Sunday, January 10, 2016

Compassionate Clowning : Silly Smiles Take You Miles

The tagline of my blog says, Silly Smiles take you Miles... it's wonderful to live your saying, your belief and perceive it in real. It's actually inexplicable how you feel when your words become alive with their real meaning and make you dance to their tune. 

Since my childhood, I had always been fascinated by Clowns. When we used to play cards, I always used to wonder why the joker is always left out. I used to feel very bad for that Joker card being sequestered and instead used to keep it in my deck. Whenever there was a circus show in the town, I was all excited not to see the lions and elephants dancing but the clown juggling the balls and deliberately making fall his red nose or colorful curls instilling laughter in the air. I always thought how difficult it is to make someone else laugh, to make them forget about their pain and misery and soak them in the wave of joy and laughter. This very thought always provoked me and apparently brimmed in the form of my maiden poem Spreading Smiles.

I had never thought that the joker so much playful in my subconscious mind will attract me to play its role one day. These lines are popping up in my mind from James Allen's , "As a Man Thinketh",

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

So, I became a clown. Yes, I did. I dissolved my identity to embark on the journey of spreading love and happiness. And the first lesson I learnt was to be compassionate. Yes, in the world where we are all confined to our tiny cubicles unaware of the person sitting at our backside but communicating to unseen souls through social media, are we compassionate enough to hear the sob of the person sitting beside us. Have we ever noticed why the person who was coming regularly, occupying the seat next to us has suddenly stopped coming. Do we ever bother to ask a person how he is doing after a long sick leave. Are we really compassionate or we have forgotten what being compassionate means.

I became a Clown, not just a clown but a compassionate clown to heal the tiny souls undergoing excruciating pain with a little love and happiness. As my doctor friend says, "laughter helps in fighting stress. It reduces pain by releasing endorphins (the body's natural painkiller), boosts the immune system by increasing the level of T cells & lowering serum cortisol levels, thereby promoting a positive outlook. Laughter helps people to cope with difficult situations and create loving and helpful bonds which aids the healing process."

Compassionate Clowning is an initiative taken up by compassionate clowns to visit hospitals and help the doctors and patients in their battle with their sword of laughter fighting away the pain and distress. Compassionate Clowns is a group of volunteers where anybody and everybody is welcomed with warmth and love. The volunteers gather every weekend in different cities and visit the nearby hospitals to infuse the air of ailing pain with refreshing laughter and happiness. This clowning activity is carried out in different cities of India like Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Rajkot. You can easily connect with the nearest clowning group at their facebook page and volunteer for the noble cause -https://www.facebook.com/CompassionateClown

I took the new year resolution to be more compassionate and became the clown with a red nose and pink cheeks at Gujarat Cancer Society Hospital, Ahmedabad. The clowns are regularly visiting the children suffering from cancer being treated at this hospital. Every saturday it seems as if the entire children ward awaits their arrival. From parents to doctors to hospital staff to the anxiously waiting tiny tots.

There's nothing more contagious than the laughter of young toons. 
As the clowns dress up, paint their faces, the passing-by patients and visitors curiously look at us for being so colorful and vibrant at a morbid place. And we greet them with our vivacious smiles and joy.
Clowns with the Hospital Staff
As this was my first time being a clown, we started off with painting our faces red and yellow. Then we made a circle holding hands to share the positive vibes amongst ourselves and take the oath to spread it forward with everybody we come in contact with.

Clowns taking the pledge
I was the engine of this session. Yeah, the chhuk chhuk gadi engine ;) We entered the children ward like a vibrant colorful train. The children resting in their beds woke up and smiled. So, finally the jokers are here. We were late by half an hour and one child was very angry. See the receptivity of the child for warmth and happiness that he refrains to wait by even a few minutes.

Why are you late today?? Can't you see me waiting for you with this mickey specs?
The clowns are in action now. They have dissolved their identity of a student, of a job seeker, of a tired professional. They are just the clowns saying sorry to the little child by dancing to his favourite song.
Acchi Nani, Pyaari Nani, Maan jao na ;)
As it was the new year, so we had carried new year hand-made cards for all the children wishing them a bright and healthy new year. We chatted with them like our own siblings and asked them to write down their goals. "What would you like to be??" See, we are giving them a hope to achieve their dreams irrespective of the disease they are suffering. If you wish you can, then you surely can!

Happy New Year Princess!
We blew balloons, we sang with the children, we told them stories, we chit-chat with them. They love us as clowns and we love them more and more. Some children are very naughty. Afterall how can one disease take away their innocence and we make sure that never happens. 
Inky Pinky Ponky
The little energy packets energized us more than we had expected. They make us the child again and take us back to our golden days. They forget about their pain and get lost in our stories and magic tricks. 


And when you find a cute child dreaming to be SRK, the clown teaches him how to be SRK. And the entire ward becomes a movie theatre with dialogues of SRK, Bacchhan, Kapoor falling around.

Click me fast! I'm the new SRK ;)
The doctors also find it refreshing to laugh heartily and enjoy with their little patients. They always say, "I pray this child lives his dream of being a pilot."
Dr. Uncle! See my mustache, I have grown up now :P
More surprisingly, its the parents who participate in the games and feel joyful. They enjoy us as clowns and we enjoy seeing them laughing and cuddling with their kids in all joy and happiness.
A happy Tigress mum with the SherKhan :)
As we leave for the day, we share our experiences with each other and there's always a lesson learnt. We always complain of trivial things, of being deprived of this and that. But as we see the little guns fighting against all odds, we are charged up. One clown said it so rightly, "I dont come here to make them happy. I come here because they make me happy. "

All colorful Clowns:)

This is all possible with the energy of togetherness. No one clown has the strength to go alone inside the room full of pain and agony. Sometimes we too break down on seeing our brothers/sisters in such tormenting pain. But together we vibrate in symphony and blow the breeze of triumphant happiness.

We are a Happy Family :)

Smiles are contagious and we are its brand ambassadors. We spread it, gather it, spread it more and blow it around creating a peaceful happy aura. We believe in making people happy together. We are #SpreadTheVibe. Come, join us in spreading this vibe all across.

Clowns in Caps!

Öbrìgadò!
JJJ
 
This post is written for #SpreadTheVibe by youthkiawaaz

5 comments:

  1. Great work. Truly courageous compassionate clowns. What can be better than spreading smiles. The world needs it badly.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, half of the world's problems can be solved by understanding and compassion mixed with love. Thank Sunaina for stopping by. :)

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  2. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

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  3. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

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  4. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

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