Know thy Coordinator

Great presenter; Mimicry too!

Harish
holds a masters degree in IT, and works as a Module Lead in a leading IT firm
in Goa. He has many hobbies: writing, graphic designing, mimicry, singing and a
lot more, waiting to be discovered, I guess..


Someday,
I am sure, he will start a business, publish a novel, raise a great family… in
a nutshell, achieve everything worthwhile under the Goan sun. But life has a
price. You have to work and earn every experience, every bit of insight. Harish
too has led a life, which cannot be called “easy” by any stretch of
imagination.
I got to know Harish in Oct 2009 – over phone
calls and through many online chats. Then, we met in Bhubaneshwar during our
first NC- 2012, where he charmed everyone with his presentation… and his fine
nature. To me, he came across as a very sensitive young man. (May be a little
bit too sensitive in an uncaring world? I wonder- but hope not..)
So, how did it all begin?
In
2009, He had seen an interview of JP and Dr Tarun, put up by me on youtube.
Initially he was skeptical about acceptance, the core message of TISA. Then, he
saw Ritik Roshan’s “Tere Mere Beech” interview. That began to change his
ideas. In fact, he wrote a paper about it, for the International Conference on
stammering awareness 2011, organized by Judith Kuster (link at the bottom).
He understood the role of self-help groups. He
decided to start one. This can be challenging. But he persisted. Soon, a group
was gravitating towards him: Santosh, Rahul, Prakash, Dnyanesh.. and many more.
Calm and cool – but alert!

We were chatting online regularly and one day
he announced excitedly – It was 2nd Nov 2009: “First Goa SHG meet is finalized today. It’s
scheduled for 7th November 2009…

Then came second meeting- no one turned up – and Harish
was disappointed! Harish was discovering the mysterious nature of stammering
and stammerers. People will ask for help – but refuse to take that first step:
stepping out of the self-imposed house arrest. It was so confusing. But the
journey continued.

The
confidence generated by setting up the first SHG in Goa, touched other aspects
of his life as well: He began talking about it at home and at work. He
challenged himself further by giving stage performances and joining a public
speaking club – Toastmasters. Then came the high point in 2012: he interviewed the
Vice President (Sales and Marketing) of his own organization on his perspective
on Stammering for a Samvad write-up: “Stammer: What does the corporate think?”.
In the
meantime, he had begun writing about stammering and other things: stories,
poems. Earlier, during post-graduation, he had started to write a diary. Urge
to communicate is so strong in us that it WILL manifest one way or the other. He
already had a private blog and went around by a screen name, which told me more
about himself than his REAL name ever did: Silent Scream. I was quite
intrigued. Here is a poem he wrote in the winter of 2010, about a bird in a
cage and its resolve to break free someday, as he himself eventually did:
Tough may be these bars,
I can’t sever them apart,
But listen all you fellows,
I don’t loose heart.
Look at me not,
With those usual sorry eyes,
I am one like you,
So very beautiful, so very nice.
Being a bird, I always dream high,
“A day will come, when I will fly, I will fly”
(Winter 2010)
Our
non-stop online chats were not one sided: He too was teaching me something
through chance comments and by sharing all kinds of issues and perspectives.
He introduced me to a great movie: Front of the class, which I later
shared in many workshops and which was much appreciated by others.
Then, he wrote on the blog about Swapnil in Jan 2010- the budding
cricketer and his stammering. Some of his SHG members reacted badly. We
discussed the issue and realized that stammering needs acceptance in public
sphere a lot more than treatment in private clinics!
Another
milestone was when Harish organized a three-day communication workshop in Goa
in April 2011, with help from JP, his colleague and friend in TISA. All these
were major challenges for him – not just in terms of organizing them but also accepting
the fact that, yes- stammering IS an important issue for him – important enough
to take such huge steps in public life. 
He was able to get valuable help from Dr Farida, TM, Goa, fortunately.
And the workshop went very well.
He has
served TISA immensely by taking up the production of quarterly Samwad (pdf)
magazine – editing, producing content, lay-outing etc. etc. He has set up very
high standards. I sincerely wonder if and when will we find a team to match
those standards!
In
connection with Samwad, he was getting in touch with Pakistan, Nepal,
Australia, BSA etc. to promote it and to get write ups from NRI abroad. Harish
was working with Amit Kushwaha for Hindi content; He was dealing with Hindi
spellings and its funny trick of going all haywire with slightest change of the
script! He has played a very hectic and productive innings with Amit, as the
editorial team.
His
help to JP and myself, has been immense; responding to emails, phone calls,
request for help from pws all over, setting up events, planning NCs, raising
funds, dealing with critics and what not; All this- while being one hundred
percent faithful to the central spirit of TISA: acceptance and self-help. Team
spirit and sensitivity to others’ feelings and needs – will come up easily as the
two of his core qualities as a volunteer, consistently since 2009. 
Change begins with self..

He shared
with me once- in his own words: “As a child and teenager, I explored all sorts
of ‘therapy’ to achieve that magic ‘fluency’! I desperately tried Speech
Therapy, Hypnotherapy and all sorts of so called ‘Stammering Cure’ centers.
Every time, there was a relapse. And every relapse brought big disappointment, a
sense of failure. As I neared graduation, the low esteem was coupled with fear.
Will I ever be able to succeed in this competitive world when I fumble in my speech?

I came
in contact with TISA when I was at the dawn of my career. When I realized the
true meaning of Acceptance (towards stammering), TISA was beginning to look
like my ‘home’. Working with TISA taught me the most important thing in life-
breaking out of comfort zone. Secondly, I learnt that stammering is a part of
me and will remain to be. But it’s not me. Life is much more. I do not have to
wait for fluency to achieve my goals. That was the time I began to think about
my goals, my ambitions, career, dreams… Now it all seemed possible!
Old Avtaar: Silent scream!

The
most important thing that TISA taught me is acceptance. And it has helped me
(still helps me) not just in stammering, but in all aspects of life. I realized
that acceptance is essential to live a contented life. I had lot of ups and
downs in personal life ahead… and the acceptance attitude helped a great deal.
I will always be highly indebted to TISA for changing the way I was looking at
life. TISA still continues to teach me, and I wish to learn as much I can with
TISA and TISA friends.”

TISA
cannot claim any credit – but we are sure that there is a POWER that takes note
of and rewards sincere and self-less service to others- and no wonder, Harish
found a worthy partner in 2015 and got married. Now, we are sure, that TISA has
two friends, not just one. We deeply value that.
As you
get to know him during this NC-2016, you may browse these links to know more
about him:
Goa Workshop:
His first stage show:
A Fiction Story:
ISAD Paper:

We wish
TISA all the BEST under Harish’s stewardship, as the national coordinator – and offer him our best support. Let me conclude by paraphrasing Jose Ortega:

“Common men, driven by a dream, can do uncommon things..”

9 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Anonymous 9 months ago

    Congrats Harish!
    Wishing you all the luck and assuring you my full support.
    Sky is the limit..
    Keep smiling..

    JP

  2. Profile photo of
    admin 9 months ago

    Congrats Harish bab!
    Its my pleasure to know you personally.

    Santosh

  3. Profile photo of
    admin 9 months ago

    In a line – He is one of the DNA of TISA 🙂 What else we can say about him.
    He does great seva to our community. Thanks Bro. Keep it up.

  4. Profile photo of
    admin 9 months ago

    Congrats Harish..I got to know you in 2012 .. you are so multi-talented.. keep up the great work.. we are with you..

  5. Profile photo of
    admin 9 months ago

    You are an inspiration to many Harish

  6. Profile photo of
    admin 9 months ago

    Very Very Nice Article. It motivates us by informing us about a great personality. Will try to follow on his foot steps

  7. Profile photo of
    admin 9 months ago

    Congrats Harish!
    Wishing you good luck.

  8. Profile photo of
    admin 9 months ago

    Congratulations Harish. I agree on you starting a new business.

  9. Profile photo of
    admin 9 months ago

    Congratulations Harish. I agree on you starting a new business.

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