This is the transcript of the speech that I delivered at the Area Z3 Humorous Speech contest held yesterday at Katong CC.
“Passengers travelling on flight TR2652 to Bangalore please proceed to boarding gate 42”.
I had overslept and just made it to the airport in time. I checked in my baggage and proceeded to the immigration counter. I handed over my passport. The immigration officer looked at my passport and gave me a long hard look….”You have a moustache here”.. “Um – I shaved it off”. He then looked at me like I was a convict. He gave me a dressing down from head to toe before he let me go.
When I reached the boarding gate I hear the announcement. All first class and priority passengers can board the aircraft. Then its the turn of passengers with children. And finally it’s the turn of the cattle class to board the plane.
When I finally enter the plane, the first class passengers are already seated. They have already got their laptops and tablets ready. And they look at you with a scorn – as If to say “Yeah, Im making money even now”. You losers why have you entered our domain.
Contest Chair, Judges and fellow toastmasters –
In the earlydays , air travel was a luxury. Male passengers wore suits and ladies wore dresses . Passengers were treated like royalty and waited on hand-and-foot by stewardesses who looked like Angelina Jolie or Sharon Stone.
Today, air fares have become so cheap that on some airlines you may be greeted by uncles and aunties.
Air travel has its quirks and has always been a conundrum for me.
When you enter the economy class. you find a tall, huge man is trying to fit this big, bulky bag into the overhead compartment. He is oblivious to the queue of people forming up to enter. Finally he realises that the bag cannot make it after all and the air hostess helps him out.
When I am travelling alone, I always like to select the window seat or the seat near the aisle. This is because in the middle seat you are awkwardly sandwiched between 2 complete strangers. On my recent flight I was delighted to get the window seat. Then this big fat man comes in and occupies the middle seat. He extends himself to both sides like an octopus.. I was left with no choice but to look out of the window.
Once the flight took off, the man in front of me reclines his seat all the way until it falls into my lap. So there I was trapped in my seat with no escape route.
I am anxious during take-off and landing. Because my wife grabs hold of me all of a sudden. She is afraid of heights. And I am afraid of her.
Then this gorgeous lady comes in wearing a yellow jacket .. and proceeds to give the safety announcement. She is so fast that you cant catch any pause fillers. But no one pays any attention. “Fasten your seat belit like this. She then proceeds to do the Macarena There are 2 exits in the front, 2 behind and 2 at the sides. In the event of a sudden drop in cabin pressure oxygen masks will drop from overhead.. Please put on your mask like this. If you are travelling with children first put your mask and then attend to your child. In the unlikely event of having to land on water, put on the life jacket, blow into the jacket like this, and blow the whistle like this.”
And then you can see that another air stewardess looks at you from behind the curtain that demarcates the boundary of first class and economy.. and then she gives you a look…(as if to say…work harder and if you are lucky you can sit here one day)
Then it’s the turn of the pilot to make his presence felt. So he comes on air – “Welcome aboard Tiger Airways. This is your captain Derek Marshall speaking,. Today you are being served by our two charming ladies Vera Wee and Celine Goh. We are currently cruising at 37000ft above sea level and our current speed is 400 miles/hour . On your left you can see the Riau archipelago and on your right you can see Legoland. At this rate we should reach our destination ahead of schedule”
Once the plane lands, the people scamper and rush to open the overhead compartments, handphones go ring ring, and people are scrambling for the exit as if there is a bomb on the plane. Even school children are better behaved when the bell rings for end of school.
We have new experiences that amaze us from time to time and we have to be grateful to the pilot and the crew in making each of our flights a safe and pleasant journey!”
Traveling not only teaches us the value of life, but also exposes us to the sights , sounds , and stories of near and far-off places. It compels us to think about everything that is right and wrong with this world
In the words of Gustave Flaubert –
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
Anyone know the six most frightening words in the world?? The Dentist will see you now
Why do we fear a dentist?
- Our mouth is a vulnerable part of our body and several basic needs are threatened via the mouth, including breathing and eating
- people who have an excessive need to maintain control feel very helpless when they are a dental patient
- fear of syringes, drilling and scary pictures of cavities.
However, my daughter is the first person I know who trusts the dentist more than me. This is because of her personal experience of plucking a tooth at home. One day she approached me showing a tooth that was as loose and shaky as a baby’s rattle. I tried my best to convince her that I could remove the tooth for her with minimum discomfort. But she just would not agree.
Holding a tissue secretly..i approached her..asked her to open her mouth.. and when I had practiced the move in my mind… I shot my hand forth and pulled out the tooth in a fraction of a second. She could not believe when I showed her the tooth..I bought her some icecream to console her. After that she kept the tooth safely under the pillow for the tooth fairy. After this incident my daughter trusted only a dentist.
On my first visit to the dentist – I sat down on the chair. He reclined it down . It felt great.
I did not know what a filling was?
What filling would you like – the dentist asked? Chocolate please I said. I did not realize that I had a cavity in my wisdom tooth and it had to be filled .
I thought a plaque is an award one gets for making a speech…until the dentist told me that I had got plaque.
Dentists are so used to injecting local anaesthetics that they seem to get a thrill out of it. Once I visited the dentist because of periodontal problem. The dentist took out this syringe and he gave a big smile. I don’t know what was so funny about a syringe. He then proceeded to inject me all around my mouth.
After some time my whole face was numb… I touched my jaw and it felt strange. I could not tell if my tongue was still there in my mouth. He asked me to rinse my mouth. But when I poured the water in, it just flowed out the same way..as I could not open or close my mouth. I realized I could not speak.
The dentist then proceeded to clean and polish. In between he took a drill and drilled. I thought – Is this a dentist or a civil engineer? Am I at the right place?
The tools that the dentist uses, the awkward position of lying down makes one feel vulnerable, and the dentist peering over his mask at you are some of the things that people fear visiting a dentist (Dentophobia)
I visit the dentist atleast once a year to clean and polish. After the cleaning and polishing, my teeth were pearly white.. they had such a sparkle that I did not need to switch on the lights.
The dentist was a person I feared but now I know that taking care of our teeth is as important as any other part of our body and the dentist is the best person for this job!
It is heartening to know that there is an increasing number of women receiving an education in the sciences in India. Working in science has not been easy for women, with its long hours, societal biases, and the need to get married and have children in between. Let’s look at some of these women, often forgotten heroes, who have made great contributions to science and paved the way for others.
At a time when women were regarded as ornaments of society and were confined to the four walls of their houses, Janaki Ammal certainly broke the stereotype when she pursued a career in scientific research. She was a botanist who studied cytogenetics and phytogeography. She lived in England for a few years, conducting chromosome studies on a wide range of garden plants, but soon returned to India and became the Director General of the Botanical Survey of India. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 1957.
Anandibai Joshee was one of the first Indian women doctors qualified to practice western medicine).
Dr. Joshee’s short life was full of hardships; her family used to be rich landlords in Kalyan, Mahasrashtra, but they lost all their riches, and she was married at age 9 to a widower 20 years her senior. She gave birth at age 14 to a son who died shortly afterwards, and she herself suffered from poor health with an undiagnosed condition that often left her exhausted with shortness of breath and constant headaches. The death of her newborn son due to inadequate medical care is what inspired her to become a physician. She was also encouraged by her husband to study medicine abroad. Dr. Joshee, MD was in the class of 1886 at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (which was the first women’s medical program in the world). On her return to India, she was appointed as the physician-in-charge of the female ward of the local Albert Edward Hospital in the princely state of Kolhapur.
was the first Indian American astronaut and first Indian woman in space. She first flew on Space Shuttlee Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. In 2003, Chawla was one of the seven crew members killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. She completed her earlier schooling at Tagore Baal Niketan Senior Secondary School, Karnal and completed her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Punjab Engineering College at Chandigarh in 1982. She moved to the United States in 1982 where she obtained a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984. Determined to become an astronaut even in the face of the Challenger disaster, Chawla went on to earn a second Masters in 1986 and a Ph.D in aerospace engineering in 1988 from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Rajeshwari Chatterjee was the first woman engineer from Karnataka. In 1946, she was given a scholarship by the (then) Govt of Delhi to study abroad, and studied at th University of Michigan where she obtained her Master’s degree from the Department of Electrical Engineering. After obtaining a Ph.D degree, she returned to India and joined the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering at IISc as a faculty member where she along with her husband set up a microwave research laboratory where they did pioneering work on Microwave Engineering.
Dr. Aditi Pant
Dr. Aditi Pant is a well known oceanographer who was the first Indian woman to have visited the icy terrain of Antarctica in 1983. She was a part of the third Indian expenditure to Antarctica and received the Antarctica award along with three of her colleagues for their contributions to the project. She worked in the National Institute of Oceanography and the National Chemical Laboratory.
Charusita Chakravarty has been a professor of Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi since 1999. Born in the USA, she relinquished her U.S. citizenship and now works in India. She has won several awards for her work, most notably, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize. She is an Associate Member of the Centre for Computational Material Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.
Asima Chatterjee was an Indian chemist noted for her work in the fields of organic chemistry and phytochemistry (chemicals derived from plants). Her most notable work includes research on vinca alkaloids (derived from the periwinkle that is known for its anti-cancer properties), and the development of anti-epileptic and anti-malarial drugs. She also authored a considerable volume of work on medicinal plants of the Indian subcontinent.
Dr Indira Hinduja
Dr. Indira Hinduja M.D., Ph.D. is an Indian gynaecologist, obstetrician and infertility specialist based in Mumbai. She pioneered the Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) technique resulting in the birth of India’s first GIFT baby on 4 January 1988. Previously she delivered India’s s first test tube baby at KEM Hospital on August 6, 1986. She is also credited for developing an oocyte donation technique for menopausal and premature ovarian failure patients, giving the country’s first baby out of this technique on 24 January 1991
Dr. Suman Sahai
Sahai obtained a Ph.D from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in 1975. She then successively worked at the University of Alberta, University of Chicago, and the University of Heidelberg, where she obtained her habilitation in human genetics. According to the Web of Science, , Sahai has published over 40 articles, mostly on policy issues relating to genetically modified organisms, which have been cited over 150 times, giving her an h-index of 7. She is director of the NGO, Gene Campaign
Dr Sunetra Gupta
is a Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford with an interest in infectious disease agents that are responsible for malaria, HIV, influenza and bacterial meningitis.. Gupta is currently Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford. She sits on the European Advisory Board of Princeton University Press. She has been awarded the Scientific Medal by the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award for her scientific research. Her novels have been awarded the Sahitya Academy Award, the Southern Arts Literature Prize, shortlisted for the Crossword Award, and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Gupta’s portrait was on display during the prestigious Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition along with leading female scientist such as Madame Curie in July 2013
When was the last time you were embarrassed? How do you react to embarrassment?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us RED.
I dread toilets..you may ask why? One of my most embarassing moments was at a toilet.
I entered the ladies toilet.
I dont know why but the symbol for mens and ladies were very similar at this toilet. Probably it was
drawn by a unisexual artist. And once inside I could not find the familiar urinals and I knew I had made a mistake. And before I could react, I saw a young lady charge at me from the opposite side.
My face, ears everything turned red. Beads of sweat started trickling from my forehead. I had a lot of explanation to do. It was a practical exam for me in negotiation skills. I will not forget that day.. it was truly embarassing!
After that day, I always double check signs before I enter.
Other interesting posts in this category:
Today is your lucky day. You get three wishes, granted to you
byThe Daily Post. What are your three wishes and why?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us WISHES.
My 3 wishes would be:
- World Peace: I wish for a world which is free from fear and lives in peace. A world not divided by narrow mindedness, caste, creed and colour.
- Alleviation of Poverty: Today if there is more kindness around, it is possible for the rich nations and top net-worth individuals to help to alleviate some poverty in those nations like Sudan, Ethiopia etc where children are malnourished and live in abject poverty. Ofcourse, the ideal situation would be where everyone would contribute based on their capacity.
- Education for all: My wish would be for a world where education can reach the nooks and corners of every village. Where NGOs, voluntary organisations and private companies work supported by governments to make sure that every child has access to basic education.
Other interesting posts in this category:
I was very sad to hear about the passing away of my idol – a true source of inspiration to many- Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam – the Former President of India! He is in my opinion one of the greatest leaders India has produced. He will always remain a beacon of knowledge, leadership and humility.
I read his memoir “Wings of Fire” last year. The journey of his life from Rameswaram to Rashtrapati Bhavan is a great example of a man’s dedication, values and ideals in life. The anecdotes that he has related are all lessons for us to emulate.
He continued the great work of stalwarts of the Indian Space Program like Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and brought our space program to even greater heights. Space research is today one of the areas that India leads the world! Our mission to Mars is an example of the great strides we have made under the exemplary leadership of people like him.
Another quality that endears all to Dr. Kalam is his closeness to children and his humility. He always had that quality of being simple, approachable and human in his interaction with people.
Some of Dr. Kalam’s achievements were:
- Kalam started his career by designing a small helicopter for the Indian Army, but remained unconvinced with the choice of his job at DRDO.
- At ISRO, he was the project director of India’s first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near earth orbit in July 1980.
- Kalam first started work on an expandable rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965. In 1969, Kalam received the government’s approval and expanded the program to include more engineers.
- In 1963–64, he visited Nasa’s Langley Research Center in Hampton Virginia, Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland andWallops Flight Facility situated at Eastern Shore of Virginia.
- During the period between the 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the Polar SLV and SLV-III projects, both of which proved to be success.
- In the 1970s, Kalam also directed two projects, namely, Project Devil andProject Valiant , which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of the successful SLV programme.
- Kalam played a major part in developing many missiles under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program including Agni, an intermediate range ballistic missile and Prithv
- The Pokhran-II nuclear tests wereconducted during this period where he played an intensive political and technological role
- He received several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.
In his book “Wings of Fire”. Dr. Kalam said “For me, science has always been the path to spiritual enrichment and sellf-realisation”. He was a scientist who maintained a working relationship with God. He believed that sometimes without the slightest warning, something new breaks into your life and a secret decision is taken, a decision that you may be completely unconscious of, to start with.
I have just finished reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. It is a very touching rtale of romance . The language is lucid and descriptive and this grips the readers attention to the end.
The story is a roller-coaster of emotions in the life of Jane as she moves from a traumatic childhood under the care of her cruel, wealthy aunt Mrs.Reed. Jane Eyre is an orphan of no beauty, wealth, or social standing. She suffers abuse and ill-treatment. A servant named Bessie provides Jane with some comfort, telling her stories and singing songs to her.
Jane is a sincere, blunt and dignified character whereas Mr. Rochester is domineering and calculative.
She is then sent to Lowood school where she has to cope with a new set of tribulations. The school’s headmaster is Mr. Brocklehurst, a cruel, hypocritical, and abusive man. Brocklehurst preaches a doctrine of poverty and privation to his students while using the school’s funds to provide a wealthy and opulent lifestyle for his own family. At Lowood, Jane befriends a young girl named Helen Burns, whose strong, martyrlike attitude toward the school’s miseries is both helpful and displeasing to Jane. She learns a lot of patience and resilience by befriending Helen. A massive typhus epidemic sweeps Lowood, and Helen dies of consumption.
After teaching for two years, Jane yearns for new experiences. She accepts a governess position at a manor called Thornfield, where she teaches a lively French girl named Adèle. The distinguished housekeeper Mrs. Fairfax presides over the estate. Jane’s employer at Thornfield is a dark, impassioned man named Rochester, with whom Jane finds herself falling secretly in love. She saves Rochester from a fire one night, which he claims was started by a drunken servant named Grace Poole. But because Grace Poole continues to work at Thornfield, Jane concludes that she has not been told the entire story. Jane expects Rochester to propose to Blanche. But Rochester instead proposes to Jane, who accepts almost disbelievingly.
After hearing that Mr. Rochester is already married to Bertha. Jane has to go through further trials where she is homeless and forced to beg for a living. Fortunately she meets with her relatives the “Rivers’ . One day she finds out that her uncle has left behind a big fortune for her. She shares this with her new found relatives. St. John River finds her a job in India.
One night Jane hears the voice of Mr. Rochester. His wife Bertha has burnt down their house at Thornfield and dies in the fire.Mr. Rochester survives but loses his eyesight and one of his hands. Jane cannot abandon her one true love and they rebuild their relationship and get married.
Despite being powerless, Jane is one of the strongest women characters in fiction and by sticking to her principles she is rewarded with true love.
The Ratha Yātrā festival commemorates a historic chariot journey of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Lord Balarāma & Subhadrā Devī from Dvārakā to Kurukshetra about 5,000 years ago.
The festival has been celebrated annually in the eastern Indian coastal town of Purī since at least the last 3,000 years with a whopping attendance of about 2 million people every year.
Glorification of the Supreme Lord is the ultimate perfection of all human endeavor as understood from Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. During this rath yatra, the murtis of Sree Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra are placed on separate chariots and pulled by devotees.
It is also celebrated on a big scale in Singapore. This year it was held on 19th July at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore. Devotees thronged the stadium to pay their respects to Lord Krishna. There was dancing, singing, prasadam as well as stalls for offerings, gifts and donations.