When I woke up at 6:20 this Sunday morning, there was no way I was thinking of going to the SHG meeting. I had other things in mind, like co-coordinating our cricket team practice session, a heavy breakfast later and after that, a whole undisturbed day of watching India- Australia test match. The plan was all going good, until the breakfast and due to some reason or the other I ended up at SHG meeting. Though an hour late, but I did. There already were members present in the small hut discussing ifs and buts of stammering, under our thoughtful co-coordinator Mansi Mehta who had a very organised approach towards co-coordinating this meeting. She had planned a meditation and breathing exercise session before we eased onto the remaining meeting. Following which there were rounds like that of Reading from a book, Extempore and a brief introduction round too. Our usual Introduction round has become a cake walk , hence we decided to start with reading from a book, which wasn’t one of such and when we moved to extempore the difficulty and learning maxed out.
While reading from a book, we learned about nuances of bouncing and prolongation, its day to day application and how to imbibe the technique in a course of time. Extempore was much more spontaneous and more of a practical simulation of day to day challenges we face while talking every day. The topics were searched and put in chits well in advance by our coordinator and had a tinge of both humour and wit. Here everyone was supposed to talk for 2 minutes, and one had to begin with listing out his secondary symptoms before wrestling with the actual topic. Then every talk was further accompanied with some positive and some negative feedback to improve them in future. This activity became so engaging and participative that we could not even save some time for Stranger Talk activity and hence had to conclude the meeting due to paucity of time. But that paucity of time was compensated when amidst all these activities we discussed about the buddy programme where we had to choose a buddy and talk with them every day for half an hour. Thus helping us practice even on weekdays and not limit ourselves to one day a week for all the practice. Finally at the end of the meeting everyone chose their buddies, exchanged numbers and worked out nitty-gritty of executing the weekday practice before parting our ways.
When I see in hindsight, skipping first 2 sessions of test match to an SHG meeting was a good call to make, because I can always watch the highlights of the session but can never relive the experience of an SHG meeting, once missed out.
The attendees of the meeting were: Mansi, Rajesh, Rajkumar, Mohit Sinha, Harekrishna, Surya, Siddharth and me.