Being a stutterer in India is not easy. There is very little awareness and only a small percentage of our population is sensitized to this affliction. I, Tejpratap Singh, have stammered since I was 14 years old.
I don’t remember how it started but the events and the life that followed thereafter is etched in my brain like a horror movie.
Like any other stutterer, I tried to hide my stammer and just like any other stutterer, I failed miserably. Although I was fairly ‘fluent’ with my family and close friends, I knew I had a problem when I had to speak publicly or in similar situations.
Suddenly, my life revolved around bad speaking experiences and avoidances. My name, the telephone, talking to strangers, ordering in a restaurant, asking for directions, oral examinations are just some of the things that I avoided/ failed at. All these bad experiences were followed by feelings of shame, guilt and depression. I found myself lost in a sea full of fluent speakers.
My mind was full of questions, answers to which I knew not-
How will I land a job if I can’t speak fluently?
How will I get people to accept me?
Will I ever live a normal life?
One day, while searching on the internet about stammering, I found some videos on YouTube. They were videos with the British pop icon Gareth Gates as the course instructor for a group of students that stammered. The videos gave me immense confidence that I too, could defeat my stutter. With the same emotion and positivity, I registered online and contacted the India director (Now my mentor too) Kaushik Valluri. I attended the inaugural India course in May 2014 in Bangalore and have not looked back ever since
I attended the inaugural India course in May 2014 at Bangalore and have not looked back ever since.
The transformation has been very empowering. From being a nervous head jerking stutterer I have become a confident recovering stutterer.
I have started to push the boundaries I had created, right from overkilling my name, ordering at restaurants, starting a conversation with strangers – the list goes on and on!
It is amazing what a 3 1/2 day course can do and is undoubtedly THE best thing that has happened to me.
I wish it does the same for all struggling stutterers across the globe! I hope to see you on the course sometime! 🙂