My daughter Swara stammers since her early childhood,just like me. Her stammering is overt. I try to make her understand… I talk to her so much..I listen to her talks too, with much love.. At times she takes more than five minutes to complete a sentence. Still I listen to her with patience.. I try to make her understand in my own way..She understands..sometimes she cries..but she does not stop speaking.. At times she becomes disheartened..
She is just 10 year old..
I try to make her understand that our speaking style is different…
We speak in this way only..
We need to be carefree..
We have to speak freely..
She smiles when she listens to my such talks..
Her name is Swara.. The other day she asked me the meaning of Swara..
I replied that Swara means sweet voice, which soothes the mind.. which everybody loves to listen to.. She smiled listening to my explanation, and though unwillingly, I cried within…
Today she returned from school and hugged me.. I remained silent.. After sometime she spoke-“Papa, do you know what happened today at school?”..I was silent…She continued.”My friends always ask me that Sw.sw.swara why do you sp.sp..speak this way.. I had no answer to this question Papa..”
I was cursing myself.. My childhood flashed in front of me.. My only thought was-what next.. would my past haunt me again? My past was mockingly staring at me.. I was averting its gaze..
Swara was watching me, some thoughts passing through her mind ..
I reclaimed my composure and looked at her..a strange expression gleamed in her eyes..
Holding my hands in hers, she said” Papa, today again my friends taunted me that w..why do I ssspeak this way.. I replied that this is my style.. If you wish to learn it then I can teach you all..”
Swara’s eyes were gleaming now.. I have never seen or heard of such eyes …She continued..”After that, no one asked me that ww..why do I speak th..this way.”
Today, my daughter taught me the lesson of a lifetime..
My ten year old daughter taught me in true sense.. What if I had learnt this lesson when I was her age..Life would have been different!! I would have been a different person.. Never abhor the taunt of others, understand it and make it your strength..
I kept looking, as my daughter hopped away to play badminton..
Originally posted in Hindi by Santosh(Mumbai SHG), translated by Abhishek..