Sweetest are those victories that humbles FEAR.
Every pws is acutely aware of that heaviness in the chest, the sweaty palms, the nauseating feel of absolute terror, when called upon to speak in front of a crowd.
For years I have submitted to fear, often using great ingenuity to escape unhurt. Cowardly! No doubt about that. There were occasions though, when left with no choice had to face the music. Each time coming down swearing, never again! never again! Wishing the earth would open up and swallow me from this pathetic excuse of an existence.
Enter TISA and enter Dr Sachin; I finally decide to take a chance. The confidence of organising a TISA communication workshop notwithstanding, the pride of having set up the Mangalore SHG and witnessing first hand what it meant for a pws to be genuinely heard, I was ready to take on this judgemental world; by its horn, that is. As they say, when you truly want something, the universe conspires to attain it. The family that I am a part off; the friend circle I belong to, everything mysteriously stood by me. Life just felt like a joy ride. The promise I made to TISA community during the workshop in May to delivery a speech, beckoned. August 11, 2017. I will not dwell much on the nerve wrecking fear I endured a week before the DAY, the fight I put up to subdue every negative thought that arose, the constant bickering by my negative self and the new found courageous me. That can’t be expressed in words. That needs to be felt. That is our domain. That is pure US. People around us will trivialise the entire event with “Just speak slow, you will be alright!”, “just be confident, it’s nothing!”, etc. They just can’t get it. They never will. Well, they need not, do they?. It’s always us, always!. Each on their own.
As I took the podium that day, heart pounding, I knew it was now or never. I knew inside me, I was ready. I then SPOKE. Five minutes. Four minutes and something to be precise. It was over. When I sat down, I told myself, never again, never again will I refrain, never again will I hesitate, never again will I avoid. I will speak.
When it rains, it pours! A week later, I got a call from my friend in a neighbouring college to deliver a guest lecture in an FDP!. There was no hesitancy. It was a big YES! Next date was September 5, 2017.
Well, the above paragraphs were written quite sometime back. Never gathered the time to post it. When you are happy, you get lazy. Complacent. Never had any warning, nobody said, “brace for impact”. I just crashed. A family turmoil and a health warning later, I am back to square one. Last few days my classes went bad (yeah, I am a teacher, please don’t hold your guffaws, go ahead! Indulge). The all too familiar slide. Before I realise, it’s September 2nd. Two more days to go before judgement day 2. As they say, naani yaad aagayi. TISA yaad aagayi. Here I am, trying to disseminate each and every feeling that led me down. The infights in family, ego, false pride, these are basic human frailties. What’s so special about them? Why should we let it hurt us? But, wisdom of experience notwithstanding, I just slide. How many times does it have to repeat? Wonder, Is it really in my control? The previous SHG meeting on August 16 seems long ago. That had went well. I had promised help to an aspiring pws. He called me twice, I just couldn’t muster the courage to pick the call. I was down in an abyss. I called him later, he was gung ho about the “quote for the day” he had promised me that he will deliver in his college assembly. Gave him a Helen Keller quote. Practiced it with him. He will do it, am quite sure. But what about the bigger challenges? Who can help him there? Well, god help him figure it out. As for me, no looking back. I am going to that college on September 5th. When you are down on your back, there is only one way you can look, UP! Bring it on!!!