Saturday, 28 March 2015

Toastmasters Project Ice Breaker - "Journey Of My Life"

CC 1 - Ice Breaker

Speech Objectives -

- To begin speaking before an audience.
- To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.
- To introduce yourself to your fellow club members.

Time allotted 4-6 min

There is a famous saying‘Change is inevitable’ and I believe that it exactly epitomes my life.

To begin with, I would like to share with you the story of my name. When I was born, my parents were told that I should be named with letter ‘Da’ based on some astrological calculations. Now this letter being quite unique and not many options to choose from led to a chaos amongst my family members and I went on to be nameless for almost 5 months. One day when my dad was travelling in train he came across a magazine named “Niharika”, this name quite fascinated him and this is how I was named based on a magazine cover after a struggle of 5 months.

As I started growing up, my curiosity made me realize that every name has a meaning and I was fascinated with all new names.. When I would ask my family elders what my name meant, they used to give me blank look and would say It was based on a magazine cover, This used to really infuriate me and I used to imagine myself with some fancy name which I saw on Television. One day I finally figured out what my name meant, and this really excited me.

“ Niharika is a Sanskrit term which means Galaxy”. This really enthralled me and I felt really connected to this, since childhood I had a great fascination for stars and planets. I was imaginative as a kid with lots of dreams and I wouldn’t shy away to agree on this fact even today. This discovery further broadened the horizons of my imagination.

As I was growing up, I decided that I would become a teacher and would teach Science to my students. I used to have these imaginative classes with all my toys named after my teachers and classmates whom I hated the most. I liked this idea of supervising and bossing around and used to practice that regularly in my imagination by giving my student lots of homework and scolding them as much as possible. This practice continued till I was in 7 standard and I would teach my students all that I knew about the world of galaxies. Though my obsession and fascination with my name kept growing but I soon got bored of the profession that I chose and I needed a change.

I grew in North Indian in a city called Lucknow and was surrounded by people who were in this rat race to qualify for IITs, AIIMS, AFMC etc. This was the time when Kalpana Chawla became famous and soon I had some new ambitions in my life. I decided that I should work harder and pursue studies in aeronautical engineering and somehow join NASA, so I also started working harder to join the geeks, again it was all because of my obsession with my name.

I didn’t make it top universities but did finish my graduation by moving to South India and pursued my masters. I was finally into to a new corporate world full of IT geeks. As soon as I reached here, I was surrounded by people who would boast of their travel to countries like Europe, UK, USA. Soon this travel bug bit me and I decided that I should be a globe trotter and stick to IT, as I could travel at company’s expense. Thankfully, no obsession with my name here. Finally after a struggle of 5 years I got an opportunity to travel but it wasn’t that exciting for me as the place I was deputed to South Africa. I thought at least something is better than nothing. It had its own share of good and bad experiences, but I feel happy about it.

As I look back today, I feel as I have grown, my dreams and ambitions kept on changing and would continue changing till I grow older. It is like a roller coaster ride, a roller coaster ride because there is no fun in life without adventure. This adventure is ignited with this change which is inevitable. On this note, I would like to close my speech and before I leave would like to remind that my name is Niharika and I continue being obsessed with my name.

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