Monday, February 28, 2011

One Leg In The Past,the other in the Future,and I pee on the Present

All bollywood fans would know that is an english translation of a dialogue from a hindi movie.But this line really suits a pws(including me).We never live in the present.Most of the time we keep thinking about our bad experiences,our feared words and what not.We keep wondering what people might think about us.And when our brain does get some time from these past thoughts,you start loading it with crap like What I am gonna do in the future?Will I ever get a job?Will i ever get a girl I like ?Will I ever be successful?etc. etc.
Now because your brain is constantly filled with these past and future thoughts,you have no time whatsoever to concentrate on the present.A conversation is like a perfomance to you,it will  either be better than your last talk(fluency wise) or it will be worse ,it will never be just a conversation.You never enjoy talking nor do you really open up and say what you want to say.You are never fully aware of what is happening all around you.You are so self absorbed that you never enjoy the present.
So,tomorrow, do a simple thing.Just concentrate on the thing at hand.Whether you are talking to someone or listening to music or just sitting alone,just concentrate on the present.You will realize how much you are missing.And when you talk with someone just concentrate what you want to say and just say it without thinking about the past or future and you will see a miracle in your speech both content wise and fluency wise !!!

As always I would love your comments and if you want to send any contribution or just contact me,you know where to find

My Toastmaster Experience (1st meet):-God sent Abdus Khan for me

As I told you guys earlier, I was the wordmaster in this week’s toastmaster meet i.e. I had to say a word and its meaning along with using the word in a sentence. Frankly I started my preparation on the day of my short speech(which was very irresponsible of me) in the morning and tried to practice till I reached the venue. In these .As this was my first meet, I was very very nervous. In every meet, a member becomes a toastmaster who has to conduct the whole meet and introduce every speaker and speak on the theme of the day. The toastmaster of the day was Mr Abdus Khan.As he started to speak, I was dumbstruck. The guy stammered in every single sentence. Imagine a pws with a severe stammer conducting the whole meet and that too with his head held high and with utmost charisma.And man o man I could just feel his confidence when I was sitting in the front row.
When I saw him speak, almost all of my anxiety vanished.I only had to speak for like,45 seconds, my stammer wasn’t as severe as his but still he was 1000 times confident than me.And he conducted the whole meet (1.5 hours long) wonderfully.
Ok,back to me, as I was called an stage, I started my short speech, I blocked majorly for 2 seconds on Good(mind you I could have gotten away by saying hello but I didn’t) and two other very minor blocks which were unnoticeable. One thing I was happy about was that I paused a lot as I had planned(I actually overdid it).I also spoke in a loud voice and speaking loudly really helps.
I had also asked Mr Jasbir(the man who made me join Tisa and Chandigarh shg) to record my speech. When I saw my speech, I was disappointed!!!! Not at the 3 blocks I had(1 major and 2 unnoticeable) but  at the way I gave my speech. It was pretty dull!!! The thing was, I was so much focused on being fluent and pausing that my speech lacked the excitement. My speech was monotonous like I a 10 year old boy reciting a poem.

Next week, I have volunteered to be the joke master(That’s right, I am not going to stop now),I  am going to be better prepared this time. I have already selected my joke and intend to start practicing by video recording myself and I will try my best this time not to be a fluent dull robot but an excited person telling a joke (stammer or no stammer, doesn’t matter)
I am also participating in the table topic contest to be held next week just to get the feel of a contest.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just pause and chill out !!!!

What is your name(within a milli-second) Ddddddhruv.What? DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDhruv.This is a thing which I do everytime someone asks my name or just simply asks me a question.I try to answer even before the question is complete.I know,this is the case with most of you.
But do an experiment.The next time someone asks your name.Wait for 2 seconds,look the person in the eye and answer.You may stutter but it will be much much less and you will feel more under control.This is a simple technique called pausing.
I am always breathless while talking with someone but now I do try to pause a little in between the conversations.I don’t follow it most of the time,but I am trying hard.Pausing is a very simple,yet a very powerful  technique.It is even recommended by public speaking experts.It not only helps you to speak easily but also makes your speech more clear to the listener.I know this because I have a friend who speaks so fast that he finishes the whole sentence in one go.He doesn’t stammer but as a listener I would pretty much listen to a pws.
So,try pausing in between your sentences and you will feel the difference.And mind you,it  is not easy to follow(I ,myself am unable to follow it most of the time).It will take some time before you can master this art.So,just pause and relax.

PS-Right now,I am about to go to my first toastmaster meet as a member.I am the wordmaster today(I have to explain the meaning of a new word and use it in a sentence).I intend to use pausing in my speech.This reminds me of a new series I will be starting on my blog-“My Toastmaster Experience” in which I will be talking about my struggle at each meet.In this way,every week,we will discuss the public speaking aspect as well.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Recognition-Your first step to a better life !!!!

Imagine a scenario !!! A man comes to a hospital complaining about chest pains.The doctor instantaneously calls for emergency and performs a heart surgery and the man is not able to make it.Later it was discovered that the man had a minor indigestion .
So what was the mistake of the doctor ?????He sprung into action without recognizing the problem and this led to a disaster.!!!!
So,as a pws,do you know what is your problem which you are trying to solve or are you just springing into action.You will probably be saying-"Duh!!! I know what my problem is !! I stammer !!!"But this is like saying that a person suffering from a heart cancer has a disease. This is one of the reasons why speech therapies fail .They treat every pws alike and apply the same techniques with everyone.I believe every pws stammer is different and the emotions involved with it are also different. Hence,a technique that works for one pws may not work with the other.

Now how to recognize your problem ??? Its simple.Take a pen and paper and write down the habits and things about your thinking that you want to change !!! Dont hurry,do take your time.
Here's a list of my behaviours and emotions:
1)I always block silently to hide my stutter
2)I close my eyes sometimes when stuttering
3)I want to speak everything in one go.I think pausing means disfluency
4)I try to force through a block when I know it only worsens the situation
5)I stutter,like,7-8 times in a day but think about it an awful lot.
6)I judge myself too much from the eyes of others

Though I have tried to include everything in this list,but still there can be something missing which I am not aware of..So whats the advantage of preparing the list.First,you recognize what your real problem is .Second,by doing this,you have divided a once seemingly big problem called stammering into many small parts and you can start concentrating on these parts individually and hence start dismantling your stammer.So,make your list and recognize your problem.Take the first step required !!!!!

Ps-I wont force you to post your list on this blog,but if you do,you will automatically take another important step-Acceptance in front of the whole world !!!You may not be ready now(and its okay),but when you are,my blog is always there for you !!!!

As always,your comments are most welcome and if you want to send any contribution or contact me,my e-mail id is 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

On The Lighter Side( A New Series In The blog)

I always used to be pretty serious  about my stutter.I couldnt tolerate anyone even talking with me about my stutter. I couldn't  bear to see movies with my friends in which actors stuttered.But now I feel I am ready to desensitize myself by seeing the lighter side of stuttering  and enjoy any humorous situation which happens due to my stutter and share with everybody.Right now I cant think of any humorous incident that happened to me(believe me I am thinking very hard) but I will post  incidents shared by various pws on a  particular  internet site(I dont remember the name of the site) which are actually a bit funny.I like these 3 incidents the best.

Shared by Ira Zimmerman, August 12, 1996
When I was in therapy at the UCLA Clinic for Stutterers, we used to go to a nearby village to practice our voluntary stuttering on the village merchants.
The aim of voluntary stuttering was to build up our tolerance and acceptance of stuttering.
I approached the box office of the local movie theater to work on my voluntary stuttering.
I said to the pretty young woman selling tickets, "I-I-I am a st-st-st-st-st-st-st-st-stutterer."
She looked me right in my eyes and said, "It's still going to cost you $3.50!!"

Shared by Ira Zimmerman, August 12, 1996
When I was hired to be a technical consultant on the NBC-TV series "Quantum Leap", I was paid $100/hour to work with the actors and screenwriter on portraying stuttering in a positive and clinically accurate way.
After completing my job and with 85 billable hours at $100/hour, I dropped by the Producer's office to present him with the bill and thank him for the job. He looked at the bill and told me that he learned an awful lot from me. I responded by asking him exactly what did he learn from me. The Producer leaned back in his chair, thought for a moment, took a deep puff on his cigar and said, "Ira, I've learned that hereafter when I hire a Stutterer, I won't pay him by the hour."

The following incident about Billy Lorraine, a vaudevillian who stuttered, is from George Burn's 100 years/100 Memories and was submitted by Marty Leisner.
Once, when we were playing the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles and living in the Continental Hotel, I went to get my hair cut. In those days, I had some. When I got back to the hotel, Billy rushed up to me, all excited. I could see he had news for me.
He said, "W-W-W-W"
"Yeah, yeah, go on Billy"
He couldn't go on. I said "OK, start over".
"We got a job?" I took a shot -- "We" starts with a "w".
He shook his head negatively.
"So what is it Billy?" I pleaded.
Again: "W-W-W-W"
I said "Sing it, Billy, sing it"
And clear as a bell, he sang "We were just robbed".

 The object of the series "On The Lighter Side"( I have even copied the this name from the site,I hope they wont sue me) is too see the lighter side of everything,not just stammering.We,pws tend to be very serious all the time about our stutter. Why cant we see the humorous side of things.This series is intended to desensitize  you about your stutter and in the end leave a smile on your face  I would request anyone who remembers a humorous incident about his stutter to share with the group,just write in comments or e-mail me at,I will surely put it up on the blog.

I would be only be able to continue this series if I get some contribution from your side !!! So come with me ON THE LIGHTER SIDE,I promise you will have fun !!!!! 

Be Patient With Yourself !!!!!

As a pws you come across lots of techniques and advice about what all to do and what not to do (like I am giving one write now J).You select a few techniques and advices which you feel  address to your problem and you know that if you follow them, you will surely be on the path to success. You vow to follow these advices wherever you go!!!!! You feel it’s all set and done!!!

But what happens when you get too excited or when you enter a feared situation????You forget all that you had learnt and revert back to your old style and at the end of the day you feel dejected and think you are a good for nothing fellow as you can’t even follow a handful of techniques and advices !!!!

One thing you forget is that these old habits have been strengthened over so many years and have been deeply engraved in your sub-conscious mind. You do need to consistently work towards correcting your behaviors but don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail to do so !!!Give yourself credit that at least you are trying to go in the right direction. Be patient with yourself and give your subconscious the time it needs to change itself.
Don’t get too sad if you revert back to your old ways, after all you are a human being not a machine in which you just need to enter the techniques and advices and the job is done.Old habits die hard and new habits are harder to form !!! Don’t give up but also don’t get too depressed if you fail!!!!! Give your conscious the time it needs !!!!

Comment if you like this post and if you want to send any contributions or contact me ,my e-mail id is

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Acknowledge the anxiety feelings when you approach a difficult speaking situation !!!!!

I am writing this as I have just experienced a difficult speaking situation.As you know I am doing my 4 months industrial training in L&T right now.My superior asked me to go to the main office and ask for a hard copy of The Road Programme.I want to share the feelings I had while walking from my room to the main office.I had these anxiety feelings which every pws has when he goes into a feared situation.I used to ignore these feelings but today I acknowledged them !!!! I observed my feelings and said to me that it is okay even if I stutter.The world doesn't care.Though the anxiety feeling didn't completely go away,it lessened a bit !!! I went straight up to the guy and asked what was required without making any substitutions.I did stutter on road but only 2 seconds tops.The guy as I guessed couldn't care less.He even started talking casually with me after that!!!!In all my stutter was very less compared to what I had anticipated !!!!!

So what I want to say is that never ignore the anxiety feelings you have when you are about to enter a feared situation.Acknowledge that they exist but dont let them control you !!!Instead try to persuade these feelings that it is okay even if I stammer because nobody cares and I believe if you keep on persuading these feelings every time you feel anxious ,then they will slowly fade away !!!!!!

I have started doing this from today,I hope you too will join me !!!!! Best of luck to all (including me).

As always I would love your comments and if you want to send any contributions or just contact me then my e-mail id is

I will never give up even if God comes and tells me that stammering can't be cured

Previously when I used to read articles about stuttering being a genetic neurological disorder,I used to feel like I was in dumps and used to think that all my efforts were in vain given the fact there was something wrong with my brain which cant be cured and I could absolutely nothing about it.

But now whoever comes to me saying that I could never get better and that scientists are saying this and that will simply be shown the middle finger by me.I am not saying that the scientists are wrong or I dont accept that it can be a neurological defect but I am just saying that I dont care.I dont think some scientist(no matter how qualified he is )can just come in front of me and tell me that he knows my speech better than me.I believe every pws's stutter is different from the other and it is the pws who knows the best about it.So its stupid to think that you cant cure yourself just because a research says so.

Before the invention of the aeroplane,the common belief was "Humans are not meant to fly !!!"When the wright brothers made a failed attempt at flying everyone made fun of them and called them lunatics.But a year later they were the first in mankind to experience what it feels like to be a bird.If they had also given to the popular belief at that time,then you could forget about reaching London in less than a day.

20 years before who would have thought that a 17 year old, just 5.5'' tall boy named Sachin could dismantle the entire bowling team of any country and would make any bowler shit in his own pants.If sachin would have listened to others that he was too short to face fast deliveries and bouncers then team India would have never been the same.

So even if all the scientists boast that Stammering is genetic and neurological(and what not) and it cant be cured 100%,I would never give up even if I reach 99% because my will power and love for self is much greater than my brain defect .END OF DISCUSSION !!!!!

ADDED LATER-I want to point it out that I am not advocating running after fluency,I am just saying that you shouldnt lose heart and keep up your efforts to improve yourself on every front !!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Maintain a diary !!!!!

This is a very simple and helpful practice and is the easiest to follow.Yet a very very few pws follow it.(I myself have started maintaining one only a few days back ).Now the question is-What you will write in the diary???? Answer-Whatever you feel like !!!  It needn't be only speech related.

Most of us (including the non-pws) know a little about our deep seated emotions,we know very little about our subconscious mind.Maintaining a diary is helpful because it makes you know yourself better.When you write,you pen down your emotions on paper.
Write in your diary when you get free in the evening and just open yourself  up.Think about your experiences of the day and try to re-collect what all was going on inside you at those particular times and write those feelings.It doesn't matter what you write and how you write it.You will realize that once you start writing,it will be difficult for you to stop as your mind exhibits millions of emotions,only you dont know about them.Also write about your experiences,both good and bad w.r.t. your stuttering and try to write what was going inside your mind at that particular moment.What was the difference in the good and the bad moments At first you may not be able to uncover your feelings but slowly you will begin to find answers and know yourself better.And the better you know your body,the more you have control on it.Once you start gaining control,you automatically begin to find answers to all your problems which previously used to haunt you.So just start writing away !!!!!

Please leave any comment you like and if you want to send any contribution or contact me e-mail me at

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Who is the one person in this world you find the hardest to please ?????

Well this is a question which can have many answers.The usual answers are-my parents,my elder brother,a friend of mine,my boss and what not.But for a pws the answer is not hard to figure out.In some cases the answer may not be known even to the pws himself but if he/she thinks hard enough then I am sure most of them will arrive at the same answer.I am confident most of you have guessed it by now.It is the pws himself.
Some pws might not be ready to accept it,but for most of us this is the truth.Nothing we do is good enough for us.For many this might only be applicable in the speech department but if I take my case,I used to have problem with every single thing about me(height,health,intelligence,etc) and dont even get me started about how much I used to complain about my speech.e.g.-I would talk with a friend with minor blocks and then after that I would never look at the part where I was 99% fluent but on the 1% on which I stammered.There used to be days when I simply used to hate myself.This attitude obviously created more problems for me.
What I want to say is that if you dont love yourself then how can you accept others to love you.God made you for a reason,dont question it.This is where acceptance comes into action .Just accept yourself for who you are  and instead of complaining and hating yourself spend that time in personal improvement by taking part in constructive activities.Just by doing this little thing,you will slowly begin to see a big change in your life(and of course your fluency).Take my word for that.Dont be the person who hates you the  most but be the one who cant get enough of you.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Why I never stutter when I am alone ?????

Till date I have never stuttered when I am by myself.I can speak any word imaginable at any speed I want.But when in front of anybody else,the same words would cause blocks.I am pretty sure this is the case with most pws.For those who are confused as to why this occurs,here's an explanation.(This explanation is not a fact,its just my view from observing myself,anyone having a different explanation is welcome to post it in comments)

As i said earlier that I had no problem till standard eight and I was better than most kids around .But after standard eight,I dont know why(maybe hormones and all) I started seeing myself different from others.I started seeing myself as a stutterer(not a pws) and started a desperate attempt to hide my stutter and be accepted(Though I was already accepted everywhere).Whenever I used to be with someone all I could wonder was what the other person might be thinking about me.I used to avoid words and even avoid speaking just to make the other person not think of me differently.In short,I stopped having fun.I spent every second wondering what the other personmight be thinking about me.I did my best to fit in,to be accepted and to be passed off as a normal guy(I again want to mention that in reality I was already accepted,it was just in my head) and thats when the blocks worsened.

The reason why you never stammer when you are alone is because when alone, you dont feel the need to be accepted by others.You have no self-awareness.  But when talking with someone,Your mind is constantly full of questions like:-Am I doing allright?Am I speaking fine?Does he think I am abnormal? So all the time you keep judging yourself and start holding back and thats when the blocks occur.

In reality,the other person doesn't even care(he is probably thinking about his fight with his girlfriend) but you keep on wondering in your mind that the other person is thinking about your stammer and thats why you start holding back and thats why you stammer.It is as simple as that.

So just wait till mankind invents a machine to read people's mind,until then just speak what you want to not caring what the other person is thinking and even if you block you will slowly begin to realize that the other person doesn't care.
And mind you,changing your mindset isn't easy,but keep on trying and it will lead you to the path of  becoming a fluent speaker.

As always,dont forget to comment on the post and if you want to send any contributions or just chat with me ,my e-mail id is

I dont want to be a mechanically speaking robot,I just want to be me !!!

As I mentioned earlier,I undertook speech therapy around 3 years ago in an attempt to cure my stutter.As is the case in most therapies(especially in India) I was taught to speak mechanically,use prefixes,etc.And I could even speak perfectly with these techniques,but something was amiss.I still couldnt feel as a normal speaker.I now know what was wrong.By applying these fluency techniques,I was forcing myself to be a speaking robot whose tone is so monotonous and boring that even I didnt like hearing it.In short,it wasnt me.Needless to say I used to forget speaking in that tone and started to stutter but I used to be much more at peace.Later I used to scold myself for forgetting the techniques but now I thank God I didnt change myself.
The point that I am trying to make here is that in your quest to achieve fluency,dont kill your true self and become a robot.I am not encouraging you to babble at an alarming speed,do talk slowly at a relaxed speed and take ypur pauses like most good orators do.Enjoy your speech.Dont talk in a monotonous tone and do wierd prolongations that you yourself dont like.
One thing more that my practioner taught me was using prefixes before feared words.At that time I thought"Wow!!! What an awsome technique!!!" But this approach is absolutely wrong.When you can say a feared word when you are alone,then you can say the same word in front of anyone out in the street.It just needs some dedication,hardwork and acceptance(and a bit voluntary stuttering,which I will be discussing later).

So to sum up,never lose contact with your true inner self by adding a new mechanical layer as this inner layer is directly attached to the holy spirit called God.

As usual,I would love your comments and if you want to send any contribution to make this blog better,please e-mail me at

I wish I was a kid again !!!

Though I had a stammer  since I can remember  but I never let It interfere with anything until I was in standard 8.Uptil then I never had a problem except for a few minor hiccups but I never let them get to me. I remember in standard 5,I was elected the head boy of the junior wing and I had to give a speech in front of the entire school. I gave a perfect speech because at that time I concentrated on what I said and not on How I said it. I wish I never left that mentality. After  standard 8, I became overly conscious about my stammer  and  made a mountain out of a mole hill by my constant avoidance and fear of speaking situations and slowly (due to my own fault) my stammer started controlling my life. I even started avoiding my own friends.
        The only people with whom I don’t stammer till date are with my parents;  because when I am with my parents my sub-conscious mind is still the same as it used to be when I was little. This is the only area (thank God) where I have made no changes in my mind.
But now I have realized my folly. I still day dream about the time when I was little and I didn’t think about my stutter even for a second and how relaxed I used to be. But still I have improved a lot compared to 2 months ago. Now I am trying my best to be the child I once was. I am constantly observing myself and I have stopped avoiding words. One thing more which I want to say is that never avoid speaking words which you have difficulty speaking because by doing this, you are creating problems for yourself in the long run. I am repenting now and It is taking me a lot of effort to remove this fear of certain words .e.g.- I started avoiding saying Good Morning as I had a problem with saying Good (or so I used to think) So instead I used to say Hello to everybody but then I realized how stupid I had been. Now I make it appoint to say Good Morning to anyone I see. I still haven’t perfected it but I am waiting for that day to come and I know that day is not far away.

As always,I would love your comments,and if you want to send any contribution to this blog,just e-mail me at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why most Speech Therapies are not effective ????

I undertook speech therapy around 3 years ago in an attempt to cure my stutter.I did wonderfully in the therapist’s office but couldn’t replicate my speech in the outside world.I was totally confused at that time.Needless to say I lost interest in the therapy and went back to  square one.But today I know the reason.
At therapy,I was totally accepted and hence my anxiety level was zero.But when outside,I was anxious like hell.When in therapy,my therapist concentrated only on the fluency shaping techniques but did nothing on the emotional front.My sub-conscious mind, which had been trained for so many years to force me to stutter,remained as it is.So,when I was outside talking to people, my subconscious mind used to take control and all the speech techniques failed.
Till date,I have not met a fully recovered pws who has eliminated his stutter on a long term basis just by speech techniques.So,if your therapy just deals with speech techniques and nothing else then I would advise to not go for it.You may get initial gains,but in the long run,relapse is sure to follow.

Yet again,I will love your comments and if you want to contribute anything to this blog,then e-mail me at

Sunday, February 13, 2011

How Do You React To Your Stammer/Stutter

Imagine a scenario.Your boss(or any other guy you feel intimidated by) comes right up to you and asks you to introduce yourself and you block like hell.How would you feel after that???? Most probably,you will curse yourself(and probably God) and keep brooding.I used to do the exact same thing until about two months ago.But now i have realized that this only aggravates the problem.By cursing myself and feeling depressed ,I was constantly feeding my sub-conscious mind with thoughts that I could never speak in front of the particular guy and slowly these thoughts turned into beliefs and my blocking just worsened.But for the past 2 months,I have changed this kind of thinking.Now whenever I stammer,I see this as a learning opportunity.An opportunity to observe my physical and mental state when I blocked and what different I was doing when i stammered.( I  choke my throat,close my eyes,etc)Also,I have started to observe my feelings when I anticipate nervous talking situations.And mind you,it helps,it really does help.Firstly,I am improving after each stutter and secondly I am a much happier person now who doesnt feel depressed  after every stutter.So every time you stutter,dont brood and curse yourself but observe what are you doing wrong,what is the difference in your physical and mental state when you stammer compared to when you feel relaxed and talk like any other guy !!! To make a change you need to delve in deeper,feel your subconscious mind and get a hold of your thoughts.And mind you it is a lot difficult than it seems.Most of the time you dont even know what happens to you when you stutter.So it will take some time before you get a hold of what you do differently when you block.Slowly you will be able to realize what exactly you are doing.I advise you should even write it down and keep reminding yourself that these habits should be avoided while talking. It will take some time and perseverance,but trust it will help you a lot!!!!

In case, you want to send any contribution ,my e-mail id is

An Introduction to what this Blog is all about

 Hi all !!!First of all I will introduce myself. I am Dhruva Kathuria,20 years age,an engineering student from India.I am a pws(person who stammers).You guys probably might be thinking that why should you follow yet another blog on stammering when already there are dozens of them on the net.Well this blog is different !!! It wont be just me who will be sharing my experiences with stuttering,but I will also publish posts from you guys,which you can send me on my e-mail id!!! I have my shares of ups and downs in life due  to my stutter and would like to share them with you as well as love to hear from you and what you have got to teach all pws in the world in this regard because i believe that every pws has valuable knowledge which  he/she should share with world.So this is not just  my blog , it belongs to all you guys as well !! I will also be posting links from other blogs and sites which i find useful.And please feel free to leave comments on every post,I would just love to hear from you. So let the blogging begin!!!!!

In case, you want to send any contribution ,my e-mail id is