Project 1 – Muraleedahran Punnamanna

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On a Friday morning when somebody takes a parking ticket and places on the windshield of the car what do you think of that person?.  Is he not in this world? Doesn’t he know that parking is free on Fridays  Things may not be always as we see. He might have got a parking close to his place and want to leave  the car there till  next day morning ,  so he must have taken the parking ticket to cover  some time  Saturday morning.

TMOD of the day, dear Toast Masters and Guests a very good evening.

I am from India, from a small town called Palakkad in Kerala.Now I am residing in Sharjah with my wife and two kids. I have two elder brothers and one elder sister they all are settled back home with my mother. Going back to my yester years ,  after  my graduation in commerce, I moved out of Kerala. I landed in  Sharjah in 1997 after spending 2 years in Coimbatore.  In last 14 years I worked for 4 companies. There is one common factor for all these four companies, all of them are loss making companies but all of them treated their employees very well.

Do you know what people In India think about the living standard of people working in Gulf?. Cars to travel, expensive perfumes, branded clothes, big houses and  all luxuries in life. I    landed in sharjah with lot of  such beautiful dreams. My first company accommodation was in a labour camp.  From the first day  I saw the reality – people standing in a queue at the early morning hours to use toilet, collecting water for next days bath, working under the sun from morning to evening, standing in queues for the same food every  day. There I learnt my first lesson – things may not be same as they appear.

My childhood ambition was to become a professionally qualified accountant. But the situation was not in favor. I had to start working to support the family. After my first job change I landed in Dubai in the midst of  few bachelors who were studying for their professional qualification in Finance. It didn’t take much time for me to start working on my childhood ambition. To study for a course like CIMA which comprised of 16 papers was not an easy task. There were lots of obstacles. Job changes, long working hours, marriage, kids , family commitments etc. Most of them who started the course with me discontinued but my childhood ambition kept me keep going. Finally after 10 years of hard work and commitment I could achieve the objective. Accidently the course I completed and the girl I got married both have same name CIMA. One is CIMA and the other one is Seema.  There I learnt the second lesson –  dreamt it, dare it and do it.

Dear Friends , apart from the routine office work and weekend shopping I always  want to do something different which make my days more interesting and exciting. Just having carrier or academic goals is not enough. I want to do something which I can proudly tell my grand children, I want to  do some blunders   which i can think of and  laugh when I am  old,  I want to do something  which make others happy and in turn make me happy  ,I want do something  that would leave  some mark about  myself in this world.

Last few years I am in to small voluntary services like coordinating to arrange some funds and used cloths  for charity, organizing team get together for a good cause etc. I could complete all the activities successfully because of the support I got from everybody around me.  What I understand  is that if you are doing something noble and positive people around support you. I can tell you an example. Two year before I came up  with an idea to support a charitable institution on a monthly basis with whatever we can.  Last two years on a monthly basis people contribute whatever they can and  every  month we are  sending Rs. 10,000. Now I can proudly say that as a person my strength is my family, friends and relatives.

When I joined my current company 4 years before as finance manager a sales executive also joined. We both were getting the same salary. After three years this   sales executive, who is 8 years younger than  me, became General Manger of the company and getting 68% more than my  salary. In a self assessment I realized that I am not able to communicate effectively with the management. Thanks  to KK who introduced me to Lagoon Toastmasters and here I am.  He said it would make a difference, and here I see a different person standing and talking to you which I couldn’t imagine two months before.  Thanks Lagoon Toast Masters Club.

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