Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I Have A Dream

On this day commemorating Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and his immeasurable contribution to our society, we are reminded of how he was an inspiration for Anuj as well. During his many years at St. Francis College in Lucknow, India, Anuj showcased his talents in a number of areas including debates, drama, quiz competitions, and of course, all kinds of sports. However, the area of competition in which he began his multi-year run of winning countless awards was called "public elocution". Competitors gave a prepared speech in front of a large live audience and were judged by their clarity of delivery, passion, ability to connect with the audience, and originality, among a number of other criteria.

For his first attempt on stage Anuj chose MLK's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Like they did for millions of others, King's words moved him even at that young age - Anuj was in middle school at the time. He felt that conveying MLK's passion and strength of purpose would be a worthy challenge. Anuj understood Martin Luther King Jr.'s deep connection to India based on the latter's lifelong public admiration of Mahatma Gandhi. Therefore he wanted to deliver the speech in a manner that was a true tribute to this great man. He not only succeeded in doing that but in the process won first prize in the contest. His entire family was so proud.

We remain proud to this day because Anuj chose not only to deliver a speech by King, but decided to live his life in a manner inspired by him as well. And those who were lucky enough to cross paths with Anuj, even for a brief time, know that he unequivocally succeeded in achieving that goal.


Anuj holding one of the many awards he won on stage during his time at St. Francis College.