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MINDspark Q3 2014

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Quarterly Newsletter of the Orator's Toastmaster Club, Black & Veatch, Pune
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MINDSpark MINDSpark MINDSpark In This Festival Edion Solecism A fresh new look at some common Grammar mistakes. Club Round Up What? When? Where? Who? How? Need we say more? Voices Compositions from the Toastmaster’ Club Members I, think. Write what you think. Don’t think much on that! Gathering Paradise Something. New. Period. Black & White An argument for the sake of an argument. Q3 Autumn 2014 The Quarterly Newsletter of the Orator’s Club, Pune
Page 1: MINDspark Q3 2014


In This Festival Edition

Solecism A fresh new look at some common Grammar mistakes.

Club Round Up What? When? Where? Who? How? Need we say more?

Voices Compositions from the Toastmaster’ Club Members

I, think. Write what you think. Don’t think much on that!

Gathering Paradise Something. New. Period.

Black & White An argument for the sake of an argument.

Q3 Autumn

2014 The Quarterly Newsletter of the Orator’s Club, Pune

Page 2: MINDspark Q3 2014


The Editorial Team


in-Chief: TM Ankur Editors: TM Diana

TM Deepthi

TM Jasmine

TM Nitesh

Page 3: MINDspark Q3 2014


Dear Reader,

“What man can be, he must be!” maintained Maslow in his Need Theory that befuddled psychologists for an intemperate amount of time. This one elegant sentence suddenly required of man to go beyond his cogwheels of work and live life the way he had wanted to in order to be what he could be. That is, if he knew what he could be in the first place? What first taught man to achieve, go beyond his usual self, do his

duty and transgress the hitherto restricted boundaries of humanity to expand them? It was religion. Theology has had the power to drive people in the directions that people wouldn’t otherwise think. What else, for example, could implore Emperor Ashok into giving up the annihilation of fellow humans and make peaceful co-existence state policy? And what prompted Gautama Siddhartha to abrogate prince-hood and wander in the woods despite the welters of worldly callings?

They each connected their individual dilemmas – bereavement, ephemerality of beauty, etc. – to the issues of the larger world – peace, co-existence, abnegation of the extreme, etc. – and extracted the essence which they finally promulgated to the world; ditto for writers about the pantheon of Hindu Gods – Valmiki, Ved Vyas, Tulsidas, etc. – and the icons of Semitic religions. What was learned by them, in turn was taught by them.

This sociology of scale – like the economics of scale – was called the sociological imagination by C W Mills in his seminal essay The Promise. Promulgators of religion are masters of this imagination and can extrapolate it into spheres that are inconceivable for others. They ask, as he did, but three questions:

1. What is the structure of this society and what are its continuous features?

2. Where does this society stand in the course of human history?

3. What kind of men and women exist in this social structure and what kind of characteristics of theirs are manifested in this?*

And when their imagination, based on facts prima facie, conceives an answer to these questions, it becomes enlightenment which is understood by all. Wonderfully though for the adherents of all religions, the people who made them were indeed Gods and worthy of being worshipped. As a rationalist, I think if some people in flesh and blood could at several independent times in history conjugate such marvels of societal understanding, anyone can. Ask any mathematician and he’ll tell you how.

Therefore I argue that festivals are important. They celebrate – besides the cosmic – the societal forces that drove the people who made religion an inextricable part of anthropological evolution by codifying it into neat sets of do’s and don’ts which gave mere humans paths to move on in order to achieve that vicarious sense of sociological imagination. That, is the most powerful gift of religion and worthy of being celebrated every single day. Happy celebrations, every one!

-TM Ankur Mathur, CC




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Page 4: MINDspark Q3 2014


CONTENTS The Editorial

TM Ankur Mathur, CC …………………...3

President’s Message

TM Sunil Pawar, CC, ALB …………………...5

Club Round Up

TM Shashank Jha, VP-Education …………………...6

Solecism TM Diana Davis


I, think: Public connect (Complied by: TM Jasmine Musa)


Voices: My Adrenalin

Pratik Chimane …………………...11

Black and White:

TM Nitesh Pachwarya …………………...12

Gathering Paradise: PPS TM Ankur Mathur, CC


The Word List TM Nitesh Pachwarya


Page 5: MINDspark Q3 2014


The President’s Message -TM Sunil Pawar

The theme for this edition of

newsletter is FESTVALS! And along-

with the whole of our country, our Ora-

tors Toastmasters Club is also in a fer-

vent mood of celebrations. We are not

only celebrating of the numerous festi-

vals of this vibrant country of ours but

we, as Toastmasters, have a few more

reasons to be part of the revelries.

Deepthi Valsan’s speech was pub-

lished in The Hitavada (a newspaper

circulated in Central India, including

Nagpur). If her sixth speech could

achieve this, imagine what’s in store as

she moves forward. I request you to read

the speech linked here.

Our club held two club-level con-

tests, both of which helped us not only

witness enthusiastic competitions but

also find out club nominees for the next

level of contests: the Area-level contests.

And the reasons to celebrate are not fin-

ished yet…both of our club representa-

tives – Amit Jha and Ankur Mathur -

won at the Area level too! I won’t divulge

too much of the details…read the rest of

the newsletter to find out. Amit and

Ankur would be representing Area – E3

at the Division-E contest to be held at

Infosys on 11th October. We all wish

them the best of luck and let’s try our

best to support them with our presence

at the competition.

Enjoy your read!

Page 6: MINDspark Q3 2014


--TM Shashank Jha, VPTM Shashank Jha, VP--EducationEducation


Amit Jha and Ankur Mathur have come out on top in Hu-morous speech contest and Speech Evaluation contest re-spectively at the Area Level competition. The duo is going to represent our club at the di-vision level on 11th Oct. We all wish them to succeed at the di-vision level and represent our club at division level.

As a part of learning program, Orator Toastmaster had organ-ised a unique workshop on “email-etiquettes”. As a club we received a great response and seeing the enthusiasm of the people, Orator toastmaster club intends to conduct many more

educational ses-sions.

As a part of our PR campaign, we have achieved a new height. For the first time, we are partic-ipating for the poster contest as part of the run up to the Divi-sion Level contest.

The club officers of Orators Toastmaster club attended the Officers training program, which resulted in a vital DCP points for the club. The Orator Toastmaster club added 5 new members and as a club we are excited to have new Toastmas-ter and wish them all the best in their toastmaster journey.

TM Deepthi Valsan published her speech as an article in the Hitvada (Nagpur) on 27th Au-gust 2014. We are proud that her written word was published and read by thousands across the nation.

There has been a re-alignment in the club area. We have been shifted from Area F to Area E, which means no further travel to Goa.

Page 7: MINDspark Q3 2014


What is tense?

Tense is a method that we

use in English to refer to

time - past, present and fu-

ture. It comes from the Latin

word time, tempus.

The Present Tense

It denotes a tense of verbs

used when the action or

event described is occur-

ring at the time of utter-


The Past Tense

It denotes a tense of verbs

used in describing actions,

events or states that have

been begun or completed

at the time of utterance

The Future Tense

It denotes a tense of verbs used when the action or event described is to occur after the time of utter-ance. Simple Tense

The simple tenses are used to

show permanent characteris-

tics of people and events or

what happens regularly, ha-

bitually or in a single com-

pleted action. It does not

therefore, involve the use of

any auxiliary verb in addition

to the main verb.


Progressive Tense

It denotes verbs that are

used to express the progress

by steps or degrees. In other

words it can also be ex-

plained as prolonged or con-

tinuous activity as opposed

to momentary or habitual


Perfect Tense

It denotes a tense of verbs

used in describing an action

that has been completed by

the subject. In English this is

a compound tense, formed

with have or has plus the

past participle.

Sometimes you need to give

just a little bit more infor-

mation about an action or

state...and that is where the

perfect tenses come in

Conditional Tense

It consists of a clause, con-

junction, form of a verb or

whole sentence expressing a

condition on which some-

thing else is contingent.

Continuous Tense

Continuous tenses are used

to say that something contin-

ues without interruption, a

prolonged pattern, an unbro-

ken series.

Page 8: MINDspark Q3 2014


Simple Tenses Affirmative/Negative/Question

Simple Present A: He speaks. N: He does not speak. Q: Does he speak

Simple Past A: He spoke. N: He did not speak. Q: Did he speak?

Simple Future I A: He will speak. N: He will not speak. Q: Will he speak?

Simple Future II A: He is going to speak. N: He is not going to speak. Q: Is he going to speak?

Progressive Tense

Progressive Present A: He is speaking. N: He is not speaking. Q: Is he speaking?

Progressive Past A: He was speaking. N: He was not speaking. Q: Was he speaking?

Progressive Future I A: He will be speaking. N: He will not be speaking. Q: Will he be speaking?

Progressive Future II A: He will have been speaking. N: He will not have been speaking. Q: Will he have been speaking?

Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Progressive A: He has been speaking. N: He has not been speaking. Q: Has he been speaking?

Past Perfect Progressive A: He had been speaking. N: He had not been speaking. Q: Had he been speaking?

Conditional Tenses

Conditional I Simple A: He would speak. N: He would not speak. Q: Would he speak?

Conditional I Progressive A: He would be speaking. N: He would not be speaking. Q: Would he be speaking?

Conditional II Simple A: He would have spoken. N: He would not have spoken. Q: Would he have spoken?

Conditional II Progressive A: He would have been speaking. N: He would not have been speaking. Q: Would he have been speaking?

Continuous Tenses

Present Continuous A: He is speaking N: He is not speaking now. Q: Is he speaking?

Past Continuous A: He was speaking. N: He was not speaking when he was told to. Q: Was he speaking while you were listening?

Future Continuous (with “Will” and “Be go-ing to”)

A1: He will be speaking. A2: He is going to be speaking. N1: He will not be speaking. N2: He is not going to be speaking. Q1: Will he be speaking? Q2: Will he be going to speak?

Page 9: MINDspark Q3 2014


A Reader Connect Initiative by MINDSparkA Reader Connect Initiative by MINDSparkA Reader Connect Initiative by MINDSpark

---TM Jasmine MusaTM Jasmine MusaTM Jasmine Musa

Crackers lighting the nights, sweets raising the glee

With blessings showering from heaven here comes Diwali…!

This is what we feel about Diwali. It’s not just a ritualistic festival but its yearly time to get re-charge for a new fresh year ahead. Diwali is the biggest festival in every Indian household and family. It’s a yearly reunion time for families separated by thousands of miles.

Similarly for my family it brings a special joy every year. Diwali preparations start from “Nauratri “itself. We start cleaning our house painting and rejuvenating it to welcome goddess Lakshmi with both hands. This festival carries a special meaning to us as it is believed that god-dess Laxmi comes to bless on the first day of Diwali called “Laxmi Pooja “ on this day we pray worship goddess Laxmi with seasonal flowers fruits and garlands. We have special ambrosia of puffed rice and sugar for her. On all 4 days of Diwali we get up before sunrise, it is a tradition which is followed across the length and breadth of India. All the family members have special bath called “abhyangsnaan” which includes fragrant oils and potions. The next day is for hus-band-wife and father-daughter relations. On that day a father blesses his daughter and gifts her something precious. Also, a husband has to gift something to wife and give her a trust and com-mitment that I’ll stand by you in good or bad equally. This day reminds us of our family duties and how we value our near and dear ones. The final day is dedicated to the relationship of brother and sister on this day both the brother and the sister gift each other something and re-mind each other of a lovely bond they share.

Diwali carries a lot of significance in the Indian culture, it means inner enlightenment, victory of divine over evil and a celebration of wonderful relations we have. I cherish and love this tra-dition because it gives me some extra energy to tackle the problems I face around the year. It reminds me of the importance of various relationships I possess. Finally it compels me to intro-spect and find the inner light which guides me in tough times.

Every year I and my family celebrate Eco Sensitive Diwali by saying “NO” to fire crackers and “YES” to life…!”

-Pankaj Pagare

Page 10: MINDspark Q3 2014


Here’s a unique story of Diwali that I think very few people

would know:

According to the Skanda Purana, the goddess Shakti observed

21 days of austerity starting from ashtami of shukla paksha

(eighth day of the waxing period of moon) to get half of the

body of Lord Shiva. This vrata (austerity) is known as

kedhara vrata. Diwali is the completion day of this austerity.

This is the day Lord Shiva accepted Shakti into the left half of

the form and appeared as Ardhanarishvara. The ardent devo-

tees observe this 21 days austerity by tying 21 threads on a ho-

ly urn and 21 types of offerings for 35 days. The final day is

celebrated as kedhara gauri vrata.

-Rajshree Borkar

On the second day after Diwali, we celebrate Annkut

which confirms the festival also as a harvest festival.

We make a pulses and rice porridge and a curry of sev-

en vegetables to be offered to the Gods before it is con-

sumed. On the second day after Diwali, at my home,

we pray to anoint the inkpot and an ink pen by tying

the holy thread around them and a special offering of

puffed rice, chick peas and coriander seeds is prepared.

A new year of education and abundance is wished for

and this lends the festival a unique touch.

-Ankur Mathur

If you have

a story



...mail them


[email protected]

m and we’ll

feature it!

During Ganesh Chaturthi, which celebrates Lord Ganesha's birthday, another deity who is wor-

shipped is Goddess Gauri. Goddess Gauri is Lord Ganesha's mother. And considered to be one

of the many forms of Shakti, the Mother of the universe, with lots of power. Goddess Gauri is

symbolic of fertility and motherhood and of the victory of good over evil. On the day of “Gauri

Aavahan (Invocation)” we invite Goddess Gauri to our home. First her footsteps are symboli-

cally drawn at the threshold of the home with kumkum (vermillion). A married woman of the

family brings the idol inside the home. We create Gauri idol at home with the help of a stand,

body parts. We drape a sari on to the stand and body. And then keep face part onto it. Then be-

decked in gold jewelry and decorate the place. Goddess Gauri is then worshipped with an aarti

and prayers. The next day “Gauri Poojan”, a special meal called “Naivedya” (holy offering) is

cooked for Goddess Gauri and this cooked food, along with sweets and fruits are offered to

Goddess Gauri. On the same day ladies called for “Haldi (turmeric, considered auspicious

among the Hindus) -Kumkum” function to home. Then on third day of Gauri Visarjan

(immersion) detach all things and keep it at a careful place. It’s a great feeling to establish Gau-

ri and worship Her.

-Sheetal Kenjale

Page 11: MINDspark Q3 2014



-Pratik Chimane


My father gifted me a pair of wheels on my 12th birthday and since then hardly anything has stopped me – exceptions being some chance encounters with pigs. That was the time when the learning itself was the adrenalin. They say smart peo-ple learn from their own mis-takes while wise people learn from others’ too. I guess I was just smart enough so I had to fall, I had to trip, I had to get hurt badly to learn. I once tripped with my friend who was riding pillion. We were riding down the slope and I had to bypass a car that suddenly stopped in front of us. Then tripped with another friend (that’s what friends are for, to trip with) when I was teasing him, we were both riding alongside each other and the C-shape handles got entangled. Once I was riding pillion on the carrier with a friend when my ankle got stuck in the spokes of the moving wheel. All these in-cidents notwithstanding, my adrenalin just grew with me.

In college days, one wishes to find his/her adrenalin. Well, I knew mine and gifted myself another pedalomotive on my 19th birthday. That’s when I de-cided to explore Pune. I got myself the big map of Pune city and would just draw up some route from the hostel to some adrenalin and back.

Now I have a faster one which I gifted myself on my 23rd birth-day. It is a joyride to and from office every day. It is just a joyride because the adrenalin takes more now. These days I find my adrenalin outside Pu-

ne, on the way to Saswad, Chakan, Tikona and further and farther.

Sometimes I get bad dreams, like I was mugged on the way by some thugs, the gold-chain-snatching-goons (guess they got tired of the gold and now snatch just any chains). My adrenalin gets stolen and I am lost somewhere far away from home. There is no way out and there’s no one to help, like I lost my breath.

I get nervous the night before every ride. But some things are more important than fear. It’s the belief, it’s the thrill, it’s the toil, it’s the breeze, it’s the adrenalin. After conquering a steep gradient, when I start de-scending, the breeze caresses my face as if Mother Nature is touching my cheeks and kissing my forehead, asking, “Are you alright son? Does it hurt? ” and I reply, “I am ok mom, as long as you’re with me.”

It has taught me so many things like hope, patience, en-durance, humility, and letting go. Hope, that I will find a way to my destination no matter what hurdles come in my way, be it the rain, the sun, the dark-ness during a night ride, the tough gradient of the road; I know I will triumph. Patience, giving me the sense that I can-not rush, that things will work out somehow, that time heals the toughest wounds. Endur-ance, that the hardship, the pain is nothing before my con-sistent effort. Humility, that Nature is the ultimate force and when I surrender to it, I will be

at peace. Letting go memories both good and bad and starting afresh every day, every time.

It has taught me that ups and downs will come and go in life, but at the end of the day, it will all even out. Believe me, it does even out literally too because no matter how high I reach in terms of altitude, when I return home, I am at the same altitude I was before, and after all the pain and perspiration, the delta altitude is still zero! (Apologies! That’s the engineer in me.)

Zero reminds me of its syno-nym, cypher. We are all caught in a cypher. Life gives everyone his/her share of joys and wor-ries. Life is such a vicious “cycle” that you think you are growing but the cypher is grow-ing with you. You grow from stroller, into bicycle, into mo-torcycle, into a car; but be it anything, the cypher is some-thing common, something uni-versal among them. The bigger the joys are, the bigger the wor-ries will be. When you realize this, you will look at life from a better perspective. It will help you understand others. It will make you a better person.

Apart from being philosophical, I like numbers too. I want to complete 1000 km within 11 weeks on this new faster one I have, and am very well on track. For me, be it any destina-tion, it was and always will be just the journey and its adrena-lin. I wish I could get more.

This is a Cyclist for life, keep going.

Page 12: MINDspark Q3 2014


BLACKBLACK && WHITEWHITE Q. Is it advisable to plan leisure trips during festival times?Q. Is it advisable to plan leisure trips during festival times?

Don’t agree with what is written? Then worry not! Write into

us at [email protected] or [email protected]


-TM Komal Mahajan

Life is too fast these days; people

get vacations only on Festivals in

offices and schools. I think this the

best time to go for a holiday with

family and spend some quality

time with them.

It’s not necessary to go a place

where there is lot of rush, I agree it

will be unsafe.But,we can plan ac-

cordingly and select a destination

where there is peace and safety.

If we are enjoying each and every

moment with your family it is a re-

al festival indeed.

Money can’t buy Happiness. At the

end of the day, you will enjoy the

memories with your family.

People here in India like to go for

Tirth Yatra’s after their retirement

and when all the responsibility of

life is over. I don’t think they face

any health issues at that time. They

just enjoy it.


-TM Milind Sabardande

People are more important than

places. I must say the quality time

can be spent at home, relaxing and

sharing the workload of your

spouse or helping children in their

study and caring for parents.

Ultimate destination where you

can get peace and safety is your

home sweet home.

You can celebrate the festival at

home and do all the rituals re-

quired on a specific festival. Even if

the festival is of other religion, you

can learn their culture and enjoy

with them.

You can save all the hassles like

ticket booking, accommodation

and above all the extra amount re-

quired. This can be spent in a right


Parents might be left out at home

and they are a part of family. They

might feel uncomfortable travel-

ling long distance and this can ruin

the whole outing. Better to travel

when everyone is in good frame of

mind and there is relatively low

rush and hassles.

Page 13: MINDspark Q3 2014


members’ at-

tendance in eve-

ry meeting, since

November 2013

when it started,

Pune Poetry

Slam has made a

mark. What draws a lot of

people is the fact that it

doesn’t cost anything to at-

tend. Nandini says that the

event is financed by her and a

group of other individuals

from their own pockets.

“Since the number of people

volunteering to fund is high, it

doesn’t pinch much”, she

says. The other advantage is

the format of the Slam ses-

sion. It requires people to pre-

sent original poems of less

than 4 minutes in a competi-

tion format that gets voted

upon at the end. If you don’t

want to compete, there is a

free-for-all session called

‘open-mic’ at the end. But

what attracts people most is

that they got to meet like-

minded people in casual sur-

roundings where each one

understands and appreciates

the talent of a particular genre

that s/he brings to the club.

This not only makes it an ec-

lectic mix of people and ideas,

it betters everyone as they all

learn mutually.

As a Toastmaster, there are

several things to learn from

participating in this venture.

First, presenting a poem is

much like presenting your

speech. You are nervous and

it helps you build confidence.

While writing speeches isn’t

always possible on each and

every topic, poetry writing,

even on pedestrian topics is

possible and quite acceptable



What happens when some

free spirited individuals, with

a penchant for storytelling

channelize their creativity to

creating a restricted medium

of expression and invite the

whole world for free to experi-

ence it? The answer, ladies

and gentlemen, is the Pune

Poetry Slam! Emily Dickin-

son, that most difficult of all

modern poetesses, describes

poetry as a “fairer house than

prose”. However, PPS main-

tains that there is nothing at

all that betters poetry than

prose, insofar as comparison

goes. That should give heart

to all those prose lovers since

paragraphed words are given

among canton bound lines as

well, since poetry recited by

poets/poetesses at the PPS

need not always rhyme.

“There are people who come

to us from several back-

grounds, some from the pro-

fessional, published world of

poetry and still others who

just come to appreciate the art

and listen to quality stuff”,

says Nandini Varma, one of

the coordinators.

What is interesting though, is

that for all those who want to

graduate from being mere

spectators but are hesitant to

write their first poem, volun-

teers from the Airplane Poetry

Movement conduct work-

shops too. “Although we’re

not tied up with any other

club and PPS functions sepa-

rately, members from APM do

join us and they run clubs in

New Delhi, Bangalore and

Bombay”, maintains Ms Var-

ma. PPS is held monthly.

Averaging over twenty-five

as well. This was indicated by

the New York School of poets.

Secondly, it is important to

bear in mind that creativity

within the boundaries of re-

straint that happens while

writing poetry makes one

more comfortable with un-

known situations and territo-

ry – something that as a

Toastmaster, comes handy

especially while giving Table

Topics. Analogous to the

boundaries of metre, rhyme

and lyricism are those of con-

volution, cogence and content

in a speech.

While analysing speeches may

oftentimes not be as challeng-

ing for the more accustomed

Toastmaster, try evaluating a

poem and you will open a new

treasure trove of perspectives.

Right from ferreting meaning

to scrutinizing subtlety in-

clined towards political cor-

rectness, poetry will expose

you to the kind of evaluation

– albeit mental, not actual –

which will challenge conven-


And finally, because we live in

this world of prosaic formula-

tions all day, as working pro-

fessionals and as speech writ-

ers/presenters, isn’t it time to

unwind with our fellow breth-

ren from the “fairer house

than prose?” Think about it.

It’s only fair.

Next session: 27/09/ 2014

Venue: Artsphere, Kal-

yani Nagar, Pune.

With inputs from Ms. Nandini Varma.

Page 14: MINDspark Q3 2014


Page 15: MINDspark Q3 2014



Here’s a list of all the sources, significant that were used in the making of several illustrations in

this edition of the newsletter.

1. http://dontgiveupworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/wallpaper-gautam-buddha.jpg

2. http://darkroom-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/2013/02/REU-INDIA_2.jpg

3. http://realbharat.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Mohtashemi17102013T185649.jpg

4. http://www.kombination.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/vintage-microphone-setsiri-


5. http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/192273ag5jds5jpg/original.jpg

6. http://vistahigherlearning.com/media/catalog/product/cache/2/


7. http://www4.ncsu.edu/~hubbe/MyMuseum/Tour3.jpg

8. http://old.ianlord.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/1bigjpg1.jpeg

9. http://i01.i.aliimg.com/wsphoto/v0/848939763/100-hand-painted-free-shipping-Tropical-


10. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KGFrjKAe5h4/UWaReSgW4NI/AAAAAAAAKuY/AiBmIJ5bQ0I/


11. https://www.coupa.com/images/content/blogs/procurement_conversation.png

Page 16: MINDspark Q3 2014


For electronic circulation and public distribution.

Not for profit.

For membership contact: TM Amit Jha, VP-Membership