Hello everyone. I’m Nirupama and I have four minutes to tell you about my life. Four WHOLE minutes. Until I turned fifteen, that would have been some painfully, agonisingly long a hundred and twenty seconds of my life. I would have received countless and mostly useless advice for not freezing up on stage or in front of any formal audience. I would have received bewildered or suspicious reactions from people who know me well, who know for a fact that I write very well, read exceptionally and love talking. Why did it change at fifteen. Practice. I worked hard to change it. I went on countless stages and events, froze, managed a few words, once even in the wrong language, and finally at fifteen managed quite a decent short two minute speech. I won, not because I was exceptional but because I was sincere and true and I had worked hard.

From that point there has been no looking back. No, practice does not mean success. Lots of practice with expert feedback does. That’s me. I have learnt, albeit after my own share of unpleasant and unnecessary experiences that all advice and feedback should be considered. I like to think of it as data. Yes, there speaks the engineering degree. It’s only after conversion, in life’s case, context and experience, when all those opinions become knowledge that can be applied as required. Why did i call advice as opinion. Because I’m still not so nice that I can accept advice. When I think of it as opinion, I’m more open and amenable to receiving it. Since it works, that is what i will be terming it.

I am a success. Yes, i am not modest either. I have a degree. I am a mommy. Whoppee, even better. I deem motherhood one of the highest promotions a woman can get. I also know that not everyone agrees with this statement. Nobody has to agree but everyone has to accept that I am allowed my own principles and values and biases. Until i foist them on others, then anyone can call me out.

Continuing further with my list of successes, I have a wonderful family- by birth and by marriage. That alone makes me one of the privileged few. I definitely count my blessings. Yes, I also believe in God but I consider that relationship extremely private and confidential. I am healthy, happy and for the most part emotionally sober. ever since BabyT turned toddler, the last bit has moved from 100% to almost status.

I have a happiness mantra, top secret though. The material things I love, books,  music, accessories and junk food are plenty available. I know I am not perfect but I am okay with that. I like myself even more because I am working towards becoming better everyday, in character, fitness and intellect. And I love myself a lot because despite my flaws, we all have some, my family and friends like me. My baby feels secure in my presence. That is also a measure of success.

Interesting how for someone who feared speaking aloud, I have become the opinionated one, who speaks long  and strong. But that is the story of my life, an enjoyable work in progress. And that is what I’d like to my story to be about – the character and not the plot.

This piece above id for today’s daily prompt.

“You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?”