Sugavasi ( சுகவாசி)

Life is good. In fact, it has never been so good, and it has been one hell of a ride so far. Every point in life throws up a "heads or tails" and I have almost always made the wrong choice.... But, I don't get what I choose and instead end up getting much more than what I wanted. Call it divine it I am living my dream. I am very grateful and am totally at peace.

My Unforgettable trip to Singapore

Transcript of one of my Toastmaster speeches

My Unforgettable trip to Singapore

Today, I wish to share with you an experience from my past that I truly cherish. It is about my Unforgettable trip to Singapore.

For you to enjoy this story even better, allow me to give you some background.

I was in my early 20s, fresh out of college, young, fired by ambition, head full of dreams but with nothing in my pocket. I added up the money that was required for achieving my dreams and the total was for 10 million rupees (approx $200,000). My paycheck then was 800 rupees($17). The comparison looked ridiculous.

I needed foreign currency to realize my dreams. I decided to find a job in Singapore.

I applied long distance and got no response. I got a little adventurous and I shot a video of myself, a mini 15 min commercial, showcasing my technical and communication skills. I had my references talk into the camera telling them what a great guy I was. Still, No response. They must have thought I was crazy.

That was when I saw this advt in a Singapore newspaper about a career fair. It mentioned that about 150 organizations would be participating. Here was the perfect opportunity.

I pooled my 1 year’s savings into an airline ticket and took off. That was the first time I was stepping foot outside India.

I arrived in Singapore. It was a foreign land and everything about it was different. The people, the food, the language, the way they spoke English was different. It was fascinating. Even the way you make a phone call from a payphone was different. I had to think on my feet.

I rented this hotel room in a place called “Budget Place”. True to its name it wasn’t exactly a room. It was more like a closet. If you stood up from the bed, you would hit your head against the door. It was that small.

I dressed up in my best wool suit and my favorite tie. Real sharp. But, I was dressed all wrong for the weather. It was a sweltering 85 degrees. I broke into a sweat.

I had butterflies in my stomach. But, I was determined to dazzle them with my personality and charm and get that job.

I entered this huge convention center and there was the Career Fair.

But, Surprise! Surprise!…….It was a Career fair for school kids. My jaw dropped.

There were a million school kids there in cute little uniforms running from exhibit to exhibit. Exhibits of the s’pore armed forces, port authority etc.

And, here I was in a sweaty wool suit with my leather portfolio looking like a fish out of water. I felt incredibly stupid.

I sat in a quiet corner with tears streaming down my eyes. I had just blown a year’s worth of savings.

But, I had visitor’s visa for 6 more days. I was not going to let go without a fight.

I found the yellow pages started making cold calls to prospective employers. I called day in and day out. My 4th day in Singapore, I struck gold. I got an interview with a firm called “Total Automation”. It was a huge success. I was offered a position as a Control Engineer.

I returned home. In 2 months I received notification that my work visa had been rejected.

End of story.

I learnt a lot of important lessons from that trip.

The most important lesson being that even if you put a 110 % effort into an initiative it could still fail miserably.

And, There is a reason why that happens.

You lose something because something better is waiting for you.

When one door closes another one opens.

Today, I am here in the US earning 4 times of what I would have earned if I had got that job in Singapore.

If I would stayed in S’pore, I wouldn’t have met my wife.

I wouldn’t be here today sharing my experiences with you fine people.

What is important is to keep our dreams alive. The means to achieve them will follow.

Exercise Caution

Transcript of one of my Toastmaster Speeches

Exercise Caution

We have been victims of a conspiracy. A conspiracy on a very grand scale. No, this does not involve aliens from other planets policed by the “Men in Black”.
Amazingly, this conspiracy has not been identified as a conspiracy, yet it threatens the health and longevity of every human being on Earth.

With no further ado let me tell you what it is.

Of all the hoaxes perpetuated upon mankind, the most destructive is the one that puts forth the ludicrous claim that “Exercise” is a good and positive thing.

Unlike some hoaxes, this one has not been perpetuated by some crazy cult.
In fact, some our most respected celebrities are part of this hoax. Suzanne Sommers, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jane Fonda are guilty of promoting the “supposed” benefits of working out.

Let’s face it. Exercise is detrimental to health, it threatens our well being and it can “kill”.

How? Allow me to present some facts as we explore this subject further.

All our lives we have been brainwashed into thinking that “Exercise” promotes good health and a long life.
The simple truth is that Exercise has caused more human suffering than the combined effects of plagues, wars and to have to watch Michael Jackson on primetime TV.

Exercise and sports share the same kind of activity that has been the source of an astonishing array of injuries and ailments. Some of them are:

Abrasions, lacerations, Achilles tendonitis, tendon ruptures, adhesive capsulitis, sprains, fractures, arthritis, athlete's foot, blisters, bursitis, calf strain, cartilage disorders, clavicle injuries, concussions, cramps, groin pulls, hamstring tears, heel spurs, herniated discs, Impingement Syndrome, ligament injuries, metatarsal stress fractures, mitral valve prolapses, Osgood-Schlatter Disease, overpronation, turf toe, water intoxication and whiplash.

I could get my tongue twisted and choke to death just by trying to pronounce the names of these illnesses.

Surely, anything that has a probability of causing so many problems be any good for mankind.

We looked at some facts. Now let us use some logic and plain common sense to look at this problem.

Let us compare the human body to say a car. The more you drive a car the more it depreciates. It wears out, falls apart and it’s components become worn or broken.
Well, our bodies are like cars.
Cars don’t get into “better shape” the more they are used. The same is true of our bodies.

Let’s say we take 2 identical cars. One we garage it and cover it with a tarp. The other we drive day after day, week after week. Say we drive that car for 30 years. If you are now given a choice to buy a car which one would you buy…the one under the tarp or the used one. There you go….

The less you use something, the better it performs in the future.

Being sedentary preserves precious energy, protecting bones and muscles by not exposing them to the potentially disastrous effects of “movement” or “activity”.

Exercise has other disastrous effects that we don’t entirely understand. There is a good deal of evidence that supports the fact that Exercise actually makes people stupid.

Let’s take the example of professional athletes. They, arguably, do the lion’s share of exercise in our society. That being the case, let me share with you some actual quotes made by a few of these athletes.

Golfer Greg Norman said “ I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father”.

Shaquille O’Neal was asked whether he visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece. He replied, “ I can’t remember the names of all the clubs we went to”.

New Orleans Saint George Rogers when asked about the upcoming season said:
"I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first."

So, not only exercise harms us physically it evidently diminishes our mental capacity as well. If you value your IQ, avoid exercise at all cost.

What do you do? Let me give you some suggestions.

When you go home, throw the exercise mat and the dumb bells, out. You only need 3 things for a sound healthy body. A comfortable couch, a TV, the bigger the better and a remote. You are all set. You are well on the way for a satisfying healthy life.

If you for some reason feel an insane urge to exercise, get one of those tummy trimmer belts that you see on TV. You just have to wear that belt, and you can do anything like watch TV or have dinner. The belt would silently do it’s stuff and you could get a rippling set of 6 pack abs in 6 weeks, guaranteed.

I’d like to close by paraphrasing Nike, the company perhaps most guilty of perpetuating this insane myth. “Just do…nothing”.