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Déjà vu

Here are the contents from my first speech at toastmasters. This one is for the CC Manual (CC#01). I did get the ice breaker and the best speech of the day ribbon for this. I know if you read this, your first speech is coming up. Don’t worry. I have a tip for you. Bind your story in a theme, like I have done with Déjà Vu. This gives something for the audience to remember and also gives you pointers to remember what to say next. Practice, till you are comfortable. Don’t worry. It will all be good.

How many here have experienced Déjà Vu? A feeling that what we are seeing/doing has happened before? Déjà Vu - French for already seen. Psychologists say 2/3rd of the healthy population experiences Déjà Vu as a part of their life.

Fellow Toastmasters and honored guests. My name is Atishay, pronounced as - A as in up, ti doesn’t have a sound in English, you can equate it with the tea you drink and shay as in the month of may. I will be discussing how my life’s journey has been in cycles and why Déjà Vu’s are frequent in my life - or what makes you to get the feeling.

This is my first speech but not the first time I am in such a situation so many new faces around me - De—Ja—-Vu. I was born in New Delhi and when I was very young, my family shifted to Dehradun, a small city in a beautiful valley back then. Now its a freaking metropolis! Imagine so many people to introduce yourself to, the psychological anxiety was similar as it is now. The huge city of Delhi faded quickly into distant memory. And now I live in the Silicon Valley in a serene and quiet neighborhood lush with vegetation (pause) - Déjà Vu.

I don’t believe in life after death. That’s not a source of Déjà Vu. I am born to a pious family that believes in Jainism; a 2600 yr. old religion built around non-violence. Though the religion has firm roots in life after death, I find the tenants of agnosticism more fathomable. That’s the set of beliefs both Darwin and Einstein associated with them. The concept is simple - we can neither prove nor dis-approve the existence of God. Apart from the psychological effect of having this belief, there is no evidence that such an entity if exists has an impact on our lives. I do believe in humanity and non-violence and I remain vegetarian. I don’t have strict political preferences and do feel that politics is like fashion, with the same trends repeating after a certain interval of time. What was old is new again. This gives us a sense of (pause) Déjà Vu.

I am a geek like so many others you find in the Silicon Valley and am very ambitious. I wish to be a part of making something that has a profound positive impact on humanity. Adobe, my employer has given me the opportunity to come here to learn. I firmly believe in technology as the being the best way to solve a lot of the world’s problems. I am a perfectionist and disciplinarian and many a times irk my wife with being obstinate on certain things. If something is amiss, I have this strong urge of fixing it, and that I have seen and fixed things like this before. Urghhh, why do they happen over and over again… (pause) Déjà Vu.

I am glad to be here at toastmasters and thank you all for inviting me to this stage. I would like to say that Déjà vu is caused by our memories, our thoughts and our dreams. Life moves in circles and each turn leaves an imprint on the memory. All we can hope is that each turn s for the better. With that I begin my journey here at toastmasters and hope that it will only get better.


Here is the video:

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