The team was called for a photo session before the meeting because the chief guest had to leave immediately…and thus strutted on to the podium women in formals defining smartness to a fault.
In skirts, trousers, hairdos and make-up each one was dressed for the occasion. They walked up, chatting, adjusting the order of standing and struck the right poses and smile and animatedly yelled suggestions to the photographer as he was setting up his tripod.
Amid this was one woman, lean and tall in a saree – simple cotton with grey and blue prints paired with a single-coloured half-sleeve blouse. Her toes peeped out showing the pair of brown sandals.
I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Her blouse was round high-cut. A pair of golden studs on her ear lobes was clearly visibly as her frizzy hair, parted neatly in the centre, was held at her nape. She wore a gold chain with a pendant that ran inside one of her saree folds and a maroon bindi between her brows was the only touch of make-up, if it all the adornment qualifies for one.
Women think they are walking encyclopedia on parenting!
As the chief guest was escorted out, I heard ladies around me discuss parenting. I bit my lips and turned away. I fail to understand why humans born females think they are the limited edition walking encyclopedia on parenting! Well, I adjusted my chair and heard my target speak on gardening. Better still, though I have no green fingers, I thought!
The speakaton began and the chic encyclopedias took to the podium. If there were ample ums, ahs, and stutters their pronunciations and sentence structures would put a middle-school child to shame.
How can someone in a saree, up her ankle, speak!
Then she walked up and clasped her hands together and I sighed, “Oh no!” She had an oval-shaped black strapped watch on one wrist and a single golden bangle on the other. She stood flipping the papers in hand and I noticed her nails were cut crew-short and paint-less. “Gosh! She’s buying time!!”
At that moment, she looked at the audience and asked, “How can the projector refuse to co-operate on such a crucial day?” “…It doesn’t have a mind of its own, yeah. But I do. So I’ve come prepared,” she announced placing the placards on the lectern.
And she began… I’ve never heard such polished English spoken with such grace and gusto in a long long time. She received a standing ovation at the end of her 7 minutes allotted time.
She bowed with a hand to her chest before collecting her papers and lifting the pleats of her saree and got off the podium.
Love speaks the same language!
I had to know her better… A homemaker and ardent social worker, she’s a member of several charity groups and juggles her commitments to pursue her passion for gardening, baking and reading.
So why did she join Toastmasters? “My husband is a dedicated TM…never tires of speaking about it…he says, he wants to die a Toastmaster. For almost six years, I listened. But then I thought, if I need to engage in healthy conversation with him, I have to be involved myself. How much can I only listen? That’s why I’m here so that I can talk his language.”