Category Archives: Toastmasters

Yet to Decide

This was a speech I delivered in International Speech Contest. Though I did not win the contest this speech is easily one of my favorites, because of the honesty I dared to put across.


Do we all like finding examples from our lives to justify ourselves at times? I do! Greetings contest chair, fellow Toastmasters and Guests, as I stand before you today, with turmoil in my heart, tension in my muscles and thoughts in my mind, all I wish to do is to tell you those examples and stories, to relax, quench and absorb – to justify myself.

First one is of a child, about 8 and a man, his father, a civil engineer, who used to make huge intimidating blue prints, with different pencils. The child loved watching him draw. But on one particular day, the child was more fascinated by the pencil his father held in his hand; a mechanical pencil. He was seeing it for the first time in his life. It intrigued him. When the man left for dinner, the child quietly sneaked the pencil from the table and put it in his cupboard. Tiptoeing, he went to his room, slipped in his comfortable warm quilt, yet sweating. He was afraid, trying to listen to every bit of the conversation happening over the dinner table, to pick the word pencil. It was a torture. Only when he heard the man say, ‘Am off to bed!’ could he sleep too. But, he woke up with a start; heard his father shouting about the pencil, the mother trying to calm him down. Poor child could take it no more. He went to his cupboard, took out the lovely steel-blue beauty and walked with the tiniest of steps possible towards his father. With tears in his eyes he held out his hand, and the next moment his father’s hand connected, with full force, to his cheek. I wonder, was stealing the pencil a bigger issue or getting slapped after returning it?

Second one is about a girl, about 13, embracing the beautiful time of growing up. Once, she went for a camping trip from school with friends. At the end of a very tiring day, cold breeze was soothing the ache aimless wander had thrust upon them. They were lying down on hard ground and she was asleep in a couple of minutes. A little later, a touch at the places she did not appreciate woke her up. She shuddered first; then took the nearest stone and hit the person with all the strength she could muster. No one had known of the initial disturbance and the later couldn’t have been unnoticed. Shy of accepting the truth, she was punished for injuring a fellow human being, later known to be slower in his mental growth than the physical. I wonder again, who was at fault; the guy, unaware of his actions; the girl, retorting or the people who punished her?

Third story is about a man in his eighties; at his death-bed. His family around him, sad at the prospect of losing him, yet content that he would be at peace at last. But back in their bedrooms, the son was afraid, where would they live once his father was no more. His mother, who didn’t like her daughter in law, was planning to transfer the property to her daughters. He had not been able to buy himself a house with a regular man’s income. The grief at his father’s ill health was shared by the realization of not having a shelter.  All because he did not own any property! This time, I ponder if not acquiring wealth for self, a right decision as preached by many or it has a different meaning that I am unable to fathom.

The protagonists of my fourth and final story were about 80 at the time Nicholas Sparks, the author of notebook wove it; a man and a woman, deeply in love, so much so that they thought themselves incomplete without each other. But as luck would have it, the woman suffered from Alzheimer’s’ disease. She could not remember the love of her life; her children and her own name. The man could not tell her all of it as it aggravated her condition. So he lied to her every day, about her, about himself, about the life they had spent, just to have that fleeting moment when she would look at him, with the love that had been their strength to live up to 80, to be with her when they journeyed together to heaven.

And with that, finally my stories come to an end. But why did I tell 4 unrelated stories? Friends, I have been called a non believer, confused, agnostic, I told you these stories to help me understand the gap we have in the teachings bestowed upon us and the interpretation as we take. The major faiths teach us – Asteya – not to steal, Ahimsa – not to injure any living being, Tyag – not to own property, Satya – to speak truth, and Brahmacharya – to lead a virtuous life.

But the lessons that I gather from the stories are – do not steal, or if you do, do not admit. Is Asteya a real virtue then? Retort back, if the scenario demands, Is Ahimsa the correct path then? Gather, for a secure future, else worry for it when you are faced with more grave situations in life later, Isn’t Tyag, more of a burden then? Lie, if those false statements help someone live peacefully without losing sanity, does it deserve a punishment then?

I am at a stage in my life where my understanding is meager, my thoughts are many and my propensity to question insane, all that I said now, makes me wonder, which link am I missing?

I do not claim to know all, & I do not want to hide, I am yet to decide!

I am not being partial; I am not taking any side, I am yet to decide!

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ACBS3 Selling T-Shirts Anyone?

The third project of my specialty speeches dealt with being a salesperson for the day. The weekend after I was to deliver the speech, the Hyderabad 10K run (like a marathon but for 10 Km) was due to happen. So I took the opportunity to sell toastmasters T-shirts for the run to the audience. I delivered the speech with the help of visual aids – a presentation and the T-shirt itself. I have attached the presentation I used at the bottom but have also pasted images of my slides for the reader to get the context.


 

Slide 1

Slide 1 -> Introduction – Gave an introduction about the project and my motive.

Slide 2

Slide 2 -> Table of Contents – Setting the agenda right.

Slide 3
Slide 3 ->  28th November is the scheduled date for Hyderabad 10K Run!
This event is special in many ways which you can read on their website, but why it is special for me is because it has turned me into sales personnel for a day! It is the day for which I am going to sell some merchandise to you all!

Slide 4
Slide 4 ->
That’s right

  • I am here to sell to you this wonderful T Shirt to be proudly worn on 28 November
  • I am here to help you make a very well-informed decision
  • I am here to help you discover a brand new apparel for yourself
  • I am here to prove to you the worth of your money, should you care to place your confidence in me and the money in this T Shirt
  • I am here to save you some time and let you do easy shopping right here in this meeting

Slide 5
Slide 5 ->

  • A lot of people will be a part of this run. You need to differentiate yourself from that crowd – it is a natural human tendency and what better chance? Now even while differentiating yourself from the crowd, you need a style. You can differentiate yourself by thousand means but not all of them would be positive.
  • Differentiation will make sense when this is recognized by the group, and for that what better platform then where we all are right now, toastmasters. With this T-shirt you will also contribute to market this movement which has benefited people in 113 countries, this is your time to give back!
  • To add to it, this can be counted towards your CL 6 credit, part of PR Campaign for your club, and mind you CL 6 is not easy to come by! There are very few opportunities to be a CL 6!
  • Lastly, this T-shirt is one way to be at peace if you can’t be a part of reverberations for any reason, you will have some consolation and something to contribute to the conversation when people are back from Mumbai!

Slide 6

Slide 6 ->

  • A white is a must in everyone’s wardrobe!
  • Whether you are my size or Harsh’s (a lovely toastmaster, a little chubby, but now I will give him a run for his money for being plump)– I have them all!
  • Perfect for the time when you would run those 10 KMs
  • 50000 Volts – Not electric – the vendor name!
  • All the efforts that Sugandh (another toastmaster who had put in a lot of hard work in getting these T-Shirts designed, made and delivered) has put in – for your benefit – at no cost!

Slide 7

Slide 7 ->

  • You can pay – Cash on Delivery!
  • First 3 buyers get a surprise!
  • I would deliver your order right away!
  • Guarantee to give you your money’s worth!

Slide 8

Slide 8 ->
Some Numbers

And then I concluded with the following slide – I am very glad and proud to say that i sold three T-Shirts there and then, in the meeting itself. 🙂

Slide 9

Devil’s Advocate

This speech was my entry at the Area Level International Speech Contest a few years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed delivering this speech, especially because I had red devil horns put up on me the whole time as a prop. Here’s is the script for you to enjoy 🙂


 

I was at the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) training room, the venue for their club level international speech and table topics contest. I was enjoying my time chatting and catching up with other toastmasters and discussing common topics of interest. The conversation turned to environment in a few minutes, as is always the case with me. While I was describing the activities I do, the projects I am involved in, and all that I have been doing in the recent past, I was showered with questions from all sides. Someone was questioning if my habits were eco-friendly or not, another person was asking me if I knew of the latest developments in green IT, another TM was checking if I knew the carbon footprint of my food and the difference I thought I made by being a vegetarian. To be honest, I was getting a little uncomfortable, when are they going to stop!!! These Devil’s advocates…

A very good afternoon to all present here, although I am sure you are thinking, environment, yet again?? Don’t worry; this is all I am going to talk about environment today. The rest of my speech deals with a breed most of us do not like much. Someone with huge protruding horns, dark masked face, and blood-shot eyes, big painted lips with a smirk forever in place, curly unruly hair, lean toned physique and a lawyer’s suit on!! Yes my speech deals with – the Devil’s Advocate!

Wikipedia defines a “Devil’s advocate” as someone who takes a position he or she does not necessarily agree with for the sake of argument. Thankfully, there is another definition as well for me to quote; else the toastmasters I just hinted at will all be counting moments when I come off stage to teach me manners. And that definition is where I fit my dear friends, someone who tests the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure – a must for any solid discussion.

We all have our own wishes, aims, goals, ideologies; whims and fancies if you please. As a human being, all we care for is to fulfill them. Modifying President Lincoln, if I may, some of the people know all of what they want, all of the people know some of what they want but not all the people know all they want. Mostly, we take up something, convince ourselves that this is the best for us, and then start working on it. That is the easy part. The tough one comes, when those to whom we are answerable in one way or the other, want to know our reasons. That is when the Devil’s advocates come in handy. If you have spoken to them about your decisions before giving those answers, you are better prepared to be more convinced and in turn more convincing. Deriving from Xi Zhi “skepticism is directly proportional to understanding” Since it is tough to be skeptic of your own idea; thorough understanding can be derived with the help of Devil’s advocates.

Let me give you a real life example, I happened to be a part of. A friend of mine fell in love. Ah, one of the fabulous fantasies of the youth – Love. Back to the present, she told me that she can’t live without this guy, and is soon going to talk to her parents about it. The infamous me started with the questions: What does he do? How much does he earn? Is he educated well? Does he have any means of supporting you? Is he sober most of the time? Where does he belong to? How old is he? Are his parents nice? Does he have any siblings? What do they do? Are they well-educated? Shut up, in the name of God, Shut up!!! My friend was exasperated when I did not stop even after all these questions. Her parents asked her all these questions and more, and thanks to me, she had her answers ready. As of today, I guess they are in process of meeting the guy and planning on an engagement soon!

She listened to me because we have known and trusted each other for last 6 years now. But had it been someone else it probably would have turned out at her becoming extremely irritated at me and maybe never discussing anything else.  And why not, we don’t want people poking their noses in our matters. But trust me friends, our friends do it knowingly; our foes do it to put us down; whichever way, the devil’s advocates help us in the long run! All we need to know is to take these conversations in a positive manner. So much so that these devil’s advocates finally give a statement like the one I got at the end of the rendezvous at TCS contest – ‘Man! This girl is irritatingly positive!’

What I have learned from my experiences with them is – Not to be baffled by opposition. Be positive, what you learn from them is up to you – either shake their hands and train yourself, or avoid their horns and train yourself! Reign in Hell or serve in Heaven! The choice is yours my friend and yes, I am there to act as the Devil’s advocate for you – anytime, without the look of course!!!

ASBS4 – The gift of the Magi

Fourth project of the specialty speeches manual of advanced communicator series of toastmasters deals with telling a story. You read out a story to your audience, trying to make the experience worth the time by incorporating all pauses, intonations, tones and gestures. The story that I chose for this project was one that I had read in class eight and loved to the core. The story was – “The gift of the Magi”.

I am copying the story here (I am not aware if I am infringing some copyright law, if I am and you are aware of that, please drop a comment and I will remove the content).


The Gift of the Magi is an O. Henry (a pen name for William Sydney Porter), short story in which a young couple is very much in love with each other but can barely afford their one-room apartment. Author’s Intention is to teach us that physical possessions, however valuable they may be, are of little value in the grand scheme of things.The story goes on to prove that true unselfish love that the characters, Jim and Della, share is greater than their possessions. The story is appealing, emotional and applies to all of us, especially in the current scenario where gifts are all about their material value.

This particular story is written in third person. Material is united and has a harmonious feel to it in the way the title has been related to the end of the story. O. Henry ends the story by clarifying the metaphor between the characters in the story, Della and James (or Jim), and the Biblical Magi. The Gift of the Magi features O. Henry’s characteristic twist ending and use of flowery diction.

Now let us begin…
One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it; which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week; it did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”

The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20 though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above, he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della; which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him; something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. Her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window someday to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.” One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.”

“Will you buy my hair?” asked Della.

“I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it.”

Down rippled the brown cascade.

“Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

“Give it to me quick,” said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation–as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value–the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love; which is always a tremendous task, dear friends–a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

“If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do–oh! What could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?”

At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.”

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two–and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

“Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again–you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice– what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.”

“You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

“Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?”

Jim looked about the room curiously.

“You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

“You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you–sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?”

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year–what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

“Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.”

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs–the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims–just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.
But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!”

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!”

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

“Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.”

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

“Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ’em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.”

The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.


 

At the end of my speech, there were tears in my eyes and in many of those in the audience. I hope I was able to do justice to the story!

ACBE3 – Five Point Something

This was a 5-7 minutes humorous speech based on my vertically challenged posture 😛 . I delivered this speech in the Humorous Speech Contest as well and managed to go to the division level. Hope you like it.


Once upon a time, with clouds thundering and making the dark night darker with the stark contrast of lightning, a loud shriek broke the silence of the house where everyone was awaiting a miracle. That precious sound was of a girl born on the same day as gorgeous Shilpa Shetty and genius Scott Adams. It was X years, Y month, Z days, A hours and some minutes ago. The reason I am not so sure about the minutes is because, when asked about her time of birth, her mom said, “That I don’t know, what I remember is that DD2 was telecasting another episode of ‘Buniyaad’, which I had to miss!”
Greetings contest chair, Toastmasters and guests! That was when – a story – 5 point something was born.
The newborn was a cute little weirdo or so her dad says. She started growing like any other kid her age till Somatotropin and DNA stopped working in her favor some 12 years later. That was when she realized that being in school Basketball team required more than just talent, being first one in the school assembly line was not so pleasant anymore and tiptoeing to see what’s written on the board ceased being fun.
Let’s hop down the time line a little. It is her first Public Exam. She walks into the centre & the guard says “Junior School Exam timings are 8-11 baby”. She feels like giving him a shot but exam saves the guy.
She runs in with time and ‘Whoa’, it’s College. All friends come by metro. She decides to try it once. One of the daily commuters says, “Good idea, it will be free too. Kids below 3 feet don’t need a ticket.” Exasperated she tries to ride a bike, realizes that her feet can’t reach the ground, she can’t balance it. A minute here, a turn there and boom!! Wait a minute, why there is no sound? That is because; the bike has landed straight into – Pleasant to the eyes, fragrant to the nose, a big huge heap of garbage. Oh the tragedy of not being able to hold on to bike and press the brakes together. To deviate, she turns to basketball court – I have to do well, I am nervous, I am nervous. Oh my God, a giant of coach comes and says – “Why don’t you try throw ball kiddo?” Nevertheless, she practices and gets to captain her team. Ok fine, just for a day and that day the team gets a walk over but who cares?
Four years of engineering done, first day at work. She walks in with a friend.
Security Guard (to the friend): “Ma’am your younger sister can’t come in without a visitor’s Pass”
I- Cards are a true savior in such cases.
Pleased at it all, she goes out with a few friends. Smart black top, skin fit jeans folded a bit to fit (alteration was expensive, people). One guy in the group says – “Did capries go out of fashion or 5/4 th is the new in thing.” After a round of laughter, they are all out in the garden. Three of them sit on 3 swings. 2 are asked immediately by the guard to get up as the swing is meant for kids but she is allowed for obvious reasons. Red faced with embarrassment, she moves to the swimming pool for some change. A small boy, who seems to be sunbathing instead of swimming as he hasn’t moved even once in all the time she has been there, is staring at her. Remember the smart black top and skin fit jeans; she is looking cute and hot. He comes up finally and asks – “Which Class?”
Rewind the story – dark night, clouds, and lightning – blah blah blah – yeah right there. Now fast forward to 22 years. Obviously, her parents are eager to have her married. The oh-so-typical mother to her neighbor – “Mrs. Chaddha – look for some guys for my chitti”. Her son – “Are you kidding me? Who wants to be taken in for child marriage? Oh wait – they may actually give a second thought – she is a great hand rest man!!”
Visibly upset – she goes to her psychiatrist and says “everyone makes fun of me”. He looks deep into her eyes and says, “Don’t be ridiculous, not everyone has met you yet.”
She thinks wistfully – Oh, to be tall!!

To walk down the street and be able to see where you are going!
To be able to see your face in the mirror in the women’s room!
To be able to look men in the eye, there are men her height, but who wants to see them?!
To have her feet reach the ground when sits on a chair!
To be able to accelerate a bike and change the gears at the same time!

That girl, exactly 149 centimeters tall, who when asked by anyone or needs to write down on a form, always, always, always gives a second thought of writing in front of height column – Five Point Something. That Five Point Something is standing right here, right now in front of you all.

Wait, wait, wait – the story is not yet over.

There are good things about being Five Point Something. All you Five Points something here, let me list out a few advantages of being short, oh I am so sorry, being vertically challenged as we are called now, which I googled out and felt happy about:

We rarely have to bend down to speak
We rarely bang our head
It’s easier for us to squeeze through the crowd
We don’t have our feet hanging over the bed when we are asleep
No one bothers us to get things off top shelves (not that we can use them ourselves)
We don’t have to change light bulbs

And dear friends: think about it: No one ever wrote a book on “God of Tall Things”, it was “God of Small Things”

And if all these don’t suffice, I am reminded of a short sweet sentence that a friend of mine wrote on my farewell celebrating what we popularly call as scribbling day:

Choti, Life is tough but you will always stand tall!!

Oh by the way, for all those inquisitive souls, wondering what that something is in my Five Point Something – It is ‘0’. 😀