Hello, I am Vinayak, it was yet another very pleasant day in Bangalore, it was 9:30 am and I was just about to leave my home, to go to SHG and I got a call from my friend, asking me to explain the project that we were doing, I stuttered very badly and didn’t even communicate the whole thing, after that I sat down and tears of shame, guilt and self-pity started to flow out of my eyes, I sat still, like a rock, without moving a muscle in my face or body, tears still kept rolling down, it was a very deep revulsion in my body- “The pain of stuttering” I called it.
In 3 to 5 minutes, after my eyes were sufficiently dehydrated, I composed myself and decided to attend the meet, knowing fully well that, I have to again see myself stuttering and incompletely communicating there as well.
When I reached our usual meeting spot, the aliveness of Cubbon park’s natural beauty made me feel at ease immediately, Joshua, Rahul, Nishil, Bhavishya, Kalpesh, and Asim were already sitting there discussing something. I went and settled down quietly at a corner.
We started with an introduction, and each introduction was followed by a few questions from all the members, I didn’t feel like really hosting and coordinating the meeting today, so I left the meeting to find its own rhythm, and it did, with due credit to the people who took lead-Joshua & Nishil. Pretty much that was what we did in the meet today, everybody got enough chance to speak their heart out.
We were also joined by Naveen and Abin during the meeting, they were our latecomers. They had great things to add to the meeting as well, Abin who has an actor-like body was explaining his meticulous diet and extreme workouts that helped him gain confidence and of course a great body, and maybe girls too?.. Ummm. Anyway, Naveen too was very articulate about his business and how he manages it with stammering, it was very good to see a lot of improvement in him.
Nishil, quite a calm character, as most Mangaloreans are, was very confident in answering all the questions and gave clear-cut replies, he recently got married and it was good to know that he is happy if you know what I mean. Kalpesh, again was very joyful and calm in his approach to speech, he even sang a song for us and we even had the public audience of Cubbon park awed by his singing, he should really take his singing skills seriously and join a band. Asim was, as usual at his bold best, if “stuttering bindas” should have a brand ambassador then he should be one. He too seems to have improved a lot, there is a little bit of calmness in his speech as well.
Bhavishya, who I think really doesn’t stutter, was very honest and straightforward about his struggles with stammering, from having a strict father to suffering from anxiety, he told us everything. It was good to know that he is recovering. Joshua, the man with many experiences, was a treat to listen to, his mystical experiences in Indonesia to his childhood days, it was a great listen to, and he sure is a great orator. Rahul, who has changed his job, seemed very pleased and happy with his new job, he too shared his struggles with mental health and therapy.
This is a blessing, meeting all these people, with rich and wide experience in life, really awakens something dormant inside you, and getting to listen to all this, at such a young age is quite a miracle for me. We had a little arm wrestling match as well, and Joshua, was a real beast, at the age of 58, he was stronger than any of us. After the meeting, a few of us went out to have lunch. Such a beautiful community this is, what more could I ask for?
I quite honestly, felt helpless about stammering today. There was a realization in me that I can’t keep playing tricks and building theories around my stammering, I have to stand up to it and understand it. That’s the only way I can sleep peacefully at night. For all that I know now, stammering won’t let me be at ease until I understand it. This makes me think, how much do we understand our stammering on our own, not according to what others have told us, but by ourselves, how much do we know our stuttering? I felt, for the first time, that I knew nothing about my stammering, NOTHING AT ALL.
Please note: posting on behalf of Vinayak from Bengaluru SHG.