The Chennai Heat – Part 1

Occasion: The Great Debate by British Council

Venue: Chennai

What happened? Were we the team who would go to UK on a completely sponsored study tour?

No, because we only got till the semi-finals.

Despite the lack of preparation and the lighthearted attitude towards the debate, being chosen as the top 6 out of 26 colleges is indeed a great thing. However, getting eliminated in the semi-final round only emphasized why you should never overestimate yourself.

Another day, another valuable insight.

If you want to be a great debater, it is not enough to be fluent or spontaneous or a good orator, you need research.

It is true that we ( my team mate and I) spent very little time on facts and figures. With only good content and strong examples, we managed to get a little further than the others simply because of the valid points we gave. But as one of the judges said, “Make sure you have done your research”, was the area we slightly lagged behind. It’s okay…this time.

Next time, being complacent could be potentially dangerous. Especially when you have to represent your institute in a public forum, you have the added responsibility of not shaming the name of your institute. This is where we are relieved, because we got only positive feedback on our performance.

The first round was unsatisfactory as we knew we could have done better. The second round, the very one in which we were eliminated, however, was great. It’s not boasting, but compared to certain teams, ours raised valid points and we stuck to our defense. “Defend, defend, defend” is what our motto was.

Hearing our arguments, though many praised us for the timely and polite retorts and examples, we knew that we could have still gone further. We could have given more relevant ideas.

We were not going to focus on the “quality” of teams who got into the finals, but we do understand that we needed to prep more.

But nothing to worry.

We got to learn what are the things that should and shouldn’t be done, although it’s not the first debate.

As we all say, every day brings something new.

This day, we knew just how important background research is…

So, for all those who intend to prep for a debate I would say, Do your basic research as if you are going for a courtroom trial.

Part 2 coming soon……… 🙂


Camera-less in heaven

The sad cry of the soul still echoes. Profusely I wished I had the sense to bring my trusty D40.

It was Day Zero and a very famous violinist was mesmerizing the audience. The lights danced in and around the mist surrounding the figures on the stage. A million times I was horrified because I just missed a very good click.

A thousand movements that I wanted to capture, a thousand expressions…

Never go without your camera…I had always had this philosophy drilled into my head. Whatever I give as an excuse would be too lame, because I know better.

On the other hand, I stood there immersed in a first-of-its-kind experience. The way those notes flew on the violin. His bow was moving so rapidly that the only thought I had was that he was playing only hemidemisemiquavers. But what a performance!

It takes not just talent and passion, it takes hours and hours of dedication. To hear this musical band, I am lucky. It was not even difficult to enjoy those complicated stuff that music afictionados usually do…

But still….my hands were automatically going to the camera which was not there.

I thought….D40………..where are you?!

Lesson learnt…

Never, ever leave your camera behind. EVER.