Friday, February 06, 2009

Past Imperfect. Present Tense

I will be delivering my first project speech at Hyderabad Toastmasters Club tomorrow. This is the speech!

Update: I delivered the speech. And the audience laughed. To an extent that inspite of many senior speakers, I was nominated the best speaker for the day. :)

Please be rest assured. I am not going to give you grammar lessons today. Past Imperfect. Present Tense in short epitomizes my life.
For the Icebreaker session, I pondered if I have anything worthwhile in my life to share. Since, I have been a damp squib all through my life.
But before that let me give you glimpses of a confused yet kaleidoscopic growing up years.

So, after being tired a doing somersaults for 9 months in my mothers womb I decided that its time to come out and set the world on fire. 21st October 1981, a momentous day in world history. A star is born. Aah not star. Tubelight would be more appropriate. It sputtered, it clicked and it did glow sometimes.
But the moment I am pulled out I find myself held by an ugly looking doctor with big eyes, bigger spectacles and bushy eyebrow. One look at him and I was so shocked that I couldn't speak for the next two years.

Fast forward 8 years hence, long after I had begun talking. Class 5, Sec E, DAV Public School, Bhubaneswar. Time is 11:30 am. The lunch bell rings. I open my bag, get hold of my tiffin box, rush to the dustbin, empty my tiffin box in the dustbin and rush down the stairs on to the field. Following me are other classmates running . And we reach the end of the field, below that banyan tree . The boys from Section B are already there. My name is called and from the other section the other boy's name too. We both circled by the noisy crowd. For the next 20 minutes follows kicks and boxes, and rolling in ground. 20 minutes later I stand up with panting and puffin in soiled clothes, bruises on my knee and elbow, but nevertheless a triumphant smile on my face and adulation from boys of my section. That was the fight club in my school.

Fast forward 4 years hence. Class 9 Section D. corridor of DAV Public school. A group of girls coming from the opposite end. The moment I see them, I freeze. I sense I am the only guy there. I get the urge to turn back and walk the other way. But I dont. I look down and walk shakily and crossing the giggling girls never ever raising my head. The confident and mischievous young lil boy of class 5 inexplicably grows to become a shy, bumbling, and awkward lad who cant see a girl eye to eye.

Fast forward 2004. Scene Barista. A spanky new mall in Gurgaon. Sipping coffee along with his first date. The awkward guy of class 9th had learnt to ask a girl out. Thanks to the outgoing girls in call the centers of Gurgaon.
That pretty much sums up my external metamorphosis.

But lemme share some deeper aspects of my personality.
A below average student all my life, a real worry for my parents if I could at all make a life out of myself. I never won an award in school. Did not have any achievements to boast of. But there was one thing me that I am always proud of myself. I always made my presence felt wherever I went.

I would occasionally show sparks of brilliance, but never made my mark. Just as a tubelight

During my engineering days, I developed a fancy towards the English language. In the third year, I along with a few junior friends formed a youth magazine, AKANKSHA, sub titled Dreams Drive Us.

It was here that I learnt a real skill. But then I had mastered the art of converting proud moments into moments of great embarrassments. I was called up on stage to deliver a speech on the magazine unveiling ceremony. I climbed up with pride swelling my chest and faced the audience. The 100 odd crowd multiplied by two number of eyes staring at me. I was frozen. Blank. I mumbled, I muttered and hardly spoke. Just like a tubelight.

Fast forward 6 years hence, and my greatest fear of facing an audience is conquered. Thanks to Toastmasters.

I do a lot of things in my regular life. Since I want to compensate for all the shy years in college, I do just about anything shamelessly. I read good books, as they provide me solace from the madding world outside. I walked on the ramp in a fashion show in my company. I shook a leg in a choreographed dance last year in Bangalore. I travelled alone to the Himalayas and surrendered myself to the mountains for 15 days this September. My life is a canvas, I just want to keep filling colors of all sorts.

Well achievement or no achievement. Success or no success. I do not care. I just know one thing, that I want to lead a creative life.

I heard someone say, that when you die, your entire life flashes before your eyes. Make it worth watching.
I have been trying to do that lately.


Vijay Sunday, February 08, 2009 8:24:00 PM  

lovely, no wonder you got the award.

Prashant Sree Monday, February 09, 2009 1:17:00 AM  

Congrats buddy. Glad to made a mark.

Keep Winning !! :)


Shalini Gowrisankar Monday, February 09, 2009 5:50:00 AM  

Congrats on your award!!

thanks for this interesting post :)

ബൈജു (Baiju) Thursday, February 19, 2009 10:40:00 PM  

Congratulations dude. Your memories speak so fluently about those moments. All the best. Keep enjoying Life—the most intoxicating wine.

Ravi Kumar Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:37:00 PM  

@Vijay, Prashant, Shalini, Nithin, Baiju: Thanks so much for your wishes!

CK Sunday, March 01, 2009 5:17:00 AM  


Your last paragraph was very touching ! If we understand this, we will stop carrying lifelong grudges ! All teh best for your future projects !

Smile Saturday, April 25, 2009 3:29:00 AM  

living for yourself isnt making it worth living... even animals do that...

Anonymous,  Friday, May 01, 2009 10:18:00 PM  

This is a great story Ravi. So much courage.

Lakshmi Sunday, May 03, 2009 1:10:00 AM  

Isnt this the link you sent me long time back ? I remember reading and commenting ..where did it go ?

Its an inspiring, straight from the heart simple story...well said..congrats

padmini Saturday, January 09, 2010 2:51:00 AM  

A real interesting post buddy....which to be very frank i just opened to give a glimpse to as a formalty...but i din even realise i read the whole thing!(myself..being a very impatient reader...who wants to jus finish reading n do away with it)..well penned down..kudos!:)

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