Meraki – Division A & B Annual Conference


“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”.

– Vince Lombardi


10th April 2015-  Move n  Pick , Bangalore was all set to host the 1st Division Annual conference for the year 2015-16. The joint Division Annual Meet of Divisions A  and B of District 92 was kick started by  MCs, TM Nischal Shetty  and TM  Allan with the introduction of the the word Meraki. Moving forward, they introduced the man who needs no introduction, DTM Ram Jayraman and invited him on stage for his inspirational address.


DTM Ram spoke about the difference that he notices in toastmasters 35 years ago and now. He said that over the time laughs, hugs and smiles are being replaced with smilies, emoticons and LOLs. He advised us to have enthusiasm in everything you do.

Conference chair TM Ranjini Ranganathan took to the stage and welcomed the gathering. She reminded us to interact with everyone since there are no strangers here, only friends you are yet to meet.

Division B director DTM Arjun Sundar Raj addressed the gathering.
Here is what he said “Have you done justice to what you joined toastmasters for? Have you done justice to your goals a leaders and speakers? Without you there’s no us. We will help you find your purpose. Arjun  then felicitated all the district officers.

District director, DTM Gauri Seshadri addressed the gathering. She drew parallels from the movie Kungfu Panda 3 and told us that we will never become better than what we are unless we try something new. Adding to it, she said toastmasters gives you that platform to step outside your comfort zone and try exploring your potentials. If you ever feel you need help, you always have your mentors to reach out to and they will help you succeed.


PQD, DTM Arjun Raj Urs spoke next, “This conference bring  Divisions  A and B together , where A is for A star and B is for be the Best. The two division directors are testimony to these qualities. Chandramouli has lead his division to be a star and Arjun has lead by example to be the best at everything you do.

CGD, TM Pawas Chandra was up next. He advised us , that in toastmasters we are supposed to build bridges and not fences. He encouraged us to build better relationships with each other.

After which the two divisions split for their individual International Speech Contest. For Division A Contest master,TM Muthu Kumar read out the objective and rules of the contest. The Contest Chair was  TM Gopinath and  the role of Chief Judge was taken up by  TM Balajee Gopalan.

The contestants order was announced and the contest began with back to back power packed speeches.

TM Prakhar chose “Paper of choice”.  In the speech the contestant  emphasised that, Our lives are a blank piece of paper. The question is who writes on it? Who makes your choices for you? Make sure you are the author of your choices.

Often in life we have to make decisions and it is up to us whether we choose to stay within that line of ethics and morals or cross it. That was the crust of TM Balu’s speech  “When I cross the line”.

TM Bhagyashree gave a gimple of “A present from the present”. Accept every situation cheerfully no matter how difficult it maybe. Accept your difficulties and let your difficulties also know that, you too are difficult.

In his speech “All it takes “ delivered by TM Dirish said,  All it takes is a hello to make a new beginning. Don’t let ego come in between relationships and ruin it.

TM Akash shared his life story through “ Over the edge”. He stated,  All my life I have been over the edge unable to fly, not able to complete something I wanted to do. Be it in studies, at work or my passion to skydive. But if you believe you can, you will.

Contestant no. 6, TM Karthik  took “One brave step” towards bravery.
In his speech he mentioned, Learn to take brave steps in life. If you fail, you learn something new. If you make a fool out of yourself, you will at least make someone else smile. But don’t forget that there is also a possibility that you might succeed.

“Make a difference”, said  TM Monindra Das. One person’s efforts can make a huge difference for the world. The question is are you doing something that can create a difference ?  Do small things in small ways that can create a difference for others.

The last speaker at this contest, TM Chandramouli  questioned his audience in his speech What are you adding?”Little acts of kindness adds value to your life. Add kindness and compassion to everything you do and you will notice how it changes your life.

Around the same time in the adjacent room, Division B International Speech Contest began.

The handsome and funny MC, TM Nischal, introduced the Contest Master TM Pratibha Singh who smoothly conducted the contest in her pleasant and charming voice. She efficiently announced the contestants and their topics and also introduced the chief judge TM Santosh Sharma and the Contest Chair TM CLN Shastry.

Six brilliant contestants battled it out to be the winner of the Division  B International Speech Contest.

Contestant no.1. In his speech, “Let it fly” ,TM Mathew Varghese used a kite as a metaphor to inspires us to follow our childhood dreams. He satted his  own example on quitting a career as a CA.

TM Kaleem Khan’s “The agony and the ecstasy”,  spoke about the power of positive thinking  in achieving success in our endeavours. He explained the impact it had on his life by beginning and ending with a beautiful description of him pole vaulting in school.

TM Ashin Paul evoked the importance of taking action to fulfil one’s ambition in his speech, “The time is always right”. Some inspiration from his young nephew and uncle was all he needed to realise that in order to succeed you need to take action.

TM Acharya Ratna Dasa through his speech, “Count Your Gold Coins”, taught us that we should count our achievements and not our failures. Even on a bad day what matters is that we be happy about how far we have come.

In her speech  “Track Your Progress”,  TM Bindhya Urs elaborated on the perils of being a perfectionist. She resolved that instead of getting discouraged about how far we are yet to go, it would benefit us if me acknowledged how far we have come.

Parikshith Virupaksha’s with a speech titled “I Will Not” told us how he learnt, the hard way,  and that trust is the most important thing in any relationship.

syed final

An educator, entrepreneur, film maker, Sayyed Sulthan Ahmed  delivered an educational session to all the delegates at Meraki .
The session was titled “My experiments with communication”. He walked us through his experiences and work and how he makes educational movies for kids and how the world was moving towards that stage where kids needs to see, feel and believe.

Starting from   his college days , he has been organizing events for kids under Krayons. His  work has enabled kids to understand the world better and become successful. He’s been experimenting with media as part of his work and has shot several short films for kids. His films have won the national award 4 times.

Moving on to the Division A table topics, Contest master TM Deepthi Shetty, quickly ran us through the rules for the contest.

Topic for the contestants  “Character is easier kept than recovered”

Contestants who took the stage were:

TM Ankita
TM Amith Prakash
TM Ameya
TM Payal
TM Nishant
TM Akash
TM Chaitanya
TM Dirish Mohan

In the other hall , Divisiion B  Table Topic contests were being held. TM C L N Shastry, the Contest chair for this  division contests  introduced the contest master TM Namitha to kick start the contest.

Contestants for Table Topics Contest were:

TM Mathew Varghese
TM Debarshi
TM Sheetal
TM Hruday
TM Shivani
TM Parikshith Virupaksha
TM Saket
The topic thrown at them “The start is what stops most people”

The conference  chair TM Ranjini Ranganathan, thanked all the delegates for their love and support. All the role players for the day were recognized for making Meraki a grand  success , the winners were announced shortly.

The Winners for the day were:


Division A Table Topics :
Winner – TM Dirish Mohan
1st Runner Up – TM Amit Prakash
2nd Runner Up – TM Chaitanya

Division A IPSC:
Winner – TM Dirish Mohan
1st Runner Up – TM Chandramouli
2nd Runner Up – TM Kartik Nellutla

Division B Table Topics :
Winner – TM Mathew Varghese
1st Runner Up – TM Parikshith Virupaksha
2nd Runner Up – TM Sheetal

Division B IPSC:
Winner – TM Parikshith Virupaksha
1st Runner Up – TM Mathew Varghese
2nd Runner Up – TM Vindhya Urs

Written by Sannidhi Surop