Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Toastmaster's Icebreaker speech -The Tyrovial Pursuit

This was my icebreaker speech - more or less - forgot some parts. Guess what - the definition of a tyro - right at the start.

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I am XX I am a tyro and my life is a Tyrovial Pursuit.


A tyro is one who dabbles, rookie, a novice. Jack of all trades. Master of none.

I grew up in Mumbai/Bombay. I was quite good at cricket, football. But the focus back then was always academics. It was really competitive back then, in india, not now it is. Soon, cricket, football fell by the way side. There were days at end I would come from school, and study straight through the rest of the day and night. Our neighbours didn’t know there was a kid living in our house. When I got tired of studying, I practised juggling, again good pretty good at it. But, never had the courage to perform in front of an audience.

As a kid I excelled at academics. It was probably the hard work, and learning by rote. When I went to my engineering, at technical subjects, I was found wanting. But I discovered my talents as a writer. But nothing came out of it apart from contribution to the college magazine.

Later on, I came to the UK. Here, I found people who pursue their passion passionately and are good at so many things. Whether it be hobbies like football, gardening, cycling, running, DIY. I was genuinely humbling and truly inspiring. I went back to football – 5 a side this time. I started running ½ marathons. But one thing I am truly passionate about is cycling, though not in lycra clad fierce looking athelete kind of way.

I took up running. I have run ½ marathons – some for charity and some for selfish reasons. The great thing about running is that you need minimal gear. You don’t need great weather, you don’t need mates, you don’t need to book courts. You decide when you want to go, where you want to go runnig.

I don’t own a car. I still haven’t graduated to long distance cycling on a racing bike. I have a commuter bike, mountain bike and also a boris bikes for London commutes. I love to use them for routine needs. Travel to work, nursery runs to pick up or drop my daughter. Picking up groceries. And yes, for leisurely rides. In fact, many of you will remember, I said I will go cycling at Isle of wight on Jubillee weekend. I did with my daughter, wife and cousin. In the most awful weather, we did about 12-13 miles of cycling. But we completed it, and in hind-sight, like everything else, it was fun.

But have I learnt to fix the gears and brakes. Or dismantle and reassemble a complete bike. As much as I would like it, no. I have been busy learning tricks on my new scooter. Not an electric scooter. Yes, push scooter. The ones that frustrated teenagers who can’t master skateboards or rollerskates zip around on. I had bought it an oversized one for my daughter. She saw through it. Now, doesn’t want to use it. She wants another one thats pink. Not silver.

Another passion of mine is badminton. I picked this sport about 6 years ago. But have become a regular player, sometimes playing thrice a week. Made some fantastic friends.

Swimming, Tennis are other activities I took up late in life. And I think I am rubbish at them. But all of these have helped me uncover a part of me. I may not be great at these things, but I enjoy them.

Trivial Pursuit is a popular game, I haven’t played Trivial Pursuit as yet. May be one day I will try that as well. But right now, I am happy to continue to pursue a no of things to keep trying, to be a noice. I am happy to keep on playing the Tyrovial Pursuit.

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