Monday, November 29, 2010

GIRLS AND BOYS interrupted

A leading Indian tech company has 23 members in its stammering association. They and other stammerers help each other through their frustrating condition — and sue films that mock them

Here's the link to the article on TISA featured on Times of India, Sunday edition (28th November 2010):-

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bollywood or a Torture ??

The Bollywood is always one step ahead in making fun of ones handicap and most of the time
stammering was used for cheep humor and just to make people laugh without any reason.
If we see in some bollywood movies that were released recently, the main character was
playing the role of a stammerer and stammering was shown in a normal way and not for cheep
laughs. Few movies like "Ajab prem ki gazab kahani", "Kaminey","Jootha hi sahi" etc have shown stammering in a positive or rather normal way.

After watching these movies I thought that bollywood has now grown up and is taking each
and every aspect whether is a Handicap or a particular community etc very seriously and with atmost care.

But the recent release of Rohit Sheety, "Golmaal 3", was once again a shock to me and many
stammerers across India. It has made fun of stammer to such an extent that even a mature guy
who understands this handicap would start laughing and making fun if he/she comes across a stammerer in real life. They dont even know how it feels to be on the other side. Ask a stammerer who has to go through all this everyday. Accepting cheep laughs is way to far and not acceptable to any person who has a handicap.

But TISA filed a case in the court against them and they got the answer from TISA. You can see the result of this brave step by TISA on the below given link :


Yesterday we had an interview with a reporter from the "Times of India". She came to our work
place and we shared all our experiences with her and also raised this point. Our article
will be now published in the Sunday times in Mumbai and I am very eager to read what she
finally writes about this. Lets wait and see. If you want to read about this meeting with the reporter in detail then you can click the link of TISA blog given below :-


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pune SHG - A Memorable Day

The Pune SHG meeting this sunday was very interesting. We had fun and enjoyed as much as we could. JP had already planned to give us Treat, as it was his Birthday on 22nd July. Although
I wished him on that day too but sunday was special. It was raining very heavily from the last 6 days and still was raining with no hint of sun shine.

Our meeting starts at 10:30 am but due to heavy rain and traffic, I was about 25 minutes late(sorry for that). Till that time JP,Chris and Rahul had already started meditating. I removed my shoes and sat down on the chair very carefully so that I don't disturb them. Then I also closed my eyes and started meditating along with them. After 5 minutes, when we opened our eyes, Sujit was also sitting in front of us. Actually Chris took some time to come out of the meditating state. And it was really good to watch him going so deep in his mind and we all remained silent till he opened his eyes.

Most of the members couldn't make it because of the heavy rainfall.So with 5 members this time, we had a round of slow reading where we were suppose to pause after every three words. In this round our patience was tested.Because everyone was trying to speak the whole sentence in one go forgetting about the pause. After that we began to play a game in which we had to frame a sentence and the next person had to make a sentence rhymed with the previous one just like a poem. This round was very interesting.After this we had a round which was similar to Extempore. Each of us had to suggest a Topic and anyone can choose any Topic but the same topic cant be chosen twice. The topics were very interesting and we all had to speak for atleast 4 minutes on the topic we selected.

Then came the time for celebration. JP himself had brought the cake and we all sang the famous "Happy Birthday to you " song for him. Then we all ate some of the cake and the rest of the cake was as usual put on his face. It was the perfect Asian paints moment :-D

After that it was Treat time.We all went to a restaurant where we had a delicious vegetarian Lunch as it was a vegetarian resto :-( . Our lunch went on for about an hour and a half. After all
we were discussing many important things. This was all about our meeting.

JP and I also have an experience to share which was more like a nightmare to us.Stay tuned for this Nightmare.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Journey So Far !!

Stammering is a hard to explain and even harder for me because I am the one who stammers. Stammering is one of the biggest medical mysteries that is haunting the medical Science even today. There is no so-called cure for stammer and that is the bitter truth which is hard to accept. Its like living in a fantasy world where we, the PWS(People Who Stammer) use some encrypted language to communicate with other fellow PWS so that the non-stammerers around us dont understand what we are talking about. They(non stammerers) laugh at us when we stammer and we in turnlaugh at them because they dont know that we(stammerers) are members of a "secret league of extra ordinary people" who are very smart and sharp. Its amazing to spend some time in this fantasy world of stammerers. But finally we have to come out of this world of imaginations and face the real world which is the most difficult part of being a stammerer.

It all started when I was about 3 or 4 or Even I dont remember when? There were many other things around to concentrate on. I still remember when I was in 1st standard, my teachers always use to tell my parents that "your child doesn't even speaks a single word in the class. Even when he is has to go to bathroom or toilet he will make some stupid and strange gestures rather than asking for it. At that time my teachers and parents were also unaware of the thing that was developing within me. Many years passed by and I was still the same guy who doesn't wants to talk to anyone and even if the teachers asked some questions I would prefer to keep my mouth shut rather than stammering and getting embarrassed, although I was knowing the answer.

The schools days were over now and I entered into a college for my B.Tech or B.E. in computers.We stammerers are always good in knowledge and technical skills but when it comes to speaking or communications skills we always feel inferior to others. Same was the case with me in the college. Although I took active part in the seminars or Communication skills classes. But when it came to vivas or oral tests, it was like hell. I would rather bunk my class than attending the class and facing those embarrassing situations. Never had the courage to go and talk to the girl whom I liked the most. But still the college life was good. Because you don’t have to wake up early and go for attending classes and all that. You are the king.

Live Life King Size.

After college came the professional life. Mine was a Campus placement and my professional life started when I went to Mysore for 6 months of Technical Training. It is always a problem to go to a new place where every face is new and bright. You go to a new place with lot of expectations and all. This again can be a problem for a person who stammers because you have to start it all over again. Introducing yourself in every session or to every person you meet. We use to have Communication classes there, where each and everyone of us has to speak. You don’t have any option.But it was not that hard for me. In almost each and every session of communication classes I discussed about my stammer. So after talking about my stammer and letting everyone know that I stammer, It feels really good. It felt like all the people in that room were all stammerers and I am attending a Self Help Group meeting. So that thought of getting embarrassed or humiliated was gone. After introducing stammering as a part of my life and actually telling them about the obstacles and difficulties that I face every day, everyone was staring at me like I was a superman or from some other planet. From that day more and more people(including girls) started interacting with me and sent me friendship mails and all that. At that time I thought, why are they so desperate to be my friend. Was it my honesty...?? Was it my bravery....?? or just that I am different from them...?? Still I dont know the exact reason. But it doesn't really matters or does it..?

Soon my friend circle began to expand. It was altogether a new beginning for me. I didn't knew that stammering can make such a huge difference(in a positive sense). Then after completing my training successfully, I got posted to Pune. Now I am in Pune, exploring a new world, with new faces around and of course some familiar ones too. But one thing is still the same and that is my stammering. So there is some sort of connection between me and my stammering. You can never get satisfied in your life if you are a stammer. And remember "satisfaction leads to Death". Life will always be a journey where you can keep on learning new things everyday and with stammering in it , it becomes more spicy and interesting.

This was my way of looking at stammering. There are many other ways too that can lead to suffering, Pain and make your life Hell. So why not accept you stammer, make life a bit spicy & interesting and live with it.

That was my journey so far. Lets wait and see, what life has planned for me or rather what I have planned for life in the near future.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Common men, Uncommon lives !!!

Dear Friends,

I am 56 years old, B.Com (Hons.) from Mumbai.
I have been on the Yahoo Blog for the last 4 to 6 weeks and am impressed by the quality of communication going on between us. We have Sachin in Dehradun, Mr. Manpreet in Jammu, and Mr. Manimaran in Chennai and so many others who contribute regularly and inspire all of us. My BIG Thanks and immense Gratitude to all of them and all who have contributed directly and are working behind the scene (web designing, typing etc.) Thanks to the internet it has brought us to a common platform and we can share and learn from others. A few words about my experiences and how I overcame my stammering.

I was really bad in school and right up to college I used to keep my mouth shut even when I knew the answer. I used the power of visualization to get a job in a multinational company and worked till 1993. Since the last 16 years I am on my own. I give software training and devote more time on Spirituality and Meditation. The turning point in my life was very gradual :
In 1996 (at the age of 43 years) I did Reiki Level 1 and 2 and thereafter Vipassana 10 days course at Igatpuri. Vipassana has been a great help and I observe that after my 1 day meditation on Sundays, I am very calm and composed and speak very normally. It is only when I am a bit tense or agitated or angry that I get the blockage, especially on the phone. Even here I now make it a point to speak slowly and calmly.

The next huge turning point came in 2004.
I saw an Advertisement in the Times of India for the “Brahmavidya” course. This course has helped me to speak very normally and nobody knows that I used to stammer once upon a time. At the end of the 22 weeks I even mustered the courage to speak for 5 minutes and share my experiences of the course. I could do so with ease without a blockage.

Brahmavidya course teaches 8 types of breathing exercises and the technique of right meditation. Today I devote at least one hour in the morning to complete all the 8 breathing exercises and spend some time in Meditation. The affirmations given with the notes are simply great and it just changes your consciousness.

I was surprised to learn from the course that the average person uses only 10 % of his lung capacity. Brahmavidya teaches Spiritual Breathing Exercises which improves breathing and Meditation techniques which improves thinking. The Breathing exercises purifies the body and Meditation purifies the mind. The secret of overcoming stammering is to just pump in a lot of oxygen. One hour of breathing exercises does wonders to your body and brain.
Brahmavidya is a 22 weeks course of 1 hour weekly (Total 33 hours). The fees charged is only Rs. 750 for the 22 weeks. This course is held in different suburbs of Mumbai. The next course commences in the last week of October 2009. More details can be found on

One can also do this course by correspondence by paying Rs. 750 to Brahmavidya Sadhak Sangh Ratneshwar Bhuwan, 1st Floor, Behind Bank of Maharashtra, Gokhale Road, Naupada, Thane (West), 400 602 Phone 2533 9977, 2534 7788.

I wish all of you Good Luck, Joy and Happiness.

Warm Regards,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Is Sss...s...Stammering a Disease..??

No, its not.

There are more than 45 million people in the world today who stammer and approximately 10 million live in India . Stammering is predominantly a 'male' condition (80% of all stammerers are male) and it usually affects the first-born male child. A significant majority of stammerers (65%) have a family history of the disorder; usually the father who stammers or speaks at a rapid rate. Nearly always, stammering starts before the child is 5 years of age. If left untreated, it peaks in severity around the age of 10 to 18 years and then begins to stabilize or fade away as the stammerer grows older.

A stammerer knows precisely what he wants to say but cannot, for the moment, say it because of an involuntary repetition, prolongation or cessation of the speech sound. Research suggests that the disorder might be caused due to a 'neurological mistiming' during the act of speech which leaves the stammerer confused about when exactly to say the word he wants to say. Speaking is not merely the movement of the tongue but involves a fine coordination of both mental and physical processes. Like all other physical actions, the act of speech is the result of neuro-muscular coordination which involves the transmitting of electro-chemical messages from the brain to the appropriate muscle groups. For everyone of us (non-stammerers and stammerers alike), this neuro-muscular system sometimes trips and fails especially during moments of inadequate emotional control. Haven't we all found the quality of our speech delivery changing with our feelings as we experience thrill, anger, fear, joy or other such strong emotions? For the stammerer, this 'tripping' occurs much more frequently than it does for normal speakers. Whenever he faces what he perceives as a 'feared' situation, the stammerer adopts a mind-set which triggers off spasms of speech-blocks. Such fears can also center around certain speech sounds or even certain people.

Scientists have yet to pin-point the exact cause of stammering. In ancient times, the condition was attributed to every possible source including sometimes the devil himself. One can only guess the varieties of tortures undergone by stammerers in their quest for speech fluency in those days. Even now, stammering has remained a confusing speech impediment for the sufferer as well as for those who have attempted to cure it through medicines.

One stammerer poignantly asks :
I can see
I can hear
I can sprightly walk.
Why do all my problems surface When I try to talk?

In their desperate search for fluency, many stammerers in India subject themselves to a myriad of so-called treatments ranging from swallowing vile concoctions to allowing themselves to be pierced with needles and cut with knives. Actually, such treatments hold no relevance to the problem of stammering and only cause greater frustration in the long run.

Yoga and meditation might really hold the key to solving the problem of stammering. With the greater sense of emotional and intellectual balance that these disciplines promote, the stammerer might find them of tremendous help in his attempts to develop
better control over his speech.

Dr. Edward Conture, Professor of Speech Pathology at Syracuse University, New York, talks about what causes stammering :

"Things that cause stammering may be, and probably are, quite different from the things that keep it going, aggravate or worsen it. For example, if you mishandle a knife, you may cut your finger. The knife causes the cut and initial pain. Salt rubbed into the cut makes the pain continue or even worsen it but the salt does not cause the cut". Dr. Conture says, scientists "...still haven't found the 'knife' that causes stammering. However, we do know something about the 'salt' that keeps it going, makes it worse or aggravates it".

These are aspects which can be changed through self-therapy to help the person overcome his speaking difficulty.

Many of the Non-stammerers might experience a feeling of embarrassment when we converse with stammerers; some of us look away while others go ahead to complete their sentences for them. In talking with a stammerer, the following hints might be of help:

  1. Listen to what is said, not how it is said.

  2. Be patient and don't hurry the person talking.

  3. Try to maintain natural eye contact.

  4. Simplistic advice ("breathe properly", "don't worry", "don't be afraid", etc.) though well- meant is not always helpful.

  5. Stammerers have difficulty when talking but don't assume they are stupid or confused about what they are saying.

  6. Many stammerers have difficulty when they speak on the telephone. Please do not hang up if the caller is taking longer than usual or if he is silent for a while.
    Stammerers usually try and hide their speech problem from their listeners. This attempt at camouflage is counter-productive because it only acts as psychological 'fuel' for even more speech-blocks. If the stammerer is open about his speech difficulty, he experiences lesser stress and is able to speak with greater control.

In the final analysis, stammering can be overcome if the sufferer seeks scientific, professional guidance and is ready to work towards achieving speech fluency through regular practice of therapeutic techniques. It certainly cannot disappear by ingesting some magic potent!

This article is taken from :-


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do's and Don'ts for the Non-PWS

The hatred for stammering by all PWS has it's origin in the kind of reaction that they are met with when talking to the world, or the non-PWS which are relatively more fluent ( I won't say fluent ) then the PWS. A PWS will be at his / her ease when speaking to another PWS, because they respond just the way that is comfortable to the speaker.

This happens because non-PWS cannot relate to what goes behind a PWS mind. And they are always ill-prepared on how to deal with the situation when they have to communicate with a PWS. So, here's a list of Do's and Don'ts for the non-PWS, that may help to give rise to a better and productive conversation :

1. Do listen to him / her with patience. Give him / her time.
2. Do maintain a straight eye contact with him / her.
3. Do motivate and encourage him / her to do things, like extra-carricular, creative, with regards to speech or things related to work.

1. Don't complete the sentences / words for a him / her.
2. Don't make crooked faces by stretching your eye-brows or ears.
3. Don't nod without understanding.
4. Don't start speaking your sentence while he / she is stammering and is completing his / her sentence.
5. Don't hesitate to talk to a PWS because he / she might stammer.

by Harish