“ Oh My God!! That’s Deepak Vohra, he looks so sophisticated and charming, And that’s Dr Shikha Sharma, she looks so elegant and that’s Raghunath Medge so simple and traditional, And another OMG that is Richard Rekky… They all are so big personalities and I am going to ask them questions…. Could my day be anymore better?”
My Thoughts were running in and out when I saw these famous personalities coming in the hall. I was in a Kerala Saree with Jasmine on my head and heart racing like a race car in formula 1. This was not my first time on the stage but it was my first time being a panelist in an all India conference.
So coming with the details to understand my experience further… On 18th September 2018, AIMA ( All india Management Association) and CMA ( Calicut Management Association) together conducted an All India conference called “Shaping Young Minds Programme”. There were four speakers who were going to speak about their experiences and then a panel of 8 students seated on the stage with the the speaker and the moderator would ask the speaker their question and then the Q&A session will move on to the audience. The four speakers were Deepak Vohra, Dr Shikha Sharma, Richard Rekky and Raghunath Medge.
So beginning with the part how I was selected. I was interviewed by one of the coordinator of the committee managing the program, Deepak. He talked with me for about 40 minutes and at the end told me “Sonali I am definitely placing you in one of the panel”. It was like a Chocolate fountain had just started and created a pool of chocolate and I am swimming in it. It was the best day.
I got a call back from Deepak Sir and he had placed me in Raghunath Medges panel and also in Dr Shikha Sharmas panel ( do google them if you don’t know them yet). I was excited and tensed. It was like having the sweet taste of excitement and sour taste of tension.
Then the previous day of the program I met the rest of my panel members, framed questions together with the help of the co-ordinator. There was the coordinator and other members of the organization telling us about the program and giving us motivation. Listening to their words I had a realization how lucky I am and how much I worth that I do not know till now. It was like discovering the extra bucks you find from your purse or jeans. Its just you did not know that you had it in you until you happen to discover it. M Anilkumar sir my panels coordinator was a wonderful personality to meet and work with.
And then came “THE DAY” . So as I said I was dressed in kerala Saree (its big deal because oh my God I had to handle the sari with my head where a voice just kept on screaming, sonali don’t mess up) for the first time. And wearing heals (which broke mid day and that is why I am mentioning it) and jasmine on my hair ( mentioning that because it just smelled so great and were so pretty that it earned its place to be mentioned). So as the day started me and 2 other pretty friends I made there Anjana and Aiswarya were helping on the stage for inaugural function. It was a simple task to go up the stage and give the magazine to be launched. But I was just so scared inside that I kept on mixing up names of the 2 friends I made there and didn’t recognize Deepak vohra when he came up to us and talked to us. It was like a fire in the house and me instead of running out of the house was running inside the house in circles. Then when asking everyone for like 100 times when I am supposed to get on the stage with the magazine, I got on the stage and everything went well but I still had the fire in my house. But as the first session started and Deepak Vohra started speaking I started easing in. I left the side stage and went n sat on the audience side listened to him observed how the session was running keeping in mind the little things and imagined myself asking the question. By the end of the session I was with my girls again at the side stage with a determination to walk out of the house with fire and cease it down. I was the first panelist to get on the stage and behind the line followed. I was the last to ask the question and as the question started I had my heart racing again like the car in formula 1 and finally when I had the mic in my hand I blurted out my question forgetting to introduce myself. But I was immensely pleased with the question I had asked and the answer I received and yes I had ceased the fire. And the rest day went smoothly with no crazy burning of houses. Then followed the lunch which was not tasty because being a foodie I knew my food didn’t taste that great. (but again its not about food so).
And the next thing happening was my sandal telling me “ I am sorry Sonali I cannot be with you anymore I am breaking up” and then I was walking bare foot and my next session on the stage was bare foot. And then I was with my next panel and the session went good because by then the burning house was transformed to a calm sea.
Now coming on to what the speakers spoke It was one of the best speeches I have heard and that included everyone. It was like they all planted rockets and gave me the match box and now its just a match stick away to burn the rocket and fly high and fulfill your dreams and show the fireworks to the world. Starting with Deepak Vohra the love he had for his nation for his job and the confidence he tried to pass on to us was really spectacular. Dr Shikha Sharma the unfairness she went through to reach the position where she is right now just proved the quotes of all motivation we keep on reading. She proved that if u really have the passion, dedication and hardwork there is really nothing that can stop you, it can put speed breaks and slow you down but not stop you. Coming to Richard Rekky he was one of them who just clearly showed us there is no shortcuts to success and being honest is a choice and it doesn’t matter if you are in a corporate machine, what matters is your hardwork. And finally Raghunath Medge he clearly showed being traditional and not knowing English can never stop you from gaining success if you really work hard for it. He speaking in Hindi and Deepak Vohra coming on the stage to translate it to English showed that if you really do something from your heart the whole world conspires in to succeed.
And ending it here because I have really gone long I want to thank my Sir, SICASA Chairman CA Jigesh VS for giving me an opportunity and trusting me that I could handle this All India Conference. And my mom who ran about with me fixing the dress code and my grandmother who on the day dressed me up. My Sir in office who let me run about for these activities with the work load at office increasing CA Viswanathan Sir, CA Veeramani Sir and CA Bharadwaj Sir. Deepak Sir one of the coordinator who interviewed me and guided me through.
It was one of the best and memorable day in my life, from forgetting my glasses in the morning and having a headache which lasted for two days, from my sandals ditching me in the between, from wearing the saree for the entire dat and managit me, from getting a selfie with this amazing personality Deepak Vohra and being able to shake hands with the women I admire a lot now Dr Shikha Sharma and missed out a photo with Raghunath Medge and to making new friends Anjana, Aiswarya and Vaishnav.
This may be a small thing to many Like just another conference but to me it was another step to break the barriers and learn and grow and overcome my fear completely.
Being a Panelist was just the right thing the life had it in store for me !!