Toastmasters P5 – All shook up

My P5 the 5th speech project from the Toastmasters Competent Communicator Manual. The objectives of P5 were to complement your message with your body during delivery. Specifically, be aware of:

  • posture
  • body movement
  • facial expressions
  • eye contact

Thanks to Kavya I could bring in Lungi Dance into this speech and I enacted it as well. The icing on the cake was when I was selected as the Best Speaker of the Day. God knows what I would do without you, Kavya. Here is the text of my speech.

Kavya completed 10 on November 29, 2014. During the four months in the run up to this date, she’d return home from the numerous birthday parties and would talk about the theme they had be it Snow White or Pirates etc. And I’d think “She is only describing the good time she had there”. Lightning struck me in early November when she asked me “What is the theme you plan for my birthday party?” I was all at sea. As a child, my parents decided on birthday parties but they too would never have thought of themes. Cutting a cake was the only thing I knew aside of inviting some friends. Wake up and smell the coffee, Manish! Times have changed

Toastmaster of the Day, fellow toastmasters and guests, enjoy the time capsule ride.

“If music be the food of love, play on” said William Shakespeare. Gone are the days when we would strain our ears to listen to Ameen Sayani on Radio Ceylon for his Binaca Geet Mala on short wave. As a child I used to think that Ameen Sayani was a Sri Lankan who would play Indian music sitting there. Now we have a plethora of FM stations and Kavya having already met Malishka, insists on listening to 93.5 RedFM only. I for one prefer those soulful melodies sung by my favourite, Kishore Kumar composed by stalwarts like Panchamda and the likes with meaningful lyrics. Today when Kavya and my nephews sing “Char bottle vodka”, I just want to hang my head in shame.

Dance then was a form of art what with the classical ones teaching you movements of fingers not just the hands. Also expressions using the eyes! Now we have Shiamak Davar and other styles which honestly are nothing more than aerobic exercises put to rhythm. But wait! How could I ever forget we also have dances now like Lungi dance which make absolutely no sense but are extremely popular!

Telephones – This generation has never experienced a phone with a rotary dial but I do hope you have noticed the black contraption they show in those antique Hindi films. Yes I grew up with them. I am sure you did not know that there was no direct dialing facility then. You had to book trunk calls, pay double for urgent calls and pay 8 times for lightning calls. During the rains, we experienced something which was called delayed dial tone. All you had to do is pick up the phone and hold on for atleast 2 minutes while saying a silent prayer just to get a dial tone.

And now you have mobile phones. No dial tones, no delays whatsoever and no costs to worry about. Kavya thinks talking to my sister on the phone is so downmarket. She believes only in using FaceTime with my sister so that she can flaunt a new dress, new shoes, trinkets etc. and then also some new dance step she learnt from an upcoming Bollywood movie.

Letters – One thing I would wish returns for the good of all. I have pen friends since 1982 and am in touch regularly with them. We used to write letters and I distinctly remember my longest letter was 22 pages to my friend in Australia. She responded back to me using an audio cassette. Aside of letters, we exchanged currency notes, stamps, coins for our collections and built some weird hobbies. I, for one, collected and still collect postcards, knives, forks, spoons from airlines. That was before 9/11 happened. Now of course we have only plastic knives and forks. My French friend still collects newspapers from different countries. Another friend collects wrappers of different kinds of cheese.

Kavya I doubt would ever realise the joy of letter writing. Her generation is completely electronic what with e mail, Whatsapp etc. I know what is there for homework even before she has reached home as enthusiastic parents post it immediately on the Whatsapp group. Their birthday parties are organised on Whatsapp complete with invitations. Parents beam pictures and videos on the Whatsapp group from the party. As if someone would hang you if you posted the pictures after the party.

Friends, we are living in this weird wired world and the new generation is fast adapting to technology. Children are far more intelligent than we were at that age. Gone are the days when we could say, “Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.” High time we changed ourselves or our children will move on and we will be left stranded singing I am all shook up, hmm hmm hmm…..

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2 weeks of travelling


Finally am back home on terra firma after a 11 days of travelling. Started off on Tuesday, March 2nd when I went to Bangalore in the morning and returned in the evening. Next day morning was on the flight to Delhi and returned the next day in the evening. Friday was my Father in Law’s knee replacement surgery so was there for most part of the day. Saturday worked from home and left in the afternoon for Dubai. Came back early Wednesday morning. Friday was in Gandhinagar for the day. So all in all had 8 flights in a span of 11 days. Man I was sick and tired of planes…. As a child such a prospect would enthral me but now no more. Finally am back home and am working away using my lap top and thanks to the Wi Fi can work on the dining table while Kavya does her preparations for upcoming assessments. In the last two weeks have barely been to the office but thanks to Internet and the connectivity have been in touch with the office most regularly.

Mobile Etiquette on flights

I was shocked when I landed from Bangalore into Delhi on Tuesday (July 14, 2009) night. As soon as we touched down, you could hear the SMSes flowing in and one great human had the audacity to call up his driver or whosoever came to receive him immediately upon touch down that he had landed and would be out in 10 minutes. My gosh here we are still taxi-ing down and mind you at high speeds but well I guess he was in some kind of an urgency to get home / wherever. I wonder what is the big hurry always?

Indigo Airlines seat confusion

Indigo is a low cost airline in India and their performance is amazing when it comes to punctuality. Hats off to them for that. Unfortunately the airline code is 6E and so every time I have travelled with them there is always someone else sitting in seat 6E and then someone coming and insisting that he / she get up. I hate that seat as it is in the centre but the placement of the airline code v/s the seat # on the boarding pass is such that one is always attracted to look at the airline code first….. Maybe some solution from the usability guys would be of help☺

Hopping Flight

Yesterday I had been to Jaipur with my dear friend and colleague, Harshad. I was telling him about my childhood craze for planes (not that he is not aware of it). I used to tell my Dad that I would love to travel from Mumbai to Delhi by the hopping flight. In those days, Indian Airlines was the only airline and had a hopping flight from Mumbai to Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur and then finally to Delhi. I was impressed by the fact that I would have 4 take offs and 4 landings!!! I never took that flight (and I don’t want to either now) but on Monday I am going from Mumbai to Kolkata enroute to Dhaka. The Mumbai Kolkata flight has a halt at Nagpur. I opted for that flight for sheer convenience but in hindsight who knows I may have been accomplishing my dream:-)

Reminiscing on a flight

Sitting in the plane to Delhi so am quite pensive. I recall my first flight when I was in Senior KG. Had taken a flight to Baroda from Bombay with Papa. It was a Dakota aircraft and distinctly remember that we got in and out from the tail of the aircraft. Still remember I was wearing a pink shirt for that flight. After that, must have flown quite a few times, don’t recall, but another recollection was the flight from Bombay to Porbandar. Pranav, Parul and me all excited about the fact that we were to fly down (We had the school concession forms in those days and so would get cheaper than normal fares). Remember Papa calling up my aunty in Porbandar the previous night and telling her that the three of us were so excited as if it were a trip to the moon. Times changed as I grew up but my craze for airlines never receded. I found a good friend in Herve (who still is very much in touch) and he and me had a common hobby aside of stamp collection – Both of us were airline crazy. I used to go about all the airline offices asking (if not begging:-) for posters and postcards. Used to collect luggage tags, playing cards, knives, spoons, forks of different airlines. It amazes me how crazy I was. I have asked my Dad to get me the cutlery from his flights (which he so lovingly did, something I am now embarrassed about:-) Herve went on to pursue his passion further and is now a flight purser with Air France (which enabled a trip to India way back in 1993 when we could meet). My passion is now limited to the collection of postcards (Last I asked for is on the flight back from Singapore and got a couple willingly:-) And I no longer am as excited about flying as I was when I was traveling to Porbandar or Baroda but I must admit, I still am thrilled by my collection of postcards.