Saturday, September 19, 2015

Glorifying Failure!

As many of you might know that I am a Toastmaster and last month I took part in the Humorous Speech Contest and won at the Club level, even though I did not expect at all that I will win. It was a pleasant surprise. I went ahead to the Area Level today and guess what? 

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Or am I being too fast to come to a conclusion? All of us write about winning, but today I thought I will write about my failure, my losing. I am terrible at accepting failures and it does not come naturally to me. So here is a personal account of my brain musings when I realized I did not win.

I knew for sure that I was not going to win. Michael, a fellow contestant was stupendous and I knew he is going to win. He was terrific! So, I was mentally prepared to face the truth. When the results were announced, it did not come as a surprise that Michael won. And I should have felt a pang of sorrow and disappointment in my heart, but this time I did not. I was pleasantly surprised with my own self. So have I evolved as a human being and stopped feeling the obvious emotions in such a situation. Or was it that my brain was playing with me and that I was putting up a facade in front of the world, to come home later and break down. I had to wait to know this till I reached home.

But I was smiling all the time, I went out and congratulated the winners. Something I learnt at my earlier win at the Club, when the fellow contestants came out and congratulated me. My good wishes for the winner were genuine, Michael was great and he deserved to win. At this moment I thought, so is this still a facade or I have done the never done. I have finally learnt how to accept a failure? It was still too early to come to a conclusion.

When I was congratulating the winner and returning back to be with my husband and leave for home, a gentleman came up to me. In my introduction earlier, I had mentioned that I was a writer/blogger and joined Toastmasters because it was the best avenue to blend my writing and oratory skills. This gentleman said that he was looking for a blogger for his business and would I be interested? I was pleasantly surprised and said, "Why not?" I took his card and I have promised to get back. This might not culminate into a full fledged opportunity, it is too raw right now. 
But my brain secreted a wonderful something, which was nudging at me to forget about the earlier failure.

With that, I headed again towards my husband and I was greeted by an elderly gentleman. This gentleman has been a Toastmaster since 1989 and has a few Contest wins in his kitty. He is retired now, but his Toastmasters journey is still on. He told me that I was the best and that for him I was the winner. He even showed me the agenda where he had marked 1st place against my name, a little game he has been playing since long. Choosing his own winners before the real result is announced. Listening to him was such a humbling experience. He invited me to his Toastmasters Club to give a speech. 
At this point, my brain started acting more weird and there was a gush of positivity within me and some fluttering in my stomach.

I headed towards my original destination - my husband, when there was a group of Toasties who came up to me and greeted me and they were very supportive and encouraging. We shared nos. and email ids and decided to be in touch.
My brain now had completely forgotten about losing and there was a surge of motivation and bliss. I was sure I will not be breaking down after being in the solitude with my husband.

I finally made it to my husband, where many folks were telling Sujoy that his wife is funny (that is me btw). I went there, held my husband's hand and said "I get all the humor from him" :)

As I came out of the Contest Room and headed towards home, I was convinced that failure is elevating. Failure is fun. Failure is humbling! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Guest Post: Unexpected Sacred Spaces - Pure Hearts

I was over Meredith Bazzoli's blog this week, writing a guest post for her guest series on 'Unexpected Sacred Spaces'. I came to know about Meredith from another blogging friend Lily Dunn and I instantly connected with Meredith's very revealing secrets about her faith and approach towards life. Please do check out her blog to get some great insights on everyday life - Very Revealing.

One might expect to find sacredness in temples or churches, but sometimes you find sacred spaces unexpectedly at entirely surprising venues. Here is my story about such sacred encounter - 

Marriages are made in heaven or so they say. I started firmly believing in this quote when I witnessed my younger sister’s wedding. India is a diverse country with a rich cultural heritage and every regional place has its own sets of rituals and customs. My sister’s marriage was an alliance between 2 completely different cultures and hence it was a huge fun for both the families!