Communicate 98 May - June 2020 Edition

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I N IT'S A START Editor's Note


Know Your Team


From the DPRM's Desk


District Officers 2019-20


Highlights of the Month




Cover Story


The Mains of C98


Lockdown Learnings




Featured - Sneha Phalle


Creative Corner


Lockdown Learnings




Club Focus


In & Around


AND IT'S A WRAP District Officers Elect


Creative Corner


Communicate 98 Team


Back Cover - Artwork



Time is a strange thing, almost like an illusion. It moves slowly at first and then gains speed only to blind us if we try to cross it. When I think of this past one year, so many moments come to mind. It feels like ages have passed since I first took office as the District Newsletter Editor in July 2019. A lot was weighing down on me. Legacy, after all, compels us to maintain the glory and advance it further ahead. As I write my final note as the District Newsletter Editor, I look back at the year gone by, I have no regrets, though at times I do wonder if I could have done more. Aren't we humans weird, never satisfied and always on the lookout for something more? Or maybe it is this very thing that keeps us motivated to explore and improve. I would like to thank every member of this team, both the ones who stayed with us until the end and the one's who left us midway. I would also like to thank, Ravi Sharma, the District Public Relations Manager for his unwavering trust in me and the team. Thank you to the TRIO, Venkata Ramana Dittakavi, Mukta Nadkar and Dipankar Das for your trust and support. Lastly, I would like to thank all the contributors, as well as, readers. After all, it is YOU who motivated us to deliver one newsletter after another. And I believe as Margaret Fuller said, 'Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.', Communicate 98 would have helped you grow, both, as a reader and a leader! As we come to an end, I wish the incoming Newsletter Editor and the team good luck!

Haleemunnisa Fatima

District Newsletter Editor


KNOW YOUR TEAM I vividly remember how we had Community Managers from every major place, however, to cover Divisions E, F, G and H we had no one. It was during that time, I reached out to all the respective Division Directors, and we met Nanda Gopal, aka Gowtham. I remember he telling me, he was very new to Toastmasters but he was fast at picking up. But more than anything else, what I loved the most was his frank genuineness. Over the months, Gowtham, as I fondly call him as proven to be an exceptional team member. He ran contests, worked actively and creatively too! He works at Infosys in Hyderabad and I wish him all the best in his journey of Toastmasters and life! Be as you are, helpful and wonderful.

Nanda Gopal Community Manager

Every team has a member who is silent but will show their commitment by their work. Vaibhav, is one such team member. As a team member, Vaibhav has been open to taking up roles and executing them despite his hectic schedule. Always the first one to edit articles and be on time. Vaibhav is wise and has never shirked away from responsibilities. I hope you succeed in all walks of life and this editing experience helps you in all your endevours. Your kindness and wisdom, I believe are your best assets. All the best! Vaibhav Zarkar Content Curator

Nigel Gomes reminds me of Sherlock Holmes always. But instead of being a detective he has been the knight in shining armour for Communicate 98. He joined our team when we were in dire needs of a Designer. And though I've worked the least months with him, one thing I can definitely say is that he is creative and knowledgeable. He is experimental and boy! aren't they some wonderful ones! I just want to say, thank you Nigel for taking out time for this team despite your hectic schedule as part of the District Design team and helping us in delivering the last few issues. I wish you all the success in the years to come!


Nigel Gomes Lead Designer


Dear fellow members, As I pen down this note for one last time as your Public Relations Manager, many memories flash through my mind - the call from our District Director on being appointed as the PRM, to selecting the team members, to that first PR event on board a flight, to collaboration with TEDx, radio channels, to virtual PR events in lockdown, life has come a full circle in this eventful year. All these and many more that the year saw was only possible because of the unflinching support of the PRM team, my fellow district officers, club officers (specially the VP Public Relations) and the club members! To you and everyone who was a part of this beautiful journey – Thank You! This year, we have tried to take the brand of Toastmasters to another level and the word of Toastmasters to places. I would like to thank the newsletter editor, Haleemunnisa Fatima and her team for publishing creative newsletters on a regular basis. Thank you to the District Communications Chair, Basudhara Choudhuri, the District Design team members and the Division PRs for their commitment round the year! As we end this year, it is time to welcome the new team. I extend my congratulations to the incoming officers and our Public Relations Manager, Aishwarya Vijay in particular. #LetsBrandItRight #LetsTakeToastmastersToPlaces Yours, Ravi

Ravi Sharma District Public Relations Manager COMMUNICATE 98 | MAY - JUNE 2020


Venkata Ramana Dittakavi Mukta Nadkar Dipankar Das Aaron Colaco Revathi Mocherla Ravi Sharma Ravi Teja Marrapu Jasvindersingh Bhatti Avaanticka Narayan Harshad Khiera Amandeep Singh Harshita Lalchand Satish Reddy Eadala Divesh Tiwari Joy B Hans Mythili Sarathy Vinay Kumar Srivastava Akhil Pillai Himanshu Inamdar Khushboo Kanodia Deval Patel Aviral Patle Jyotendra Sharma Tapas Saha Saikumar Iyer Neha Warrier Shekhar Khobrekar Sanjan Shetty Ranjini Rao Ankit Pachauri Ravi Asher Sanjay R Vishnu Medikonda Sandesh Banger Sakshi Srivastava Suneel Potdar Satish Poondla Shweta Saraf Sushil Pawar Manideep Raja Shekhar Satyaram Sandeep Raj Madasu Sanjona Jonnavithula Adnan Ali Uday Kiran Sodima Annish Mohapatra Jayasree Karthik N S Saisudhan Sutrave

District Director Program Quality Director Club Growth Director District Administration Manager District Finance Manager District Public Relations Manager Immediate Past District Director Division Director A Division Director B Division Director C Division Director D Division Director E Division Director F Division Director G Division Director H Division Director J Division Director M Division Director O Division Director P Area Director A1 Area Director A2 Area Director A3 Area Director A4 Area Director B1 Area Director B2 Area Director B3 Area Director B4 Area Director B5 Area Director B6 Area Director C1 Area Director C2 Area Director C3 Area Director C4 Area Director C5 Area Director D1 Area Director D2 Area Director D3 Area Director D4 Area Director D5 Area Director E1 Area Director E2 Area Director E3 Area Director E4 Area Director E5 Area Director F1 Area Director F2 Area Director F3 Area Director F4

Annem Yasaswini Sainadh Gupta Vineela Padmaja Balla Gautam Ayyalasomayajula Siddharth Vedulla Surekha Thandra Devika Padam Animesh Mahapatra Chaitanya V Eshant Gupta Manav Makhija Mrunal Hatwar Akashdeep Agarwal Vaishalee Sheth Mavani Deepa Rajendra Shetty Santosh Akella Ajay Kumar Syona Fernandes Clyde Tellis Utkarsh Ajay Shah Vasudha Lal Nabanita Das Suhas Ananthanarayanan Ramya Kesharwani Vikram Sikka Pramod P B Neil Doshi Sagar Pawar Dhaval Vyas Jayeshkumar Pindoriya Chandrashekar D P Vijay Kalke Pavan Teja Basva Smita Mishra Mayuri Assudani G. K. Aajay Shireesh Nadkar, DTM Mayank Naidu Ankit Dasgupta Shubhangi Pandey Mario Rozario Avinash Kumar Sharma Ramakanth Konatham Usha Udayshankar Bharat Shah Haleemunnisa Fatima Basudhara Choudhuri Ron Billimoria

Area Director F5 Area Director G1 Area Director G2 Area Director G3 Area Director G4 Area Director G5 Area Director H1 Area Director H2 Area Director H3 Area Director H4 Area Director H5 Area Director J1 Area Director J2 Area Director J3 Area Director M1 Area Director M2 Area Director M3 Area Director M4 Area Director M5 Area Director M6 Area Director O1 Area Director O2 Area Director O3 Area Director O4 Area Director O5 Area Director P1 Area Director P2 Area Director P3 Area Director P4 Area Director P5 District Parliamentarian District Credentials Chair District Logistics Manager District Training Manager District Chief Judge District 98 Pathways Chair DCP & Awards Chair District Marketing Manager Club Extension Chair - Community Club Extension Chair - Corporate Club Extension Chair - New Initiatives Club Coach Chair Club Coach Manager Club Coach Manager District Audit Committee Chair District Newsletter Editor District Communications Chair District Webmaster






Keynote Speakers:

Ali Fazal

Day 01

Sarah Khan

Day 02

ELOQUENCE 2020 - D98 ANNUAL CONFERENCE We all, as a community have experienced this one emotion in synchronisation, 78 billion people feeling alarmed at the same is as beautiful as it is haunting Our modern reality is wearing masks, avoiding handshakes & following social distancing guidelines. As a Toastmaster, I understand how difficult it is to not network, and be able to meet people. The reality is strenuous on our annual gathering managers more than any other Toastmaster. “Eloquence" has been the talk of District 98 ever since it became a part of it. Never in its history has it ever been cancelled the annual event. Fortunately, the modern world equipped with internet and smart devices is a blessing. The annual event brought together all the Toastmaster from around the world, and with flying colours the “Team Eloquence” conducted the event flawlessly on May 30 & 31, 2020. The International Speech Contest, Table Topic Contest, Evaluation Contest & Humorous Speech Contest conducted were without any glitches. A brilliant mix of “zoomasters” upheld the integrity and excellence of Toastmasters content. It was altogether a “one” of-a-kind experience for the contestants as well as the audience. Apart from the contests, the team invited two keynote speakers to add to the fun.

On Day 1, we met Ali Fazal, an artist and actor. Mr Fazal shared his life experiences and gave us a peek into his personal life. On Day 2, we met Sarah Khan, an Activist, Peacemonger, TEDx Speaker, and a Toastmaster. Sarah shared her experiences of her Toastmasters journey & her work as a humanitarian activist. Her speech and interaction were inspirational.




Installation ceremony of District Officers elect

In addition to this, the event witnessed several clubs and members across the District being awarded for their efforts throughout the year. Some notable awards being the coveted Diamond Club Award, Pristine Award, Communicate 98 Awards, Recognition for Team members and much more. Along with this, our newly elected District Officers for the term 2020 - 2021 were installed by International Director, Sudha Balajee! Furthermore, the four much awaited contests were another highlight of the District conference. The excitement was contagious. After the rigorous competition, we finally had the 4 winners. International Speech Contest - Praveen Wadalkar - Representing District 98 in the Semi-Finals Humorous Speech Contest - Avinash Singh Speech Evaluation Contest - Nikhil Halwalkar Table Topics Contest - Nikita Prabhu Lastly, despite the obstacles and roadblocks, Team Eloquence managed to deliver an incredible blend of learning and fun experience. The persistence and enthusiasm of members have always made the Toastmasters community a welcoming and safe family. Eloquence Online has been just another reminder of the diligence, service and respect of the Toastmasters community towards each other and its guests.

Like how David Lloyd George once said: “The finest eloquence is that which gets things done.� Edited & Compiled by - Tanya




DOLLY CHOPRA Mumbai Toastmasters

STRESS BUSTER Lockdown was announced. I was busy working from home, working for home, husband and children. Very soon I realised, my home has become my office too. It was a hectic schedule juggling between various roles.T o rip apart this distress, something extremely happened and that was IPL, Impromptu Premier League at Mumbai Toastmasters. It started with an auction of players. Six teams were formed and rounds of matches started between different teams. Each day was full of excitement as to which team would win the match. Practice sessions were taken by the mentor in full swing. I was highly impressed by the role of a mentor who gave his heart and soul into the practice sessions. We were awake late nights practising for the different themes of Table Topics. In rounds of Table Topic matches different themes and topics were served and players were all set to play each ball. I do vividly remember how the frequency of practice sessions increased tremendously and all the players put in their best efforts striving to enter semi finals.I was thoroughly enjoying the whole journey and trust me how the time flew during this quarantine cannot be put in words. The day of final match arrived. Carpe Diem and Toastbusters giving a tough competition to each other. It was a neck to neck,nail biting match.Carpe Diem won the finals and I gained so much through this IPL series.It broadened my thinking horizon and my cognitive skills. This IPL platform made me a confident and better version of myself. The IPL series was brilliantly conducted by our VP Education Hardik that I sincerely wish that it should be taken on a global level now to reach to maximum members in Toastmasters.




POORNIMA THAKUR Andheri Orators Toastmasters

LESSONS LEARNT Gone are the days when people socialized and complained about how busy their lives were. The bustling streets are deserted and the incessant traffic has now vanished only to be overshadowed by the chirping of birds. The very things that annoyed us find a special place in our hearts today – the terrible traffic, the work charade and even the occasional family get-togethers! Whether we like the lockdown or not, one thing is certain – we have learnt a lot. Since the past 4 years, I have been working in a closed cubicle, eager to do something other than sleeping during the weekends. While my mother had learned how to cook, take care of the house, study and raise kids by the time she was my age, I could barely boil a cup of water. However, this lockdown period was indeed the perfect opportunity to explore my hidden talents. However, there are two things that I have come to learn and admire immensely during this lockdown. First, the value of family. I could have never imagined standing by my mom, laughing and trying out new recipes or simply watching TV with my siblings without any deadline or routine. The sharing of moments, cooking together or simply gossiping has rekindled all the connections, that were lost when we were busy with our lives. I am one of the lucky ones who is with family during this lockdown and I cannot tell how thankful I am for that.




Secondly, the importance of adapting. Who would have thought that the world would come to such a stand-still that all of us would be forced to sit in our homes and carry on with our daily activities? But thanks to human’s way of adaptation, nothing seems impossible. Companies all over the world, our world leaders and even Toastmasters are all up and running today due to their power to adapt. I have learnt that in order to survive, it is very critical to keep adapting, keep changing and keep learning, which is why I have dedicated my time to add new skills and hobbies. It is true that this lockdown will end eventually, but what I have learnt in this entire period is to keep learning – because, in the end, these lessons will always pull us back from the dark times that we may be in. Edited & Compiled by Vaibhav




In Conversation with Sneha Phalle From working in corporate to working with NGO's to taking education to the grass root level in India, Sneha Phalle has come a long way. Read her journey and how it motivates her in her own words! C98: You started as a Healthcare Services professional, working for corporates but now you are active in the field of Education in remote parts of various Indian States. How and why did this transition happen and also how much time did it take for a total commitment? Sneha: After trying out the corporate life for a while, I realized that it does not give me the satisfaction I am looking for in my life. I quit and decided to follow my passion of dance and travel. I co-founded a travel company, 'Mapping Journeys', to facilitate travel experiences for others. As a full-time traveller for 2 years, I was able to explore the interior lands and far away mountains and villages. The interaction and conversations with people in all of those places brought me face to face with the problems of a world that I cared about. Wanting to be a part of the solution, I started teaching with an NGO in Mumbai. This was when I realized, being a teacher gave me the most satisfaction. I decided to continue to work in the education sector. I have stayed here, progressing and now being associated with multiple organizations which are all working for education development. It took me 3 years to transition to a full-time


education sector role from the time I let go of the corporate world. C98: What, when and where was your first project with 'Adhyayan Foundation'? What were your experiences, (both supportive and challenging)?

Sneha: My first project with Adhyayan Foundation is the Goa project, Systemic School Improvement Program (SSIP). We started this project in June 2018. I had been wanting to work in the public education sector for a while and this was the perfect opportunity. This was my first time working with a government system. Throughout these two years, there were quite a few challenging times, but all of those were opportunities to learn and grow. This program was undertaken in June 2018 in partnership with the Directorate of Education, Goa, to improve the quality of all 827 Government Schools in the state. So far, through this program, 177 assessors from within the system have been trained, the capacity of 104 hub leaders (who are serving as school leaders) is being built to drive the data-based improvement journey in their group of 5 - 15 schools.



The state has set up strong professional learning communities wherein schools collectively review evidence of their progress and support each other in taking next steps. So far, 827 schools have begun to work on their action plans for improvement and are being regularly monitored by their hub leaders. Data is available at all levels - hub, taluka, zone and state. This data is reviewed every month by system leaders at the various levels and is used to make targeted decisions for improvement including what professional development the school leaders and teachers need. C98: You are an avid traveller and are the cofounder of 'Mapping Journeys'. How does that help in your current profile of a State Coordinator in Adhyayan Foundation? Sneha: As the State Coordinator in Goa, I am overseeing the program here. My job role includes meeting with leaders in the education system at their offices and visiting government schools across the state. These government schools are throughout the state, in the rural as well as the urban areas. Most of us know Goa for the beaches and night clubs! I have been fortunate to experience Goa in much more depth and all the glory. Due to the school visits, I have been able to drive all over the state, reach extreme corners where schools are deep inside a forest, on top of a hill or right across the sea. When I decided to let go of Mapping Journeys for full-time work in education, I hadn't foreseen the stress I would have to go through while working in public systems. There were months of frustration because I thought I have given up travelling and I’m working for things that aren’t changing in any way!


Now, looking back at the time in Goa, I realize travel has never left me. It has become an integral part of my work. It’s been 20 months of visiting the remotest parts of this beautiful state, seeing stories of committed teachers and meeting amazing people who are the change. Driving through the narrow lanes, surrounded by plants that threaten to overtake human settlements and homes that stand out because of the bright yellows, reds and blues but blend right into the forests surrounding it, I am made aware that I can never describe the beauty of this place in comprehensive words. C98: Now that you are training and mentoring teachers, What would you suggest to our readers about their approach to public speaking?

Sneha: I think I became more and more confident when I was sure about the content being delivered. As my experience in the field increased, my knowledge increased too and I was able to articulate my thoughts better. An important learning has been to keep the audience engaged through questions, activities and discussions. All teachers know the importance of voice modulation, body language and movement to have an attentive class. Personally, I have worked hard at ensuring to add humour to my sessions to keep it a lively interaction. C98: Given the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a countrywide lockdown and schools are shut, in such a situation how is the foundation conducting classes? Have you shifted to the online learning model or some other methods are in place?



Sneha: As soon as the lockdown was announced in Goa, the Directorate of Education (DoE) Goa started efforts on figuring the approach for teachers to reach out to their students in this situation. In the month of May 2020, the DoE undertook a massive exercise of training about 10,000 teachers of government and aided schools in the state, with consultation by Adhyayan Foundation. The objective of this training was to enable the teachers to plan effectively for increasing learning outcomes of students. In the COVID situation, the training had an added objective of helping the teachers transition to virtual and distance teaching and learning. In the preparatory phase, 336 school leaders and teachers were trained as master trainers. 336 computer teachers were also trained to provide technical support to those master trainers. Phase 1 saw 5000 teachers trained by 672 master trainers and computer teachers in 168 batches. In phase 2, the remaining teachers were trained by the same team of facilitators. The feedback received from trainers, as well as the teachers, have been amazing to see. They started with a fear of technology, but by the end, they have mastered the skills required for the pandemic situation. The commitment displayed by everyone has been exceptional. They have managed bad network areas, low access to devices and juggling other work. Teachers have also started connecting with their students and school teams to conduct classes and meetings.

Winner - Trivia April 2020

Akshay Singh TCS Maitree Toastmasters Club

The teachers’ community has been especially happy about being able to build their own capacity of leading, training and learning, as well as supporting each other. Edited & Compiled by: Sakshi S.




PREETI THORAT Atlas Copco Toastmasters Club

CHOICES “Sometimes you make choices in life, and sometimes choices make you.” During the lockdown, while attending virtual meetings of Toastmasters I came across a pathway project “Inspire your audience” and I got a challenge to motivate my club members and raising the awareness. As we all are sailing in the same boat of lockdown, and keeping the different and challenging period going ahead, I choose the topic “Cost of living Vs Cost of Lifestyle” for my speech. While studying and preparing for this speech I came across many facts, figures and important points, which I shared in my talk. Also, this gave me a good time and angle for introspection. The bottom line of the topic which I interpreted, and the whole group agreed to was “Cost living is never expensive, it’s the cost of lifestyle this is expensive.” In this journey, I was also successful in bringing out the importance of budgeting in front of all. The learnings from the whole process of this speech, and the motivational feedback from the members of the group, inspired me deeply. I even bagged the second position for the speech in the International Speech Contest at club level. Now, I made a choice to let the light of my lockdown lesson spread even further and inspire more and more beings. I have very great memories and learnings of my pathway journey while delivering each speech, every project, evaluations and unstoppable toastmaster’s virtual meetings during this whole lockdown. I chose to be inspired, remain motivated and spread the positivity to all the people with whom I come across, not only during the lockdown, but forever.




RAJENDRA KUMAR Kharghar Toastmasters Club

K or OK?

For obvious reasons, we are curious to know the location of manufacturing when we buy or use any goods these days. Similarly, the title of this article also raises a curiosity amongst the readers - what does this stand for? Is it an abbreviation, Palindrome? Our general dictionaries do not have such a word, but on WhatsApp, I either find K or OK. Interestingly, my go-to friend Wikipedia says KoK is a common surname used in China. Now you might be suddenly guessing - why am I bringing THEIR surnames when WE have enough surnames for a full hard drive to fall short, in our country itself? My version of KoK is relevant to the present world we live in, day or night, we are even closer to it at work, study, play or in semi-sleep states, In all possibilities of our states through the day. I am not keeping all of you guessing it anymore as I am not finalizing a speech project or a novel script. I was elated to see my District welcoming short articles for the newsletter. It made me switch on my laptop in the wee hours, making me feel like one of those eminent writers who wish to have likes, subscribers or shares on social media, as it is the only way of tagging others in this situation. I don’t wish to be a body double for Chetan, Devdutt, or Kushwant for a second. I am determined to publish my writings too, not using keys ctrl + c and v. Without dragging the suspense of what the title might mean, it is something we use often - Keys on Keyboard, a short form I seemed to invent just today, as KoK. ☺ Hoping this would emerge on Wikipedia one day and give you all the trouble to scroll your keys on your laptop or mobile to read my writing and what these 3 letters could possibly stand for.




This small piece of environmentally friendly plastic keys have several life lessons for us to take away from, especially now, be it Pause Break, Shift, Ctrl, Space, Home, Esc...all of these tiny keys not only have digital meaning but so much more.. a real meaning in today’s context we live in. Space means Social distancing, Home means stay Home, Ctrl means controlling yourself from touching eyes, mouth or face when outside, or even that extra snack in the middle of the night. I wish to continue not to use “Pg End” key for my first article as I finish this piece. Edited & Compiled by Sakshi S.




DILBAGH SINGH President | Oracle Hyderabad Toastmasters Trust you all readers are keeping safe and healthy in these trying times. The current times of COVID-19 present so many challenges to us in that we cannot go out to workplace, vacations and we feel miserable and limited in many ways. These times, although close many doors, do open many more doors and opportunities for us such as upskilling ourselves by attending so many online meetings from clubs in different parts of the world. Last year in May 2019, Oracle Hyderabad Toastmasters Club (OHTM) was at the rock bottom with dwindling member base and demotivated members that we could not even conduct regular meetings. The club officers were considering closing the club. That was when the club officers met DTM Sunil Khunteta and as per his suggestions and after some deliberations, the EC took some bold steps like changing the meeting timings to suit more members, conducting the meetings in the same conference room for consistency, and focused on quality of the meetings. These changes brought in desired results such as strengthening the existing membership, increasing new membership, and giving the club a new lease of life. We conducted Moments of Truth meeting twice this year and that gave us constructive insights to move forward. By implementing these measures, we came out of the vicious cycle and marched towards a victorious cycle. It gives me immense pleasure completing the Toastmaster year 2019-2020 successfully with each one of us progressing in our learning. The achievements for the year are: (listed on the next page)




Membership strength - 8 members (June 2019) to 21 members (April 2020) Meeting # 176 in May 2019 to meeting # 200 in May 2020 On the way to achieve “President’s Distinguished Club” award Moments of Truth meetings - twice in the year Conducted joint meeting for Area E1 along with education session on Evaluation Member Educational Awards CC completion - TM Madhav, TM Mahesh, TM Nikitha, TM Lakshmi CL completion - TM Nikitha, TM Sri Lalitha, TM Dilbagh Pathways Level 1 - TM Nikitha, TM Bhargav Pathways Level 2 - TM Lalit, TM Vyshnavi Golden Feather Award - TM Lalitha Online meetings from April 2020 Humorous speech contest Club and Area level winner & Division level Runner-up - TM Lalit Evaluation Contest Club level winner and Area level first runner up - TM Lalit International speech contest Club level winner and Area level first runner up - TM Lalit Table topics Contest Club and Area level winner - TM Lalit My sincere thanks to TM Manideep (Area Director, Area E1) for his constant support in all club activities and numerable brainstorming sessions. A special mention to TM Sri Lalitha (VP Education) and TM Nikitha (VP - Public Relations) who rose to many occasions and displayed their leadership skills. Without these three contributors, we could not have achieved this feat. Looking forward for a new Toastmaster year where the new leaders on board will raise the bar for OHTM. Happy learning to you all!




Note: Please note we have had a total of 12 members in the team. A few have not been able to share their experience as they are busy working on this edition ;) Our heartfelt thanks to each :)

ASEEMA SULAKHE COMMUNITY MANAGER Murder Mysteries! My all-time favourite genre. I admire how the writer weaves all the characters together to end up with that perfect murder. The motive, the backstory and the cover-up. All of these are elements that need a coordinated effort and thinking on part of the author. Each character must play its part to lead the readers through the murderous journey. I can relate my experience of being a part of the Communicate 98 team to that of being a character in creating that perfect murder mystery! With Fatima being the mastermind who made sure the team as a whole delivered quality content for the readers. I always thought newsletters are a fun way to fuel up one's creativity. But after joining the team I realized there is so much behind-the-scenes work to be done to get that final newsletter. I could see multiple leadership styles and understood that true leadership emerges in the time of a crisis. Because calm seas never made the best sailors! The past year has provided immense learning on a personal front. I realized the importance of having a good work ethic and how to manage my time keeping in mind the commitments that I make. I met a bunch of wonderful Toastmasters and have improved at the art of conversations. My love for writing has grown more than ever as I came across different styles of putting forth one's thoughts. I am glad I clicked on the form a year ago nominating myself to be a member of the newsletter team. I got to experience the newsletter journey that has unfolded like the perfect murder mystery.




NANDA GOPAL COMMUNITY MANAGER Just three months into joining Toastmasters, I interviewed for the Community Manager role a year ago. I was skeptical of taking it up at first. But looking back, I realize that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. There's no other way I would want to venture into leadership roles in my Toastmasters journey. As the Community Manager, I had the opportunity to meet and connect with many dynamic leaders and eloquent speakers from all over the District. From reaching out to Toastmasters across Divisions E, F, G, H, and telling them about the newsletter and the vital role it plays in an organization such as this to encouraging and ensuring they contribute to it, my Toastmasters family has just increased manifold. Curating & sharing the final draft of the newsletter is a matter of immense pride for the team. We strive hard so that we can celebrate individual's or club's achievement with all of D98 at the end of every month. This team, without a doubt, is one of the best teams with which I've had the opportunity to work. And I consider myself lucky and honored to have served the District 98 Toastmasters fraternity in a small way.

NIGEL GOMES LEAD DESIGNER I am completely grateful for having the opportunity to take on the role of the Lead . Designer of Communicate 98, even though its been only for a short few months Through this short but extremely rewarding tenure, I got a sneak peak into all the behind the scenes action that goes into the makings of a newsletter. I have to admit, it’s really a lot of work and I have to commend you Fatima and the entire team for having executed your roles so brilliantly. Personally, this role has given me the opportunity to express my creativity on a platform that impacts so many people, and as such, has been a very rewarding experience. This years team has definitely set a standard for the newsletter team that follows. Kudos to you all.




TANISHA SINGH DESIGNER (JULY - NOV) I joined Toastmasters in my first company without knowing anything about it because I believed “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” Unfortunately I was not able to attend even a single meeting there because the club was still being chartered and my project was outsourced. We moved to another part of the city and joined another company. My colleague and new roommate got her membership transferred to a club near to her house but there was no club nearby Hinjewadi , Pune. For the next 4 months I got busy in adjusting to the new company and the new work culture. In July when I saw my roommate attending the Toastmasters Training program , there was something which fascinated me. She used to come back and tell me about meetings and different roles. Then one day I looked for the nearest TM club and found few options. Although the clubs were 4-8 KMs far, I had decided to finally start my Toastmasters journey. So, in July 2018 I attended my first meeting and till date there is no looking back. Taking TMOD role and winning best role player award of the meeting, taking up a role in Executive Committee at club level to different roles at Division and District level, Toastmasters has made my horizon bigger which I could have never imagined. My biggest achievement till date is when I was selected as one of the Designers in District 98’s newsletter- Communicate 98. I saw a call for a nomination on the Facebook page and submitted my design on the theme. Later I received an email and call from the newsletter editor. After my design being shortlisted I had to go through a proper interview and then I was selected as one of the designers. I was so glad to be a part of the district’s newsletter team. I was feeling at cloud 9 - out of seven states of Toastmasters I was selected. I find joy and happiness in my achievements and a reason to celebrate. I feel Toastmasters is not only for communication and leadership but it gives a new opportunity every day, every week to showcase your talent and learn different things. I have learnt a lot in toastmasters and my learning is adding new lessons every day in my book of life. I got an opportunity to know and meet people from different backgrounds and learn something or the other from them. This is the beauty of Toastmasters-one gets to learn from one day old Toastmaster also and from a DTM as well. I hope I continue my journey .




UTKARSH JUMLE LEAD DESIGNER (JULY - JAN) I am glad I got an opportunity to be a part of Communicate 98 team, even though for a short time. It was a great experience designing the newsletter every month with a unique theme. While designing, sometimes felt happy that I was reading all the articles before publishing. :) Newsletter editor Fatima was keen on following Toastmasters International brand guidelines, which made me happy as I’m a Designer professionally and I truly believe in branding. Moreover, she provided all the content very meticulously in a proper folder structure which made my job of designing the newsletter easier. I am disheartened that I couldn't continue after six months due to my professional challenges. Nevertheless, Toastmasters has truly changed my life upside down. I never challenged myself until my graduation and studied in the vernacular medium for my temporary comfort. This resulted in not so good performance in my post-graduation, and further at my work. With every interview, meeting and presentation my self-blame only got bigger and bigger. Toastmasters provided a stage to me with zero risks and boosted my confidence. Recently, I got an opportunity to conduct a lecture in the college I did my post-graduation over Zoom. I conducted the session for 3 long hours and answered every impromptu question. My professor was impressed with it, as I gave my entire entrance interview in Marathi when he by mistake spoke one Marathi word. In these 3 years of my Toastmasters journey, I have learnt more from my mentors and by attending meetings, Area, Division and District events rather than books. I have had a good journey so far, however, I still have miles to go.




GARGIE PUROHIT Mumbai Toastmasters Thanks, Mumma, no not for cooking that delicious meal but for teaching me to make one. For the beautiful bedtime stories. No not because they entertained but they were the only thesis which I have used practically. For being so quiet and boring at times no I did not adopt it but yes it did tell me that you can be beautiful in your own For not liking each and every household chores, No I did not stop doing all of that but I learnt that u can choose what you like and there is no set parameters for a good person. For not teaching me everything because the things I learnt from my own experience left a greater impact When I see women around me with perfectly polished nails and meticulously brushed eyebrows I feel conscious but then I see you imperfectly perfect in every means it is then I realise that it is alright to be your own kind of perfect thanks for that Mumma it makes my hectic morning so much easier and makes me fall in love with me so much more Thanks for teaching me this thing called sacrifice, no not the conventional one but the one which made me learn to sacrifice few mascot people just because society think that they are necessary for a practical life And thanks Mumma for teaching me to admire sunrises, sunsets, flowers, insects and to laugh on my own mistakes there are zillions of things which I have recieved from you. but let me tell you the one which you did not teach me intentionally are the one I practice the most so thanks for the Ideal company you have given me.




AFSHAN KHAN Morgan Stanley Tech Talkers Club

FOR THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMEN IN THIS WORLD OH GOD, I screamed, Thanks for giving an angel in my life in a full gleam I laugh and play and share my day With an ANGEL who is always at my bay She is there through my thick and thin, In my good and bad, In my laugh and cries, In my health and sickness, In my failures and triumphs Who gives meaning to my life and helps me strive and revive She is the best critic, Who helps me improve constantly, She is my moral support, Who help me retry things consistently She is my shield, Who protects me from conspiracies done against me monstrously Thank you, God, for blessing me with a sweet, beautiful ANGEL Who makes this place a paradise, where I DWELL!!




RADHA VENKATARAMAN Kharghar Toastmasters Club


Mid-April 2020 meant no shopping, no beauty parlours, no dining outside and deserted roads. I’m thankful for the telephonic conversations with my friends which have become a muchawaited daily routine. At about 7 PM, I received a call from some new number. “Hello Radha teacher, Hope you are safe in Chembur? I saw the news in today’s paper that Amarkunj and nearby areas have been sealed because of the coronavirus, and I remembered that you stay there.” The voice sounded so concerned that I did not even have time to think about who he might be. However, I slowly managed to ask him who this was and how he’d gotten my number. I also informed him that I no longer lived in Chembur, but had shifted to Kharghar. I could hear an audible sigh of relief at the other end. He then quickly introduced himself as Bankim Trivedi from Kandivali and reminded me that he was a student of mine in the primary school in 1970 and had gotten my number from another teacher friend of mine, whose son, Sai, was his friend. My voice was choking with tears as I said thank you for this amazing day of my life and for his good memories about me. His one-sentence “Are u safe, Radha teacher, we are here to take care of you” brought tears to my eyes. His reply came at once “Why are you so emotional, teacher? You are the one who taught us. Hope you have not forgotten this incident”. And as he spoke, the memories came flooding back. Draw what you are grateful for, those were the simple instructions I’d given these precious 1st graders. Everyone drew something, flowers, parents, even Panipuri, but Bankim drew a hand with five fingers.




As I looked puzzled at the drawing, the young child, Bankim explained to me “Because teachers are the ones who hold our hands, not only do they teach us to read and write, but they lead us through life showing us the right path”. I was the teacher, and yet here I was, finding myself learning. Bankim had left me speechless 50 years ago with his drawing and today he’d left me speechless once more! “I’m glad you’re safe, teacher,” he said, and I was left alone with a silent phone and tears running down my face.

TANVI KHER Deccan Toastmasters Club


Hurrying through the morning, having breakfast on the go, trying to get ahead of the traffic, honking at others who want to do the same, reaching office already tired, willing the clock to move faster so it’s time to go home, battling the traffic again to reach home, only to sit in front of the TV, listlessly switching channels while dining on a takeaway meal. We’ve all been living some version of this mechanical existence day after day, telling ourselves it’s “THE GOOD LIFE”. There is a good amount of money to keep the accompaniments of success flowing in, and we’ve persuaded ourselves that it’s all we need. As long as our car is swankier than our neighbour’s, our clothes more fashionable, our vacations more exotic, we can convince ourselves that we’re doing well.




TANVI KHER Deccan Toastmasters Club In our incessant pursuit for more, we took the comforts of our lives for granted; we forgot to be thankful for what we already had. In our hurried steps, we forgot to feel grateful for the freedom to step outside the house and meet people face-to-face. As we recklessly polluted the very air we breathed, we forgot to be grateful for the freedom to breathe. Too busy to nurture our bodies with exercise and healthy food, we forgot to give thanks for good health. We shunned our traditional greeting of “namaskar” in favour of the Western handshake, until Covid-19 made the namaskar trending! We resented our parents’ constant admonitions to wash our hands after coming home and before eating our meals, until Covid made hand washing go “viral” too! Looking up to the West, we had even forgotten to be grateful for our rich Indian culture. This lockdown, let’s unlock gratitude and count our blessings! Seems easier said than done amid the crashing stocks, looming recession and news of doom? But the good news is that we still have the biggest blessing — life! The virus has brought the world to its knees, but we are fortunate to be alive and well. What’s lost can be recovered, what’s broken can be mended, as long as the fire of life is blazing. Let’s imbibe the “great attitude of gratitude”, and today’s pain and suffering shall mark the birth of a new humanity that recognises the worth of simplicity and appreciates the value of life. Let’s welcome it with open arms, thoroughly sanitised of the virus of avarice!




TRIVIA | SPOT THE DIFFERENCE This Indian cricketer used to practice bowling by placing a coin on the pitch & sketch a Q1. chalk circle around it & spend hours to bowl on that right spot. In Test cricket, he bowled a record 21 consecutive maiden overs (131 dot balls in a row), a record which still stands good. Who is this Indian bowler? This 16 year old girl began her mission to save the world with a simple act of sitting outside her Country's parliament building. She went on to organise 'Fridays For Q2. Future', which became a global school climate strike movement in which more than a million students regularly take part to protest for stronger action against climate change. Who is this youth icon? This popular breed of Dog got its name from a tax collector in the city of Apolda of Q3. Germany who wanted an aggressive, intelligent guard dog. Different breeds were used to develop this special guard dog. Name the person & the breed of dog? Q4.

This woman made a history as the first Indian woman to get a medical degree in western medicine from a famous women's college in the world named Women's Medical college of Pennsylvania. Name this famous Indian Woman?

In the Mahabharata, the Sun God gifted Yudhisthir a vessel that had a never ending supply of food. The name of the vessel is also the name of a modern day NGO known Q5. for its midday meal programme. Identify the name? Trivia created by: Arnab Ghosal | Secunderabad Toastmasters | Area G3

Answers on page 43 (the 2nd last page) of the newsletter!




Thinking of creating content? Read these tips!

Curated by Aseema Sulakhe




What all have you done during this Quarantine? PAGE 32



A MEETING WITH GRATITUDE Yesterday I met a funny dude, He said his name was gratitude, He seems in an upbeat mood, So, I asked him the reason for his attitude? He said his life was suddenly wonderful, As in the Covid situation, everyone was grateful, The working parents become playful, God was remembered for being merciful! The sons were supportive and helpful, The daughters and DILs were dutiful, Mothers and MILs were thoughtful, Only, the children were still a handful! Some were learning to be skilful, Some meditated to be peaceful, Even if some were scared and fearful, Friends and family made them joyful! There was no time to be scornful. There was no space to be spiteful, No need to be crazy and deceitful, Life is simple and blissful! Then said Gratitude, “I am mirthful, To see this situation as hopeful, God’s grace is abundant and plentiful, So, thank him and let’s be grateful!”




EASY BREEZY "Strive not to be of success, but rather to be of value."- Albert Einstein I don’t really know why but this saying suddenly seems to look at me in the face as though questioning, “Am I really being of value or just ticking things off my list in order to comfort myself that I'm productive?” Do I like this 'new' normal? Is there a sense of calm in this? If that is so, then what were we doing so differently and for so long and for whom if we find the current state better? Is Nature truly looking at the human species right now with a grin as though saying, "I kept telling you, pace it out, slow down, the world isn't going anywhere, you'll achieve all you want to in good time, just keep at it and do your best, leave the rest to me." And look at us now. We are all in the same boat! We are all taking the time for ourselves to just reset and start anew. People have started working from home, taking plenty of online courses, delivering lectures and seminars, becoming adventurous trying their hands at cooking or singing; suddenly the world doesn’t seem all that large when I can look at my sister sitting in another continent with the press of a button while she can track my mother's transactions on Amazon online sitting miles away! Not that this wasn’t possible before the 'pandemic' struck us into a forceful lockdown, but the fact is that this 'pause' button has made us appreciate all of this and more. I am amazed that I am struggling to be in 3 meetings all scheduled at the same time; now who would have thought we could be that engaged sitting at home when our mother shouts at us to sit for lunch? I enjoy these family meals that are usually supplemented with a 15minute long discussion on selecting which web series or film to be watched on Netflix. I guess, all in all, this breather is good. People globally, are taking courses, seminars, releasing videos and blogs on content enriched with ways of staying healthy and keeping oneself fit, physically as well as mentally. If this is a second chance at “being human?” So be it. Nature literally took a 360-degree turn to shake us all up and bring us to the ground. Let's get our priorities right this time around.



UNVEIL DR. SNEHA SHARMA Impact Toastmasters Club

The dreaminess that follows, And begins to somersault On my heavy eyes As I hover On the imminent Verge of sleep I think of you Mom. The pain has subsided into My unconscious But the sleep of the conscious  is not as sweet as When you had put me into it; Once, twice, innumerable times In what was once my childhood.



Our lives were so blissful when everything was going on our own will! Until this pandemic has literally brought everything to a standstill! Our tummies were so flavorful when we'd go out to have a quick bite of savory! Until Nature struck the world with its unprecedented fury! It doesn't matter if it is the USA, India, Europe or Down Under! Every country on the planet is in a state of surrender! It doesn't matter if it is a President's or a Prince's residence! COVID 19 can break through any fortress or fence! While the rich and bountiful are enjoying the lockdown as if they're gifted! There are the poor and needful waiting for it to be lifted! While there are few who are relishing their favourite food in the form of a parcel! There are also the ones who are struggling to even get a morsel! But, I am thankful to all the benevolent souls who are helping the needy survive! And to all the Medicos who are sparing no effort to make the patients revive! I am also grateful to all the Police personnel for their relentless effort to put an end to this Holocaust! And to all the people out there who's taken a vow to abide by the rules at any cost!



UNVEIL AASHNA BHIMANI Teradata Mumbai Toastmasters Club

UNLOCK THE CREATIVE IN YOU With every passing day in this lockdown, it becomes a challenge to keep ourselves occupied and filled with excitement. But we, Toastmasters, should never surrender, we should soldier on and find ways to lift our spirits. Hence, I started exploring the creative side of me. I first made a “HELLO prop” just greet the creative Aashna in me, just for a happy start. It turned out well and appealing. Since there is a lot of stress we go through in our daily life with all the stressful COVID-19 news, plus work for home & work from home, a “decompression toy” can prove helpful. Hence, I started making one! It was nice and colourful, perfect to play with.

Why let the child in you die? To re-live my childhood memories, I started thinking of my school days. How carefree life was then! And in those loving memories of school, I made a “miniature school bag”. It looked cute; my mom liked it too. Since my mom was enjoying the art, I decided to make something sweet for her. Moms do so much for us, and their love is unconditional, simple gestures make them so happy! I made a “heart slider” for her to tell her that I love her the most. Trust me, she looked happiest! Then came a time where my niece wanted a new toy to play with. With the COVID-19 conditions it was not advisable for ordering stuff online, so I thought to let her have the privilege of having a creative aunt. I made a colourful “windmill” for her because she loves playing with it. When I blew air to spin the windmill she laughed like an angel. The laugh was priceless. Just a few days back I was missing having fresh flowers in the house (I love flowers, especially roses). Hence, I made “flower vase with paper roses” and enjoyed real happiness which those artificial flowers gave me.




I also accidentally made a “carnation flower” while I tried making an umbrella. Well, failures are not always sad! Sometimes, they lead you to unexpected results and we should never waste efforts we put in anything, that is what creativity is all about I’m so motivated because of this hobby of mine as it releases all my stress. I hope through this article I’m able to convey and encourage the creativity in all the other toastmasters out there! Finding to do something that you love and doing it is the best utilization of these unprecedented times. As Albert Einstein says, “Creativity is intelligence having fun”.




50th Meeting - Hitam Toastmasters, Hyderabad - 11th May 2020

125th Meeting - Ghodbunder Toastmasters Club - 23rd May 2020

75th Meeting - Bhopal Toastmasters Club 31st May 2020

50th Meeting - Pragati Toastmasters Club - 27th May 2020

150th Meeting - Bibvewadi TMC 8th May 2020



IN & AROUND 175th Meeting - Pimpri Toastmasters Club - 16th May 2020

275 milestone meet Infosys Toastmasters Hyderbabad Prakriti club

500th Meeting - Mulund TMC, Mumbai - 9th May 2020

650th Meeting - Mumbai Toastmasters Club - 17th May 2020




Division A&B ISC & TT Contest

Division O Contest

Joint Meeting - Kharghar Toastmasters Club & ISC Bhopal Toastmasters Club - 17th May 2020

Joint Meeting - Thane TMC, GEP TMC, SIMSR TMC, Ghodbunder TMC - 10th May 2020


Joint Meeting - SoBo TMC, Mumbai & Invictus TMC (D41) 9th May 2020

Joint Meeting - Toastmasters Club of Pune North East & ISC Bhopal - 12th May 2020



Andheri Orators Toastmasters, 25th Milestone meeting held on 28th June

BVRIT Toastmasters, 3rd Anniversary, 19th June

Deloitte Hyderabad Toastmasters, Global Meeting with Deloitte Chicago Toastmasters, 16 June

Dilsukhnagar Toastmasters 1st anniversary celebration, 14 June 2020







ANSWERS UNLOCKED Trivia 1. Bapu Nadkarni 2. Greta Thunberg 3. Louis Dobermann. Dobermann 4. Anandibai Joshi 5. Andre-Marie Ampere

Spot the Difference 1. Colour of the pool 2. Design on the snail’s shell 3. Lady Bug is absent 4. Colour of the girl’s dress 5. Sun’s face colour 6. Butterfly is missing 7. Colour of the tree (to the left) 8. Colour of the tree (to the right) 9. Rouge on sun’s cheek 10. Different flowers near the girl’s book




District PR Manager Ravi Sharma

District Editor

Haleemunnisa Fatima

Lead Designer Nigel Gomes


Sakshi S.

Tanya Arora

Vaibhav Zarkar


Abhijit Roy

Aseema Sulakhe


Nanda Gopal


Artwork by Sneha Yadav, JP Morgan Toastmasters Club Communicate 98 May- June 2020 Issue Designed by: Nigel Gomes & H. Fatima


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