“Being Santa” – Toastmasters Humorous Speech Sample
For eight long years, I had been studying and working in the United States. Now, those of you who have stayed in the US or have traveled to the US during the festival season would know that in the US all the festivals are celebrated on a weekend. The Diwali, Ganpati, Gurpurab, and Eid celebrations are all held on an auspicious conveniently chosen Saturday every year. I somehow did not relate to this concept all those years and had a longing to celebrate these festivals with my entire family on the day they occurred.
So when I moved back to India a few months before our daughter was going to be born – it was my first Christmas in India and I thought of doing something special while sitting in my office cab. I kept thinking about unexciting ideas such as taking my family out to a restaurant, going out with them for a movie but nothing special was coming to my mind until I passed Guru Dronacharya Metro Station and saw a few blacksmiths sitting by the roadside selling iron barbecue grills. Suddenly a bulb lit up in my head, and I decided to surprise my family with a barbecue patio party.
But, there was only one hitch. I was dressed in a suit and tie, and the cab was full with no room even in the trunk. The cab driver was in no mood to wait for me while I went about choosing my favorite grill and had already started fussing when I brought up the idea for him to stop the cab. But, I was determined to make my family’s day special. I got off from the cab with no idea in mind on how I was going to carry the grill home. I went through a few blacksmiths who had put up these grills on display and I chose a mid-sized one I liked. I also chose 4 long pointed skewers used for grilling, and I asked the lady to pack them up, but she didn’t have anything to pack them in.
After brainstorming with her on how I was going to carry this contraption home, she came up with a large “bori” or a rice sack in which she was able to put the grill, charcoal, and skewers and tied them all up. I imagined myself carrying that sack on my back and thought about the pain Santa Claus goes through every year to make the days of his loved ones special.
Well now that the grill was packed, I had to think about how to get it home. That time there were no Uber cabs at your beck and call and the only hope for me to get home with the grill was in an overcrowded metro train during the peak hour. The metro station was still a good five-minute walk and the only way to get there was by a shared Auto-rickshaw. I waved at the Auto and he stopped and had to sit on the only available seat next to the driver with my laptop bag and bori hanging on the side. There I was a few hours ago – the CEO’s blue-eyed boy and here I was a few hours later – the Santa on his reindeer sleigh.
I finally managed to reach the Guru Dronacharya metro station with my grill still intact and put my contraption in the X-ray machine with pride. The officer looked at me and looked at the goods in the scanner and told me you cannot take this in a metro. I explained the noble cause behind carrying this dangerous equipment in the metro train and he reluctantly agreed for me to take it in the metro.
Now the next challenge was getting it inside the metro. The train which came was crammed with people and I couldn’t gather the courage to board it. Luckily the next one was a bit less loaded – I could get in with ease – and even got some space to park my bori. After a few stations, to my utter dismay, the number of people started increasing and soon I was struggling for breathing space. My station was about to arrive and I requested people to give me way but no one listened. I kept trying to push and shove but no one relented. I finally was able to squeeze one leg out – but my bori got stuck. I managed to get off the train but my bori was stuck inside. I only had two options – I could either forget my bori and efforts thus far and have a boring Christmas or do something more creative to get my bori out.
I decided to pull. The bori didn’t move. I pulled harder. The bori still didn’t move. And then I pulled with my full strength – the bori came out along with a piece of cloth from one man’s trousers. Before he could realize his privacy had been invaded – I ran away from the station and called my wife to pick me up from the metro parking. I came down the staircase and saw my wife pull into the station parking. I waived at her to stop but she went past me. I ran behind the car and tapped at the window when she finally saw that the guy running behind the car with the bori on his back was not a rag picker but her husband.
Later that evening after all this fiasco, the Christmas Barbecue tasted extra special due to the hard work and extra efforts which went behind planning it, and everyone had a great festive time.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the reason I told you this story is to encourage you to celebrate your holidays with your loved ones as much as you can, laugh as much as you can, and love as much as you can because more than gifts – your being there might be the best gift Santa got for them that year.
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