To be true to my work, my hopes, myself
To bring a smile on my parents’ face;
To live as if every moment counts,
And still not be a part of mad rat race;
To look up to the good and great and hope,
To contribute my part in all the ways;
To strive hard for what I want,
Is all that I wish for, is all that I chase.
Good Afternoon fellow toastmasters, I Rachna, a member of Deloitte Hyderabad Toastmasters club, am here to present before you my first prepared speech, ‘The Icebreaker’.
One of my problems is to find the self, Max Beckmann had once said and I could not have agreed more, not because I have not yet found myself, but because I keep on playing hide and seek with me all the time. And that is why, I had been putting a lot of thought as to what should I say about myself as it is indeed tough to cover a journey of almost 22 years in a few minutes. And so I just started scribbling whatever came to my mind and came up with a small picture of my life to be shared among you all.
I was born in a typical middle class orthodox Brahmin family on a hot summer day as the second child to my parents, and was much eagerly awaited hale and hearty as my elder sibling did not spend more than a few days with the family. My grandma tells me often that our house was under construction at the time of my birth and hence she named me Rachna, ’The Creation’.
My name has this other story too; my last name is Sharma, while my family name (or the gautra) is ‘Bhardwaj’. During my class 10 board exam registration I wrote my father’s name as Mr. R K Sharma, my mother’s name as Mrs. Nirmala Sharma and my name as Rachna Bhardwaj. While verifying this form my teacher asked-‘Are you adopted?’ When I told this to my father he suggested me not to use my last name at all n so I did. And because of it all my documents (X, XII certificate, PAN Card, Passport) just had my first name. But during recruitment the HR people said, we have to have a last name and so, I again adopted my last name, Sharma. Thus I started from Rachna Bhardwaj, met Rachna and became Rachna Sharma; who is standing before you as of now.
I have two younger siblings, a sister and a brother. My father is a civil engineer and my mother is a home maker. I did my schooling in a Convent, Government and Public School on my mother, uncle and father’s wish respectively, was a good kid throughout my student life (or so my report book said). Although I wanted to study Psychology and Forensic Sciences in my undergrad years and was given full liberty to do so, I ended up doing my BE in Environmental Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering because of peer pressure and the lucrative option of on campus placement & job security. It is then that my interest in the subject grew and continues to do so all the more with time. The campus placement part did pay well by my being recruited by Deloitte here.
I had never been too athletic in school but picked up basketball and badminton in college to the amazement of many. Don’t go my stature, I did play; not just these, I love all sorts of adventurous activities and was the fastest to cross Burma bridge, a rope some 15 feet above the ground and 15 feet in length, among all present. I have tried my hand at tire climbing, trust fall, rope climbing, zorbing, spider’s net, Tarzan fall and intend to a lot more of it and other in future.
My hobbies include reading (mainly fiction), writing poems, cooking and working towards betterment of environment. The time limit would be long over if I start talking about my favourite books, but I don’t want to miss this opportunity to talk about Fountainhead on such a platform. I had been dying to talk about this book to people ever since I read it some 2 and a half years back and today would be very appropriate as this book has given words to my thoughts in a manner which I couldn’t find before.
I very much stand by the philosophy of objectivism which Ms Rand talked about. I firmly believe that if everyone starts giving his or her best, the Whole surely improves. I also believe that if you have a sharp mind, it is your moral responsibility to make yourself happy.
The protagonists of Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Howard Roark and Dagny Taggart have been as close to role models as I could have.
Talking of role models, I aim not to copy anyone but to emulate the best I can find in others to improve and the first name that comes to my mind, without any second thought, is that of my father. He has taught me all I know of world and woes, love and life; I try to live by his teachings as much as I can.
My ambition in life is to pursue my hobbies, work in the field of environment and be successful at my workplace, giving my best in all I do. Bob Dylan has rightly said, “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. “; and this is how I take my life..
Over to you toastmaster……