(written by Anandh)
This meeting was ‘coordinated’ by Abhinav since the usual SHG Coord Dinesh had a family function to attend-he did drop in however with his adorable daughter to say hi-thanks DiMan for that relief. This meet saw 8 people attend-Abhinav, Anandh, Aruna, Hema, Kishan, Pramod, Sairam and Vishal. As agreed earlier, people delivered their prepared talks on various matters-be it how stammering impacts workplace/education, book review of ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckardt Toole, book review of ‘Valmiki Syndrome’ by Ashok Banker, or a story from the TISA SHG manual. All these had some relevance to stuttering(intended or not I don’t know!) yet achieved objective of short speeches.
Aruna explained the modern medical and ayurvedic thoughts on the speech process. The importance of Kafa/Pita/Vata(hope I’m spelling this right!) was explained, as also that Vata controls speech to a large extent. Interestingly, the ‘vagus nerve’ which controls emotions etc also controls speech, so the relevance of moodswings to speech may lie here. Also, she said that while people tend to inhale and exhale while speaking, stutterers may forget to inhale and thus fall short of air. About the reason of tension affecting speech, when we get tense before speaking, the adrenaline boost causes ‘fight or flight’ impulse, diverting blood supply to heart and reducing that elsewhere, which does not optimize readiness to speak. Hence, remaining calm counts.
After prepared speeches we had "Extempore round". Every one was given two minutes to speak on given topics. Abhinav closed the meeting by inviting suggestions to make SHG less ‘monotonous’(feedback by some members). Ideas offered were discussing individual stammering issues openly and seeking feedback/help, video recording exercises/practices and playing back, following 5min meditation/deep breathing, calling customer care in front of everyone in a clear/audible manner and also having Group discussions. Ideas of having Toastmasters like sessions were proposed, but was decided that till more people start coming regularly, doing this on a group basis would not work. The GD idea was immediately implemented in form of a to-and fro debate on non violence which went on for 15mins. And then the meeting closed.