The Greek God of Bollywood, Hrithik Roshan is certainly the most complete star among the current Bollywood celebrities. I am sure we all are aware that he has overcome severe childhood stammering to become an actor which he always wanted to.
At the age of 14, he was provided personal training sessions by Ramesh Ojha, a famous speech therapist based in Mumbai. Hrithik practiced day and night to improve his articulation and pronunciation. According to his father, Rakesh Roshan- he would lock himself in a room alone and practice for hours.
Within a year, he developed the confidence to speak better. Yes, now he speaks better, but, still stammers sometimes and he still practices for one hour a day to maintain his speech. He is 42 now. It means that he is practicing for the last 36 years and it reflects in his mastery over his communication.
In my opinion, there are a few lessons to learn from his journey:
- The speech techniques or any particular speech therapist doesn’t play a big role here. What matters is- your own will power and dedication. How far you can go to achieve your goal? What sacrifices you can make to fulfill your dream? How many of us can practice like him? In my case, I have been exposed to various speech techniques and I know that they can help me. But, still, I don’t practice enough. So, if you are ready to do the hard work, you don’t need to see any particular speech therapist…the techniques explained in TISA manual are good enough to help you.
- For Hrithik, his ultimate goal was not to attain fluency, but, to become the best possible version of an actor. So, he improved his communication, he worked hard in the gym to get a muscular body, he learnt dancing and various stunts. The point is- overcoming stammering was a part of his big dream. So, we also need to identify our big dream and work for that. Improvement in communication would be a byproduct. Hence, if unfortunately, we make “speaking fluently” as the ultimate aim of our life, we would be missing a very big opportunity. There is a lot more to do and accomplish in life beyond stammering.
- Acceptance…you see, Hrithik has gained enough control on his speech and he can easily avoid talking about his speech impediment. But, he openly accepts it in various personal interviews that he had a terrible stammer in his childhood. In no sense, it makes him a lesser actor. Actually, it has established him as a real life hero. So, if a star with millions of fans worldwide can embrace his stammering, then why can’t we?