Sep 11, 2008

Word power

Some years ago, I was an avid participant in many elocution competitions. I had many prizes to my credit too. But back then, no matter how much or how little I knew, I was still ignorant about the actual motive of a speech, or the power of one.

But just like you learn lessons in life when you are hit, you also know things slowly. Ever heard the 'I Have a Dream speech' by Martin Luther?



Or closer home, remember the speech J. Nehru gave as the clock struck midnight and India gained Independence?

There are many such examples - some that changed the world. Some that simply inspired you. It may have been your mother or your teacher saying something, that made a big difference. Words have that power, to move, to bring together. They throw Marx's theory back into his face and turn the 'simple masses' into an active force. Hitler may have been a tyrant, a cruel man, but no one denies that he was a master of words. He could bring life into every syllable and make it hypnotise every listener. And when you get that power, it is bound to get to you somehow, as it did with him!

And it's an unexplainable joy to play with words. And to be in a profession that demands that of you (though of course everything is not as hunky-dory since this is no fairytale).

A blogger has created a list of 13 most illuminating speeches in history. If you are keen to have some words smack you int he face, do have a look.

And I wish to make a recent addition to these - a speech J.K. Rowling gave at a graduation ceremony. May not be world changing, but it sure is inspiring:
J.K.Rowling's inspiring speech - part 1
Part 2
Part 3

If you have any additions or anecdotes, do drop them in.

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