I am now a member of Mumbai ToastMasters and have completed 2 project speeches with them.
This is the prepared text of my first speech at MTM:
Mr./Madam Toastmaster, Ladies and Gentlemen,
“What is this life , if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare”. These lines from the poem “Leisure” by W.H. Davies struck me as an apt way to introduce myself. Because I AM A MAN OF LEISURE.
Why do I say so? If I were standing before you, 3 years ago, I would have introduced myself as an IT professional working for so-and-so company. If it were 2 years ago, I would have introduced myself as a full-time student at the Cyprus International Institute of Management. But since receiving my degree in the beginning of March, this year, I am at a loss as to what should I designate myself to be. Would it be a job aspirant, a Singles for Christ , a CIIM alumnus, a ToastMaster member or something else? Or would I introduce myself as a software developer, a part-time activity to fill the hours? And keep the trade skills honed?
I am sure that some, if not most of us here, would have faced the very same question at some point in their lives. And why not? All our lives have been filled with a certain identification, a certain structure. And that’s what we seek to create and reinforce in our lives, whatever we do, wherever we go. We seek structure. I could elaborate on the need to find structure in our lives but that is not the topic of this speech. I am.
I call myself a man of leisure but this term has some awkward connotations. A man of leisure is assumed to be relatively well-off and of independent means. But I am neither of the two. It also has some other associated negatives but I choose not to dwell on those. But I do have the time to stand and stare! Literally so!!! (Stare)
Returning to the subject matter, that is , me, Linus Julian Fernandes, I was born the second child of 3 , well over 30 years ago, in Bandra. I have 2 siblings, an elder sister and a younger brother. I have lived most of my life in Vakola, Santacruz where I schooled at St. Anthony’s High School. I had a very sheltered or even insular childhood. I was a very good student. My childhood was spent either playing cricket or other sports in the building compound or reading comics and novels. I was a voracious reader, a habit that I have retained to the present. My reading now though consists of mostly non-fiction. My college education was completed at 2 Catholic institutions , St. Andrew’s College and St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, I was a very good student in school but I sort of drifted through my college years. It was only in my final year that I buckled down because I realized the need to prepare myself for a career. I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics with a first-class.
Post-graduation immediately followed with a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Mumbai. Lectures were on the sprawling Kalina campus. I started my first job with Mahindra British Telecom, now known as Tech Mahindra through campus placements. Work has provided me the opportunity to travel and work abroad, both in the UK and the US. In my capacity as a software consultant, I have worked for organizations such as British Telecom and IBM. It has also provided me the opportunity to meet interesting people wherever I go. For instance, one of the managers at IBM, Santa Monica was a bartender before she drifted into a career with IBM. How utterly fascinating!
Besides reading, my other hobby is writing poems. However, I do not consider myself a talented poet nor do I have the patience to sit down and pen lines. Most of my writing is very sporadic and occur when I am having the blues rather than in moments of elation or joy! I need the feeling to make my poems really expressive. At least, that is my belief!
The other activity in my life is regular exercise. This is something that I have tried and instill over the past 3 years. Since I was a teenager I have been interested in building a strong physique especially since I was rather a fragile child suffering many ailments and always sniffling with a runny nose. I now try and run 3 times a week , to build my stamina and keep myself fit. I also love most sports ; I am a decent badminton, tennis and table-tennis player. But most of all I love to run, FAST, AS FAST AS I CAN! A healthy mind in a healthy body!
I would like to end my speech with a little Spanish I learnt a few years ago, Buenos Dias, i.e. good day and Gracias i.e. Thank you.
Over to you, Toastmaster.