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Showing posts from March, 2008

Club contest

Friday I attended my first Toastmasters area contest. The setting was a conference room of a reputed Semiconductor company. The turnout was rather slim compared to my expectations. However, our club was very well represented and it was a jolly good time. I had managed to get into the contest by winning the impromptu speech contest at our club. So I was sufficiently nervous about having to perform on the stage.

But the real highlight of the show was the three prepared speeches made by relatively senior members of various clubs. What impressed me most about the experience was the ease with which the waltzed on stage and delivered their speeches. Not a care in the world. They showed no signs of effort or pretense. It was quite astounding.

What is it that makes us nervous about talking in front of a crowd? For me it is the sensation that people are watching me constantly expecting me to be interesting. I also have this perennial fear of looking the audience in the eye because I am scared I …

Journey and Character

Heard this from a friend over lunch:

"You need talent to get up the mountain. But you need character to stay up there."

Another one goes:

"Its not the destination but the journey that matters."

The problem is that I am in such an almighty hurry to climb the mountain and get to the destination that I doubt if I am building any character or enjoying the journey.

Come on

A year back it was Anna Nicole Smith. All leading news channels couldn’t stop talking about her death, her baby and everything else that surrounded her. Never mind that there was a war going on, an impending housing crisis and oil was at all time highs. Just when that was dieing down and you figured that the channels will focus back on the issues at hand, there came along Britney Spears and her little escapades. Not to mention the other minor distractions such as Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, The DC madam, the airport restroom rendezvous and everything else that kept us at the edge of our seats.

It’s almost as if the channels have decided that I am incapable of digesting real news in a decent fashion. Everything has to have drama and intrigue built into it. There has to be a sense of celebration and victory, anguish and defeat. Nothing in between seems to matter anymore. Is it that people can’t consume news in a normal fashion? Does listening to news have to be like reading a novel? Nam…

Why Obama!

As the primaries began I really didn’t care much for the process. My first experience of the primaries was lackluster to say the least. The contenders were uninspiring and really couldn’t speak two sentences without sounding almost apologetic about running the campaign.

That was four years ago. Today I have a whole different perspective on politics. Not because my cynicism for the process has decreased or that I envision a country that would transform into something completely different under the leadership of Barack Obama, but because I “HOPE” to see some of the critical changes that I yearn for in the nation’s political scene. Even if Barack Obama doesn’t achieve half the things he says he would, I would still be glad to see him get ahead in the primaries and move on to win the presidential elections.

Over the last eight years I have watched in utter dismay at the way politics has degenerated in America. In the late 90s, when I began following politics, Clinton was embroiled in his sc…