http://www.animationxpress.com/index.php/comics/graphic-india-releases-original-animated-mahabharata-series-18-days-on-youtube

Toastmasters Storytelling Project 5 : S.D.D.B.

American author John Hammond once said,

“The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese”.

Toastmaster of the day, fellow Trailblazers and welcomed guests, life is nothing but a struggle. A struggle to get things done, in the way we want. We try to convince our boss to give us a better salary. We try to convince our kids to not to spend too much time on mobile phones. We try to convince our partners to give us the remote. We even try to convince ourselves to get up early in the morning and do something about the continuous weight gain. Convincing yourself or anyone else is certainly a grueling task indeed. How do you convince yourself or anyone can define how much desperate or passionate you are? What techniques do you use to persuade others and make them follow what you want to convey?

Today, I will tell you the story of Mahabharata, which is a story about convincing and eventually not getting convinced. Through this story, I will try to tell you about the sure shot way of convincing others. Today, I will tell you about the concept of SDDB or Saam Daam Dand Bhed through one series of stories from Mahabharat. Most of you might be familiar with Mahabharata and its characters.

The state of Hastinapur had 2 parties in a headlock against each other. On one side we had the Kauravas headed by Duryodhana, a powerful man who had too much ego and greed of power in him. Totally acceptable politician and warrior we can say. On the other hand, we had Pandavas headed by Yudhishthira, another powerful man who was the rightful heir to the Hastinapur crown but also had a problem with gambling. Another totally acceptable politician and warrior. Although Kauravas had more military strength, Pandavas had Lord Krishna with them who was an expert in the concept of Saam Daam Dand Bhed.

So that the war could get averted, Krishna went to Duryodhan and tried the first technique i.e. Saam.

Saam literally means convincing by giving logic and diplomacy.

Krishna said ‘O Duryodhana, why do you want to have a war which would lead only to death and misery. Let your elder brother Yudhishthir, as he is the rightful heir apparent, be the king and let there be peace’.

Duryodhana said ‘Nope!’.

After a while, Krishna tried the second technique of convincing i.e. Daam or Daan.

Daam means bribe or a price. Sometimes it is also called Daan, i.e. sacrifice to gain something.

Krishna said ‘O Duryodhana, I understand that you don’t want to lose your seat. Who doesn’t? But, can we settle it so that everyone is happy? Can you please give 5 villages to Pandavas. Just 5. It is nothing!’.

Duryodhana said ‘Nope!’.

Now, the war was looming at the head and situation was getting tenser. Krishna, being the master of tricks he was, tried another technique of convincing i.e. Bhed.

Bhed means Difference. Sometimes it is also called Divide & Rule. And it can also be called using the technique of Blackmailing or using Secrets to have your way.

Now instead of going to Duryodhana, Krishna asked Karna, who was the actual eldest brother. But he was born out of the legal wedding system. Karna was close to Duryodhana.

Krishna said ‘O Karna, Do you know that actually there is no need of the war itself. You will get to know soon who is the actual King. Go convince Duryodhana to understand this and don’t let this war thing go out of hands. More so, you can even marry Draupadi, Pandava’s wife’.

This time Karna said ‘Nope!’.

So, Saam i.e. requesting by logic had failed. Daam i.e. convincing by a price had failed. Even Bhed i.e. creating a difference didn’t work out. So, the only thing possible, the last resort, Dand i.e. Punishment remained.

Krishna helped Pandavas as much as possible by giving them crucial advice and war tactics and we know what happened in the end. Pandavas, even when they were less in number, won the war. Although a huge loss of property and life happened.

Friends, the concept of Saam Daam Dand Bhed was furthered ahead by Chanakya in his text Arth Shastra. This concept can be used to get anything done. But, there’s a caveat. We should remember that it works properly only when it is used against the right person.

“सज्जन को सम्मान देकर,

लोभी को धन देकर,

विद्वान को तर्क देकर व

दुष्ट को दंड दे कर

पक्ष में किया जा सकता है ।”

Continue reading →

Gorilla Pod and Mobile Camera

Toastmasters ACB Speak to Inform 2 : Clicking Better

Speak to Inform Project 2: Resources for Informing

The following is my speech for the Project 2 of Speak to Inform Advanced Communication Manual. I spoke about a topic which I have interest in; Photography.

[Opening]

Fellow Toastmasters and welcomed guests, a very good afternoon to one and all!

Show of hands please, how many of you take Photographs regularly?

Almost everyone, right?

Do you use your Mobile Phone Camera?

Or a Point and Shoot one?

Or you use your DSLR?

So, the overall consensus is that, obviously, almost everyone takes photographs. Some use properly dedicated cameras while most others use their phones. Everyone nowadays knows how to click and shoot. There are billions of photos taken daily. There are millions of photos shared on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Whatsapp, etc daily.

We all take Photographs daily. But not all of us are called as Photographers. Professional or Hobbyist. Today, I am going to share with you, some composition guidelines, tips, and tricks which you can use to improve your photography. These are some basic rule of thumbs, which can help you become better photographers, than just ordinary-photo-clickers.

Disclaimer: I am not a Professional or Commercial Photographer myself, but I have been learning this art for a long time now and this is just me sharing some of that learning with you.

[Body]

Slide 4: 3 Guidelines for Better Composition

I am going to discuss the 3 most common guidelines for better composition. Can anyone tell what Composition means? CoThe compositions the placement of objects and subjects in your photograph. This is basically how the elements in your photos have been placed. So, the 3 most common composition guidelines are:

  1. The Rule of Thirds
  2. Leading Lines
  3. Less is More

I will start with the Rule of Thirds

Slide 5: The Rule of Thirds

For this, I would request you all, to take out your phone and open your camera. Can you see a grid there? That grid divides the viewfinder into 9 parts.

The Rule of Thirds states that if your subject is placed at one of the intersections of these grids, that composition would look better than those in which subject is placed without any thought. Scientifically, this kind of composition conforms to the Golden Ratio. You might have seen this curve before. Without going into this too much, I would just say that this curve or ratio pleases the eyes.

This would mean is that when your subject is placed at the intersection, it would give the photograph much more dynamism and a professional look.

I will share a couple of examples to depict this.

Slide 6: Sweet Farm

Slide 7: Sweet Farm with Grid

Slide 8: Busy Bee
Slide 9: Busy Bee with Grid
If you noticed, here the subject was placed at the intersections that made the photograph appear slightly better.

Now, we will understand the second guideline i.e. Leading Lines

Slide 10: Leading Lines
‘Leading Lines’ is another guideline, which you may consider while shooting a photo. It helps the viewer to scan your image from a point to a point. It also gives us a sense of depth, size and, distance. I will again show you some examples.

Slide 11: Hampi Temple
Slide 12: Hampi Temple with leading lines shown
Slide 13: VV Puram Street
Slide 14: VV Puram Street with leading lines shown
Now, the third guideline, Less is More

Slide 15: Less is more
When we want to click, we want to cover as much as possible. We worry about getting all the details of the scene onto our image. However, sometimes the opposite might make sense. Sometimes, having a minimal number of objects in the image can give it a better look. Let me share some examples for this.

Slide 16: The Moon
Slide 17: Birds on a wire
There is a sense of calmness and serenity in these pics. It still depicts a lot, by depicting very less. If we can try minimalism in our photography by giving some white space, that can help us to compose our shots better.

[Conclusion]

Slide 18: Break the rules

I have just talked about Rules. But, the actual rule of Photography is that there are no rules. There are just guidelines. For creativity, we are often encouraged to break the rules. So, if you ignore the above 3 guidelines, you can still create some good compositions. Some more examples for you.

Slide 19: Attack on Hampi (A combination of Rule of Thirds and Minimalism)

Slide 20: Choose a Side (A subject which is totally centered in the frame)
Slide 21: Buy some Balloons (With colors selectively removed)

Slide 22: Another Balloons seller (It just tells a story)
You can try your own styles and bring the best photographer out of yourself. Always remember, it is not the tool which is used to click your photos, but it you who is more important.

Happy Photography!

Back to Toastmaster!

Continue reading →

Dhola Maaru

Toastmasters Storytelling Speech 1 : Yet Another Love Story

I’m not putting my CC10 here, as it is too personal to tell. But I did that in May and since a long time, I hadn’t posted any new speeches here. So, here it is, my 1st ACB Speech: Storytelling Manual Project 1: Folk Story. This isn’t my original creation but a folk story from Rajasthan. I was sure that nobody in my club would have heard about it. Even I hadn’t known much about this apart from the name at RTDC Hotels.

OPENING

Together forever, never apart, maybe in distance, but never in heart…

Toastmaster of the Day, fellow Toastmasters, and welcomed Guests… Good Afternoon!

You might have heard of Romeo-Juliet, Laila-Majnu, Shahjahan-Mumtaz Mahal, and Heer-Ranjha. Today, I will tell you Yet Another Love Story which might jog you, or shock you, or even rock you.

BODY

Our story begins in the arid-lands of Thar in Rajasthan, circa 14th or 15th century. It was the month of May, the festival of ‘Akshaya-triteeya’ or as it was called there ‘Akhateej’ was in full flow. The royal palace of Bikaner was dazzling with fragrance of flowers and mesmerizing with the tunes of Shehnai. After all, it was the royal wedding of Maaru, the daughter of the King of Bikaner with Dhola, the Prince of Narwar, a town in Madhya Pradesh. The families were beaming with excitement and joy.

The young prince Dhola, who stood 2 and a half feet tall, at a tender age of 3 was getting married to the playful naive Maaru, the sweet princess, who was just 2 years old.

Child marriage, which it was, was common among the royals of that time. The wedding happened but since the couple were too young, it was decided that the bride shall go to the groom’s place only when she comes of age. Dhola returned back to Narwar with his family, while Maaru stayed back in Bikaner with hers.

Few years passed. Maaru was excited to step into her new role as a wife soon. The family started to prep her for the life ahead. She started dreaming of her life as the new princess of Narwar. She was ready to meet her prince charming Dhola, and fall in love, officially.

There was a conundrum though. Dhola’s father had died few years ago and Dhola was re-married to another woman Malwani. Being married so young, he had forgotten about his original marriage.

Maaru sent letters to Dhola, expressing her love and eagerness to meet him. Dhola’s wife, Malwani received the letters before Dhola could get them. She enquired about this and she was made aware of the child marriage. Not only that, the way the beauty of Maaru was explained, it made her furious and utter jealousy creeped over her. Malwani decided to never tell Dhola about this and kept him under Dark.

Whichever letters Maaru used to send, all used to disappear before it could reach Dhola. Maaru sent messengers but apparently Malwani got the messengers killed.

Eventually Maaru sent off a folk-singer to Dhola’s court. The singer was told to sing a song about their love story. The singer went to Dhola’s court and sang a ballad.

The ballad was sung in Raag Malhaar while it was raining. The setting, the ambiance and the song was so captivating that Dhola got intrigued by the lyrics and got hooked to it very deeply. It touched his heart and soul Dhola realized that it was a cryptic message for him from Maaru. He finally realized and remembered that he was indeed married to Maaru years ago.

He at once decided to go to Bikaner to meet Maaru. But, his wife Malwani stopped him by engaging him in other matters and averted the meeting, for the time being.

Eventually, one day, Dhola decided to go to Bikaner when his wife Malwani was not around. On his way, he got bit by a snake and died.

But then a miracle happened. He was found by some sages who brought him back to life, as they understood that he was going to meet his wife and his love was pure and pristine. Meanwhile, Maaru was caught in a conspiracy by some local folks who wanted to get her because of her beauty. Maaru was made aware of the entrapments she was about to fall into. She decided to take matter into her own hands. She found the fastest camel available and rode straight to meet Dhola.

Eventually they both met on the way between Bikaner and Narwar. They embraced each other and fell in love again. Despite so many hurdles and obstacles in their ways to get to each other, they were finally united. It was their sheer persistence and ever longing for each other that overcame all problems. Their true love was victorious in the end.

Malwani, the 2nd wife understood the purity and piousness of their love and agreed to share her husband with Maaru.

And then, they 3 lived happily ever after. That was the story of Dhola-Maaru.

Story of Dhola Maaru

Story of Dhola Maaru via http://www.aboutindia.it/uploads/dholamaru_cover.jpg

CONCLUSION

This legend has got so much ingrained in the local culture in Rajasthan, and also in MP & Chhattissgarh, that whenever a couple gets married, their love is compared to Dhola and Maaru. Dhola and Maru were a couple who were separated for years but despite all hardships, they got united.

As Paulo Coelho puts in his book Alchemist, when you want something really really bad, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. And as John Lennon put it, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/watch-blackmirror

Toastmasters Speech 9 : Black Mirror

As a follow up to my blogpost: “Dumbing my Smartphone” I thought of reframing it as my Toastmasters CC9 speech. CC9 is all about persuading your audience to take some action or change their beliefs. I attempted to ask the audience to do away with their phone’s notifications.

The title was inspired by the TV series Black Mirror. Do check that out!

Here’s the script for the speech:


Can I request you all, to take out your smartphones…
And place them in front of yourself on the table.
With the screen facing up
Thank you!

Toastmaster of the day, Fellow Toastmasters, And Guests!
Good Afternoon!

Now tell me, how long can you resist NOT looking at your phone screen?

Or even glancing it.

I am assuming that each phone here is in Silent Mode, but you can still have distractions, right?

Now can you please place your phone face down? Thanks a lot.

Since we don’t have any distractions anymore, can anyone here tell me about a term called “Gamification”?

The dictionary definition says: Gamification is the process of adding games or game-like elements to something like a task to encourage participation.

For example, there are Numbered Levels in a Video Game. As soon as you finish Level-1, the next challenge pops up. And you find yourself eager to go to the next level. And the next, and the next. There is a sense of reward, an achievement when one does that.

I am sure you can relate to another example.

Project 1 – Ice Breaker

Project 2 – Organise your Speech

Project 9 – Persuade with Power

Project 10 – Inspire your Audience

You get a Competent Communicator Award.

And then?

Advance Communicator Bronze, then Silver and, then Gold and so on.

Human Mind finds “Next Level” or in general “Numbers” irresistible. As soon as we achieve a level or a number, we want to go to the next. Then next and so on.

This Gamification concept, has been beautifully used on our Smartphones. Through a simple, harmless word called as “Notifications”.

Admit it or not, our ego gets a boost or a jolt when we see Notifications on our Phone. It could be a New Message. A +1 in number of New Friends in Facebook. Or New Followers on Twitter. We want to get more Number of Likes and more Number of Retweets. And as soon as we see a Notification Number on an app, we like to read it, we want to read it, we *have* to read it.

And this is how, we turn into ‘Screen Time Addicts’.

Too much of our time is being spent looking at our phone screens.

Studies show that, an average person, spends 3 to 4 hours looking at their phones in a day. That is, apart from office hours where we spend our time by looking at Computer Screens for at least 6 hours a day.

So do we all agree that we do spend a lot of time looking down at this black mirror, instead of looking up?

When we go to a restaurant, as soon as we settle down, everyone’s phones come out. And before taking the first bite, we first take Instagram Picture of our food. And after we take our first bite, we check again to see the number of Likes.

When we meet our family and friends, shortly after, we stop looking at them and instead start checking our WhatsApp messages. Looking for approvals and gratification from virtual friends than real people.

I don’t want to brag, but I have close to 900 friends on Facebook. I run a Facebook page with over 8000 Likes. I have over 1000 followers on my Twitter account and I am part of over 25 groups on Whatsapp. People love me? Heh, of course not. I get notifications left and right, morning or evening, day or night!

And I am *seriously* fed up of notifications. So much of distraction they are, which actually affects productivity.

So do we all agree that there is a problem, right? And we should do something about it.

I am going to try to help you all, and also, help myself through this speech. I am as much guilty of above actions, as you may be.

There are 3 ways to get rid of your Screen Time.

1st Way – The Hard Way

Throw away your smart phone or Drop it in the dustbin. Move on with life!

Of course, that is not possible. Phones are not free of cost. You have already spent more than your salary on them.

2nd Way – The Relatively Easier Way

Get your smart phone exchanged. And switch to this.

[ showed a dumb phone : samsung guru ]

This is the cheapest phone available. It costs Rs. 1200. It has no Internet, no FM, no Bluetooth, No MP3. No notifications. But it does its job of calling perfectly. And fits the pocket really well! Only notifications are SMS. And who sends SMS nowadays?

3rd Way – The Easiest Way

No need to throw your iPhones. No need to exchange your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (anyways they will blast off themselves).

All you have to do is to switch off the things which can curb your Phone’s Gamification Quotient.

Go to your phone settings and then the app you use the most.

Just do this – Switch off the notifications. Simply. Block them all. No notification, no distraction.

Whenever you are free and want to get connected, you can open the app and see it directly. Instead of Phone pushing down notifications upon you. You can pull them yourself.

Shutting down notifications is the best thing which I did recently. It helped me to focus better, increase my productivity and allowed to me to talk more freely to people face to face. You can do the same. Just try it for a few days and see the difference.

We should only pay attention to one notification. Hiccups! They say, when someone actually remembers you, you get hiccups. That’s the only notification you should care about!

I have taken charge to not get notified every 5 minutes!

We should not leave our life on the mercy of notifications.

We should take control of our lives back from this Black Mirror.

High time we do this!

Let’s get back our lives!!!


Here’s a brilliant comic book style poster series for the show BTW:

black.jpg

And more: http://mashable.com/2016/12/10/black-mirror-comic-book-covers/#24AtBrsAuiqH

International Speech Contest – Who Am I?

I recently participated in Toastmasters’ International Speech Contest. This starts at your club level, then Area, then Division, then District and then Internationally.

I won at my club level, surprisingly. And then moved to participate in Area level at IIM Bangalore. Although, I didn’t win there but I did good, as per my own expectations.

Here’s the script for the same:

Instance 1
I was in 12th standard. At a coaching institute in Jaipur. One guy walks up to me and asked:
“Are you from West Bengal?”
“Nope!”
“Oh, but you do look like a Bengali?”
I was as confused as a non-Bengali when they hear Bengalis say ‘A for Orange.’

Instance 2
I had just reached Bangalore. I met a few people in company’s cab.
“Nice to meet you. My name is Abhinav Bhatt.”
“Oh Bhatt? Single T or Double T. Are you from Mangalore?”
“No.”
“So you must be a Gujarati or… Kashmiri?”
“Ah, no, wrong answer!”
“But Bhatts are from there only!”
“Sigh”

Instance 3
During an Interview when asked “tell me something about yourself…”
“Hi I am Abhinav. I’m from Jaipur, Rajasthan.”
“Ah Rajasthan. You must be a Marwari, right?”
“Err No.”
“Then, how far is desert from your place?”
“Desert? Oh that is about 300-400 KM. But do you know, we used to go to our school on Camels. And my mother used to travel 5 KM daily, to get us a bucket of water? Life was tough, indeed. Can I go and drink some water? I am perpetually dehydrated, you see!”

Has it ever happened with you? As soon as you give them a little hint about your name, surname or native place, people’s judgemental antenna come out. People start applying labels, tool-tips and subtitles to everything you say. They start judging you from the word go?

Oh you are a Northie? Hindi Speaking Paneer Guzzling Loud People!
Oh you are a Southie? All are Madrasis. What to say!
Oh you’re from North East. Noticed.

Happens! Right?

Sherlock Holmes is known for doing that. By seeing people, he gets to know, who are they, where they came from and why they’ve come! But, we all start behaving like Sherlock and start placing people on certain classifications as soon as we meet them as we deem right. Sherlock used the ‘Science of Deduction’. And we? We use the Art of Assumption. We don’t want to spend time to understand anyone. We have set rules to classify people and that doesn’t even take time. So, we judge everyone, in an instant.

I’ll share few real life examples:
I was in Hyderabad and for the first time, I had an interaction with a girl from Odisha. She told me, Abhinav, you are a boy. I said ‘Yes, of course why doubting?’ And you are an Engineer. I said ‘Indeed’. Then why don’t you eat Non-Veg and Drink Alcohol? I was as confused as you are or when one gets when one sees the payslip at the end of the month.

This was an incident which can be overlooked as being funny. However, Things turn ugly when this stereotyping goes beyond jokes.

You must be familiar about a racial attack which happen with African people in Delhi recently. Similar, there was a huge ruckus when an anti-North-East people Text Forward became viral and Bangalore and almost everyone from the North East had to run home for their lives.

When I hear such incidents, I question myself. Who I really am and what is my native place?

My ancestors belonged to some place in South India, near Pennar river. Then they moved north few centuries ago. Few landed at MP, few at UP, some took a detour towards Maharashtra and Gujarat. Rest of us landed at Delhi and Rajasthan.

That leaves me with a question: WHO AM I? WHERE I AM FROM? WHERE DO I BELONG?

Am I a Hindi Speaking North Indian who was brought up in Rajasthan, studied in a Punjabi School, and now works in South India? Seriously, who am I? And if you think about yourself. Who are you really? Where are you from?

And most importantly, do you think it matters? Do you think we have time to think about someone’s geographical background in today’s day and age. We are now so much connected with technology that it doesn’t matter where you are from. Everything is Global.

I take pride in my city and language I speak. But I fail to understand how does it make me superior or others inferior.

I look like the most average Indian brown-skinned person who could be any caste or religion, speak any language and from anywhere in India. If it can happen with me. Imagine what happens to those who: Look different. Speak different. Dress different. The only way, to stop people from judging others, is to wear this wherever you go around. And when everyone will wear this, it won’t give anyone else a chance to form opinions about others, just by reading the name, hearing the language and watching the color of the skins.

Do you want everyone to look like this?

Think about it!

Toastmasters Speech 8 : You're Fired!

Transcript of my 8th speech in Toastmasters. This uses Visual Aids. Aids means help (please!).

Toastmaster of the Day, Fellow Toastmasters & Guests!

Good Afternoon!

Slide1

Before starting, I would request you to please spend few seconds on this slide.

Thank you!

So!

 

Slide2

How many of you have seen this around? No, I’m not talking about First Floor. But the big one.

(Others haven’t because they always use Elevators, don’t you?)

Have you ever tried to read it, thoroughly?

(I understand that you don’t have time. Fair enough!)

Have you tried to understand it?

(Now there lies the real deal, people!)

Nope! Nobody has gone through it properly. Because we are a bunch of lazy people. We don’t have time to read things. We can also understand, only if, someone else tells about it. Through a Speech.

For that specific reason, being the responsible person I am, I took it upon myself. To tell you clear and concise steps, which you should follow, if you come across any Fire Hazard.

I’m going to tell you, in most lucid terms, the Do’s and the Don’ts you should follow, when you encounter fire in your surroundings. Specially workplace. I will share few Time Tested Tips which will help you gain confidence to overcome such tough times. The Goal of this speech is to make sure that each and every person in this audience knows what to do and what not to do. This would help you to save yours and your colleagues’ respective lives!

 

Body

Imagine this situation:

Slide3

You are working desperately hard and the deadline is upon you. You have 100s of pending tasks and your boss is eating your head to finish the work ASAP.

You start praying

“GOD, PLEASE SET UP THIS BUILDING ON FIRE AND HELP ME! PLEASE!”

And VOILA! God listens to you!

You hear loud continuous alarm.

Slide4

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!

Slide5

Now here are things you should NOT DO.

  1. Don’t try to become Sherlock Holmes and try to find the source of the fire. Leave that job to the Professionals or as we call them here in Oracle, the Emergency Response Team.
  2. If in case you actually find fire nearby,

TAKE A SELFIE AND POST ON FACEBOOK?

“Fire in office! Enjoying the thrill. #FiringInOffice” with 21 others.

NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER think of doing this.

Fire or no fire. This is not the right human behavior. Please.

  1. If you have heard the alarm, and think that it is no big deal. You are doing it wrong!!!

Now here are things you MUST DO.

Slide6

  1. First Escape and then call for help. Leave all your belongings and Laptops and just run. You may inform others on the way but don’t wait for anyone. Remember that , they will also not wait for you. That’s how life is, unfortunately.
  2. Now where would you run actually? Good question. Thanks for asking! Always be aware of the escape plan which you can find on all floors. Keep that in mind and find the ways to stairs.
  3. Head over to the Safe Assembly Area Straight. Don’t take any Detour. Go there and as instructed by the ERT people, stand in line so that they can take a headcount.

One more thing

Slide7

Also, one more thing. NEVER USE ELEVATORS when there is a fire hazard. Always use stairs. Difficult I know, but a little inconvenience can save your life.

Now there may be a case that no one is there to help. Only in that case, you can try to be a Superhero and try to douse the fire. But do you know how can you do that? Yes, by using Fire Extinguishers.

But do you know how do they work? Of course, no. Don’t worry. I have got you covered.

Slide8

So that you don’t become NO-MORE, you should KNOW MORE about Fire Extinguishers. You can find out their type by looking at them. There are many types of Fire Extinguishers but as far as work place is concerned, there are generally 3 types:

Slide9

Type A –

ORDINARY SOLID COMBUSTIBLES LIKE WOOD, CLOTH, AND PAPER PRODUCTS

Type B –

FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS AND GASES

Type C –

ELECTRICAL FIRES – DO NOT USE WATER TO PUT OUT THIS KIND OF FIRE.

YOU COULD GET ELECTROCUTED!

I hope now you are well-equipped as to how to save your life during a fire hazard. I hope you paid attention to this speech. If not, you can still save your life if you attend next fire drill. To summarize everything, here’s a recap.

Slide10

  1. Attend Fire Drill. Most people skip it, or take it very lightly. But it is the nearest real life simulation available. Don’t avoid it, please!
  2. Keep Escape Routes Clear
  3. If you smell something weird, report immediately to the facilities team
  4. Keep your eyes and ears open for instructions from the ERT Team. They know.

We don’t know when emergency might strike, but it is good to be geared up to be knowledgeable enough to handle it. Now how many are comfortable in knowing what to do in case of fire. If you need more information we could talk after the session.

Slide11

I wish you the best and a safe work environment. Here are the references I used to make this presentation. Over to Toastmaster of the Day!

Here’s the presentation:

P.S.: I delivered this speech wearing the Orange Vest, a Fire Safety Professional Cap and a Whistle. 😛

Anonymous

Toastmasters Speech # 7 ‘Anonymous’

Greetings citizens of the World!

Speech 7 in Toastmasters is ‘Research your topic’ where one has to search and research about some topic and deliver a 5-7 minutes Speech.

I recently had watched We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists (2012) on Netflix which gave me this idea to speak about ‘Anonymous’ the hacker + activist group. Most of my research was derived from the documentary. Rest was sources from The Internet as usual. Not saying that all the facts stated here are 100% true but they’re not 100% false either. Because facts, you know, can change based on opinions. 😉

The following is the transcript of my speech:

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Let me ask you all… Can you guess, from where this verse has been taken?

Alright / Correct, this is taken from an amazing British Graphic Novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, named, V For Vendetta. This was also made into a movie in 2005. I’m sure many of you must’ve seen it. If not, please read the graphic novel or watch it.

Actually, this phrase comes from an event in British history. A person named Guy Fawkes had planned to assassinate King James I of England and the members of the Parliament with a huge explosion. However, this was prevented with his arrest on 5 November 1605.

Another question, do you know about this mask? What is it called? Indeed, this is Guy Fawkes Mask. Generally linked to “Revolutions”. Now before you think that I am going to start something related to Political Revolutions, you are almost.. wrong.

This is a speech, not about the traditional revolution per se, but about methods of revolution in today’s day and age.

Nowadays, this mask is the symbol of “Anonymous”! I’m sure you must have seen this in some movies or TV shows.  They’ve always been shown wearing this mask. In their videos, or their display pictures and even physically during a protest march.

Anonymous is a loosely held group, whose members are spread all over the world. They are hackers and activists, usually called ‘Hacktivists’. This group started takings its shape from an image sharing website called as 4Chan. It started out as just a joke where they shared Photoshopped images as memes. But eventually, it took the form of a group of like-minded people who used their computer skills to achieve a bit more than making memes.

This group doesn’t have any leader. They don’t have any headquarter and they don’t even have meetings. And one doesn’t have to even register to be a member because everyone is temporary.

Anonymous does most things in a Non-Violent manner. They make jokes against wars, against Global Warming, Media, Homophobia, and even help WikiLeaks occasionally with their Hacking Skills.

  1. Once they hacked into Fox News’ Twitter account and posted that Obama has been assassinated. As a joke.
  2. During the Arab Spring of 2011, they helped the local people in organizing protests marches.
  3. They have tried relentlessly to keep Internet free and Democratic and launching attacks against Facebook’s privacy breaches.

They can do all of this because the Internet is a free place! It is as Democratic as Democratic can be. You can be Anyone, from Anywhere, And Access mostly Anything!

On the Internet, anyone can be Anonymous and sometimes even bypass laws online.

So not everything the Anonymous have done was harmless pranks and practical jokes. Some of their members have also crossed the line-online.

  1. Once they launched a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Services) attack on a Religion’s official website. That is as simple to understand as about 10,000 people logging on to a site simultaneously, and thereby crashing the servers. 
  2. Some of the members indulged in some serious hacking and stole data from Paypal.com and Sony.
  3. They have hacked political parties Websites, Twitter and Facebook accounts and posted what not! They have vandalized properties with Graffitis!

Their modus-operandi is pretty plain and simple. They communicate using social media, sometimes using cryptic messages to others, which may sound like silly jokes to others. If you have seen the TV series, Mr. Robot, that will give you a slightly detailed idea as to how can the Internet be used to do big things!

Democracy on the Internet is obtrusive. While some cherish it, others think it is a breach of privacy and laws on Land or Online should be same. For some Anonymous are a bunch of kids who want to disrupt the status quo and should be put behind bars. For some Anonymous are Robin Hoods who should disrupt the status quo. Anyone could be an Anonymous member. Maybe among the audience here, some of you are a member.

I will end by stating the phrase, Anonymous always leave behind, after their operations:

We are Everyone. We are No One.
We are Legion.
We do not Forgive.
We do not Forget.
We are Anonymous.
Expect us.

QR-yrddv

And I forgot to mention, that I delivered this speech in a peculiar format.

When my name was called to come up on the stage, I wore this mask, walked all the way up to the stage wearing this mask. Shook hands with the Toastmaster of the Day. And then recited the ‘remember remember…’ verse. Then I took off the mask and delivered rest of the speech, till the last phrase Anonymous is famous for when I wore the mask again and delivered the lines in a slow menacing way. Fun!

And here’s my audio rehearsal: