Some people called me “Aee Hakle”, Some people said “Wo dekho kon aaya hai bobat”. Some people said, “ Guys see, the loser is here”. I started getting anxiety attacks due to all of this. And at that time, I didn’t realize that they were anxiety attacks. In the hospital, I was given some medication, it was either a wrong one, or I was given an overdose. When I accepted that I do stammer, everything was fine When I was in Class 2, I was going home from School
And I suddenly started feeling giddy. I don’t know what happened to me suddenly, I fainted and I fell down on the ground. My mother was standing outside the gate, she took me and with the help of
Some more friends, they took me to a nearby hospital. We reached there. In the hospital, I was given some medication. I still don’t know if I was given the wrong medication or an overdose of medication. I star…uh…I started talking, the first word was ‘amma’, but I used to get stuck at ‘ahh’. I couldn’t utter a word. Everyone thought that I am not going to talk beyond this. I will not be able to talk. 10 days, 15 days with all the treatment, and practices, I finally started talking. But then I had a gift forever, that was stammering. So, guys, my name is Prajish Prabhakaran. Some of you might recognize me as the OK TESTED guy. Some might say that he is the host of MUMBAI KE CHUPERUSTAM. But, Apart from these names From childhood till present, I guess up to 2-3 years back, there were some other names as well using which people used to call me. Some people called me “Aee Hakle”, Some people said “Wo dekho kon aaya hai bobat”. Some people said, “ Guys see, the loser is here”. I still don’t get why was I called a loser! Only because I stammer was I a loser. After the medication accident, I started going to school again. When I was back there, to me personally, nothing was different. But I suddenly started feeling that to others, there was a huge gap between the Past Prajish and the Present Prajish. People who used to be my friends now laughed at me. My father used to drop me to the school on his bike. When he dropped me off, and I stepped inside the school’s gate, I used to freeze. My hands and feet used to go cold then & there. And even if I used to go Inside the school, then I used to hide inside the washroom because I didn’t want to go to the class in the first lecture, since attendance was conducted during the first lecture. My roll no was 42. 42 is a number which I can never forget because it was my roll number for at least 2-3 years. I used to pray between the roll calls of 1 to 41. I used to pray How not to stammer while answering my roll call. I used to pray that when my teacher roll calls my number, I wanted to confidently say “Present Teacher”. But whenever I stood up to do so I used to get stuck. I couldn’t utter a word and unfortunately, everyone in the class, including the teacher used to laugh at me. I also experienced the School’s annual day for the first time. I went there with my mom and we were sitting nearby the stage on a chair. I had goosebumps when I heard people’s name Being announced on the stage. I wanted to be on that stage as well. I wanted people to announce my name as well to invite me there. After that, whenever the School used to announce its annual day, I used to give my name, and go for auditions. There, I was told just 1 thing, “ Prajish, in tomorrow’s lecture, if you are able to read out the first 5 lines without stammering, then only I will go for your selection” At that time, I used to hope that maybe I will be able to read that line out tomorrow. I used to practice the whole night. But when I used to ask the teacher about my selection process She used to say “ Prajish Abhi lecture hone do”(Let the lecture get over). I was avoided like this every time, and I had zero friends. When I used to see people standing in a group, laughing, I wished that I join in and laugh and enjoy with them as well. Every time I tried to blend in with them, but I was made fun off everytime. I do not remember a time when I had my lunch peacefully. Whenever I used to pull my tiffin box out of my bag, people used to strike it off. Maybe they enjoyed watching me in pain and crying. I was rejected in every annual day. I was not even auditioned. I still used to attend every annual day, sitting in the last row, I used to cry. Due to these traumas I started getting anxiety attacks. And at that time, I didn’t realize that they were anxiety attacks. I used to think that people are talking and making fun of me, and they will eventually beat me. Due to all the bullying that I went through, I always used to panic that something bad is going to happen with me. I couldn’t write exams due to this and failed in 7th standard. Appeared for a retest and passed somehow. Passed 8th standard somehow as well, but failed in 9th again because I was unable to go to school. I appeared 10th standard privately and I passed. In 11th standard, that was the first time I was given a break by someone to act in a play for a small role. There were 8-9 people involved including me. After the play, everyone praised by acting skills. My dream, of facing the camera, acting on stage, because when I act, Prajish is not talking, it is a character that is talking, who doesn’t stammer. I never used to stammer. But even after that, there were struggles everywhere. When I sat in auditions, they used to tell me that I am a misfit. There was this audition where I cleared every round. I was only left with the dress rehearsal and contract signing. I went to the production house, and the receptionist told me that I am being called by the casting director. He asked me to introduce myself, and I was stuck at Pra… He told me to sit outside for 15 minutes. I was sitting and after some time, the receptionist told me that Prajish, you may go now, we will call you after some time, in 1-2 days. I went outside and asked my coordinator, who told me that because I stammered, I have been rejected for this role as well. This went on And People used to come to my parents and say that your son claims to go to the media industry, he wants to become an actor, a storyteller, but he cannot do these things. He stammers whenever he speaks. Ask him to apply for staff selection jobs, he might become a clerk at least. And my parents dreamed of making me an engineer, doctor or CA. But I knew that I won’t be able to do this. After 11th & 12th got over, I heard about BMM i.e Bachelor of Mass Media. I was unaware of this, but when I heard mass media, I was determined I want to do this. I joined it and realized on Day 1 that this is something I want to do. In BMM festivals, we used to make short films. I started making films during my first year, and after 3 years, I had 72 trophies in my hand for acting and short films. After that, I started working as an Intern, as an Assistant Director. There were many instances there as well, but I accepted that Prajish stammers. So what ?! There were instances when I was in a food joint, hungry. I am standing in line to give my order. The person is asking me “Sir, what do you want to order?” I am standing there and I am saying “ . . . . . .” This is, this is the only thing that I could do. I was unable to utter a word. People in the back are asking me to give my order. I came out and started crying because I was hungry and couldn’t order. And today is the day, I have my own show, in which I review food from all over Mumbai. Restaurants call me to review them. I teach in colleges and go as a chief guest in college fests. So today is the day when I accepted that I do stammer, everything was fine. Because I used to fake myself before it, but the day I accepted that I do stammer, and it isn’t a problem, it was fine. So, the guy who used to cry in annual functions, today goes to college fests as a judge. The guy who couldn’t order food for himself reviews hotels and increase their sale by 2x. That guy who got happy just seeing a camera faces a camera every day. The guy who used to work as an intern doing odd tasks for the director like bringing ciggarette & tea, today is a senior producer. So I have achieved all these things only because I accepted myself however I am. And there are numerous people like me, who get bullied, due to stammering and body shaming. So, people will bully you, but you have to accept who you are, and you have to work towards it. If you have that passion and know what you want to do, this is something you will actually achieve So yeah, the last thing that I would like to say, LET THERE BE A COMMA, BUT NOT A FULL STOP. Thank You.