your best, life gives its best. But no story is all smiles, neither was mine. I hit my nadir when I had my first heartbreak. It was devastating, I lost control of my beautiful life. But it helped me look at life with a different perspective. I learnt a lot about life from that experience. I learnt to let go, I learnt that I can’t control everything. I learnt life is too short to stay sad.

So I find my happiness in being creative. I sketch, paint, write, blog. I picked the hobby of photography which I enjoy thoroughly. On the physical side, I like to go on treks, run marathons, and I enjoy my yoga. And I am a series addict, I watched the first season of 24 in 24 hours. I love mystery series. Criminal minds, bones, House MD are my favorite series. I could call myself a series buff. I love reading medical thrillers by robin cook. So that’s about me in a nut shell.

I am looking forward to embracing the unknown 4th point in my life. May be I will get married to some malayali & settle in Kerala, the only unexplored south Indian state on my map above. You never know 🙂

With that I would like to conclude my project speech with this beautiful quote – “life is a story, make yours a best seller”.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge: “Digging for Roots.”