Sep 10, 2007
They said she was an adorable baby, apple of her mother’s eye, daddy’s darling.
They said she was a pretty kid blessed with a sunny disposition, mischievous, playing a million pranks and getting into a soup ever so often.
They said she was an awkward child with spectacles, her nose glued to the books, a stutter that showed its ugly face in every sentence she uttered.
They said she stammered and they ridiculed her in class. She’d never answer the questions asked despite knowing the answers. She didn’t wanna be laughed at.
They said she was unattractive, quite a dunce, flunking in Math and Chemistry with regularity. But she was passionate about History and Politics, had a love for English Literature. But that went unnoticed.
They said she was plump, graceless and uncoordinated and she can’t play basketball. She believed them and never tried.
They said she could barely talk without a stutter and showed no signs of any belief in herself. They didn’t know her who’d spend hours reciting Robert Frost’s poetry in front of the mirror, trying to perfect the art of talking in public without the stammer that put her down all the time. They didn’t know that she loved to sing too.
They thought she’d be a nobody. What would she do? She wasn’t half as smart or pretty as them.
And so they thought. Years passed by.
They saw her the other day. They couldn’t recognize the laughing, cheerful her. The one who looked so sure of herself. The one who seemed so different.
They don’t know and never will but she does stammer still, very slight. She struggles to accept the fact that she was born with a tiny speech handicap. But she tries, tries to overcome it. Maybe it’ll always be there. Paradox that life is, it did not stop her from going ahead and giving herself a chance to achieve her dreams. She did fail a lot of times. Adversity would always be there. However she charted her own course of life. Now she is trying, trying really hard to create that perfect balance. Most don’t realize that she stammers slightly. When she points it out to them they say it wasn’t conspicuous enough.
But its always there in her head, it’ll haunt her forever maybe. The resounding laughter of a bunch of schoolgirls echoes in her ears. The bane of her existence, the biggest chink in her armour. Sometimes she wonders if people notice the moments when she has to repeat the first half of the word twice or if they realize how breathless she gets during an argument. She strives to disguise it well, but was it good enough.
She detests it, loathes this weakness in her with a vengeance that is hard to understand. Some say she has a nice voice, sounds attractive, that she is witty and makes them laugh and comes across as someone oh so confident of herself. But there are bad days too, days when she feels miserable, days when everything threatens to fall apart, days when she feels that she’ll never be able to make it through and conquer this. On days like this the stammer takes on magnanimous proportions overshadowing everything happy in her life.
Words are a comfort, her pen is a balm on the mind that has grown old and tired trying to tame the speech that refuses to make peace with it. She loves writing, she has complete command on the words. She needn’t halt ever, she designs her own tempo, writes at her own pace. She ardently wished her speech could be like that unhindered, free, independent, fiery and tempestuous.
She dreams of a day when she’d be able to address a gathering with poise an élan that was the trademark of many an orator.
She dreams of a day when she’d be able to recite her favourite poetry unfettered, unbound like the swallow in the sky.
She dreams of a day when the remnants of this curse shall release all the words and set her soul free, her life and her being free, and set her spirit free forever and ever.
"They said you wouldn't make it so far a a
And ever since they've said it its been hard
With all your hopes and dreams you will believe
Even though it seems it's not for you
You won't give up, you'll keep it up
Looking to the sky
You will achieve on your knees
You will always believe that
I believe I can
I believe I will
I believe I know my dreams are real
I believe I'll chant
I believe I'll dance
I believe I'll grow real soon and
That is what I do believe"