Stammering or shuttering, whatever you name it, is a common problem among many people. The World Health Organization classifies stuttering (stammering), in the section “Mental And Behavioural Disorders”
In an interview, Rani Mukherjee revealed that she stammered for 22-years but somehow, successfully camouflaged it. To know that even successful people stammer, gives me a ray of hope.
I’m an 18-year-old media student, and when I was seven years old, I had started to stammer. Since then, life was and still is hard. Stammering actually hampered my social life and academics. I was usually quite afraid to ask doubts in class because of this since I’d feel that my classmates would laugh. In my 12 years of schooling in a Kendriya Vidyalaya, I somehow managed to save myself from speaking during the morning assembly. My stammering came hand-in-hand with stage fright. Gradually, as I went on to pursue my higher education, I developed a resistance against my stammering. Slowly, it decreased, but I’m not completely free from it. Sometimes, I still stutter.
How did I develop a resistance to stammering?
Some three years ago, I started taking part in events like debates, elocution, etc. I started participating in these events to challenge my stammering. It was during this time that I realised that people don’t really judge you on your oratory skills, what matters most is the content. What you’re speaking matters more to people that how you speak it.
Now, in my college days, I’m not afraid to address a large crowd in an auditorium at all. Yes, I do stammer and it doesn’t bother me at all. I started to actively participate in literature and cultural activities. Well, sometimes, people would laugh at me, but I’d ignore them. Ignorance is truly the key. Ignore people and they will stop criticising you.
What I didn’t understand in school was that I believed all people to be the same and that everyone would make fun of me. In our lives, there are people who understand us and in mine, I met different teachers who encouraged me to go ahead and participate in different activities. My parents and sister have always been my support system and they encourage me all the time. At first, I used to shy away from the stage, but now I sometimes get angry when I don’t have enough of them. I also have some really good friends who are ready to fight for me, if anyone ever makes fun of me.
This year, I came across an article that mentioned about The Indian Stammering Association (TISA). It is a public charitable trust and a self help movement for people who stutter. I wasted no time, checked their website and joined one of their Facebook groups. After joining the group, I realised that I’m not the only one who has a difficulty with speaking. There are a lot of people out there who face this difficulty. Whenever I check posts by people in that group, I feel good to see everyone motivating one another. And this motivation helps me to challenge stammering.
When I took up media studies, a lot of people asked me how I’d read or report the news since I stammer so much. However, people often misunderstand media studies to be meant for only broadcast media. They don’t know about the various possibilities within the media. And when people question my choices, I reply, “Even if I stammer but my pen never does, my pen will tell the world, my pen will tell the story.”
I believe that some day or the other, I’ll be free from stammering but whatever it is, I’ll remain proud of myself. I’m a proud stutter-er. For those people who stammer and are afraid to come out, I just want to tell them that if you won’t challenge yourself, then you’ll remain in dark. Come out and challenge it in your own way. No one can stop you.
In the end, haklao, magar pyaar se!