Early morning after prayers and national anthem, students entered their classroom with class teacher escorting them. Sam occupied his favorite corner place on the bench in second last row. Teacher opened attendance register amidst students fluttering pages of their books. The sound of students muttering and whispering went around the class room then gradually slowed down and finally came to silence. It took around 5 minutes for the students to settle in and organize for the day. Sam had started feeling edgy by now. He had been going through this every day with a promise to himself that next day he would overcome this sense of anxiety but consistently failed to keep on his promise. Teacher started reading out the roll call. As she was approaching to his name alphabetically, his heart beat started being heavy and this was visible in the form of small droplets of sweat on his forehead. Sam was moving his lips, without speaking anything as if practicing to answer roll call. His palms were sweating with fingers busy in spinning the only blue ballpoint pen that he had. Probably his best friend Sandeep sitting next to him was noticing all these and like any other day he looked in Sam’s eyes trying to boost his confidence without speaking anything.
And then Sam’s name was called and he tried to answer the roll call with the tumult of his mind. He stuck and couldn’t speak, then closed his eyes and forced hard to move his facial muscles but seemed as if his lips froze and couldn’t move to utter a word. Few students burst out in laughter while a few laughed quietly to self. After a lot of struggle with himself he somehow managed to say “S” (instead of Yes or Present). The sequence of events starting from teacher reading his roll call to Sam answering would not have lasted for more than 2-3 seconds but these couple of seconds passed as hours for him.
Every day in the school during attendance, he would be anxious about how to answer the roll call. He had to ensure that he should not stutter and avoid his classmates laughing at him. But the story remained more or less same, resulting his confidence level going down to a new low everyday.
Years have passed now; Sam is now working for a multinational company and his work puts his oratory (rather speaking) ability to test everyday, every hour and every second. He has traveled extensively and worked for some of the biggest names in the corporate world. He has managed to look past those disdainful days but is still learning to control his voice and not letting his stuttering bring him down any more. Facing the challenge of stuttering has helped prepare him to meet other challenges in life for sure.