You cant write me off!

Here is a frank first post from Ketan Thakare – quite interesting and inspiring! He is from Mumbai SHG. (Ed.)

Well, I read the SH manual
and in that the first step mentioned was the acceptance of the the fact
that ‘you do stammer’. So, here I am doing just that, breaking away from
shackles of deniability which have bounded me in their clutches for as
long as  I remember. This post will be little long so bear with me. This
is my life story as a stammerer in brief.
          I would begin by saying that I was not a stammerer per se
as my mother used to say. As a child i had normal dis fluency like
everyone else (also i would like to point out the fact that I started
talking earlier than most people). However by the age I was 5, my
stammering had begun. I don’t know how I got it, Did I copy someone or
did I become afraid of talking, I don’t know. But once it began life
became a bit difficult. However I used to stammer only in specific
occasion and hence my stutter was limited but it used to cause me
embarrassment all the same. That constant staring of people while I was
stuck, those giggles, that  laugh on face, that bored and impatient face
used to make me nervous and i would grow so fraught with fear that I
would stop talking altogether mid sentence. My parents till now had
thought that this was a passing phase. But, when this ‘phase’ would not
pass even though i was in 3rd standard they became a bit concerned (that
is ‘Euphemism’ there, fact is that they grew a lot concerned). However
they didn’t knew how to tackle it so began the endless lectures on their
favorite topic ‘Speak slowly. Stay Calm’. I tried that but to no avail.
Till now my social interaction was satisfactory(not really good, I was
not much popular but satisfactory ) but now it became quite non
I became withdrawn. I used to be lost in my own word. At times, I used
to feel lonely(very lonely, it was emotionally tough considering the
fact that children my age were quite different from me). To overcome my
boredom I started to read, I started with simple newspaper articles and
once I started there was no stopping. Well, I have become a vociferous
reader and I have read quite a large number of books. They have not only
enriched my knowledge base but also made me experience something
transcendental and ephemeral happiness (words cannot describe but people
who love reading would identify with me). As they fondly say, ‘Every
dark cloud has a silver lining
‘ my improvement of my English was my
silver lining.From 1st to HSC(12th)
I have always topped my class in English subject. Also, as I had very
little social life, I got a lot of time to study and this improved my
academic performance a lot.
But this good thing created a whole different type of
situation.Relatives,family friends and even family members said I was
intelligent but that would be wasted as i didn’t know to talk fluently.
This single statement was hammered into my brain so much due to its
constant use that even I started to believe it was true. But some part
of my mind rebelled, it said that this was not true. There was constant
deliberation in my mind whether to accept the fact that I would never
amount to be be someone. But something happened that pushed to breaking
point. Uptill now in my school life although i had been very good in
studies, i had never been popular or for that matter been someone
important. So, being a class prefect was to be my glory moment. I
applied for it. I ticked on all the eligibility criterion. I was
sincere, studious, disciplined, in short everything for me being a good
prefect. I was sure of getting selected because other contenders for the
post were somewhat less qualified than me in one aspect or other. Day
of result arrived. I was pumped up for this was the moment which would
see me take some real responsibility. When results were announced, I 
was astonished. Someone else, less qualified than me, was selected. I
couldn’t fathom the reason why. It was gnawing my mind making me
unfocused. So, i decided to go and talk to teacher-in-charge. During
recess, i went to the staffroom  and in very polite manner( although
somewhat stutteringly) i asked the reason why i had not been selected.
Teacher smirked and in somewhat condescending manner said, ” Reason is
simple. I would explain with example. Suppose I give you an important
message which was to be urgently conveyed to head master. And suppose
while conveying, mid sentence you get stuck. Head master would not be
able to make head and tail of what you are saying and this would create a
lot of problems.” For a moment, she paused, seeing that i had tears in
my eyes, she continued in very matter of fact manner , ” You should get
used to the fact that you would always be overlooked for important work,
lead an average life and there is nothing you can do about it”.
            I came out of the staff room and went to the washroom and
cried. This was point of no return. Part of my mind, which was rebelling
became dominant. I lost all my reasoning and there at that moment I
decided that from now on if I get into something, i would defy all odds
and be a success. Nothing can stop me and i would allow nothing to stop
me.’ You are in it to win it ‘ became my motto. I started to work doubly
hard. Viva had been sore spot for me and i used to lose marks in them.
That term for each subject viva, i sat for 6 hours and prepared . I practised each and every sentence and learned every syllable. My vivas
were success. In so many years of my school life, this was the first
time i had done extremely well in viva.This boosted my confidence.
Although, this was my first victory of sorts, it heralded a beginning of
chain of successes. Be it my SSC exam, my HSC exam or my engineering
entrance exam, I excelled in everything. A guy whom people thought would
amount to nothing did become something. I exceeded their expectations. I
don’t think  even in their wildest dream they would have thought that I
would achieve a state rank of 123 among 2.8 lakh students in
engineering entrance. Even if I have achieved this, i still stammer. And
people continue to underestimate me. But i have learned to ignore that
and sometimes i even enjoy it. When internship placements came, people
thought that  i didn’t stand a chance. However, i proved them wrong. For
26 days, 4.5 hours daily i practised each and every  expected question
in front of mirror. I perfected each and every reply to hilt. People
were surprised when i got placed first but I was not as I knew the cost
of that success.
         There are days when my stammer is at worst, there are even days
when it is almost non existent. Now I think that i have suffered enough
and it’s time for a change. I know that path ahead will be difficult
but I have to walk it. This post is my acceptance of my stammering,
first step on that path.
Thank you for reading this.
Ketan Thakare

Ed: Congrats Ketan! You have taken the first step. Rest of the journey wont be as difficult as this. Keep plodding and inspiring others…

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Post Author: Sachin

8 thoughts on “You cant write me off!


    (May 11, 2015 - 12:14 pm)

    Bravo Ketan!! and hats off on our efforts.. Keep writing, its a pleasure to read such posts.. All the Best..


    (May 11, 2015 - 5:24 pm)

    For a moment I thought I was reading a novel !! Terrific Bro !!

    These lines are truly motivating, 'You are in it to win it' !

    Dhruv Gupta

    (May 11, 2015 - 5:26 pm)

    It was great meeting you yesterday, and amazing to see this post, after just giving you AHJ yesterday! You're an inspiration to me. Please do keep coming to SHG. 'In it to win it!" I might have to borrow that 🙂 🙂

    Warmly, Dhruv


    (May 11, 2015 - 6:07 pm)

    Your vocabulary and narration skills are exceptional. Very inspiring write up


    (May 12, 2015 - 3:08 pm)

    Nice write up Ketan..Good luck for ur career..u were just born to win i feel…with such a bold attitude, u will reach heights…


    (May 12, 2015 - 5:28 pm)

    Great Ketan…..A man is defined not by the no of times he fails…but each time he rises up to the challenges after the failures……….and u seem to be exactly doing that….

    Shivaji m

    (May 13, 2015 - 3:35 pm)

    good have done are inspiration to all tisa members.

    Mayank Desai

    (March 9, 2016 - 1:10 pm)

    Very Inspiring Ketan!!!
    Keep up the good writing!

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