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Audiologist trains TV show actor

tv Updated: Jan 26, 2012 17:37 IST
Serena Menon
Serena Menon
Hindustan Times
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For a change, a TV show seems to be subjecting its audience to more than just melodrama. The makers of the Star Plus serial, Ek Hazaron Mein Meri Behna Hai have roped in a professional audiologist to train actor Nia Sharma (Manvi), who for a sequence in the show, needs to take on the role of a speech expert.

Dr Neha Chhabria, who works at a few hospitals as a professional speech expert and audiologist in Bandra, was called in for the task in an attempt to keep things real, and in the process, use television’s influence to expose viewers to information that may eventually help them.

“They approached me a few weeks ago. Then I learnt how the entire scene was being carried out and what needed to be taught therapy-wise.

The character, who has a stammer, has to go up in court to fight a case in the show. Manvi teaches him how to get it right,” says Chhabria, before revealing measures to control the speech deficiency.

“Stammering can be a very psychological problem. So most of the basic actions need to be taken while the person is speaking. For instance, focusing on one point, tapping your fingers on any surface and most importantly, carrying out breathing exercises and staying relaxed. Usually, people who stammer have a lot of tension.”

Apparently, Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan too suffered from the speech defect before he overcame it. Chhabria accepts that she receives queries everyday, but the problem is not one that has a sure shot cure period.

“It’s not a course that can be taken. It’s a long-term process and there are a few people, who get better in a month and a half, while some can take up to six,” she says.

Tips to speak clearly:
Speak slowly
Breathe correctly from the abdomen
Face the mirror and talk
Do not avoid speaking
Tap your fingers while talking
Do basic relaxation exercises around the shoulder and neck