12 Sept 2012, Vellore, India: Clowning at Missionaries of Charity

We were up and out by 9am to visit the Sisters of Charity set up by Mother Theresa.  Our newest member of our team, Brett, turned up from Australia.  I was surprised to see him bright eyed and bushy tailed after his 18 hour flight from Australia. He only had a few hours. He came in the auto rickshaw with myself and Ami. He was so funny, first time out of Australia, he yells out like your bike, nice fire, as we zig zag passed. He said honk if you feel horny, well that did it for Ami and I, we will never see India the same as they honk all the time. I made a comment saying that is why the population is so big, they are always honking ha ha. We had a little joking banter in the car, that is how we clowns get to know each other. We go with humour to connect. I so love that, no small talk like where are you from and what do you do, we just get into comparing balls and jokes.

We travelled on bumpy roads and are met with the usual surprise and smiles from so many people. We are touching the lives of hundred just from the rickshaw. We saw some kids and they kept waving as they walked to school, looking back, waving, looking back, waving. I had my toocan bird out the window of the rickshaw and it makes a haw haw noise. There are 3 tuk tuk’s and we go in convoy. So usually people see the first few rickshaws and then we come along so they are fascinated to see more clowns. I saw a lady with cow dung which she was patting into paddies. They use them for fires. We were told today that they have gas coolers for fridges. We saw a whole group of women gathering to get government subsidised fuel. We were told last night that our rickshaw drivers get 400 rupees a day which is not much ($4). so many guys go past and have a look. One guy I kept looking at as he looked very serious and was level pegging us, he knew I was there and ignored for as long as he could then he took a look. I love that. We get so many waves and smiles you lose count.

We turned up at Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity. We saw all these middle age to older women in blue home dresses. Many had mental retardation and were the most destitute people. When we got there we broke out puppets, bubbles, balloons, twirling ribbon, noise makers. I floated balloons and got them playing. We gave them heaps of love and kisses. They responded in return and some of them were very funny. We danced with them, they tweaked my nose, others played with my blowers. A lady and I hooked arms and went and ganged up on people blowing our blowers at them laughing. We even did it to the sisters, they were the authority there, so it was nice for the women to see us play with them. I spoke to one of the sisters who had worked in the United States and Mexico. She looked a wise woman who had been around. On their bus they had ‘peace is smiles’. I told her god told me she should wear a red nose, she laughed. We also ran out the back and played with the staff who do all the physical work for the women. They danced bollywood style with us. My friend Ami twirled her amazing rainbow dress. Her expertise is in fire twirling. She was having fun I noticed. We also ganged up on her and Alex blowing our blowers at them. Another lady loved my blue balloon and had this huge grin whilst she walked around hugging the balloon, I plied it from her and flicked it to her and she grabbed it. She chased some of the guys it was so funny to see these ladies with grins, rotten teeth and cheeky playful behaviour. We just adored them. They all felt our love. There was one lady there who kept pointing to her arm as if in trauma, we got her to laugh which was important for breaking the pattern. She leaned her head on me and I sent love from my heart to hers, I held her with both arms and hugged and snuggled. It was so lovely to see these roses emerge from the darkness of their existence.  A lovely old lady was speaking poetry to me and smiling and putting her hands in the prayer position.  She went down and touched my feet to honour me with the highest honour.  I touched her feet.  She tried to stop me as she didn’t feel worthy but I made her accept the blessing.  I was told later she was from an agricultural community and had become destitute.    I was told later another lady was found on the street in front of CMC hospital, Gerri one of the personnel at Seb’s Projects tried to get her into the home.  She went there once and then went back to the hospital and slept in the same spot in the heat, under the rain waiting for her brothers and sisters to come and get her.  Apparently they inherited their mother’s house and kicked her out.  She went onto the street and went crazy.    Gerri said it was so sad that for 40 years she went back to the same place waiting but they will never return for her.  This group had fallen through the cracks of society and you wondered at their lives. To not be married or mentally okay would be devastating for these women. Some of them were mentally okay and again, how do they keep it together?  The Sisters are doing a wonderful job.

I even got our rickshaw drivers to do some dancing and they were shy but they are getting into the mood with the clowns which is great.

Our new friend Brett called Jester is a great juggler and he will teach me how to steal the juggling balls from him, he had lots of tricks so am looking forward to playing more with him. He is a lovely guy.

All our team are wonderful it is a joy to be with them and share this remarkable experience of bringing love and peace to others in a non-threatening peaceful way. We are definitely touching lives and making a difference. Collectively this is world peace and I am in bliss as I told my yoga friend. I said this is the bliss giving love to others. He is really warming and happy. I can see the affect we are having on all we meet. As a group we are getting more cohesive. It is a fantastic experience.

Mohandas Gandhi

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong”

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