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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Kavya’s first Annual Day at Shishuvan


Thursday 9th February was the much awaited Annual Day at Shishuvan for Standard I. It was held at Mysore Association Hall on Bhaudaji Road. It started at 1530 and went on till about 1715 but it was fun to see ALL yes ALL the children perform on stage. The theme was about stories that they had read around the things they had learnt. Much of it was to do with animals. Kavya was the face of the elephant and 4 other children were with her as the body of the elephant. So far she had only danced on stage as part of the Shiamak Davar’s performances but this time she had to speak in front of a much smaller audience. And she spoke clearly and loudly. The story about the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse was enacted very well and the audience participation in that was good too which I am sure encouraged the children too.

My takeaway from the show was that since all the children were on stage, it was an equal chance given to one and all of them which was very nice. Every child is unique no doubt but when on stage they were all the same which was very nice. Last year she had cried when she was not selected for the Annual Day at DPYA and it had hurt us a lot then but life turns a full circle and she was on stage along with every one else and did well. Proud of you. Thank you Shishuvan.

Born with two left feet….

Yes that is me. I have never been able to dance …. But why this sudden subject? Got nothing to do with me…. Kavya is going to perform on Sunday at Shanmukhananda Hall as part of her Shiamak Davar’s class that she attends every Monday and Friday evenings. This is her 4th time as part of  Shiamak Davar group on stage and she is all revved up as ever. This time it is to the tunes of Dhoom again from Dhoom 2. I always wonder how she is able to dance so well when I just can’t move my body. She has made infinite attempts to make me dance. The worst was she wanted me to enact Waka Waka by Shakira. Jeez it was an insult to Shakira. Look at her waist line and look at my WASTE line….. And Kavya would expect me to do the steps just like she does. And then she will shout “Papa you can’t even do this much?” How do I tell you Kavya that I am just not into dancing. But the other day Prasana commented “May you dance in the pool” so yes maybe try that and gather the courage to go join Shiamak Davar for adults. Then maybe Kavya will be the happiest even if others would have a hearty laugh. Any tips for people like me? Do write in!

Free Style Swimming finally

After a long break I am back to the blog…. Yesterday for the first time I swam 25 metres ie half a lap of the pool that too twice. What is the big thing one might say? For starters I am a 44-year-old young man and to top it all I did it free style. Since I started swimming classes over a year ago, I learnt breast stroke and do 20 laps in the mornings non stop now in under 50 minutes. Have been trying to learn free style for some time now. But when it came to free style, I always made a hash of it by mixing the two strokes. I found it extremely difficult to unlearn breast stroke and get on with free style. Normally people adapt to free style first (or so I am told) and then take up other strokes but I am unique:-) I want to learn swimming at the ripe young age of 44! Kavya learnt free style first and is now learning breast stroke. She is always bewildered at the fact that I don’t know free style which she learnt so easily. But well she knows how to dance too whereas I am born with 2 left feet. But whatever be it I am now able to swim free style even if just a little. Some day I will dance with Kavya too:-) Who knows?

Dancing and Kavya

Kavya is so much into dancing that she is glued to the TV watching Dance India Dance on Zee TV. She starts the next class at Shiamak Davar on Tuesday and I hope to have her continue with her dancing rather than do all this phonics and mathematics or abacus. She loves to dance so why not cultivate that habit that she is passionate about? Of course this time there will be no stage performance like in December but who cares? She is all excited as ever about going back to Shiamak.

Kavya’s first dance

Kavya is extremely fond of dancing and Saturday, December 12, 2009 was when she danced on stage. She has joined Shiamak Davar and they had a grand event. It was excellent marketing of their dance academy but for once I am surely not complaining. Kavya’s group was the youngest (4 to 6 years of age) and under their teachers, Amol and Deepa they performed very well. As a Father, it was an emotional moment as she was doing what she really enjoyed. Proud of you my genius as always.

Kavya finally gets to dance:-)

This morning my cousin, Shilpa called that an advertisement had appeared in one of the papers on dance classes conducted by Shiamak Davar’s academy. I went this afternoon and enrolled Kavya for the same and guess what the classes are right here in Matunga. She starts from coming Thursday and I am so glad she will finally be dancing as she has always been very fond of it. They have some stage event in December (Winter Funk 2009) where performers (not people like me… with 2 left feet) get to dance…. I told her about it and she has been telling all about it that if I do well I will be on stage!! All revved up.

Thanks to Shilpa.