Below is a writeup of the Kolkata SHG meet held on Saturday, August 10th. (Apologies for the length!!)
This was so far, the largest gathering. The infant is growing (hopefully!).
There were the 4 old regulars… (J)
- Mr Pratim Bandopadhaya
- Mr Subhodip
- Miss S Roy
We had three new participants
- Mr Santosh Prasad : A Commerce graduate and employed at a Chartered Firm.
- Mr Debarpan Naha: A final year Btech student of Electrical Engg.
- Mr Pratik Gupta : A Mechanical Engineer.
The meet was held at the fabled, intellectual hub “Coffee House”. Just as half a century ago, ideas of social churning and revolution were discussed here, accompanied by endless cups of coffee and cigarettes, we hoped that the same would apply in our case….. After all we were also gathering for betterment!!
[One personal comment: Coffee house has an air of nostalgia. I experienced it head-on. As soon as I entered, I bumped into an old flame of mine…..hahahaha. I managed a smile….She stared at me surprised….after all it has been 3 long years! I quickly evaded her penetrating glance and called out to the others to take a seat!!].
Thanks to Miss Soma Roy’s alertness, we managed to quickly spot a vacant table and rushed to occupy it. After all it was evening, and that too a Saturday! We were lucky to get a table without having to wait overtly. Initially there were three of us, Soma, Pratimda and me. We were soon joined by, Pratik, followed by Debarpan and then Santoshji. In the fag end came Subhodipda, like a hurricane and started gobbling up the ordered sandwiches!!
After individual introductions, each one of us shared our views of stammering, it’s repercussions and past experiences. The newbies were eager to learn various techniques to not only manage their stammer, but deal with the internal emotional strife caused by the same.
Each one of us had so much to talk about, and discussing various incidents of our life consisted of majority portion of what was talked about. The newbies were especially eager to share many of their experiences. Pratik, for instance, talked about his experiences of recent college campussing interviews. This fair, handsome engineer later shared with me his Army SSB interview experience. In spite of having quite a severe stammer, he made it into the final round, being one of the 11 candidates, out of over 400!! Wow. Debarpan, to shared many of his experiences. One which I clearly remember was, how he quite often, while teaching his juniors, sometimes wrote the word beforehand in order to hide the block on that word. Havn’t we all done something or are still doing somethings of a similar nature?? Santoshji, is a very moderate stammerer, with stammering occurring only under stressful conditions. Santoshji was eager to overcome the deep internal strife in having to hide/control his stammering in those trying situations.
We regular folks, being the seasoned ones, not only shared some of our own experiences, but also spoke on the techniques we use to overcome/control our stammer.
Miss Roy, (who speaks very soothingly) spoke of her tryst with stammering. She has had taken a correspondence course from a stammering cure center about a year and a half back. She shared with us, its efficacy and various techniques. She still practices the instructions religious, everyday! Wow.
Pratimda told us of his experience while appearing for an interview many year’s back. The gradual changes in stammering frequency during the course of successive interviews reminded me of very similar experiences. Pratimda, stressed that stammering was a psycho-physiological disorder. Pratimda has done extensive research on the subject of stammering, and is a wizened soul regarding the same.
I personally spoke of the techniques and exercises I follow and practice. I pointed out some other available techniques. I also tried to shed some light on “Seehan’s Iceberg” analogy with stammering.
This was followed by a quick round of debate. The topic being – “Is Stammering Curable?” For the motion were: Soma, Pratik and Santoshji Against: Pratimda, Debarpan and Me. Moderator!! - Subhodipda!
The experience was very enlightening for me, as I have never quite participated in a debate. Needless to say, I was offcourse the best speaker (so I presume….. J)
Proceedings finally ended with Subhodipda giving priceless address to the newcomers on acceptance of ones stammering. This he topped with various techniques, which would suit each of them, depending on their level of present fluency. He was also, broad hearted enough to foot in the bill!! [Which included many cups of coffee and Sandwiches!! Hahaha].
It was planned during the course of the meet that we would try and meet once every month, if not every fortnightly, face-to-face for a couple of hours. This along-with Skype Calls, twice a week was proposed. These two activities, along with regular self-practice, should pave the wave for better and more confident communication.
Ending on this note. And hoping that this writeup inspires many more to join us the next time we get together……
Participants of Saturday’s Meet. From Left: Pratik, Santoshji, Debarpan, “The Handsome Me”, Pratimda and finally Soma. Picture taken by Subhodipda.