January 8, 2019

Fear, Adventure, Performance, Prep, Joy...

Fear, Adventure, Performance, Prep, Joy.. all these have such a huge role in learning and growth. Recently, I had a chance to go to Delhi after a long long time. Transition from Herbertput to Delhi is like sudden beaming up from Jhumari Talayya to New York central square - for me at least. So I was a little nervous. That nice kind of feeling: You are frightened but you also are itching to go ahead! That kind of feeling.. many of you must have felt it when you raised your hand in the class for the first time. The trick is move into this feeling- instead of running away from it. You can even begin to savor (enjoy) this kind of inner tension.

OK, back to Delhi. Kundan who works in Delhi Metro had gifted me a smart card sometime back. Yes, the two things I was dreading that day, were- riding metro and calling an Ola cab! Yes, yes, I know these are the signs of old age when you set your ambitions that low..

Any way, I phoned Kundan. He assured me that that smart card is still valid. He sent me a metro map. I walked from Ginger Hotel to nearby New Delhi station metro. There was a huge crowd. I took an auto to Rajiv Chowk and entered the quiet metro station there. My card worked like a charm. I boarded a metro for Noida. Few minutes later I was calm and thoroughly enjoying my experience like Cindrella in the palace..

Then, I got off at the last Noida station, called an ola cab on my phone and began scanning the crowded traffic like Agent Bourne, expecting machine gun fire from any of the moving cars swishing around him.. After couple of phone calls, we connected and I boarded the cab. As I entered, my name was announced and I was welcomed.. !

In a nutshell, everything went well and my little sense of anxiety began to be replaced by a warm glow of "Oh, I have done it- and done it right!". I had done all this in the past too. But then, I forgot these skills due to non-use over years. Learning and relearning is dependent on couple of things: How do we interact with initial emotional discomfort and how we anchor the entire learning process into positive emotions- sense of joy, achievement etc. The last makes for deep memory.

Finally, if we have a little sense of adventure, it helps- like jumping in a pool or venturing out in the rain without umbrella. This sense of adventure can be cultivated.. This is what TISA NCs are all about: a big adventure! Those who land up there, even accidentally, discover that they always were very social deep inside. Communication is just one small part of being social. When you are social, you automatically become good communicator.

So, look at the big picture. Dont get lost in the details. And get ready for the next Kumbh (NC)...
May 2019 bring you lots of adventure and travel!

November 22, 2018

Acceptance - Five years review

         It has been a little more than five eventful , roller coaster years since I accepted the concept of acceptance. My acceptance journey started by attending the TISA communication workshop of June-2013.

         What triggered my desperate search for help were two events . The first one was that I had to attend a meeting with senior officers and I was not able to introduce myself-I got severe blocks. The second one was during an informal party in a restaurant , when I left  my seat for a few minutes for the introduction round to pass.

         The first event was public embarrassment  for me- stammering in front of senior officers. The second event, to avoid introducing myself fearing stammering ,was a personal embarrassment. 

          I attended a party yesterday. I had to introduce myself to my colleagues and seniors of company. During introduction  I got stuck in my name, I stopped , used prolongation and bouncing combination and finally succeeded. After some time our newly appointed company-chief of   state arrived and we had to introduce ourselves to him one by one. He was accompanied by our district head and they went to every individual's seat for introduction. 

        The state head shook my hand, I greeted him and then fumbled in my name. I stopped and again tried and said my name with prolongation. While introduction, my district head helped me out once when I had another block. The chief listened patiently to me , and then advised me something related to my work.

          So, what did I achieve with all these years of acceptance? I am now able to communicate along with my stammering. For me , this is a big achievement-for I try not to avoid speaking situations. I try to speak , accepting that I may stammer. 

           I have learnt from life that personal  embarrassments, which come from running away from challenging situations such as  speaking, are much more long-lasting and painful than any kind of public display of the fact that I stammer . 

            Thanks to TISA and concept of ACCEPTANCE- which is a lifetime work-in-progress.



October 11, 2018

"डर से मत डर"

अभी थोड़ी देर पहले ही बहुत ही उम्दा घटना हुई।
हुआ कुछ ऐसे की मेरी भैया की 2 महीने बाद शादी है और आज उनके ससुर का जन्मदिन है। भैया ने फ़ोन पर उन्हें बधाई दी और जब वो फ़ोन पर बात कर रहे थे तभी मैं सोच रहा था कही उन्होंने मुझसे बात करने के लिए बोल दिया तो मैं क्या बात करूंगा। एक अजीब सा डर लगा। लेकिन फिर ख्याल आया - रवि तू क्यों डर रहा है? "डर से मत डर" और एक वीडियो जो थोड़े दिनों पहले मैंने देखा था उसके बोल याद आ गए। मैंने उनसे बात की और काफी देर तक बात की। सच बताऊ तो मज़ा आया😊😊


"डर का खेल, निडर हो के खेल"


October 7, 2018

विचारों में बदलाव

समय का पूरा इस्तमाल करते हुए मैंने आज अपनी Personal Diary के कुछ पन्ने आपसे साझा किए हैं। उम्मीद है आपको पसंद आएगा और आप उससे खुद को जोड़ पाएंगे।

आपका अपना

August 26, 2018

Ham Panchhi..

Have you registered for Banglore NC 2018? ....

What happens in NC?
Many people have asked this question. Answer in one word is: FUN, lots and lots and lots of it. Check this video below..

May 25, 2018

टीसा के बुनियादी नियम

क्या करें / टीसा  द्वारा प्रोत्साहित  

1 . टीसा के  स्थानीय स्वयं सहायता समूह , संचार कार्यशाला  , राष्ट्रीय सम्मलेन आदि कार्यक्रमों के विषय में जानकारी शेयर करें।
2 . हकलाहट सम्बन्धी जानकारी जैसे कि  लेख, विडियो  , ऑडियो , वक्तव्य इत्यादि शेयर करें।

3  . हकलाहट पर चर्चा करना ( सामान्य या  किसी विशेष सन्दर्भ में ), स्पीच  टेकनीक /ट्रिक पर चर्चा करना।

4  . हकलाहट सम्बन्धी नए रचनात्मक विचार इत्यादि साझा करें , जिससे कि  हम सभी  की उन्नति हो सके।

5 . पुरुष व् महिला सदस्यों को टीसा  कार्यक्रमों में भाग लेने के  समान अवसर प्रदान  हों।

क्या न करें / निंदनीय

1 . धर्म , सेक्स  व राजनीति  पर चर्चा न करें।

2 . अभद्र भाषा का प्रयोग / गाली-गलौज करना  पूर्णतः प्रतिबंधित है।

3 . किसी स्पीच-थेरैपी सेंटर / स्पीच थेरैपिस्ट का प्रचार न करें  एवं हकलाहट का सम्पूर्ण/100 %  उपचार जैसे दावों पर चर्चा न करें।

4. अन्य संस्थाओं/ कॉर्पोरेट आदि  का प्रचार-प्रसार न करें  , विषय (हकलाहट ) से असंबंधित  पोस्ट को शेयर करने से बचें।

5 . पर्व-त्यौहार/जन्म- दिन आदि की बधाई न दें ,   हकलाहट के अतिरिक्त अन्य व्यक्तिगत समस्याओं को शेयर करने से बचें।

टीसा  की महिला सदस्यों को  अनावश्यक रूप से व्यक्तिगत SMS /CHAT /मैसेज न करें  ( WHATSAPP/ FACEBOOK इत्यादि द्वारा ) ।    ऐसा करने पर एक अंतिम चेतावनी दी जाएगी और सुधार न होने पर टीसा से पूर्णतः प्रतिबंधित कर दिया जायेगा।

अधिक जानकारी के लिए देखें  : www.stammer.in
टीसा  सलाहकार : सचिन (094120582722 ), हरीष (09823211467 ), ध्रुव  (09930693364 )

May 3, 2018

What did I do wrong?

Quite often a young pws does not return for the second session, with myself or in the SHG. SHG coordinator is often left confused: Did we do something inappropriate that he did not come this sunday?

Changing our life, our beliefs is a tough and slow process. To come to terms with something as simple as, being honest with ourselves and saying, "yes, I stammer and want to do something about it"- may take many months to grapple with, digest fully and come to terms with. Here is a relevant excerpt from a book, meant for counseling students:
One of the more difficult aspects of being a student counsellor is when clients do not return for a second or subsequent appointment, you can feel inadequate. This is known in the ‘trade’ as FOI (‘feelings of incompetence’). ..
Most counsellors will tell you of a least one client with whom they had a really good relationship but who didn’t return, and of how they reflected that something they did or said might have contributed to that decision.
The writer John Shlien, a student of Carl Rogers and himself a well-known and respected therapist, reflected that the client has a ‘right to fail in therapy’. Shlien believed that each person knew everything about themselves. Thus, clients sometimes come to realise that the source of their problems is within them: they know the truth, they know what they have to do, but are not yet ready or able to move on.
For example, a client lived in a loveless marriage, because she did not want the consequences of leaving her husband. For her, being wealthy and miserable was a better prospect than being happy and poor. Once she understood this, she never returned to therapy or answered any of my letters. I later reflected in supervision that perhaps the time we spent together may have prepared her for the next stage in her life – so that, in the future, she might choose to see another therapist when she is ready to move on.

A few years ago, I had a client who wanted someone to hear and bear testament to his story for one session. When he made a second appointment, we both knew that he would not return. He had got what he needed: another human to share his world for one hour of his life. ..
(From: How to Survive Counselling Training: A Student’s Guide
 January 2018 Edition; by Rory Lees-Oakes)

So, dont feel bad if someone participates in the first meeting enthusiastically, claims to have been totally transformed by TISA etc. - and never contacts you again! This is LIFE and this is STAMMERING.. :))  It is OK. People have a right to their life and their stammering. 

April 23, 2018

Open Your Eyes

Last summer, I went to this town for some work. Was it Mumbai? May be, not sure. I got off the train and realised that I had no clue, which hotel I was supposed to go to. Then, I realised that I was short on funds. So I was looking for a cheap hotel. I found one at some walking distance from the railway station. I felt relieved when the guy agreed to charge me only Rs 500 per day; next, I felt shocked when the man at front desk, pointed to the vacant plot across the road, as the open air toilet for guests like me. To console me, he said: no one will bother you if you go there before sunrise or after sunset.
Then I remembered that I had to meet Raghav, the guy who was offering me some freelance work, later during the day- somewhere in the south of the city. I had lost the address. I said to myself: let me explore the town in the meantime... So, I went out in a kurta-pajama and slippers. It was hot and flies were bothering me. There was a stink too- like that of an open drain. I could not see it though.
The street I was walking was very congested and crowded. Then, I came to a over-bridge. Many people were standing on it. As I crossed it, pushing and shoving my way through, I thought that the bridge swayed and creaked. I hurriedly got off and entered a slum.
Push carts, open drains, plastic covered huts, beggars, urchins grabbing something and running. Fortunately, I did not have a watch, a bag or a purse on me. But I felt tired and sat down in the shade of a hut.
I woke up with a start: there was a big noise. A JCB was demolishing the huts. A group of policemen were chasing and attacking the protesters, who were being pushed into my direction. I looked behind for an escape route. There was that big drain. As the people began falling on top of me, I jumped across the drain and ran for my life - wondering, why was life being so mean to me...
As I ran away from the noise and violence, I realised that I was somewhere in the area, where Raghav had promised to meet me. And then, I also realised that I was running only in my pajama and barefoot!
Earlier when I had sat down to rest near the hut, I had taken off my kurta because of the heat. In fact, I had put down the kurta on that dirt-heap, as a sort of sheet to lie on. I had taken off my slippers too, to use them as a pillow. And when the demolition squad came, I ran leaving both my kurta nad slippers behind.
Will Raghav, give me the assignment if he saw me like this? I cringed. To make matters worse, as I jumped the drain, I fell in it, and my pajama was all black and stinking..
I sat down by the road and began to cry.. I wanted to go back to the hotel, but did not know the name or the phone number of the hotel. I had neither the purse with me nor the phone. I could not phone any friend since I did not have even a coin in my pocket.. I cried. My sobbing became so violent that my eyes opened. I was in my bed, safe. I touched my eyes- they were wet. But I was so relieved. I smiled a wet smile..
Then, I heard someone say: Whatever the difficulty, you just have to OPEN your eyes. Yes, just open your eyes. That's all you have to do...
There was no one in my room. The voice had come from within. It was five am. I got up, made some coffee and sat in the back verandah, where birds chirp their joyful tunes in the early morning...
I felt that whatever is the "problem" one is facing, we just have to open our inner eyes and look at the REALITY. If we are in a nightmare, we can not solve the problem IN the nightmare; We can only step out of the nightmare by waking up. Life has a dream like quality. And it is easy to forget your SELF, in a dream..

March 23, 2018

The English Teacher

Chirping of birds, occasional bark of a dog in the distance, and then, there was a little glow at the window. The magic hour!
Yes, it was morning. But Golu shuddered at the thought of going to school – yet again. Why do we have to do it every day? Wont once a week or once a month be enough? – He wondered in his little heart and rolled over to the other side, holding the lumpy quilt tight, over his head.
But mother came at the right time and pushed him out of the bed. She gave him two rotis and milk. He loved it, with a little homemade jam.  Mother could always sense his reluctance to go to school for last few days but Golu would rather not let her know the real reason. How could he? He was so uncomfortable with his stammering that he just could not talk about it, let alone seek help.
In fact, when his teacher asked him a few days ago: Do you stammer? Golu simply denied it with a resounding NO! Afterwards he himself was surprised how he could so clearly reply to the question in the full class! Normally he had lot of problems saying even his name and responding to roll calls. What made things complicated was that he never stammered at home.

February 18, 2018

A Candid Talk

Hey guys...
It's been quite a long again, but as it is said it never too late.
I was in Jaipur to attend few marriage as it is a wedding season. So I thought why not meet some fantastic people. I messaged in the Jaipur SHG group for a meet up and few people got ready. We planned to meet in Central Park on Sunday at 2 pm. I reached there quite early as I had no work😄. Dr. Chandra Prakash reached soon after and then came Pawan, Kuldeep and further we were joined by two young guys Aditya and Yash. For 1.5hr we just TALKED NONSENSE😄😄. After that nonsense we came to the point and everyone shared their thoughts and feelings. Dr. Saab stated that there had been immense change not in his stammering but the way he look at things now and shared his story during his college days. I mentioned the change in the thought process of one my friend who used to make fun of my stammering in school but now is happily married to one of my best WWS friend-cum-TISA volunteer. Kuldeep shared his experience of campus drive and interview sessions. Aditya told us that there are other things than stammering which can be think over. Yash (non PWS) expressed that he too feel the same shyness and fear while speaking in class and elsewhere. In the end Pawan told that he faces problem in private life due to stammering but doesn't have problem in professional life.
It was great meeting TISA guys in Jaipur after a long time. After the meeting Dr. CP and I went to his college to see Life Science exhibition which was really knowledgeable although I got scared in Anatomy
and Scary room 😄😄.

January 27, 2018

Tell me honestly, please...

I just finished the second mooc! And loved it! But I received two feedback: Please offer a mooc in Hindi and do charge something. Assumption is- people will engage when they pay something. Offering a mooc in Hindi, is totally on. I am researching various LMS for it. Not sure about the second idea. What do you think? Let me know here in comments or thru email at satksri@gmail.com
Have a great time ahead in 2018!

January 14, 2018


          There was a spiritual seeker, apprentice under a himalayan guru. He was so obsessed with his own spiritual upliftment, that he abhorred the various tasks assigned to him by his guru. He considered doing daily chores of ashram  like cooking, cleaning etc.,  to be waste of his precious time.So, he  decided to leave the ashram to focus single-mindedly on his spiritual upliftment.

        He visited his guru  12 years later, to showcase the mystic power he had learnt. His guru asked him what did he learn in 12 years. He announced boastfully-" I can produce fire from my mouth."Saying thus, he opened his mouth and spewed flames of fire, just like the mystic dragon.

          His guru remarked-"Even a simple match-stick can produce fire. You have wasted 12 years of  your life  to learn producing fire from your mouth, which can be done by a  match-stick."

           So,the moral of the story is that we need to pause from time to time to review our obsession with fluency. It is very natural for a PWS to be obsessed with fluency. But fluency in speech  is a part of communication skills, not the alpha and omega of it.In today's world , communication skills include written communication(social media like FB, whatsapp,twitter.,official  emails, formal written letters etc..), body language etc. , along with speech. So , working on communication skills in a holistic manner, and investing our time in learning important  life skills (which can be different for different people, to each his/her own) would be far better approach towards living life. 

November 6, 2017

Accept "It"

While  watching  any portrayal of  pws  in movies , tv shows  or in advertisements, I always got the feeling that someone is trying to get under my skin. I thought that I have to confront others about my stuttering and I was uncomfortable with others. Many recent films and tv shows have shown pws in authentic ways be it Oscar winning movie " The king’s speech" or "Nescafe advertisement". Both have shown that a stutterer can achieve his goals regardless of the stigma attached to it. But have it done any good to me. Of course that had raised some awareness in normal people, but still why I feel shame and guilt about my condition. Despite reading articles on concept of acceptance and by applying also it in real life circumstances, why I am not comfortable in seeing a person stammering on screen. Finally “It” happened.
Recently I went to watch the acclaimed Hollywood horror movie “It” with my colleague. It had its protagonist stuttering. I thought here we go again. I had expected a few laughs or getting an empathetic response from my fellow audience members. Halfway  through the movie no one laughed or felt sad for our hero instead he was the one who was leading the fight against the eponymous monster .While audience were engrossed in watching the movie my colleague said to me hey that kid is brave dude. That’s when it hit me. The audiences were seeing the stammering as other personality traits of the character, but it was me who was getting uncomfortable. May be in real life also people view our stammering as just another attribute that we possess. All the way along it was me who was being self conscious.
I realized that I identified myself as a stutterer  first  and also in real life talking situations before speaking I still sometimes think of what I am going to say, so I can run away from any further embarrassment. But to other people I am still the real me who is yet to be discovered by myself.
P.S :[NOT MY WORDS] World was never interested in our stammering. It is we ourselves who had made it into an outsized super-important aspect of our lives. And then, continued to blame the world and believe that: I will be OK only when the world has changed. 
But the fact is - WORLD is only our own reflection in the mirror.