On speaking well in English

This post is written based on the indispire_170x110 prompt

Does speaking well in English add a sparkle to the personality of a person? If ‘yes’, then do you feel it is right? Share your views.

Let me analyze this question part by part. Starting with, speaking in English. English is an optional language; not mandatory. Depending on the scenario and its demands, communicating in English becomes an added advantage. Especially, given India’s multi-lingual population, when you’re addressing people in a common platform, then English comes in handy. So, yes, being able to effectively communicate in English does add sparkle to one’s resume, may be, but not necessarily one’s personality.

Next, speaking well in English. what does that word ‘well’ mean? To use flowery words and make it sound polished? Or to use simple language and get the meaning straight? My choice is the latter. ‘Keep it simple and to the point’ is what, according to me, determines how effective English communication is. Again, take the example of addressing a gathering. Only when the audience understands what is being spoken and be one with the flow, will the purpose of addressing be served. Else it will fall into deaf ears. Words will go in vain. To help them understand, speaker must be able to gather their attention through various means such as making it an interactive session or by quoting real-life examples through audio-video medium. Options galore. To achieve all these, speaker must be an expert in explaining and relating them in words with the audience. Here comes ‘speaking well’ in handy. And that speaker is appreciated for his ability to keep the audience’s attention intact and achieving the agenda. That speaker could be I, you or anybody and the situation could be anything.. ranging from school/college/work presentations, a political party’s meeting, an oratory competition or even a family gathering. In all these situations, depending on its demands, speaking well in English does add value and sparkle to one’s personality for that person is hailed as a very good orator.

To conclude, yes, speaking well in English does add a sparkle to one’s personality when it helps serve the purpose of conveying what is intended to be conveyed to the intended audience.

[Children’s Day] To the child in all and sundry!

Children’s day – pulls you back to those good old days where you had joys a ton and worries none. To walk through my childhood memories, has been one of my favorites to do during my leisure. Memories of different shades – happy and sad. But I choose to reminisce the happy times. Let me share one. A peculiar one at that. As a child, every one of us had a habit that gave immense happiness and pleasure doing it. Lying down/ sleeping peacefully 0n a swing, being carried on the shoulders, being given a piggy-back ride, or being taken for a walk around the house by placing your feet on someone else’s feet – to recall a few. I found my happiness in emptying the talcum powder tin on to the floors! Weird right? Ha! Children do weird stuffs!!

My initial years of infancy and then childhood were spent in BSNL quarters – 4 flats. We lived in the ground floor and my favorite place next to my home was our adjacent flat. If not sleeping, I would be in their home entertaining them and getting entertained as well. First thing I do after entering their home is to seek that old white color Gokul Sandal talcum powder tin. I have always found it placed within my reach. Wondering how, despite knowing what I would do to it, they never changed its place!! Such good people they were! Too good to deprive me off my fun, I guess!! I remember how I held the tin- upside down, both of my tiny hands holding it firmly, giving it a firm shake as fast as those delicate hands of a child could and at that moment, I was the happiest person! An unrestrained excitement I derived out of that action –an action that makes no sense now but at one time, my source of joy! I was a peace-loving kid, you see, no harm caused to anyone in any manner!   😀

Years passed. I grew up. Life changed and with it, my likes and dislikes too. In the process of growing up, that inner child was wounded and put to rest, never to return. Sadly. That fun might have long gone and I don’t get kicked up seeing powder tins anymore, but memories of me doing it continues to live, in my mind and in the minds of those lovely people who were generous enough to purchase a new tin every single time I emptied one!! During every single meeting, even after years, they recollect how gleefully I used to do it and how my face glowed in happiness! That’s the power of smiling from within, making it all a play! We have grown up, for good, discontinued childhood habits, for better. But, the best is yet to come and come it will, when you re-discover that inner child within you – the source of happiness and playfulness. It is never too late to smile from within, to see a place/ person through the eyes of a child and make it all a play!! It is high time we let the wild child in us loose, every now and then!! Here is to those good old days of the past and its reincarnation in the future!! Happy Children’s Day to the child in you!!

[Poem] A fairy and her gifts!!

A conversation between a mother and her kid. A poem or a rhyme (if I may say so!) emphasizing the habit of eating properly and sleeping early! Lines in Blue are of mother’s and that are in Black are of the kid’s. Enjoy!!  🙂

Hey dear! Come near!

It’s time to have food!!

No mother, I’m very busy!

Nah! Nah! It’s not that easy!

Come dear, the moon is here!

No mother, it is dark, I fear!

No fear when I’m near!

Come, come, there is someone over there!

On the moon? Where? Where?

A black figure on the moon…See there! *points out at moon*

Who is she, mother, so scary!!!

Not scary, she is a fairy!

Toys and chocolates she gifts daily!

But only to good kids, truly! *smirks*

*frowns* who is a good kid, tell me?

One who completes his food and goes to sleep early!

*rolls eyes* I’m hungry and feeling sleepy, mother!

*smiles* I know dear, come, let’s eat together!

This is inline with the indispire_170x110prompt “For this children’s day, write something for kids (0-8 years). Anything- a story, a poem, a rhyme, or a new fairytale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not everyone is a smartphone addict

Back to blogging after 2 days break. Weekend gave me little leisure to have a WhatsApp chat with my cousin (lives abroad) that lasted more than an hour. At the end, I felt so good. I must disagree the saying that chatting can never be as good as speaking over call (face-to-face is out of the question here). I felt no such difference. My Father-in-law, having noticed me being glued to mobile for a long time, commented, “You’ve become addicted to it!!” The usual, yes. I tried reasoning him that I was doing something good. Of course, chatting with cousins/friends is good.. I’m staying in touch with them! After all you’re having good time and your relationships continue to survive.

Hearing such comments isn’t new to me as I have heard others comment the same to youngsters of their acquaintance and have seen many who are of strong opinion that the more the time you spend with smart mobiles the more aloof you become with people at home. That physical connection is lost. I do agree but with few conditions applied on it. Watching movies, youtube videos and playing games CONTINUOUSLY, checking social media at an interval of 5 minutes – if someone does all or more than one of these, then he/she falls under the category of “Smartphone addict”. But someone who OCCASIONALLY spends more time chatting with someone who is close to him/her, trying to connect/ reconnect, build/rebuild relationships, doesn’t come under that category. Actually, you can’t categorize them at all. They do understand the meaning of smartphones: that watching videos or playing games are for relaxation and that relaxation shouldn’t prolong to an extent that it victimizes the physical connection. There are people who exactly know how it would feel if someone were desperately in need to talk to someone who is too engrossed in mobile to even lift face, look at the face and listen. So, my request to people whose impression is so, is not to generalize everyone under “Smartphones addict” category. If you belong to the group of people who get miffed at the sight of prolonged mobile usage, then, before uttering any comments, make sure to know what one is up to. He/she might actually be trying to stay connected with the loved ones. Also, among those that are at receiving end for constant mobile usage, there are a few who have really understood one of the objectives of smartphones – stay connected in addition to being physically connected and they also know it is not to replace that physical connection!!

A fascinating love story

She longed for his return.

To feel his soothing touch.

To quench her thirst.

To revive their magic.

To be together.

To dance together.

To sing the tunes of love.

To relive their happy memories.

He arrived, at last.

Engulfed her.

She, a paper. He, a pen.

Together they wrote an ever fascinating love story.

Oh yes!! Rain met the Earth!!

[Day 10] Unusual scenes on Deepavali

Note: Taking advantage of festive days, I am considering this as my 10th day.

On the day of Deepavali, after Ganga snanam and the routine, I sat on the balcony. I don’t burst crackers but take a lot of pleasure in watching the high-spirited kids do it. In my home town (not a city like Bangalore), I am used to such sights during every Deepavali. “When in a place without any apartment, kids could gather and enjoy to great extent, in our apartment, with more kids living under same roof, it must be much more than that”, I thought!! When I peeped down, I expected scenes like, a bunch of kids, fighting with fear and the joy at the same time, go ahead to light a cracker and immediately rush back to safe place! Boom!! Followed by Hurray!! What did I see? Empty pavement. Empty benches. Then came a boy- must be around 10-11 years old. His hands held not crackers but a smart phone. He sat on the bench. By the movement of his hands that held the phone, I understood he was playing a game. After few minutes, another one joined him. Then came next. After, say 10 minutes, they were a gang of 5 boys trying to beat each other in that game. Yes, there was a shout of Hurray!! but that wasn’t out of a cracker’s  bust. Do you see the change here? Do you see what kids of current generation are missing? “Come together and have fun in each others’ company” has now shifted to “come together and have fun with each other’s mobiles”. I see such scenes regularly in the evening time when kids are supposed to play with each other, not with mobiles. Parallel to this another sight that caught my attention was that of a group of adults playing shuttlecock. I’m glad that they take time to come out and play. I also thought, “When they can do it, why can’t they prod their kids to accompany them or just make an attempt to change the mentality of kids?” Is this what we call by the fancy name of “Generation Gap”? Where are we going wrong?

[Day 9] Recognizing the voices of universe

Every day, I use BMTC bus to reach office. A 40 minutes travel. Being around people whom you know not, is always an advantage. Either you can strike a conversation with the person sitting next to you and learn something out of it or you can silently observe them and learn – when in public, what to do and what not to, how to behave and how not to, their qualities/attitudes through their deeds. All of them silently impart a valuable lesson.

Today I sat next to a senior citizen who was reading The Hindu newspaper. I guess ‘engrossed’ is the right word here. He carefully turned the pages, neatly folded it – all pages in line and continued reading. After some time, he took a pen out and underlined few words. I was taken aback because I am used to people reading papers but not this! Many may do it but, personally, I haven’t seen one yet. I thought he was marking the words for which he didn’t know the meaning. Since I had WordWeb dictionary app installed in my mobile, I wanted to use it and help him understand that article better and then carry on with the other.

I asked him, ‘Uncle, are you underlining the words that are new to you? Want to know the meaning? I have a dictionary that can help you’.

He replied, ‘Thanks for asking, I know the meaning but haven’t used them much in daily conversations. So, I often tend to forget. By underlining such terms and usages, I give them special attention. Later, I write them in my notebook along with an example sentence. It is my habit to read the notebook, every day morning, from its start. I try to use them in daily conversation as and when they are relevant and possible. This is how I learn new languages and improve my skills.’

Wondering at him, I replied, ‘Great idea! I will try to follow it!’

Then, he continued, ‘Good. By giving special attention, you separate them from the usual and well known. You make them exclusive and easy to recognize. Same applies to life as well. You want to get better at or achieve something, focus your attention towards it and work on it every day!! You will accomplish whatever you want to, one day!’

He smiled and got off the bus in the next stop. A casual conversation ended up teaching me a valuable lesson!

How magical it is to hear the universe speaking to you – through a conversation, an action and its reaction; through the people, a newspaper headline, an advertisement board. If only we are awake and recognize its voice!

[Day 8] On controlling oneself and others

I read this quote on an advertisement board of a Yoga-teaching institute- ‘You can’t control what is going on outside but you can control what is going on inside’. It can be perceived in ways not one but many! It could be something along the lines of one’s own deeds or one’s reaction towards someone else’s deeds, of words uttered or one’s reaction towards the words uttered by someone else. As I mull over the events associated with the above mentioned points, few memories pop up.

One is of the young lad whose behavior I discussed in this article on waste management. He hardly cared about proper disposal of his coffee cup so much that even after insistence, he didn’t drop it inside the bin! That was his deed. What was my reaction? First time I saw him throw away heedlessly, I asked him to drop it inside bin (my action:1). When he didn’t, I picked it up myself and dropped inside (my action:2). Now, read the quote mentioned in the first line. I tried once but couldn’t control his negligent action (an outsider). Next, I changed my method and did what he was supposed to do. So, my action was under my control and I chose wise (I believe). Now, that Yoga quote, when related with this incident, makes perfect sense to me.

Next memory is from my wedding shopping. After checking dozens of saree, I liked one in bright orange color. Thought it would be perfect for reception. But, I was in dilemma – whether to go with it or not…for the fear of orange being a candy color and of my choice being ridiculed. After deliberation, I realized that what others think and say is their business. What I feel about what they think and say, is mine and both must be parallel! I bought it and went ahead with my plan. My selection was appreciated by many, to my surprise! Again, that Yoga quote – that how I feel (inside) about others is under my control, makes perfect sense now.

You may fail in controlling/changing the way one speaks; You may fail in controlling/changing the way one acts; You may fail in controlling/changing the way one lives but remember, YOU  can change YOURS and show the right way!

[Day 7] Who can be a hero?

We often hear people say that we need to be an inclusive society that would not only be compassionate to those less fortunate but also create environs that could give them a feeling of self worth. By less fortunate, I mean the differently-abled people. Though we see tremendous development in every sector, we hardly see anything manufactured/built/designed that are friendly for them to use. We rarely see a lift with buttons that also have braille. Ramps are missing in most theatres. Employers continue to hesitate to recruit them despite being well qualified for the job. All they need is someone who’ll see them for whom they are and their skill to fight, conquer the odds and not what they miss. Someone who makes them feel acknowledged, respected, recognized and duly given that chance they truly deserve. If that happens, that someone will be their hero!! It could be any tom, dick and harry who brings about that change in their life!! It’s normal for us to feel compassionate for them but we must remind ourselves to not confuse it with pity and worse still, express that emotion.  Instead, channelizing that compassion towards creating a better world for them will be the heroic deed!

I am fortunate to befriend one such person who has dedicated her life for the betterment of differently-abled people!! She is Ms. Pavithra YS, from Bangalore. In June 2006, at the age of 22, she started Vindhya, a BPO organization in Bangalore whose employee base majorly consists of people with disabilities (PWD’s) as of its production staff. Its production staff comprises mainly of physically challenged, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, socially disadvantaged women & Border cases of Autistic, it also focuses on women from BPL families to complement the rest of the workforce. She has even learnt sign language in order to converse with hearing impaired people and be one among them to understand and address their needs in a better way.

In the current scenario where the world pities and treats them differently, she has started a new company exclusively for them thereby providing a platform to showcase their skills, confidence and prove the world wrong! She has given them a chance to use their skills, live off their own earnings and lead a dignified life. Prior to this, she was as normal as anyone you come across in daily life. But, now, she is a hero in the eyes of thousands of people!!

When you’re in deep dumps of despair, arms that reaches out to you to rescue, can belong to anyone and that ‘anyone’ will be your hero!!

PS: To know more about her and company, click here.

This post is inline with indispire_170x110topic

What makes a person a hero? Can anyone become a hero? If yes, how?