My Toastmaster journey

I want to share a bit of myself. Some time ago, I attended an event and one of the officials asked me if I was a Toastmaster. I hid my inner irritation wondering if I looked like one. First mistake. Our comprehension of words and meaning could lead to a lot of misinterpretations. I just did one. I assumed that a Toastmaster was one who made toasts at parties. However, I stuck a smile on my face and looked appropriately innocent. She smiled and said, her husband felt I would make a good Toastmaster. So she invited me to check for the nearest club in my area. I smiled and was moving away when she added innocently,’ start one if there is none, you could also help in spreading that awareness’.
I stared at her, she was not seriously thinking I was going to be looking for a wine drinking club, was she?
In that mood, I expressed my dismay to my husband. He smiled and pointed out that the lady who talked to me is known as being very quiet and rarely said much. My performance had been to read a poem of mine. Mollified by that reasoning, I held my peace.
When we got back to my home, I was curious. Toastmasters? Might be good business for my master of ceremonies repertoire I said to myself.
I asked around for a Toastmasters club. People either smiled wondering if I wanted a drink or simply said they never heard of such a name. That got me really curious. So I googled it.
Stunned, I stared and stared. A body that helped you with communicating and leadership skills?
A self-improvement club, where you learn communicating skills. I stared at the byline or motto or whatever…Where leaders are made….
I apologized silently to the lady and continued my reading. A strong resolve flowered in me. I wanted to learn how to use the power of the word in communicating effectively. I might become a leader, but I am definite that I wanted to be a Toastmaster. It was that simple.
I am a Toastmaster, currently the president of Sunshine Toastmaster club in my town. I am having a very beautiful time learning about communication and leadership skills.
I am a leader in the making

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I remember

Memories are funny things. I remember today two score plus years ago. I just gave birth to a girl. I knew we were going to be friends. In a world then that felt so desolate and friendless, I felt the pull of a promise. I was losing consciousness and my Indian doctor was screaming into my ears to stay conscious. I was in despair, and her voice was receding but a word struck, ‘daughter’. It pushed me back. I struggled against the waves re-energized. I sensed she was going to be pissed if she learned I just gave in like that, so from a distance, I hurried back with apologies.

I remember my first contact to connect with my dad after he passed. It was kind of funny thing too. The message which I received that I was not to forget to be on the train. It was for me a very strange instruction. ‘You should be at the train station, board the train’. My anxiety not to miss the train, my excitement that I was going to meet my dad. That he would be waiting. I had so many questions I wanted to ask him. Most of all I wanted to let him know I missed his passing even if I had prepared for it a whole year ahead, It was not the thing, to go over to your dad and tell him he was going to depart soon. To feel the pain of his passing. One year of living in a daze trying to accept your best friend had left, and then the excitement of the impending reunion. You were aware that he had departed and you were going to see him in his new quarters.

I remember my curiosity as I watched the train move from the terminus and the faces of some of the passengers. Some of them were visitors like me, some of them were leaving permanently and were not so sure of where they were to drop from the train.
TO BE CONTINUED

As I get greyer

You know, there is something about getting grey. I always looked forward to getting grey. It makes me feel old. I always wanted to be old. I remember in my younger days, like 40 years back, I would simply admire my maternal grandma. Almost no teeth. gaps between her smiles, happiness got stuck on her face. I loved her a lot. There was a simplicity in her life. She would stare at me in awe and I would see the wonder in her eyes when I visited in my skimpy dress. There was concern that I would catch a cold. She would ask after me anxiously and wondered why I had a bird’s appetite.
My mother would laugh and say it was the new fangles fashion of eating sparingly. I would just laugh and hugged Grandma tight.
I was always curious and would ask endless questions. She never complained. It was thus very easy to visit her when she passed on. They gave her a simple room with minimal furniture and she seemed happy when I visited her. I talked about the tunnel then and I had joy explaining what could happen when the tunnel gets filled with lights. We talked about my mother and so many things. I have not visited again because she has moved to another part of existence. She may have even returned
So I am grey with strands of black in the grey. My grandchildren sometimes sit and watch me at the computer typing with maybe two fingers or picking out the letter. My grandson wonders why I never seem to stop typing or whatever, he is a wizard at dismantling things and putting them together, he wants to be a vet but for now, has a roomful of his comic drawings
What would it be like when I get to have y grey go really white like my grandma’s?
In today’s unwinding misery, will there be happy tales for me to tell my grandchildren? I am just one figure in a world that has lost its way home and we all stagger in the dark in the empty market place.
Even the ancients are now afraid to come out and dance in the market square in the varied costumes as masquerades
Why?
The ancients don’t have the internet and don’t know how to spell scam, or any of the strange words in the vocabulary of today’s