In America, as in many parts of the world, to honor all mothers and their amazing contributions, Mother’s Day is celebrated every year on the second Sunday of May. But for some of us, thousands of miles away from our own mothers, whom we cannot meet, hug, or greet in person, it’s a bittersweet day. Every year, with the onset of May , I used to ask myself – how can I celebrate this day , what can I do to show my love to my mother? Fortunately I found the answer when I unexpectedly met a person who taught me a higher definition of love. Friends , the chance meeting completely changed my perspective about mothers and Mother’s day.
A few years ago, in the year 2018, when I was visiting my hometown in India I happened to meet a special person – his name is Gobin Bordoloi. As I broke into a conversation with him, I noticed visible scars on his face. While we were taking a stroll he was limping slightly on his right side. As he gradually opened up I heard a remarkable story. In the prime of his life a freak accident shattered his world and turned his life upside down. One day, while assisting someone, high atop a tree, he suddenly slipped, and his body came into direct contact with a live high voltage electrical wire. The incident left him with severe burn wounds on the upper and lower right side of his body. Fortunately, he survived, though it took months of hospitalization to recover and to become healthy again. He had no insurance and the medical cost was prohibitive. In the face of the catastrophe when he was drowning in excruciating pain and mental trauma, it was his mother who pulled off a miracle in his life. She carried the burden herself, working long hours and two to three menial jobs to foot his medical bills and keep the family afloat. He slowly recovered and eventually his life turned a corner. Gobin, with hard work, established himself as an entrepreneur and became one of the richest men in his town. The story, however, did not end there. He couldn't forget the dedication and sacrifice of his mother and thus he decided to establish an organization named “MAA Anusthan” in her honor.
The organization started conducting events where elderly women abandoned by their own family or aged mothers living alone were invited. Gobin showed me some of the footage of those events. Each participating mother was presented with gifts by him including clothes and items of necessity. Afterwards there was a feast where everyone was served a delicious meal prepared by his family. Occasionally there was community participation with local singers and performers joining in to enliven the joyous moment. Gobin took utmost care and ensured that each mother was filled with abundance of love throughout the day of celebration. As Gobin became more well-known, he took his mission to the next level - visiting schools and colleges where he shared his unique story with young students. Through his life story he reminded these budding youths that they had a responsibility to their mothers, and they should care for and spend more time with their parents. He would also read letters received from the women whom he supported – how these abandoned and abused women were touched and loved, something that they had never experienced before.
Article by Ankur Bora
Friends, the life story of Gobin Bordoloi brought about a profound shift in my thinking. He taught me an entirely new definition of love that love also means action. I learned from him how anyone could show love to someone else through words of affirmation, affectionate touch or by holding hands, presenting gifts, preparing a meal or by spending quality time with them. That year, my meeting with Gobin egged me on and I decided to celebrate Mother’s Day in a different way in the city of Dallas where we live. After online research and several phone calls, I met a charitable organization who facilitated meetings and greetings with senior citizens. Thus, I along with my family and a few friends, visited a local Rehabilitation & Nursing Center. It was the 14th of May 2018 when we celebrated Mother’s day in a unique and fulfilling way. We carried gifts and the residents were delighted to receive flowers, cards, chocolates, and stuffed toys from us. Some of the mothers had not met their own sons or daughters for years and they were in tears when we hugged them. My wife Anjana recited a glowing poem dedicated to mothers while my daughters Anvi and Riddhi played violins to the delight of everyone present. Then we took a tour inside where I met a lady in a wheelchair. I had an animated conversation with her, when she pointed to a framed picture of a young marine with a radiant smile. When I asked if his son would come to visit her, she choked up a little and said he would never come back. As I touched her hand, I felt we were brought together as if by some divine intervention, intertwined in the common thread of love and sharing. As we left, we realized that the seemingly little things like passing out handmade cards, poetry recitation, playing a musical instrument, are acts of love that not only make a lasting impact but also fill the hearts and minds of both the doer and the receiver with immense joy and happy memories.
Poetry by Anjana Bora
Friends, love is not merely a noun, love is also a verb, and love is made manifest through action. Individuals like Gobin, through selfless acts of love and a relentless pursuit to serve, are making a difference in other people’s lives. Gobin, in turn , made me realize that even if we are away from our own mother, we can serve someone else, celebrate and feel fulfilled. Friends, we can measure love and let us fill someone else’s life with words of affirmation, affectionate touch, quality time, acts of service and with gifts of celebration.
Toastmasters Speech video link
Toastmasters Speech evaluation by Warren Ehn
You excelled at
A fabulous exploration of what loves means – “Love isn’t just a noun, it’s a verb.” I enjoyed your speech’s organization and clearly defined sub-topics and had no trouble following your train of thought. It can be your mere presence, physical hugs or even special items/s hared history , such as in-jokes and nicknames. I also enjoyed your smooth transitions, using “Friends...” to carry us from one idea to the next, and the repetition of that word helped us anchor our thoughts. Your phrasing and vocal variety were outstanding, soft at times and louder to make points and ideas stand out. Your smiles and enthusiasm are radiant and really add to your presentation.
You may want to work on
Your eye contact was a little heavy on your right side for the first couple of minutes of the speech but got better after that. Don’t forget to include the whole audience when making eye contact.
To challenge yourself
Consider either covering up or hiding your prop / illustration until the exact time you need it. The prop was a little distracting at first , I was busy looking at for the first minute or so and it would be easy for the audience to miss your words during the important minute. Also , covering the prop makes the audience more eager to see what it is when it’s finally unveiled ; if it’s there from the beginning, they’ve already read it and it’s just part of the scenery instead of adding variety to your speech.