Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Project 4 Speech at Toastmasters - How to say it

Project 4 speech is considered as a very important milestone in Toast Masters's communication track, in fact many people believe this should be taken as the first sign, of one being serious about achieving his or her Competent Communicator goal. So following that trend, I recently delivered my Project 4 speech at Orators, the Toast Master club that I am part of. I am not going to list down the speech objectives, as they have been described at length, quite beautifully in Toast Master Competent Communicator manuals. The speech text follows

Kirr..Thuck..Kirrrrr..Thuck..KirrrrrrrrrrrrrrR..Haan haan haah. When I woke up, I realized it was not my mobile's alarm, but the doorbell, which was ringing; ringing out loud; loud enough to wake up even the dead. I got down from my bed, started walking with my legs as heavy as those of an elephant. I reached the main-gate while still rubbing my eyes. Kya SaaB, Etna Der Se Baja Raha Hai , Bhains kee mafik so raha tha Kya (I am knocking for a long time, but you were sleeping like a buffallo. I saw my maid thundering like a rocket (Dhech Kaun. Dhech Kaun.. taking evasive action..) I didn't say anything. As has been the norm set earlier, I only said Sorry, promised that from next day onwards, she will not have to complain about anything and let her enter my house.

Fellow toastmasters and guest, right then I suddenly saw something, which had the potential of setting the tone for rest of the day, may be even rest of my life. As I stood in my balcony, I saw two young girls making their way towards my house, one as gorgeous as a greek goddess and other as ugly as a wicked vamp frequently seen in 70’s-80’s bollywood movies. I have understood physics, Einstein’s relativity theory, maths, numbers; how infinity plus infinity equals infinity, I have even understood how India TV shows live ghosts talking to its journalists. (l have even figured out how Amitabh Bachchan starts his day using Big Babool tooth-pase, apply Boro Plus on his face, consume Dabur Chyawanprash, get dressed in a Reid and Taylor suite and drive down a Ferrari and end his day with a blog on BigAdda : I had to skip it, because of time-constraint). But I have failed; failed miserably in understanding why a good-looking girl is almost always accompanied with an equally bad-looking one. (Optional : Describe their clothing, their jewellery, nail-polish etc to create picture … : Again skipped due to time-crunch), a classic case of Rakhi Sawant giving company to an Aishwarya Rai.

But I was not distracted, my eyes were firmly fixed on my target that is the good-looking one, very much like an eagle eyeing its prey. I waited anxiously with bated breath for their arrival. When they were at a stone’s throw way, I got excited. But those high hopes were soon to be left high and dry. When they came close enough, I heard a word; an unforgettable word which was not to be forgotten for the rest of my life. Uncle !! Uncle !! 

I looked around, but could not spot anybody. I was convinced that these ladies had inadvertently called me Uncle, One single word “Uncle” poured gallons of cold water onto all my dreams, I was shattered, my world came crashing down into heaps. Dejected, disgusted, and devastated, I slammed the door behind and made a quiet exit from the scene. It was time to introspect. I got up and looked into the mirror. I discovered that the Y and Z co-ordinates for my body were becoming more prominent than my X-coordinates. I said to myself “This is not the end of world”. I decided to loose weight and look as macho as Hrithik Roshan, as muscular as The Great Khali. But I didn’t know where to start ?? As I was making up my mind, suddenly I noticed a gentleman, as thin as a toothpick, driving an auto in-front of my house. At the back of his auto, I saw a huge poster of Arnold proudly flashing his over-toned biceps and bulging muscles. At the right hand corner, a mobile number was listed along with a tall claim “Build a dream body in 2 week’s time”, I memorized the number and hurriedly wrote it down on a piece of paper at a speed, reminiscent of the promptness, Digvijay Singh shows in issuing controversial statements.

I called up the number, enrolled myself with a subscription costing way more than my salary. But help came from unexpected corners, HSBC, ICICI, HDFC I had plastic cards, not one, not two but a whole bunch of them. I also bought a treadmill for my morning jog and a couple of dumb-bells for my biceps, non-existent by the way. But, I over-estimated my own capabilities, like most of us do, when putting your alarm-clock before going to bed. I was my usual self, lazy, lethargic, laid-back and hardly used any of these equipments. After a week, I noticed my maid doing innovative things with these equipments. She had a perennial complain w,r,t a cloth-hanger, she finally found one in my treadmill. She used to crib about non-availability of mixer-and-grinder. She used my unused dumb-bells for that. I was glad that if not me, at least these equipments are being put to good use by maid and in-fact have made her happy.

But honeymoon doesn’t last forever, do they ?? The worst was about to come. I started receiving numerous calls and messages from the Retail Store reminding me of the balance payment due on my last purchase. When I skipped my credit-card payment, banks didn’t leave any stone unturned in announcing me as a defaulter, a fugitive and letting me know, that I am far more dangerous than a dreaded gangster like Dawood Imbrahim and more corrupt than even A.Raja. After multiple default on my payments, the recovery-agents thronged my house. I had a live-demo of Judo-Karate and Marshal-Art at my house, as I received a royal thrashing from them. I landed in a government hospital, thanks to my roommate. Battered, bruised and injured, I always thought about my dream, a sweat dream, that had just turned into a horrible nightmare ; a nightmare, which haunts me even today. When I got discharged from hospital, I was barely recognizable, as I had lost almost half of my body weight. I had finally achieved my goal, that of loosing weight, albeit via an unconventional path; not by 5 KG, not by 10Kg, but a full 50%. It was like getting a 50% discount, when we go shopping at Big Bazaar.

My journey towards a lighter, thinner version of myself, had finally come to an end. But with so many twists and turns, it couldn’t have been more eventful and exciting. Over to you, ToastMaster.

PS: It was again a cooked up story, but was liked by all fellow Toast Master members and my evaluators alike. In fact, I was one of the very few members in our Orators club, to have cleared Project 4 speech on their first attempt :-)

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Prahlad Patidar said...

Wow!!!!!! what a beautiful piece of writing. Very funny, melodious and vivid narrative.

gandhali.inamdar said...

Beautifully written...the metaphors...too good...

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