District 41 Toastmasters

Confidence and Accountability

Fellow Toastmasters and esteemed guests, have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re fully aware of being partially or entirely at fault or error, yet you project confidence and attempt to gain from the circumstance? Isn’t it perplexing? Acknowledging fault, knowing you’re at error, and still benefiting from the situation—it raises questions. How is this possible, and what role does confidence play in it? Stay with me, ladies and gentlemen, as I share with you an intriguing narrative that explores the delicate dance between confidence and accountability.

Few years back, earning decent income and having bare minimum living cost with no rent to pay. I felt like it was the right time to get myself a Car. I could manage the monthly EMI’s and had some funds for the down payment and to bridge the gap of required down payment, my father had agreed to contribute some money. All I needed was a driver’s license. Having already acquired the skill of driving and frequently using my father’s car, obtaining a driver’s license seemed like a straightforward task. Little did I know, it was far from simple. Cutting a long story short, I failed all three attempts on my trail and still I lied to my parents that I passed. How I failed and why I had to lie to my parents is an interesting story which I might share in my future speeches.

I was so desperate to get a driver’s license and drive a car. I got IT support and forged a license fee payment voucher document and laminated it well. That document was enough to get driving. I got a second-hand car, and trust me guys car drivers rarely get their license check. Home to office and Office to home. My Chariot and I loved it. I felt like there was a connection between us in every “hum..”, every twist of the steering wheel. As I went sliding into the driver’s seat, it was like settling into a familiar embrace. The road had been our canvas, and every journey was an amazing story. It was more than just a mode of transportation; it was my companion. For some time, I had actually forgotten that I had no genuine license and I was so reckless, how big of an issue it could have created.

One fine morning, both my parents and I headed to a family function in Banepa. On the way back home Araniko highway was a little crowded. Anyway, we were moving smoothly, enjoying the music and family joy. As we reached Jadibuti Chowk. Bang … I didn’t know what happened for some time. Few seconds later. Bang………………. A bus had collided with my car. My dad sitting next to me swift in action, halted the bus, and traffic police rushed to the scene. I checked my mother on the back seat, she was well and no one was hurt. My father yells at me, “get your license and the registration document”. I was like what??? Omg I knew I was in trouble now.

The traffic officer directed us to the side and inquired if I was ok and if I was able to drive and also asked about the car’s condition. Assessing the damage, I realized the car needed substantial repairs but was still operational. My father, who was unaware that I had no genuine license, was already in a heated argument with the bus driver. The traffic police urged us to refrain from causing a disturbance on the road. Requested for any one of the registration documents or licenses, so that the document could be sent to Traffic office Koteshwor, the office would handle the case diligently. I handed over the registration document, and together we proceeded to the Koteshwor Traffic office.

Knowing it was a long-route bus, I understood the high stakes for the bus driver. Internally, I hoped he would suggest a settlement. If we didn’t reach an agreement, the bus would be detained at the traffic office for several hours, leaving passengers in complete frustration. Having already sold tickets, the bus driver was receiving constant calls from anxious passengers waiting on the roadside.

After making a few calls with his managers the driver undoubtedly requested a swift resolution, offering to cover the damages. Those were the same words I was desperately meaning to hear. Now in a position to negotiate, I stated my condition: I wouldn’t sign any compromise document until the bus owner personally appeared and provided a guarantee. The bus service owner, stepping in, assured us they were more than willing to cover the costs. They had a fair justification that insurance and the support of the bus association could easily handle the necessary repairs.

The damages got sorted, but I couldn’t shake off the weight of what I’d done. With my parents in the car, there was potential for severe injuries. Not everything revolves around monetary costs; even if the bus compensated for any casualties, it could have left a lasting injury. Though the accident wasn’t a disaster, it easily could’ve been. The night has passed, the damages were repaired, the car sold out and I have officially got my driver’s license. Still, those events hunt me. I know with or without license the danger is the same on the road. But at least with the license you are the legit one to be behind those steering wheels. So, today I won’t lie; I cannot fool myself anymore. I’m saying it loud—I messed up, and I must be accountable for my actions and ask forgiveness from the universe.

Bishal Ghimire
Everest Toastmasters Club