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Club No.: 05984189 / Area No.: 05 Division: F / District: 20 1

LT JToastmasters Club Dubai

Issue 1 July ‘17

. . . e r o M e xE perienc

Contents From The Editor’s Desk

From the Editor’s Desk


Founders’ Message



The JLT Excom Crew Merry Moments & Laudable Laurels


And So They Said… Evaluating Effectively




Powwow Pics

Fitness is part of being a Great Communicator Overcoming the Obstacles in Life 2



4 6


The JLT TMC Demo Meeting A Note from our Mentor

10 12

President’s Message

The JLT TMC Brigade

My Take on the Toastmasters Club


Journey Just Started

18 Centre-Point

20 24

Teamwork - Balloons in the Room

Summer is here… Ramadan is here… and so is the JLT Club’s very first Newsletter.

Unlike the UAE summer which everyone wants to escape,

this one was looked forward to with much gusto. Much

like the blessed month of Ramadan that brings with it all

things divine. And so I present to the Toastmasters World a collection of articles, trivia, pictures, etc.. put together by our effervescent and exuberant members. Don’t be surprised if it just builds up the heat some more!!

For a club that birthed just 6 months ago, we have been

doing pretty well for ourselves, so the word goes. With

speakers already participating at the District level contests and taking up roles of Contest Chairs, we have been

growing up fairly good. And we hope to continue achieving milestones that would make any parent proud.

And much like the summers, which also brings along

Shagufta Patel VP Education JLT Toastmasters Club

with it sunshine, coolers, holidays and all things happy;

we have the same on our minds too - Movers and Shakers to pep and light up the scenes with some amazing performances and talents.

Young? Yes. Novice? Certainly Not!

I highly recommend that you get yourself a comfy chair and grab some snacks & something to sip on while you

devour the read we have put up for you, because I know that this newsletter will get you gripped.

We do love feedbacks. So if there are any, please mail

them to me at

Joyful reading and yes of course Stay Safe, Be Well, Soak

in the Blessings of the Holy Month and Breeze through the Summers!!



Dubai-A Civilized India


president’s message

Founders’ message

A new constellation evolved in January 2017, not on

the glowing night skies of the cosmic vast expanse but decorating the bustling skyline of JLT Dubai. A Group

of stars conglomerated together to begin a journey by moving out of their comfort zone in the search to find their voice.

It is a very humbling experience to be the club’s

charter president and it gives me immense pleasure, privilege and honor to be with this team.

The club is extremely fortunate to have been hand

held by a bunch of eminent Toastmasters like TM sudhir kunnath President JLT TMC, Member DGTC

Deepa and TM Rizwan without whose support this

journey would not have been possible. Also thanks to DGTC Club Members for their support. The cohesion,

Jayesh Ved JLT TMC’s Founder Member, Past President of Sharjah TMC, Past Director of Area: 08

bonding and the vibrancy among the club members

with all of them contributing in every manner possible for the growth of the club and its members, proves to


be the key behind its success.

We can certainly browbeat with all humbleness,

that within a short span of time the club has received

numerous accolades, and has also had the privilege of having one of its members, TM Hawabibi winning the second runner up place in the Division contest. With such a dynamic team, the club’s future

prospects appear very bright and we look forward

for our club to shine like the Aurora Borealis in the Toastmaster’s skies.

I thank the entire team especially the chief editor and

her team in the efforts to publish JLT Club’s very first newsletter.


It all started with my casual chat in March 2016 with the then Area Director TM Venkat, when I told him that being a new resident in JLT, I was sad to see that there was no TM club in that most promising area. Fast forward, he later communicated it to our current Area Director MTM Deepa Surendran, a tall leader in Toastmasters in this region who took all the initiatives to charter one. Yes, finally there is a club in JLT, the location that has a vast population concentrated in hundreds of high rise towers around, particularly JLT, Marina and JBR. With the kind of enthusiastic leadership right from the AD Deepa to each and every Excom member, I have no doubt that the club will grow and will soon branch out more clubs as the membership grows. It is heartening to see that the club has really good speakers in its roster and has the potential to produce high level contestants/winners in near future. Congratulations for bringing out the very first Newsletter within a short span of the club’s inception. All the very best to the club and its members. I eagerly wait for those alternate Sunday evenings - the days of the club meetings.

Deepa Surendran, VP-PR of DIC Advanced TMC, Charter Member and Past President of DGTC, JLT TMC’s sponsor, Greens TMC’s Mentor Director of Area: 05

I still feel that JLT Dubai Toastmaster club is a dream. I never believed that we could start a club from nowhere, just out of wish and will. 7-8 months back, I never had a clue about the starting point, then came TM Deepa Manoj, TM Venkat, TM Jayesh, TM Sudhir etc who all had a touch of God or a magic wand in their hands. We visited TATA –ISL’s office in JLT and Capt. Patnaik was fully supportive to conduct our demo meeting in their premises. That was the beginning – Then slowly we added new members to the core team - TM Shagufta, TM Deepak, Subin and 2-3 days later TM Aliyu. I still remember our initial discussions on how to go about it. This followed by massive hunt for a comfortable venue. While we were busy with this task, many toastmasters helped. My club – Discovery Gardens Toastmaster club was a strong pillar supporting with anything and everything possible. Now it’s a pleasure to see the club sailing towards success by itself, with new leaders having joined hands with the founders to take the club to further heights. My only wish is that JLT Dubai Toastmaster Club becomes a leading club in the region which is known for its friendly and supportive environment to all. I wish all the best to JLT Dubai TMC and its members. Regards. 5

The JLT TMC Demo Meeting The demo meeting of JLT Toastmasters Club was held on 17th of October 2016 at JBC 5, Cluster W, JLT. Run up to the very last moment of the Demo evening, we witnessed several rollercoaster moments in ensuring all the arrangements at the venue were well laid out and then began the anxious wait for all the Toastmasters and guests to arrive. For what’s a meeting without an audience? Thanks to our Mentor and Area director TM Deepa Surendran, the entire evening went as planned. The meeting was well supported by several Toastmasters with TM Hashim Haleem helming the whole show as TMOD. The efforts of Toastmasters from other clubs namely, TM Rowena, TM Nita, TM Rajisha, TM Ritu, TM Rizwan, TM Karen also made certain that the meeting was a success and met its objectives. Division director TM Devesh and Area Director TM Deepa explained and clarified all the queries of the guests putting them at ease and eager to begin. The time-tested statement, ‘All that begins well, ends well’ definitely came true for the Club and within three months JLT Dubai Toastmasters’ Club began its eventful journey.



a note from our mentor

the JLT club Excom Crew

Dear Jlt members

Nayana Shaiju President Muhaisnah TMC VP Education DIC Advanced TMC VP PR of Division P

First of all, congratulations on embarking onto a new venture in life. It’s always important to move forward and to take up something to learn. Toastmasters is seriously an amazing organisation & best part of TM clubs are Mentoring Programs. Today let’s talk about Mentoring program practiced by TM Clubs, Mentoring is noting but Talking / discussing / sharing ideas & executing ... as per plan. Mentoring does not start with editing scripts .... mentoring starts with setting up goals and jotting down / discussing plans on complete Toastmasters journey . Mentor is a person who volunteers to give back to Toastmasters as someone guided her in her initial ventures.... Mentoring is not restricted to one member, please speak to minimum 3 and maximum possible members for improvising your role / speech... I will share with you 3 things as part of improving your club role .... - Always speak to member who have done this role or particular speech in previous meeting. (Eg speak to previous meeting table Topics master before you ) - Always try to add spark for every role ... always take approval of Mentor or VP Edu / President before trying completely new element. - Read the Manual.... Toastmaster manual have undergone several updates.... & in every version it has improved... Follow these above mentoring programs and you will flourish with vibrant results ... Good luck !!

Sudhir Kunnath President & Mentor

Shagufta Patel Vi c e P r e s i d e n t E d u c at i o n

Rehana Khalid Vice President Membership

Amit Sharma Vi c e P r e s i d e n t P u b l i c R e l at i o n s

Radhika S e c r e ta r y

Aliyu Palathingal S e rg e a n t at A r m s

Deepak Agarwal Treasurer 8


The JLT TMC Brigade

Merry Moments & Laudable Laurels

Chartering of the Club with a cake cutting

TM Hawabibi Choonawala making the club proud at the Div F Contest






From (L to R): Ashish Saxena (International Speech, Deepa Surendran (AD), Sudhir Kunnat (International and Evaluation Speech), Shailesh Saxena (Humorous Speech 2nd Runner-Up), Rehna Khalid (Table Topic), Hawabibi Chunnawala (Table Topics Winner), Deepak Agarwal (Humourous Speech) and Khalid Khan (Evaluation Speech) at the Area Level Competition



Rumana Rizwan is an etiquette consultant who wants to better the world in her own small way. She’s passionate about history, culture, food – and is always looking to broaden her horizons.

And so they said... Compiled by Shagufta Patel , VP Education JLT TMC

An Image Advisor, Life Skill Coach, NLP Practitioner and a Consulting Hypnotist, Shagufta is passionate about People and Change!! With a firm belief that life does not get better by chance, it gets better by focused change; she went on from being a homemaker of many years to a vocation woman and now enjoying the tryst with Toastmasters. This is her first time with Toastmasters and she has taken on the role as VP-Education of JLT Toastmasters Club.

Toastmasters is an international club helping people to effectively communicate and learn leadership skills in a completely enjoyable learning atmosphere. That’s amazing! When I was first introduced to Toastmasters, I was quite hesitant. But I am glad that I took that step because from the very first meeting, I loved the positive energy that buzzed in the

It’s an inexpensive way to learn useful public speaking skills. I am more aware of my skills, and where I can improve. This next one can be good and bad. After joining Toastmasters, whenever someone is speaking to me, I start to evaluate their speech! Thankfully, I don’t end up giving suggestions to them! Toastmasters brought out a side of me I

room. We all come from such diverse backgrounds and different experiences. Every person has an inspirational story to tell. Some speeches are deep, profound and thought provoking. And then some speeches make you split your sides with laughter. I had not anticipated this awesome feeling that I have experienced. Like all experiences, I have learnt something from my time at Toastmasters. So, without further ado, here is my take on the Toastmasters Club!

didn’t know existed. A side that is strong and confident enough to go in front of a room full of people and talk about my life and experiences. All Toastmasters are here for a purpose: to improve and better ourselves. And we are united in that goal. For me, the biggest advantage of joining Toastmasters was not for professional reasons, but on the home front. Now I win every battle at home. At least, it’s a checkmate for me!

Speak clearly if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.

Transcription found in a 3000 year-old Egyptian Tomb

The art communication is the language of leadership. James Humes

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Life is a lot like jazz, it’s best when you improvise.

“Toastmasters brought out a side of me I didn’t know existed. A side that is strong and confident”


“Make thyself a craftsman in speech, for thereby thou shalt gain the upper hand.”

George Gershwin

Words: So innocent and Powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for GOOD and EVIL they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. Nathaniel Hawthorne

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” Elon Musk 13

By Rehna Khalid VP Membership JTL TMC

Journey just Started 14

Rehna Khalid an Electrical Engineer by profession and the director of a Solar Energy company. Vice President Membership of JLT Dubai Toastmasters club. Passionate reader and life-long learner. Selfcompetitive. Inspired by Sheryl Sandberg to lean in on every opportunity that comes her way. “I don’t think people realize that engineering is a highly creative field because engineers are not good at selling the profession” -DTM Nita Patel. This summarizes why I joined Toastmasters. Being an engineer and later, an entrepreneur; I have faced many situations where I’ve been clueless while converting my ideas and knowledge in to words that could be beneficial to my brand and others. A few months ago, I read the book “Hooked: How Leaders Connect, Engage and Inspire with Storytelling” in which, authors, Gabrielle Dolan and Yamini Naidu beautifully described how we can utilize stories to convey messages. At the same time, I discovered the new Toastmasters Club that had just begun in my neighborhood.

Early Days of JLT Dubai Toastmasters Club

“If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship don’t ask what seat, just get on!” As she is for the millions of female professionals around the globe, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is huge inspiration for me as well, since the time I read her book ‘Lean In’ back in 2014. Hence, her above quote was the closing statement of my Icebreaker speech to inspire the audience, after introducing the daring explorer in me. This is what precisely happened when I contacted the club president and sponsors to join the Toastmasters; they offered me the position of VP- Membership of the club which was in the pre-chartering stage. Without any second thought, I accepted the club

officer role and with the support of our area director TM Deepa S, my mentor TM Rizwan and the club president TM Sudhir, I began contacting the previous guests to try and convince them to join as members. One of the biggest advantages that I got from this position was the opportunity to create a special bond with each and every member and guest.

Contest Season

It is the contest that delights us, not the victory” - Blasé Pascal This was my motto while competing in the evaluation and table topics contest at the club level. But I got the opportunity to represent our club in the area level. Our mentors and other senior members spent their valuable evenings to guide and train us. We utilized the various resources available to us on the TMI website, as well as the videos of contests to improve what we understood about them. All the hard work paid off when our club clinched the first prize in the table topics, and claimed the position of second runner up in the Humorous and Table topics categories where we competed against very experienced and seasoned toastmasters of the neighboring Toastmasters clubs. It was a huge honor for a new toastmaster like me, to be part of the organizing team as the Humorous speech contest chair. Yes, The Toastmasters journey of me and my club has just started, but the improvements I have made within this short period of time, is priceless. As Walt Disney put forth eloquently, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

“One of the biggest advantages that I got from this position was the opportunity to create a special bond with each and every member and guest” 15

Evaluating Effectively By Rizwan Saleem

Rizwan Saleem ACS, ALB is a Chartered Accountant by profession living in Dubai for over 10 years. He is a passionate toastmaster for over 4 years and is currently an active member of three Toastmasters Clubs. During his Toastmasters journey he has held various leadership positions i.e. Treasurer, Vice President Membership, Vice President Education. He has also participated in several Club, Area and Division Contests representing his Clubs. Currently, he is serving as Sponsor of JLT Dubai Toastmasters Club as well as Area Director for Area-21, Division-F, District-20 Toastmasters.

People join a Toastmasters club to improve their speaking and leadership skills. Evaluations are a major contributor to this improvement and when evaluating, your purpose is to help the speaker become less self-conscious, more confident and more effective. The idea is to identify both positive points and negative points and then deliver these in a manner that encourages the speaker. The structure for a good evaluation is PIPS! Praise

Start off your evaluation by thanking the speaker and commenting on the speech using two or three points of praise. You could start with “Here are two things I loved about your speech…”. This builds confidence and highlights what the speaker did well. For example: Was it was enlightening, humorous, enthusiastic, dramatic, colorful etc? Did it tell a great story? Did it “take you there”? Did it hold your attention throughout? Did you feel motivated to follow a course of action? Was the language descriptive?



Follow your points of praise with two recommendations that you believe will help the speaker improve their next speech. For example: Were they pacing up and down? Speaking too softly? Stuck like a ramrod behind the lectern? Provide examples to show how it might have been done better. In delivering recommendations, you should try to be as encouraging as possible and less of a harsh critic. So rather than saying “Your vocal variation was terrible and meaningless”, you might say “I recommend in your next speech that you try to vary your voice to accentuate points or gestures and that this will help to convey the point or issue”.


In delivering recommendations, you should try to be as encouraging as possible and less of a harsh critic. Praise

Complete your comments by giving a final point of praise.


The evaluation concludes with a summary that should reinforce all the points raised so far. Your summary should not introduce any additional points. As an evaluator, don’t get too carried away and make a long, laundry list of points in your evaluation. In summary, evaluations are there to help fellow Toastmasters improve. You can improve your evaluation technique by using the PIPS structure and using aids to make notes. Be encouraging rather than critical and use examples to demonstrate.



Powwow Pics

Crux of the day - TMOD’s, Themes & Takeaways 14 November 2016

Languages of Love

The journey of an endless journey starts with a first step , it also signifies that we are not stagnant and constantly changing to become a better person.

We always think and believe that we love and others automatically will receive it however love like language must be spoken in a way that receiver receives it and understand it. We spoke about how people feel loved and how we can find out the way they feel love, what is their language of love.

28 November 2016

Self Love

- Shagufta Patel Self-respect, Self-esteem, self-worth. There is a reason why all these start with “self”. You cannot find them in anyone else. It is not anybody’s job to love you. It is your job to love yourself first, so that you can help others. You cant serve from an empty bowl, can u? 8th January 2017

2016 Down memory lane - Rajeev Thakur -

It is a memento to the year gone by and how many blissful memories it had showered on each and everyone’s life. It was just not another year but had to remembered as a year of change in one’s lives. 12th Feb 2017

Spread Kindness - Rehna Khalid -

Kindness is a quality that is known to be contagious. When people notice others being kind, they become inspired themselves to act that way.


12th Mar 2017

First Beginning - Sudhir Kunnath -

Speeches, Snacks and Smiles

- Ashish Saxena -

26th Mar 2017

Embracing Change - Hawabibi Choonawala -

Change is the only constant in life. Change represents life itself. Embracing change is a necessity as nothing lasts forever. Change makes us realize the transient nature of things around us and helps humans to grow, adapt, accommodate and move forward. 9th April 2017

Live in today - Khalid Khan -

Take out 10 minutes from your day for planning (morning or before going to bed). In this 10 minutes do effective planning for the day, preferably write it down on a piece of paper. Hence your conscious mind will tell you that action plan is ready, just act on it & you can enjoy every moment by living in today. 21 May 2017


- Brahim Laraiki Using cinema thematic of the movie “Casablanca”, we took a random walk through the streets of Casablanca city. Modern days metropolis, gateway to Africa, where the eastern traditions meet the western influences. Casablanca is at the crossroad of Art, History and Culture. A city of inspiration through its spirit of resistance and glamour…”Bon Voyage!”


TeamworkBalloons in the Room By Amit Sharma Charter Member JLT TMC


I work for a forex & stockbroker based in JLT and live here too. I have found that Toastmaster is the right place to groom yourself and here you can overcome your public speaking fears and hence I decided to join Toastmasters to improve my communication & leadership skills. Dear Readers, I am a stock and forex broker, who joined Toastmaster to improve my communication and leadership skills. Due to a busy and hectic routine I hardly get the time for reading and improving my skills but my fellow toastmasters give me the guidance and inspiration on how I can manage my time in spite of a busy schedule. On this path, while surfing the internet I read one article based on significance of team work which I personally felt very interesting and inspiring and which I want to share with you all. Team work: means a well-co-ordinated group effort to achieve the common goals. In my opinion if your group efforts are not very well disciplined or not in order, common goal would not be accomplished and it will not be called a team work. I love this story on team work, and I think anyone who reads this article will also agree. A Group of about 30 employees were working in a Software Company. They were a young, energetic team with keen enthusiasm and desire to learn and grow. However, one big problem with this team was that they would not share information or solutions with each other. The management felt that employees were too focused on self and not enough on team building or team work so they decided to teach them the importance of team work

and how it is helpful to find the effective and real solutions of the problems. So, the group or team was called to play a fun team activity. The team leader brought all 30 employees into the company’s cafeteria. All of the tables and chairs had been stacked and put away. The room decorated beautifully and hundreds of different colour balloons left all over the place. Everyone was surprised and holding various thought, but still not sure what it was all about. There was a huge box of balloons placed at the centre of the hall that had not been blown up yet. The team leader asked everyone to pick a balloon, blow it up and write their names on it carefully, so that balloon did not pop. A few balloons did indeed pop and those members were given another chance but told that if the balloon popped again, they were out of the game. About 25 team members qualified to the next level and were able to get their names on a balloon without popping. They were then asked to leave their balloons and exit the room. All balloons were collected and then spread into the room with hundreds of other balloons. Five minutes later the team leader brought the members back into the room and they were asked to go and pick the balloon that had their name on it amidst hundreds of other balloons scattered in the whole cafeteria, also warning them that no other balloon should pop, and if

that happens, they would be disqualified. While being very careful, but also trying to go as quickly as they could, each team member started searching for balloons carrying their respective names. After 15 minutes not a single person was able to find their balloon. The team was told that the second level of the game was over and they were moving into the third round. Now this was the third and final level. The team leader instructed the members

to pick any balloon in the room with a name and give it to the person whose name was on the balloon. Within a couple of minutes, every member had their balloon with their name on it. Then team leader then explained to them how much more efficient we are when we are willing to share with each other, and we are better problem solvers when we are working together as a team, not individually.

Moral: A disciplined, well organized and coordinated team work could deliver seemingly impossible results and find a solution to any difficult task. Many a time sharing and helping others give you real solutions to all problems. 21

Fitness is part of being a

Great Communicator! By Brahim Laraiki Member JLT TMC


I am a sales professional in the Information and Media Technology space. I am relentless seeker of learning and self improvement through reading and being active member in forums such as the Toastmasters. I enjoy art exhibitions, artistic performances and various other cultural events. Health conscious, I strive to keep fit and practice a sport activity when possible: currently preparing to participate at the RAK Half Marathon. Finally, I love cuisine and coffee is one of my secret weaknesses. What if I tell you that maintaining physical activity will extend your life by an average of 3.4 years? What if I tell you as little as 20 min physical activity can improve your mood and happiness for up to 12 hours? What if I tell you that physical activity releases brain chemicals key for memory, concentration, and mental sharpness? Wouldn’t that be an awesome thing to achieve? And at Zero cent cost!!! As much as modern life has provided us with virtually limitless possibilities to improve our productivity and comfort, it also brought with it its fair share of sideeffects: As homosapiens, originally foragers (hunter-gatherers), we were made to run, swim, climb, and stretch our bodies to its limits to survive. With the rapid changes induced by civilization and modernity our biological structure, which took millennia to develop and adapt, didn’t have time to adjust to our new sedentary habits. Today, we spend most our urban lives taking elevators to and from our homes, driving no matter how short is the distance, taking escalators in malls, travelators in airports and metro stations. Worse, we immediately reach out for the couch and the remote control the moment we close our home’s door. And to top it off, we orde

Inactivity has reached alarming levels, which got the World Health Organisation to qualify it as a “Pandemic”. They couldn’t be more dramatic. In the common psyche physical activity is often confused with the tear and wear of heavy and often professional high level sport practice. Well, that’s what our procrastinating brain is wanting us to believe. The irony is that one does not have to practice sport at all to be physically active (although that is really a great thing to do). The definition of physical activity includes things as simple as walking, home chores and DIY. The trick is to avoid deliveries and use as much as possible stairs, avoid escalators and travelators, take public transportation whenever possible and grab any opportunity to move your body: I can’t help thinking of a sweaty dance session in your favourite dance studio or night club. Benefits of physical activity are virtually non-exhaustive: it reduces the risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, cancer (yes, cancer!!!) It releases endorphins in our system, preventing depression and boosting our mood and happiness. Financially, it goes without saying, your doctor and pharmacy bills are delayed almost indefinitely. I

always get jealous when I hear about that woman or that man who died at a respectable age without having known how a doctor’s clinic looked like. And let’s face it, to be competitive and sustain a fulfilling personal and professional life, we need to be fit for as long as another 20, 30 or 40 years at least. As Toastmasters, aspiring to be competent communicators we not only need to work on our postures, voices and ability to manage stress levels related to stage fear (which can be improved directly by exercise and physical activity) but also we need to be intellectually focused. And physical activity is proved to also increase our cognitive functions. Now for those like me who usually don’t know how, when and from where to start, I am glad to say that it is really easy this time around: First of all, something is better than nothing, just start by simply walking. Then set small goals: The W.H.O. recons 10,000 steps a day is a good start. It can be achieved with a normal day of activity at the mall, use of public transportation, plus a couple of home chores. Else, go around the park or for a beach stroll for 8km and you are done. Make it fun and with purpose: walk your dog or go buy that can of soda instead of ordering-in. Enjoy it with others: With your pet, a friend, a family member, or your activity tracker device. By the way, that’s a really great investment, but that’s another subject altogether.

In the common psyche physical activity is often confused with the tear and wear of heavy and often professional high level sport practice. Well, that’s what our procrastinating brain is wanting us to believe.


Snap-Cap C aptions

By Sanam Khan Member JLT TMC

And I continue to conquer my fears

One day or day one.. you decide


e v e r y da y


Life is beautiful even with the chaos

By Khalid Khan Charter Member JLT TMC

Love is in detail

Smiling Lights

Say yes to new adventures

The color of joy

The magic is out of your comfort zone


Life is an ocean... Live free like a surfer

Drops of happiness 25



Positive. Loves challenges. Open to change and chooses to see the good in all things. Trevor is a Business Development Manager with a company dealing in corrosion protection products and services. Imagine you are participating in a mega race in a large stadium filled with thousands of people. The race that you are taking part in is called the 400m hurdles race. This format has existed in the Olympics since 1900 and this race is always exciting to watch as it combines both your sprinting and high jumping skills. All the competitors line up at the starting point of the grid and prepare themselves to launch into this race. You are warming up and stretching yourself to take off when the time comes. The gun is raised and you along with all other competitors enter the starting position heads down to launch off. The gun goes off and you take off with your best effort. The entire length of the race is marked with ten hurdles equidistant from each other. You are putting in your best effort sprinting along your track and you are oblivious to the competition that is running alongside you. Up ahead you see the first hurdle coming up a short distance away and you know that you have to jump over this hurdle and power on to the next one. What happens when you come across that first hurdle which looms in the path of your race… ➜ Do you stop and kneel and pray asking for help ➜ Do you ask God why He has put this obstacle in your path ➜ Do you mentally plan quickly how to overcome this hurdle in your path Life is constantly evolving and changing because we are always straining to unleash the best in us as long as we are driven and moving forward everyday and are not plagued by inertia. In our lives too on a daily basis, we will

face hurdles and challenges such as these that suddenly come up on our path. Do we grumble and get agitated as to why this obstacle is hindering our progress or stop to think who could have put this block on the path of our progress. Do we waste our time on these unproductive thoughts or do we look at the obstacle as an opportunity that challenges us and allows us to grow in our thinking. Remember that the battle of overcoming a situation or giving in to the situation is all in your mind and it is the first 10-15 seconds that helps you decide one of the two. With regards to the race, the athlete who has trained and practiced hard will increase speed as he approaches the hurdle and this allows him the extra lift when he jumps to cross the hurdle. The hurdle is just a minor obstacle in the athlete’s path and his/her desire is to cross it quickly and move on.

In life when we are faced with sudden situations that are daunting and bring us to a grinding halt, what must we do to keep moving forward……possibly three steps that will help you to overcome sudden challenges..


If you wanted to climb a wall that was towering over you, you would not stand one inch away from the wall and look at it, because then it would appear like the Himalayas and insurmountable. No matter what challenge you are facing, do not immerse whole self IN surrounded with the problem as you will then feel highly pressurized and overwhelmed. Rather what is required when you are challenged by a situation is to take a deep breath and STEP BACK. This will release some pressure on you and allow you to have a different

“Life is constantly evolving and changing because we are always straining to unleash the best in us…” perspective and vision of the situation which will give you insights as to how you could attempt to overcome this challenge. When you step back and look at the situation again from a distance, it does not appear as daunting and challenging as it first did.


After you have stepped back and away from the problem, analyze the challenge and look at it from all angles with different permutations and combinations in order that you have a choice of options available to you and are not intimidated by what lies in front of you. Select the most workable solution from the options available to you, to give you the best possible outcome to your challenge. In the midst of battle when the heat is on, the ones who are most successful are the ones who step back, analyze the situation with a calm mind and chart out different options available to them

which implies an educated and informed decision rather than an impulsive one.


Once you have selected your course of action and decided the manner in which you will challenge/overcome this situation, STICK TO IT… Most solutions that are implemented by people do not give them the desired results because they start doubting midway, lose focus and are unable to see the finish line which should be their main goal. When our focus is on the finish line alone, what comes up in our path will not really matter because the brain will devise ways and means to overcome these obstacles as that is how our great CREATOR has designed and engineered us.

So let us all like athletes in a race, run on the path that we have chosen without being fearful or distracted, fully focussed on the finish line which is our goal. 27


A Civilized India By Bhaskar Arya Charter Member JLT TMC


I am an Architect by profession with PGDBM. Working in Retail sector while designing and executing shops. Born and brought up in Delhi, India. Happily married to a beautiful wife since last 11yrs with a 8 year old daughter. This is my first job abroad and am in Dubai since last 2 years. I love spending time with family, traveling and meeting new people. A movie buff, music lover and avid reader. Yet to complete two years in this country my memories of my birthplace India are still fresh, as also my memories of starting living in this beautiful country as if it was yesterday. It still gives me goose bumps when I remember the time I landed and my first sight of UAE natives wearing Kandura and Thobe, which until then I had only seen them in movies or newspapers. Back home you hear a lot of stories about “Sheikhs.” I still remember my friend’s words to me, “if you have a beautiful wife and a Sheikh got his eye on her, then you may need to forget her and pass her on to him”…ha ha ha funny. Standing in the queue for immigration I reminded myself about all the things I had Googled; statistics like only 13% natives and more than 50% inhabitants are Indians. When it was my turn, I made an eye contact with a “Sheikh” with glittering eyes, and when he stamped my seven-year-old fresh & clean passport, and I said “thank you,” that was my first interaction with a Dubai sheik and an official entry to this beautiful country. My first impression on seeing a neat, clean, handsome and strong built sheik was impressive, but the Dubai Airport took that away in an instance. A thought like, “is this really Dubai Airport? We have better airports back home” and you in your mind you think again “How can a land of such riches have such an Airport? One of the busiest airports in the world, how can it be like this?” I struggled to reach the driver who came to pick me… my phone although having international roaming stopped workingno calls and no messages. I went to a confectionary shop asking to guide me to a payphone. It was of no use as who would

know +971 will be 90 while dialing from Payphone. I asked several passersby, and one of them guided me to the information desk which was unmanned. I was about to go back to the same shop and ask how to operate the phone, but my luck lady came back to the information desk, and she very politely led me to the booth and helped me dial the number of the driver. ‘Nizam’ as that was his name, asked me to come back to the arrival area… so back again I trudged to the arrival area and the sight of Nizam driver brought some relief… phewww. After not such a pleasant experience at the airport, my dreams were about to shatter as I said to myself, “welcome to the real world” and then I found myself cruising on “Sheikh Zayed Road,” and I was like Oh…my…God…WOOOW. I could not stop myself from clicking pictures, as my phone helped me calm my emotions and I saved some clicks through the car windscreen while sitting beside the chauffeur. Then Burj Khalifa passed by, and Nizam pointed towards it and with mesmerized eyes, I said to myself, “Welcome to Dubai, Bhaskar Arya.”

Then Burj Khalifa passed by, and Nizam pointed towards it and with mesmerized eyes, I said to myself, “Welcome to Dubai, Bhaskar Arya.” On the way to the hotel, I had an interaction with the administration manager who was sorry for not coming to receive me as he had unexpected guests being a holiday, and he asked me to be ready next day morning at 7:45 AM, which was a Sunday. It felt weird as who works on a Sunday? My hotel room wasn’t ready, and it would take another 2 hours said the receptionist. I stomach was growling, and my throat was parched, but I suddenly remembered that I had not informed my family back home about my safe arrival. The hunger and thirst became secondary, and the concierge guided me to the ‘The Mall of the Emirates’ across the road for the payphone. I moved out of the hotel in the scathing heat to locate the mall.

But as they say, there is always something good in everything… as I waited to cross the road, I saw all cars stop at the pedestrian crossing… I was like WOW, it was a beautiful experience. Beautiful cars waiting lined up, none in a hurry to run you down and you walk in style as if you are a model walking down a ramp. I still feel the same when I walk across roads using the zebra crossing. It adds to my surprise, and my eyes pop out, and my jaw falls like Jim Carry in the movie The Mask, each time I see cars stopping at the Zebra crossing to give way to pedestrians. Which made me think who these drivers are? My Google knowledge tells me that more than 50% of drivers are Indians and that gets hard to believe. Back home in India, such sights are a distant dream. Pedestrians here are respected with first right to cross the road when they are waiting at Zebra crossing. I even peeped into windscreens of those vehicles to see the drivers who stopped for the pedestrians, and to my happy surprise, most were Indians, the same place from where I am. When I entered the mall, another OMG scene was waiting for me. People of all races and nationalities - white, black, brown and in all kinds of clothing from the very revealing to the fully covered seen waiting or browsing through beautiful shops. None are staring at the ladies, blond hairs just as common as the Niger skins. African and Nigerians as if saying “So what if the colour of my skin is dark, I am so fit with such good built and I want to show off…will wear skin-tight, revealing clothes.” I saw Japanese, AfroAmericans in their traditional dresses and I must be the only one staring at them and smiling. Most of the shops here are run by Indian staff and all around wherever your eye can go you will find one or two Indians. That moment I endorsed this city outside India as civilized India!


Nurturing Confidence Fostering Leadership

Jlt toastmasters newsletter  
Jlt toastmasters newsletter  

The maiden Issue of the JLT TMC (Area 28, Division F District 105) Newsletter. A collection of articles and trivia by Club members who come...