A Good Mentor

A portion of the newsletter

Once upon a time, in a deep jungle, lived a great master.
One fine day a pupil joined him with high aspirations.

In his first learning task, the master told him, "Go and see my garden."
After pupil's return, the master asked, "What did you see?"
The pupil replied, "Master, I saw many charming birds flying in your beautiful garden. I want to encage some and feel their flying spirit.
Master replied, "Go again and look, listen and learn."

Next day, the master asked, "What did you see?"
The pupil replied, "Gurudev, I saw many charming birds in your beautiful garden, I wish if I were a bird I would fly higher and dipper in the sky."
The master replied, "Go again and look, listen and learn."

Next day, the master asked, "What do you see?"
The pupil replied, "Gurudev, I saw many charming birds flying in your beautiful garden. They are birds, gifted with flying skills and I am a human being, gifted with observation skills. Their duty is to fly high and my duty is to observe deep. I have no right to encage or emulate them."
The master replied, "Now, you are learning."

Above parable demonstrates the perfect way of mentorship. The good mentor is not the one who presents the refined intellect to their mentees but the one who inspires his mentees to refine their own intellect. Mentorship is also not "Learning-by-seeing or listening", but it is “Learning-by-doing".

Penned by,
Toastmaster Mithilesh Kumar
(Published in TOIT, May 2016 Edition, Infosys Toastmasters Newsletter, inspired from a famous essay of great Hindi poet and author Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan 'Agyeya' )

Toastmasters tall tale contest speech


Recording



Script

History of Rama Krishna Venkatasubbaiah

Dated May 326 BC, on the banks of River Jhelam, on North-eastern boarder of India, in the wee hours there was a mass attack against King Porus's left flank by the Great Alexander's army. The heavy armor-piercing bows of Indian unarmored soldiers were proving inaccurate on slippery ground. The 200 elephants were busy in guarding the frontal attack.  Alexander's horse archers were showering the Indian right cavalry wing. And his armored Companion cavalry was overwhelming the Indian left cavalry with Alexander leading the charge.

While the rest of the Indian soldiers were struggling in the battle, one man was guarding his king with his full vigor- The mahout of the king. He saved his king’s life before getting slain.
The bravery, war skills and princely attitude of King Porus’s mahout led the genesis of my Today’s central character- Rama Krishna Venkatsubbaiah.

Mr. Contest Chair, fellow toastmasters and dear guests, good evening!
Meet a Karorpati clerk in Bruhat Bangalore Municipal Corporation, Rama Krishna Venkatasubbaiah. Rama, a fan of actor Shiva Rajkumar, is a jovial, down to earth, highly ethical, multi-lingual man who sometimes misses his Brahmanical rituals but never misses under the table offerings.
Rama’s impeccable command of Hindi came from his mother Laxmi who eloped with his father, a bloodline of great Rajendra Chola, during posting in Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, leaving behind her land lord family that had lost their fortune. Rama’s grandfather was an active contributor to Congress during freedom struggle.

Rama's remaining ancestors were related to Rajputana, Mughals, Delhi Sultanate, Gupta period, Maurya, Vedic era, Harappa. In logical sense, he is a true descendant of an Indian gene. In true sense, we all are different but one. On the contrary, we civilized animals have divided ourselves amongst nonsensical castes, regions and religions, and each division vouches for its superiority over others.

Rama's historically unparalleled genealogy gifted him with the most special skills ever discovered by mankind. As in - He got Sanitation and Purity from Harappa, Valor from Magadha and Mewar, Ingenuity from the Delhi Sultanate, Patriotism from the Freedom movement.  
He is also carrying with him the early human deadly sins - Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride.

In spite of having 5000 years old illustrious past we are still lagging behind all the major economies of present time – America, Australia, Canada, Singapore who don’t have even 300 years old history.
In the past, our rulers often lost their ways by dividing us in the narrow confinement of caste and race, as a result we were defeated several times from the likes of Alexander to the British.  At present, we 1.3 billion human survivors, are still fighting with each other for regions, religions, castes and caste based reservations and being played by the ruling class.

It is us who will create our history not our past or the lineage. So, dear friends, let us stop judging people based on name, place and identity and start respecting ability, quality and diversity.
On this note, let me close the history of Rama Krishna Venkatasubbaiah.
Over to you Mr. Contest Chair!  

Draupadi by Mahashweta Devi

Draupadi

1

Name Dopdi Mejhen, age twenty-seven, husband Dulna Majhi (deceased), domicile Cherakhan, Bankrajharh, information whether dead or alive and/or assistance in arrest, one hundred rupees. . .
     An exchange between two liveried uniforms.
     FIRST LIVERY: What's this, a tribal called Dopdi? The list of names I brought has nothing like it! How can anyone have an unlisted name?
     SECOND: Draupadi Mejhen. Born the year her mother threshed rice at Surja Sahu (killed)'~ at Bakuli. Surja Sahu's wife gave her the name.
     FIRST: These officers like nothing better than to write as much as they can in English. What's all this stuff about her?
     SECOND: Most notorious female. Long wanted in many. . .
     Dossier: Dulna and Dopdi worked at harvests, rotating between Birbhum, Burdwan, Murshidabad, and Bankura. In 1971, in the famous
Operation Bakuli, when three villages were cordoned off and machine gunned, they too lay on the ground, faking dead. In fact, they were the main culprits. Murdering Surja Sahu and his son, occupying upper-caste wells and tubewells during the drought, not surrendering those three young men to the police. In all this they were the chief instigators. In the morning, at the time of the body count, the couple could not be found. The blood-sugar level of Captain Arjan Singh, the architect of Bakuli, rose at once and proved yet again that diabetes can be a result of anxiety and depression. Diabetes has twelve husbands-among them anxiety.
     Dulna and Dopdi went underground for a long time in a Neanderthal darkness. The Special Forces, attempting to pierce that dark by an armed search, compelled quite a few Santals in the various districts of West Bengal to meet their Maker against their will. By the Indian Constitution, all human beings, regardless of caste or creed, are sacred. Still, accidents like this do happen. Two sorts of reasons: (I), the under- ground couple's skill in self-concealment; (2), not merely the Santals but
all tribals of the Austro-Asiatic Munda tribes appear the same to the Special Forces.

     In fact, all around the ill-famed forest of Jharkhani, which is under the jurisdiction of the police station at Bankrajharh (in this India of ours, even a worm is under a certain police station), even in the southeast and southwest corners, one comes across hair-raising details in the eyewitness records put together on the people who are suspected of attacking police stations, stealing guns (since the snatchers are not invariably well educated, they sometimes say "give up your chambers" rather than give up your gun), killing grain brokers, landlords, moneylenders, law of- ficers, and bureaucrats. A black-skinned couple ululated like police sirens before the episode. They sang jubilantly in a savage tongue, in-comprehensible even to the Santals. Such as:

Samaray hijulenako mar goekope
and,
Hende rambra keche keche
Pundi rambra keche keche
     This proves conclusively that they are the cause of Captain Arjan Singh's diabetes.
     
Government procedure being as incomprehensible as the Male Principle in Sankhya philosophy or Antonioni's early films, it was Arjan Singh who was sent once again on Operation Forest Jharkhani. Learning from Intelligence that the above-mentioned ululating and dancing couple was the escaped corpses, Arjan Singh fell for a bit into a zombie like state and finally acquired so irrational a dread of black-skinned people that whenever he saw a black person in a ballbag, he swooned, saying "they're killing me," and drank and passed a lot of water. Neither uniform nor Scriptures could relieve that depression. At long last, under the shadow of a premature and forced retirement, it was possible to present him at the desk of Mr. Senanayak, the elderly Bengali specialist in combat and extreme-left politics.
     Senanayak knows the activities and capacities of the opposition better than they themselves do. First, therefore, he presents an encomium on the military genius of the Sikhs. Then he explains further: Is it only the opposition that should find power at the end of the barrel of a gun? Arjan Singh's power also explodes out of the male organ of a gun. Without a gun even the "five Ks" come to nothing in this day and age. These speeches he delivers to all and sundry. As a result, the fighting forces regain their confidence in the Army Handbook. It is not a book for everyone. It says that the most despicable and repulsive style of fighting is guerrilla warfare with primitive weapons. Annihilation at sight of any and all practitioners of such warfare is the sacred duty of every soldier. Dopdi and Dulna belong to the category of such fighters, for they too kill by means of hatchet and scythe, bow and arrow, etc. In fact, their fighting power is greater than the gentlemen's. Not all gentlemen become experts in the explosion of "chambers"; they think the power will come out on its own if the gun is held. But since Dulna and Dopdi are illiterate, their kind have practiced the use of weapons generation after
generation.
     I should mention here that, although the other side make little of him, Senanayak is not to be trifled with. Whatever his practice, in theory he respects the opposition. Respects them because they could be neither  understood nor demolished if they were treated with the attitude, "It's nothing but a bit of impertinent game-playing with guns." In order to destroy the enemy, become one. Thus he understood them by (theoretically) becoming one of them. He hopes to write on all this in the future. He has also decided that in his written work he will demolish the gentlemen and highlight the message of the harvest workers. These mental processes might seem complicated, but actually he is a simple man and is as pleased as his third great-uncle after a meal of turtle meat. In fact, he knows that, as in the old popular song, turn by turn the world will change. And in every world he must have the credentials to survive with honor. If necessary he will show the future to what extent he alone understands the matter in its proper perspective. He knows very well that what he is doing today the future will forget, but he also knows that if he can change color from world to world, he can represent the particular world in question. Today he is getting rid of the young by means of "apprehension and elimination," but he knows people will soon forget the memory and lesson of blood. And at the same time, he, like Shakespeare, believes in delivering the world's legacy into youth's hands. He is rospero as well.
     At any rate, information is received that many young men and women, batch by batch and on jeeps, have attacked police station after police station, terrified and elated the region, and disappeared into the forest of Jharkhani. Since after escaping from Bakuli, Dopdi and Dulna have worked at the house of virtually every landowner, they can efficiently inform the killers about their targets and announce proudly that they too are soldiers, rank and file. Finally the impenetrable forest of Jharkhani is surrounded by real soldiers, the army enters and splits the battlefield. Soldiers in hiding guard the falls and springs that are the only source of drinking water; they are still guarding, still looking. On one such search, army informant Dukhiram Gharari saw a young Santal man lying on his stomach on a flat stone, dipping his face to drink water. The soldiers shot him as he lay. As the .303 threw him off spread-eagled and brought a bloody foam to his mouth, he roared "Ma-ho" and then went limp. They realized later that it was the redoubtable Dulna Majhi.
     What does "Ma-ho" mean? Is this a violent slogan in the tribal language? Even after much thought, the Department of Defense could not be sure. Two tribal-specialist types are flown in from Calcutta, and they sweat over the dictionaries put together by worthies such as Hoffmann-Jeffer and Golden-Palmer. Finally the omniscient Senanayak summons Chamru, the water carrier of the camp. He giggles when he sees the two specialists, scratches his ear with his "bidi," and says, The Santals of Maldah did say that when they began fighting at the time of King Gandhi! It's a battle cry. Who said "Ma-ho" here? Did someone come from Maldah?
     The problem is thus solved. Then, leaving Dulna's body on the stone, the soldiers climb the trees in green camouflage. They embrace the leafy boughs like so many great god Pans and wait as the large red ants bite their private parts. To see if anyone comes to take away the body. This is the hunter's way, not the soldier's. But Senanayak knows that these brutes cannot be dispatched by the approved method. So he asks his men to draw the prey with a corpse as bait. All will come clear, he says. I have almost deciphered Dopdi's song.
     The soldiers get going at his command. But no one comes to claim Dulna's corpse. At night the soldiers shoot at a scuffle and, descending, discover that they have killed two hedgehogs copulating on dry leaves. Improvidently enough, the soldiers' jungle scout Dukhiram gets a knife in the neck before he can claim the reward for Dulna's capture. Bearing Dulna's corpse, the soldiers suffer shooting pains as the ants, interrupted in their feast, begin to bite them. When Senanayak hears that no one has come to take the corpse, he slaps his anti-Fascist paperback copy of The Deputy and shouts, "What?" Immediately one of the tribal specialists runs in with a joy as naked and transparent as Archimedes' and says, "Get up, sir! I have discovered the meaning of that 'hende rambra' stuff. It's
Mundari language."
     Thus the search for Dopdi continues. In the forest belt of Jharkhani, the Operation continues-will continue. It is a carbuncle on the government's backside. Not to be cured by the tested ointment, not to burst with the appropriate herb. In the first phase, the fugitives, ignorant of the forest's topography, are caught easily, and by the law of confrontation they are shot at the taxpayer's expense. By the law of confrontation,their eyeballs, intestines, stomachs, hearts, genitals, and so on become the food of fox, vulture, hyena, wildcat, ant, and worm, and the untouchables go off happily to sell their bare skeletons.
     They do not allow themselves to be captured in open combat in the next phase. Now it seems that they have found a trustworthy courier.Ten to one it's Dopdi. Dopdi loved Dulna more than her blood. No doubt it is she who is saving the fugitives now.
     "They" is also a hypothesis.
     Why?
     How many went originally?
     The answer is silence. About that there are many tales, many books in press. Best not to believe everything.
     How many killed in six years' confrontation?
     The answer is silence.
     Why after confrontations are the skeletons discovered with arms broken or severed? Could armless men have fought? Why do the collarbones shake, why are legs and ribs crushed?
     Two kinds of answer. Silence. Hurt rebuke in the eyes. Shame on you! Why bring this up? What will be will be. . . .
     How many left in the forest? The answer is silence.
A legion? Is it justifiable to maintain a large battalion in that wild area at the taxpayer's expense?
     Answer: Objection. "Wild area" is incorrect. The battalion is provided with supervised nutrition, arrangements to worship according to religion, opportunity to listen to "Bibidha Bharati" and to see Sanjeev Kumar and the Lord Krishna face-to-face in the movie This Is Life. No.
     The area is not wild.
     How many are left?
     The answer is silence.
     How many are left? Is there anyone at all?
     The answer is long.
     Item: Well, action still goes on. Moneylenders, landlords, grain brokers, anonymous brothel keepers, ex-informants are still terrified. The hungry and naked are still defiant and irrepressible. In some pockets the harvest workers are getting a better wage. Villages sympathetic to the fugitives are still silent and hostile. These events cause one to think. . . .
     Where in this picture does Dopdi Mejhen fit?
     She must have connections with the fugitives. The cause for fear is elsewhere. The ones who remain have lived a long time in the primitive world of the forest. They keep company with the poor harvest workers and the tribals. They must have forgotten book learning. Perhaps they are orienting their book learning to the soil they live on and learning new combat and survival techniques. One can shoot and get rid of the ones whose only recourse is extrinsic book learning and sincere intrinsic en-
thusiasm. Those who are working practically will not be exterminated so easily.
     Therefore Operation Jharkhani Forest cannot stop. Reason: the words of warning in the Army Handbook.

2

     Catch Dopdi Mejhen. She will lead us to the others.
     Dopdi was proceeding slowly, with some rice knotted into her belt. Mushai Tudu's wife had cooked her some. She does so occasionally. When the rice is cold, Dopdi knots it into her waistcloth and walks slowly. As she walked, she picked out and killed the lice in her hair. If she had some Kerosene, she'd rub it into her scalp and get rid of the lice. Then she could wash her hair with baking soda. But the bastards put traps at every bend of the falls. If they smell kerosene in the water, they will follow the scent.
     Dopdi!
     She doesn't respond. She never responds when she hears her own name. She has seen in the Panchayat office just today the notice for the reward in her name. Mushai Tudu's wife had said, "What are you looking at? Who is Dopdi Mejhen! Money if you give her up!"
     "How much?"
     "Two-hundred!"
     Oh God!
Mushai's wife said outside the office: "A lot of preparation this time.
A-11 new policemen."
     Hm.
     Don't come again.
     Why?
     Mushai's wife looked down. Tudu says that Sahib has come again. If they catch you, the village, our huts . . .
     They'll burn again.
     Yes. And about Dukhiram . . .
     The Sahib knows?
     Shomai and Budhna betrayed us.
     Where are they?
     Ran away by train.
     Dopdi thought of something. Then said, Go home. I don't know what will happen, if they catch me don't know me.
     Can't you run away?
     No. Tell me, how many times can I run away? What will they do if they catch me? They will counter me. Let them.
     Mushai's wife said, We have nowhere else to go.
     Dopdi said softly, I won't tell anyone's name.
     Dopdi knows, has learned by hearing so often and so long, how one can come to terms with torture. If mind and body give way under torture, Dopdi will bite off her tongue. That boy did it. They countered him. When they counter you, your hands are tied behind you. All your bones are crushed, your sex is a terrible wound. Killed by police in an encounter. . .unknown male . . . age twenty-two . .
     As she walked thinking these thoughts, Dopdi heard someone calling, Dopdi!
     She didn't respond. She doesn't respond if called by her own name. Here her name is Upi Mejhen. But who calls?
     Spines of suspicion are always furled in her mind. Hearing "Dopdi" they stiffen like a hedgehog's. Walking, she unrolls the film of known faces in her mind. Who? Not Shomra, Shomra is on the run. Shomai and Budhna are also on the run, for other reasons. Not Golok, he is in Bakuli. Is it someone from Bakuli? After Bakuli, her and Dulna's names were Upi Mejhen, Matang Majhi. Here no one but Mushai and his wife knows their real names. Among the young gentlemen, not all of the
previous batches knew.
     That was a troubled time. Dopdi is confused when she thinks about it. Operation Bakuli in Bakuli. Surja Sahu arranged with Biddibabu to dig two tubewells and three wells within the compound of his two houses. No water anywhere, drought in Birbhum. Unlimited water at Surja Sahu's house, as clear as a crow's eye.
     Get your water with canal tax, everything is burning.
     What's my profit in increasing cultivation with tax money?
     Everything's on fire.
     Get out of here. I don't accept your Panchayat nonsense. Increase cultivation with water. You want half the paddy for sharecropping. Everyone is happy with free paddy. Then give me paddy at home, give me money, I've learned my lesson trying to do you good.
     What good did you do?
     Have I not given water to the village?
     You've given it to your kin Bhagunal.
     Don't you get water?
     No. The untouchables don't get water.
     The quarrel began there. In the drought, human patience catches easily. Satish and Jugal from the village and that young gentleman, was Rana his name?, said a landowning moneylender won't give a thing, put him down.
     Surja Sahu's house was surrounded at night. Surja Sahu had brought out his gun. Surja was tied up with cow rope. His whitish eyeballs turned and turned, he was incontinent again and again. Dulna
had said, I'll have the first blow, brothers. My greatgrandfather took a bit of paddy from him, and I still give him free labor to repay that debt.
     Dopdi had said, His mouth watered when he looked at me. I'll pull  out his eyes.
     Surja Sahu. Then a telegraphic message from Shiuri. Special train. Army. The jeep didn't come up to Bakuli. March-march-march. The crunch-crunch-crunch of gravel under hobnailed boots. Cordon up. Commands on the mike. Jugal Mandal; Satish Mandal, Rana alias Prabir alias Dipak, Dulna Majhi-Dopdi Mejhen surrender surrender surrender. No surrender surrender. Mow-mow-mow down the village. Putt-putt putt-putt-cordite in the air-putt-putt - round the clock-putt-putt. Flame thrower. Bakuli is burning. More men and women, children . . .fire-fire. Close canal approach. Over-over-over by nightfall. Dopdi and Dulna had crawled on their stomachs to safety.
     They could not have reached Paltakuri after Bakuli. Bhupati and Tapa took them. Then it was decided that Dopdi and Dulna would work around the Jharkhani belt. Dulna had explained to Dopdi, Dear, this is best! We won't get family and children this way. But who knows? Landowner and moneylender and policemen might one day be wiped out!
     Who called her from the back today?
Dopdi kept walking. Villages and fields, bush and rock - Public Works Department markers-sound of running steps in back. Only one person running. Jharkhani Forest still about two miles away. Now she thinks of nothing but entering the forest. She must let them know that the police have set up notices for her again. Must tell them that that bastard Sahib has appeared again. Must change  hideouts. Also, the plan to do to Lakkhi Bera and Naran Bera what they did to Surja Sahu on account of the trouble over paying the field hands in Sandara must be cancelled. Shomai and Budhna knew everything. There was the urgency of great danger under Dopdi's ribs. Now she thought there was no shame as a Santal in Shomai and Budhna's treachery. Dopdi's blood was the pure unadulterated black blood of Champabhumi. From Champa to Bakuli the rise and set of a million moons. Their blood could have been contaminated; Dopdi felt proud of her forefathers. They stood guard over their women's blood in black armor. Shomai and Budhna are halfbreeds. The fruits of the war. Contributions to Radhabhumi by the American soldiers stationed at Shiandanga. Otherwise, crow would eat crow's flesh before Santal would betray Santal.
     Footsteps at her back. The steps keep a distance. Rice in her belt, tobacco leaves tucked at her waist. Arijit, Malini, Shamu, Mantu-none of them smokes or even drinks tea. Tobacco leaves and limestone pow- der. Best medicine for scorpion bite. Nothing must be given away.
     Dopdi turned left. This way is the camp. Two miles. This is not the way to the forest. But Dopdi will not enter the forest with a cop at her back.
     I swear by my life. By my life Dulna, by my life. Nothing must be told.
     The footsteps turn left. Dopdi touches her waist. In her palm the comfort of a half-moon. A baby scythe. The smiths at Jharkhani are fine artisans. Such an edge we'll put on it Upi, a hundred Dukhiram--Thank God Dopdi is not a gentleman. Actually, perhaps they have understood scythe, hatchet, and knife best. They do their work in silence. The lights of the camp at a distance. Why is Dopdi going this way? Stop a bit, it turns again. Huh! I can tell where I am if I wander all night
with my eyes shut. I won't go in the forest, I won't lose him that way. I won't outrun him. You fucking jackal of a cop, deadly afraid of death, you can't run around in the forest. I'd run you out of breath, throw you  in a ditch, and finish you off.
     Not a word must be said. Dopdi has seen the new camp, she has sat in the bus station, passed the time of day, smoked a "bidi" and found out how many police convoys had arrived, how many radio vans. Squash four, onions seven, peppers fifty, a straightforward account. This information cannot now be passed on. They will understand Dopdi Mejhen has been countered. Then they'll run. Arijit's voice. If anyone is caught, the others must catch the timing and change their hideout. If Comrade Dopdi arrives late, we will not remain. There will be a sign of where we've gone. No comrade will let the others be destroyed for her own sake.
     Arijit's voice. The gurgle of water. The direction of the next hideout will be indicated by the tip of the wooden arrowhead under the stone.
     Dopdi likes and understands this. Dulna died, but, let me tell you, he didn't lose anyone else's life. Because this was not in our heads to begin with, one was countered for the other's trouble. Now a much harsher rule, easy and clear. Dopdi returns-good; doesn't return--bad. Change hideout. The clue will be such that the opposition won't see it, won't understand even if they do.
     Footsteps at her back. Dopdi turns again. These 3% miles of land and rocky ground are the best way to enter the forest. Dopdi has left that way behind. A little level ground ahead. Then rocks again. The army could not have struck camp on such rocky terrain. This area is quiet enough. It's like a maze, every hump looks like every other. That's fine. Dopdi will lead the cop to the burning "ghat." Patitpaban of Saranda had been sacrificed in the name of Kali of the Burning Ghats.
     Apprehend!
     A lump of rock stands up. Another. Yet another. The elderly Senanayak was at once triumphant and despondent. If you want to destroy the enemy, become one. He had done so. As long as six years ago he could anticipate their every move. He still can. Therefore he is elated. Since he has kept up with the literature, he has read First Blood and seen approval of his thought and work.
     Dopdi couldn't trick him, he is unhappy about that. Two sorts of reasons. Six years ago he published an article about information storage in brain cells. He demonstrated in that piece that he supported this struggle from the point of view of the field hands. Dopdi is a field hand. Veteran fighter. Search and destroy. Dopdi Mejhefi is about to be apprehended.
Will be destroyed. Regret.
     Halt!
     Dopdi stops short. The steps behind come around to the front. Under Dopdi's ribs the canal dam breaks. No hope. Surja Sahu's brother Rotoni Sahu. The two lumps of rock come forward. Shomai and Budhna. They had not escaped by train.
     Arijit's voice. Just as you must know when you've won, you must also acknowledge defeat and start the activities of the next stage.
     Now Dopdi spreads her arms, raises her face to the sky, turns toward the forest, and ululates with the force of her entire being. Once, twice, three times. At the third burst the birds in the trees at the outskirts of the forest awake and flap their wings. The echo of the call travels far.

3

     Draupadi Mejhen was apprehended at 6:53 P.M. It took an hour to get her to camp. Questioning took another hour exactly. No one touched her, and she was allowed to sit on a canvas camp stool. At 8:57 Senanayak's dinner hour approached, and saying, "Make her. Do the needful," he disappeared.
     Then a billion moons pass. A billion lunar years. Opening her eyes after a million light years, Draupadi, strangely enough, sees sky and moon. Slowly the bloodied nailheads shift from her brain. Trying to move, she feels her arms and legs still tied to four posts. Something sticky under her ass and waist. Her own blood. Only the gag has been removed. Incredible thirst. In case she says "water" she catches her lower lip in her teeth. She senses that her vagina is bleeding. How many came to make her?
     Shaming her, a tear trickles out of the corner of her eye. In the muddy moonlight she lowers her lightless eye, sees her breasts, and understands that, indeed, she's been made up right. Her breasts are
bitten raw, the nipples torn. How many? Four-five-six-seven-then Draupadi had passed out.
     She turns her eyes and sees something white. Her own cloth. Nothing else. Suddenly she hopes against hope. Perhaps they have abandoned her. For the foxes to devour. But she hears the scrape of feet. She turns her head, the guard leans on his bayonet and leers at her. Draupadi closes her eyes. She doesn't have to wait long. Again the process of making her begins. Goes on. The moon vomits a bit of light and goes to sleep. Only the dark remains. A compelled spread-eagled still body. Active pistons of flesh rise and fall, rise and fall over it.
     Then morning comes.
     Then Draupadi Mejhen is brought to the tent and thrown on the straw. Her piece of cloth is thrown over her body.
     Then, after breakfast, after reading the newspaper and sending the radio message "Draupadi Mejhen apprehended," etc., Draupadi Mejhen is ordered brought in.
     Suddenly there is trouble.
Draupadi sits up as soon as she hears "Move!" and asks, Where do you want me to go?
     To the Burra Sahib's tent.
     Where is the tent?
     Over there.
     Draupadi fixes her red eyes on the tent. Says, Come, I'll go.
     The guard pushes the water pot forward.
     Draupadi stands up. She pours the water down on the ground. Tears her piece of cloth with her teeth. Seeing such strange behavior, the guard says, She's gone crazy, and runs for orders. He can lead the prisoner out but doesn't know what to do if the prisoner behaves incomprehensibly. So he goes to ask his superior.
     The commotion is as if the alarm had sounded in a prison. Senanayak walks out surprised and sees Draupadi, naked, walking toward him in the bright sunlight with her head high. The nervous guards
trail behind.
     What is this? He is about to cry, but stops.
     Draupadi stands before him, naked. Thigh and pubic hair matted with dry blood. Two breasts, two wounds.
     What is this? He is about to bark.
     Draupadi comes closer. Stands with her hand on her hip, laughs and says, The object of your search, Dopdi Mejhen. You asked them to make me up, don't you want to see how they made me?
     Where are her clothes?
     Won't put them on, sir. Tearing them.
     Draupadi's black body comes even closer. Draupadi shakes with an indomitable laughter that Senanayak simply cannot understand. Her ravaged lips bleed as she begins laughing. Draupadi wipes the blood on her palm and says in a voice that is as terrifying, sky splitting, and sharp as her ululation, What's the use of clothes? You can strip me, but how can you clothe me again? Are you a man?
     She looks around and chooses the front of Senanayak's white bush shirt to spit a bloody gob at and says, There isn't a man here that I should be ashamed. I will not let you put my cloth on me. What more can you do? Come on, counter me-come on, counter me-?
     Draupadi pushes Senanayak with her two mangled breasts, and for the first time Senanayak is afraid to stand before an unarmed target, terribly afraid.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
With a special gratitude from an ardent lover,
Mithilesh Kumar

Source:
"Draupadi" by Mahasveta Devi
Translated with a Foreword by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Toastmasters Speech CC3- What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

The Delivery

The Script

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
!  True Love is all about Inspiration!

[Start with props: mirror, goggle and perfume and blazer for role playing. Start with stern amazement in voice!]
What!?! What are you all looking at? Cant’ you see that I am going for a Date?
You can clap for me and my date if you like …! J J J
[Stop for a second, remove goggles, turn mirror aside and come back to normal]

Even though, she is my 21st date, I still have faith that this time I will get my true love who would inspire me.

Ladies and gentlemen do you remember the time of our childhood when our mom used to put beautiful covers on our textbooks?

In one such incident, I still treasure the day when I was leaving for a boarding school, first time in my life. My mom put covers on my books and put them in my trunk. During my stay in hostel, I was unknowingly taking care of those books as if those were my favourite toys. One year passed and covers were as my mom put them on. Next year in new class, the books got changed but I treasured one portion of a cover where my mom had written my name in her beautiful handwriting. I kept that piece of paper in my literature book for a year between the pages and in the same state. I continued keeping the piece of paper the same way till I got matriculated from a different school. For me, my mom was always there in my literature book. Today, I feel that I am still holding my mother’s love together with me, as it is evident from my immense love for literature. The purest form of love is inspiration. My mother’s love had inspired me to love books and literature.

Mr. Toastmaster, fellow Toastmasters and dear guests, good evening!

One of my friend still wears the same watch that was gifted by his beloved. Even though, the watch is not working now, he feels the same ticking sound in his heart and he believes it helps him stay ahead of time. He is holding that love and care for ‘time’ from his love. His love inspires him to always be on time.

In my case I still keep the same purse for the past few years as it makes me believe that my purse will go thicker as imbibed by the gift presenter. Here my love inspired me to go for savings.

People collect and treasure gifts and artefacts to hold and immortalize the love and teachings of their creators. We have museums and memorials that hold back love of our past generations. The past artefacts in the museum inspire us to make our present and future lovable.

Today, in this lovely crowd we have many people among us who still hold the same love as they did when they joined this institution and keep going with the flow. It is the sheer love that has made DTM Raj and TM ISK keep going on in Infosys Toastmasters club Bangalore. It is our love for self-growth that inspires us to come here again and again, week after week.

One of my friends left his well-paying Investment Banking job in Wall Street to come back to Kolkata and held his love together for his ageing parents by spending time with them in their last days. His parental love inspired him to take that bold decision in his life.

One of my old friends recently asked me the secret of my fitness, I replied, “These days, I run. You should also run.” You won’t believe, I saw her with a medal of completion of a 5k run within a month. She used to comment on my runkeeper’s update with lines like – “I have just completed 12 hours of sleep LoL :D ”. It’s the love that made her run so diligently even after long time of separation. It’s the love that inspires her to do the unthinkable.

We often fall short in pursuit of our ambitions and goals as we stop holding together the love and inspiration that had brought us at first place. Move in – move out, let in – let it go but don’t let go of the love that has inspired you to feel and be special. Love is not physical attraction, it is all about inspiring people and getting inspired by our loved ones.

So my lovely friends are you holding back the love that inspired you?
If yes, then let go of your inhibitions and spread the message of love.

If not, let me inspire you to believe in love again!
“It is better to have lost and loved than never to have loved at all.”
Hold on to the love that you get daily from everyone and get inspired, else you will regret when they are gone. Believe in love and its inspiration, to make your life more lovely and beautiful!

Over to you, our lovely Toastmaster!

Toastmasters Humorous Speech Prelim: I am Nothing in front of her

Not prize but participation certificate :)

The Delivery 

The Script

I am nothing in front of her

Fellow Toastmasters and dear guests, good evening!

Meet my friend, a most eligible bachelor from a reputed Indian IT firm, Venkat Kumar Anterdeshi. Today, we will witness his saga of finding true love.

Venkat has switched many company in his quest for love, joined all possible clubs and special activity groups. The result- he is still searching. Even he joined Toastmasters, but Toastmasters’ CC and CL journeys are not proving an iota of help in his journey of love. 

The tiring journey of love has made him a poet. Let’s have a look into some stanzas of his love sonnets, according to Mr. Anterdeshi:      

She talks endlessly,
I just say Yes No, Yes No
She never stammers,
I am full of CRPFs.

She eats sparingly
I eat excessively,
She do ‘make-ups’ for hours daily
I just keep a comb in my pocket.

My clothes are very simple
Her attire catches every attention,
Her secrets are Victoria's and Myntra’s Kart,
My secrets are Pantaloon and DMart.

Her eyes are intoxicating
My eyes have spectacles,
I am dumb Doberman
She is a God’s Miracle.

Her hands are as soft as flower
My hands are as hard as hammer,
She is somewhat proud, friends
I have to crouch before every head.

Her face is as bright as full Moon
My face is as dull as distant star,
She has won every battle
I have to struggle for survival.

People laugh at my smile
Boys die at her smile,
For me, everything is costly,
For her, even heart is free.

What should I say more friends –
She is flower of Eden Garden
I am God’s mistake,
She is polished and natural
I am rough and artificial.

She is capricious and attractive
I am stone and distractive,
She is deer-eyed, always in mind
I am dark-circle-eyed, never in mind.

She is picturesque and precious
I am cartoon and worthless,
She is fair and modern
I am dull and old.

She is Deepika and Katrina
My life has no antenna,
She is Sania and Shiny
My world is very tiny

She say Saturday - Saturday
I cry Monday - Monday,
She enjoys on-duty holidays
I mourn on-call Sundays.

She is facebook and instagram
I am postcard and telegram,
She makes news and trends
I prepare minutes and bullets.

She is android and iPhones
Updated and evergreen,
I’m nokia and window phones
Outdated and no more.

She is BBC and CNN
Pleasant and break headlines,
I am Zee News and Times Now
Nasty and create nuisance.

She is boss's pet
I am his eye-sore,
I write codes
She finds bugs.


After exploring all possible options, one fine day Mr. Venkat Anterdeshi was sitting under old Banyan tree besides a sewage canal in his campus and typing furiously on his i-phone, purchased on EMI, as a gift for his would be Helen, suddenly a pigeon overhead performed his natural activity on his hand and his i-phone fell into the muddy canal. Socked, surprised Anterdeshi closed his eyes for mental solace. There he had his Buddha moment. His Eightfold evolved paths are as under:
  1.        Samyaka – Drishti: Have complete vision on all greenery around not one in particular
  2.        Samyaka – Sankalpa: pursue equal aspiration for all beauties not one in particular
  3.        Samyaka –Vaka: Don’t be able communicator only, but be a funny speaker, because girls like funny guys
  4.        Samyaka – Karma: Focus your karma for appraisal and not for girls
  5.        Samyaka – Ajivika: As you go for specialization for career stability. Here depending on particular a girl is riskier. Keep changing your preferences
  6.        Samyaka – Vyama: Don’t do workouts for abs only. Slimmer has better chances
  7.        Samyaka – Sammati: Don’t leave worldly desire and sadness but master the art of having casual desire and sadness. Because girls prefer mimicry artist 
  8.        Samyaka – Samadhi: Don’t do always Baba Ramadev’s Kapal-Bhati and Anulom-Vilom but also go hot and power Yoga

With this Gyan, let’s have a happy ending and close the story of Venkat Kumar Anterdeshi on a laughter note, let's laugh:

ha ha ha ! ha ha ha! ha ha ha!

Over to you Mr. Toastmaster!

Infosys Toastmaster 572th Meeting, theme:Monsoon


Suppose today's your project delivery date and you're fixing last bugs and your boss is over you, suddenly your crush from next bay appears from nowhere and took your umbrella and boss to your favourite Chai-Sutta spot!
What will you do,  sit back and fix the bugs and crib about your boss and poor choice? Or move in open and get wet in the Monsoon rain and wash every headache away!

So, dear Toastmasters, throw your umbrellas of inhibitions and get wet under showering of some moving speeches.

The first meeting of new office bearer team was started on a thunderous note by SAA TM Ved who elicited the three ground rules of the meeting and invited club's new president TM Ifthikhar who lit the new flame of joy among entire audience.

The MOC of the day, TM Nitin Agarhari was in his natural best who broke many myths of emcee today.

The monsoon showered two seasonal CC2 speeches, one from TM Sai Kiran who depicted an unique love of a gamer and his beloved game with full suspense and anecdotes. The second one was from TM Sijil who showed his way of conquering fear through high altitude sky diving with bits of his actor self.

Next we witnessed a moving area director's speech from our new area director, a mentor of mentors, TM Rithun who beautifully put the message of 'Giving it forward'.

The second season of this rainy meeting brought to us by TM Tara who took his last role for the club as TTM and judiciously used his allotted 10 min that saw 5 participants which touches the petichor of Toastmasters' gist.
Area director, TM Rithun address

Best speaker award

Sijil speech

GE, DTM Raj

Best role taker, TM Tara

Tara as TTM

Tara's Farewell Speech

New member, TM Parimal

Best TT speaker

The monsoon also brought us Lord Indra, the Rain God of InfyTM, DTM Rajkumar Bansal as general evaluator who gave a vintage edit to the first meeting of the season with his precise and experienced feedback. The GE was assisted by his TAG team, timer TM Vertika who brought importance of early monsoon in timely speech, the grammarian TM Parimal gave us analogy of monsoon rain rules of grammar for our speeches, the Ah counter TM Sahithya had very precise moments in finding CRPFs. The  speech evaluators TM Ganabady and TM Anikesh held the ground high with their balanced feedback.

In the end the rain stops with thunderous round of applause from audience with awards for today's winners TM Sijil as best prepared speaker, TM Shivalingish as best table topic speaker and TM Tara as best role taker with a promise to cross our roads again from TM Tara in his parting speech.

So, it's finally stopped raining both inside and outside with precipitate of full dam of zeal to bring bigger laughter and applause in next week humorous contest.

Keep in shades,
Good Night!
Mithilesh

Toastmasters Speech CC2- History of Rama Krishna Venkatsubbaih

The Poster


PowerPoster

 (click the full screen mode for better view)

The Delivery

The Script

How many of you love Peace?
Wow!
And, how many of you love War?
Fair enough, let me describe a war scene that changed the course of Indian History.
Dated May 326 BC, on the banks of River Jhelam, on North-eastern boarder of India, in the wee hours there was a mass attack against King Porus's left flank by the Great Alexander's army. The heavy armor-piercing bows of Indian unarmored soldiers were proving inaccurate on slippery ground. The 200 elephants were busy in guarding the frontal attack.  Alexander's horse archers were showering the Indian right cavalry wing. And his armored Companion cavalry was overwhelming the Indian left cavalry with Alexander leading the charge.

While the rest of the Indian soldiers were struggling in the battle, one man was guarding his king with his full vigor- The mahout of the king. He saved his king’s life before getting slain.
The bravery, war skills and princely attitude of King Porus’s mahout led the genesis of my Today’s central character- Rama Krishna Venkatsubbaiah.

Fellow toastmasters and dear guests, good evening!

We as science practitioners often slumber in comprehending history, as our glorious past misses links to our present and it mostly eulogizes the ruling class. The following speech tries to organize History of India from Ancient to Modern era from a common man perspective. It’s an honest attempt to put the facts in its canonical form and it is a sincere request from the audience not to take any historical lesson from this re-organized history.

Meet a Karorpati clerk in Bruhat Bangalore Municipal Corporation, Rama Krishna Venkatasubbaiah. Rama, a fan of actor Shiva Rajkumar (smile), is a jovial, down to earth, highly ethical, multi-lingual man who sometimes misses his Brahmanical worships but never misses under the table offerings (smile).

  1.  Rama’s impeccable command of Hindi came from his mother Laxmi who eloped with his father (smile), a bloodline of great Rajendra Chola, during posting in Tata Steel, Jamshedpur, leaving behind her land lord family that had lost their fortune
  2. Rama’s 2nd level ancestor, i.e, grandfather was an active contributor to Congress during freedom struggle
  3. His 3rd level ancestor was a great grand princess of Maharaja Amar Singh of Mewar who fought bravely with the joint Mughal army
  4.  His 11th level ancestor was cousin of Jahangir’s 20th wife Nurjahan’s first daughter
  5.  Rama’s 15th level ancestors had served in royal kitchen of Qutubuddin Aibak who used to be chefs in Prithviraj Chauhan’s palace
  6. His 30th level ancestors were mathematicians in Royal kingdom of Gupta king Vikramaditya
  7.   His 50th level ancestor was the royal bodyguard of Chandragupta Maurya’s mentor and the great economist Chanakya whose father was a mahout in King Porus’s army, who halted Alexander’s march towards east
  8.   His 80th level ancestors were farmers in Rig Vedic era
  9. His 90th level ancestors were manual scavengers in Mohenjo-Daro who survived Aryan invasion in 2000 BC
  10. Rama’s 100th level ancestors were true relatives of Mowgli (smile), roaming in their natural states to get leftover meats in the deep jungles of Vindhyanchals (Vindhya Mountains)
Rama’s 5000 years old, 100 levels family tree tells us that his ancestors had been everywhere, done everything and seen everything. In logical sense, he is a true descendant of an Indian gene. In true sense, we all are different but one. On the contrary, we civilized animals have divided ourselves amongst nonsensical castes, regions and religions, and each division vouches for its superiority over others.

Rama's historically unparalleled genealogy gifted him with the most special skills ever discovered by mankind. As in - He got Sanitation and Purity from Harappa, Valor from Magadha and Mewar, Ingenuity from the Delhi Sultanate, Patriotism from the Freedom movement.  
He is also carrying with him the early human deadly sins - Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride.

In spite of having 5000 years old illustrious past we are still lagging behind all the major economies of present time – America, Australia, Canada, Singapore who don’t have even 300 years old history.

In the past, our rulers often lost their ways by dividing us in the narrow confinement of caste and race, as a result we were defeated several times from the likes of Alexander to the British.  At present, we 1.3 billion human survivors, are still fighting with each other for regions, religions, castes and caste based reservations and being played by the ruling class.

It is us who will create our history not our past or the lineage. So, dear friends, let us stop judging people based on name, place and identity and start respecting ability, quality and diversity.
On this note, let me close the history of Rama Krishna Venkatasubbaiah.

Over to you Mr. Toastmaster!  

Twits & wits!