I am a newbie and an immature speaker, not at all a writer. It all began with the announcement of Inter-Collegiate literary competitions “e-Swara” in the campus. It was an intercollegiate competition among the six constituent colleges of Sri Vishnu Educational Society at Bhimavaram campus. I was thrilled and I was one of the students who gave the names immediately and later many of us came up with the motivation of our faculty and seniors.
The first phase was intra-collegiate and the events were Group Discussion and Power Point Presentations. I participated in the Group Discussion. In the first round, the topic given was “Amaravathi”. I successfully took the initiative and spoke for four times in the group. No fear in my heart and I entered into the second session. Twelve members were a group, including me, and two would be selected for the finals. In the final round of the intra-collegiate Group Discussions, the topic “Are English Medium Schools better than Vernacular Medium Schools?” was given. I did not take the initiation this time but, took a few chances to expose my ideas. Surprisingly, I was selected for the finals to be held on 15 October 2015 on the occasion of our Founder Chairman Padmabhushan Dr. B.V. Raju’s birthday.
After continuous practice for four days, the day for finals came. The finals were in Dr. B.V. Raju Auditorium. I was astonished by the arrangements on the stage but, actually was frightened, when I entered the audi. I was thrilled to see the campus united, my co participants from the various colleges of our campus, in fact my competitors.
The program started. One of our seniors went onto the stage to announce the participants’ names for the first Group Discussion. Mine was the first that was announced by the senior. My mind was not in control. I should mount the stage and speak in the first discussion. A few seconds later, I went near the stage. It seemed to me like Mount Everest. I staggered on the steps like a little pony.
Everything appeared blurred. I took two minutes to count the 8 chairs arranged there. I occupied the chair just opposite the judges. Those moments were terrifying. Then the judges asked the group to select a leader. Words stumbled out of my mouth—“I’ll be the leader”. But, the judges couldn’t hear me as my voice came like a sound from a well. Then a girl from Shri Vishnu Engineering College for Women heard my voice and communicated it to the judges. Then the judges announced me as the leader of the group. I don’t know the explosion of ‘little boy’, the nuclear bombs destructed in Hiroshima. I thought the same bomb exploded in each and everyone’s mind.
The faculty and the seniors got frightened as I am not a good speaker. I took the initiation and spoke for a few times. After ten minutes, the discussion was over. For a few seconds, the judges noted marks and the dreadful silence was broken by the encouraging claps of my friends. On the stage, my hands and legs were shivering and the pen was dancing in my hand. My heart beat thousand times per minute and I was afraid that it would get outside. Soon after the discussion, I got out of the stage. Just a stage made of cement and some sand showed me a horror movie there.
To my surprise, I was selected for the final discussion. Again I should climb that huge stage, but this time I was quite confident. 12 members were selected for the final discussion in which 10 are girls. Then, “Women Empowerment” was the topic. I was dumbstruck. Nothing came out from my mouth. I witnessed a Trojan War between all those girls. Thrice I spoke and it was totally interrupted. After 15 minutes, the time was up and I concluded the discussion.
I don’t know what I had spoken. I think the audience listened to me with a great deal of patience. Just a stage of 1 foot, a non-living thing made a five feet man tremble. But, I managed to overcome the fear.
I think, may be, those four books awarded by our management and my encouraging English teacher will definitely quench my thirst for reading. But most important is that I cherish the magical and terror striking moments of mine on the stage.
From a fledgling I see myself slowly growing wings to fly into the world of expression. I owe it to those magical moments. I may have lost the competition. What I is lost is less, what I gained is invaluable.