N mentioned in his speech that it took him a year to realise that the girl of his dreams was already attached largely because he was shy and he dared not ask. You know that he is telling the truth because:

  • He had a totally serious and innocent look when he said that.
  • Even though he did well to portray confidence well delivering his speech, his small gestures and tendency to step behind the lectern at times to hide gave it away.
  • Most importantly, he told us he was telling the truth when we clarified with him offline on this.

We couldn’t understand why this was so, as surely a guy, no matter how shy he was, couldn’t have taken an entire year to approach the girl?

***

We had a joint meeting with a Toastmasters club from India. It was a student club. Their mentor, the teacher in-charge, later explained that the school had a rule which came as a culture shock to us:

Students of the opposite gender were not allowed to talk to one another.

But didn’t we see a good mix of ladies and gentlemen in their club in the joint meeting?

Well… that was one of the reasons why he set up the Toastmasters club. To give opportunities for male and female students to communicate with each other. He fought for it – and the Toastmasters will provide the environment for students of the opposite gender to communicate safely and professionally with each other, he argued. And their school bought the argument.

Not just that, this Toastmasters club that he has setup will accept both students and teachers as members soon. This will mean that he has setup a platform where teachers and students can communicate as equal, to understand one another better.

I would have never thought that the Toastmasters had the power to provide such an opportunity, an opportunity for the students of the school to learn how to listen and to communicate with the opposite gender.

We all might have heard the common stereotypes and horror stories about how men treat women in India. Kudos to their mentor, I believe he had just taken a step forward to improve the state of their society.

For the good of the society! This is what true rebels do!