I am loving the 2019-20 Toastmaster Year in Division A. From the year before, where I had visited all the clubs in the three Areas we had and knew almost everyone by their first names, to a year of massive expansion. 

Picture this! After the initial pleasantry – a quick glance to the face, and a brief smile later my eyes automatically scan the left chest area of the Toastmaster in front of me, in the faint hopes of catching a glimpse of a nametag and club name, and hopefully, a designation scribbled somewhere. Pins are difficult to read, as they can shine blindingly, especially when under powerful lights in a club meeting room. Lady Toastmasters, if you are reading this, forgive me – I am not trying to be cheeky. I just want to know your name and the club that you are from, immediately after I shake your hand. The next time you catch me staring, know I am doing that for a reason. 

Staring I have done a lot – and remembering! Gosh, the blessed alphabets! Not since childhood did I have to match alphabets with photos – and these are real people with emotions (often angry emotions) if the string of alphabets behind his/her name isn’t remembered correctly. The times that I have forgotten, I have had a stern, admonishing looks from them – the bearer of the ALPHAbets. ACBs, ACSs, ACGs, DTMs, CCs, CLs, existed. But, the time we went from being “Nepal with three Areas” to “Nepal being a Division”, the number of people who carried these have exploded. Now we have who are ADs,  ACGDs, APQDs, besides DTMs who are CGDs, PQDs, ADs, and DDs. 

In all of these, I cannot but forget our ALF(PH)A – You know Alfa M. Shakya, the brilliant find of Toastmasters in Nepal at ORATION 2019, who has the capacity to someday take Nepal to the region and to the semi-finals in Washington D.C. Who know, she might even win! Wouldn’t that be great?

Niladri Parial is the President at Bodhi Toastmasters Club and asks for apologies in advance if he has ruffled feathers or hurt sentiments. The above article is to be read with a light heart ☺ 

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