Saturday, 12 December 2015

Of December and other good things in life!


“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before its afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness, how the time has flown! How did it get so late so soon?” – had said Dr. Seuss!


A very good morning, dear Toastmasters! Today I am going to talk about the time of the times, the month of the months. I am going to talk about – The Delights of December!

December brings with it sights, sounds and sumptuous tastes that are unique to its nature.




(Sights)

It starts with a sheet of white across the glass frame of the door, one which goes from transparent to opaque as the calendar counts up. The fog! The fog appears as if the moon from last night has left its trail behind, as if it is as unwilling to leave the sky as much as we are to leave the bed, the blanket. As the day progresses, the early rays of the Sun pierce through the clouds and the mists. The soft beam of light brings a celebration that can only be coupled up with a hot, steaming cup of coffee! You step out into the balcony, and tiny frizzles, almost of the size of small salt crystals, shine back at you. The Sun has finally announced its arrival, and the fog that has melted into dewdrops will soon evaporate back into the air. “Mr. Sun, Mr. Sun, shine on me!” – my daughter sings to the sunlight. You wish you could just hold on to the moment, just hold it a little more before you have to step into the reality, the practical life, the series of activities that are lined up for the day.

(Sounds!)

December brings some unique sounds with it - the church bells, the morning masses, the melody of carols playing. And of course, the titter-tatters of picnic gangs or children visiting the zoo, the incessant debates of colleagues and friends who cannot still decide over their Christmas holiday trips – will it be the deserts or the hills, forests or the seas.

But that’s not all. As you dare the morning fogs and mists, brave out of the blanket, and walk out into Nature closer to the trees, if you hear intently, you’ll hear something different, something very special. Right, it is that time of the year when they visit us! There are those species of birds that fly across the seven seas to beat the cold, and they find their winter homes in the trees around us. However, as the ecological balance tilts towards the danger mark, with global warming becoming the order of the day, these special little guests have now become more infrequent. One day, let us hope we get back to the balance in life and on earth. One day, we hope we have the heart, the conscience, to wake up to the warning bells. That day, these tiny friends of ours will get back their share of space in the air, in the sky. They’ll fly across the continents in large numbers to visit us again when it will become December!


(Tastes)

Coming to tastes! The tastes that December brings with it - I’d say - do not taste the same if tasted on any other month of the year. As much as we may love the choco-lava or the white cream cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and every other celebration throughout the year, December is the time for baked fruitcakes! The smell of slightly burnt flour, the brown crust filled with dry-fruits and dark chocolate chips, the silver of the aluminum foil that cases the cake, they all make up for the memory, the beauty and the nostalgia of Christmas and New-year eves.




However, December is not just about indulging in your sensory organs. December has many, many more sides to itself.


For one, is a month of strange opposites! The time to do a stock-taking! To check, what we collected, achieved, or won. To see, what all we have lost, what we had to let go. What do we take, what do we leave behind, what do we make out of the year that will, sooner than you realize, become a matter of the past.



Mind you - it is the time for the annual performance appraisals too. To everyone in this room, a very good luck towards that! However, life is not just about our professional performances, is it? Personally too, December is perhaps a time to look back, and to look forward at the same time! It is perhaps a convenient time for us to stop and think. What we want, where we go, how far have we come? What went right, and what didn’t. Are we on the right track? What, if any, would we want to change! What have we got, what do we want?

Really, what do we want? Do we even know what we want, what we really want?

That other day, my little daughter was wondering aloud what she wants from Santa Claus this year. Of course, her list keeps changing every time we bring this up. As she started again, with fresh new items being added to her list, and I pointing out to her that she already has most of what she is asking for, she bulldozes me back with a question: “Mum, okay, you tell me, what you want from Santa Claus?”

I cannot make an immediate reply to her. I stop!

To be honest, I am still searching for an appropriate answer. Really, I have been wondering about what to ask from Santa Claus. No, it doesn’t matter that I now know that Santa Claus really doesn’t come down the water pipe in the middle of the night and deliver me a wrapped box of surprise. For me, it is important to understand if I know, myself, that one thing that can make me happy, happy as a child.

What is that one thing that would make me happy, that would make me ask for no more, nothing else? It’s strange how these simple questions become so complicated, intimidating, haunting if I may, as we grow up.


Why, it is so easy for us to draw up our list of New Year resolutions! Joining the gym, cutting the flab, saving money, making trips, going home for Diwali! Why is it, then, so difficult for me, for us, to think of that one thing that can make us happy, happy as a child?

Do you know what it will be, for you?

I urge you, this December - let us not break our little heads over New Year resolutions in terms of diets, money, and material possessions. Instead, let us find out the answer to this simple question – what is that one thing that will make us happy, happy as a child?

Think about it, decide over it, buy yourself that thing this 25th December, Be happy, happy as a child, even if it for just one day. If you cannot think if anything, just go out and buy yourself some flowers, at least. Believe in Santa Claus, become your own Santa Claus for a day, this December! Get happy!



A merry Christmas to all of you here! Thank you!!



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Project 4 - How to Say It
Words are powerful. They convey your message and influence the audience and its perception of you. Word choice and arrangement need just as much attention as speech organization and purpose. Select clear, accurate, descriptive and short words that best communicate your ideas and arrange them effectively and correctly. Every word should add value, meaning, and punch to the speech.

Time:5 - 7 minutes
Objectives: • Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly.
 • Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas.
 • Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words. Use correct grammar.

Links to:

CC1 | CC2 | CC3 | CC4 | CC5 | CC6 | CC7 | CC8 | CC9 | CC10


Here is what I presented for my fourth speech in the Competent Communications journey! This one, well, fetched me a Best Speaker of the Meeting award! :)



Did this help you? Do you want to discuss, or share a view? Leave me a comment in the box below!