11 Sept 2012: Vellore, India, Clowns Visit Orphanage And Nursing Home


Today most of the group went Vellore Life Challenge a detox clinic. 

Some of us opted to have the morning off.  I awoke at 5am expecting it to be 7am as I was meeting Sanoosh and Ami for yoga.   At 7am I went up stairs and did some stretches.  What I’ve learned is that it is so important to unblock the energy channels in the body.  I’ve often had issues with tiredness so I want to work on releasing emotional and physical blocks.  Had a nice lesson with Sanoosh and he taught me to follow my body, whatever I do make it natural, stretch where you want to, but importantly focus on the breathing. 

I went back to bed and tried to sleep and actually had some sleep.  I was woken by my friend toot.  We had a nice chat. 

We then headed over to Seb’s project to hear a presentation by Nigel our Mime.  He showed a film on clowns which was interesting and I found myself inspired by this small community of artists and the magic they perform.  He then read some chapters out of his book on clowns and I found it very profound and interesting.    The rule of clowning is there is no rules, I liked that one.  Clowns give people permission to come out of them selves.  They are the ones who make the mistakes making a joke of it.  They are the mirror to humanity showing them to themselves.  They are silly people but in truth they use humour to unite with people as people are afraid of being fools.  Yet when you are the fool you find there is no fear.  For me clowning is a spiritual work and I am definitely tuning into where I am supposed to go, I don’t think about it, I just intend that I am sent to the right ones. 

In the afternoon 5.15pm we headed to the orphanage.  Children had HIV and we think some had leprosy as some kids had lost fingers.    We arrived in 3 auto rickshaws they excitedly came out to see us aged from 4 to 14, mostly youngsters around 8 years old.  They were filled with smiles and wonder at the clowns.  Our friend Lennon and some adult’s responsible for the children had them sit down as an audience.  Lennon our Indian translator and fellow clown we now call Mingle introduced us and I was to come in and perform.  I marvelled at how used to just jump up and making it up.  I rolled around the kids in the crowd, juggled for them and did hair cuts with my giant scissors and comb.  I marvel at how popular this is.  Then Toot came on and played scary monsters with them, she had them all stand and they ran from her laughing.  You can see the thrill in their eyes.  We had Alex do some magic.  Ami had her twirling stick and said she felt much better today as she could flow through the crowd.  We were outside and it got dark.  My glowing jester’s hat intermittently flickered lights on then off it worked well in the dark.  I also had a microphone that shone.  I had some kids sing their songs and they did so very well.  I chased a few around, swung them in a circle and we plopped on the ground. They would come up and hold your hands and we skipped.  I then made an effort to hug and kiss them as I recognise how starved of affection they are.  The boys and girls were open to affection.  They were truly beautiful children.  I watched them deeply thinking of the fact they have no parents.  It is hard to imagine their life and how they see the world.  I saw Emma at the back (CEO of Seb’s) and noted her dedication.   Alex and Puzzle did balloons and Toot joined in as there were 100 kids.  The kids wanted balloons and stickers.  I did find that full on but I distracted some of them with hugs.   They were so innocent in their demands.

We drove away in our auto’s the kids waving, feeling a special connection with some of the faces.  To be a clown is a privilege and I am so pleased we are doing this work.  It does make a difference, it may not change the fact they are in orphanages, hospitals or HIV clinics, but for a moment they can forget their troubles, they can believe in magic, they can be transported to another place, they can feel again and believe that life can send in the clowns.

The other part of our group went to a nursing home.  One of the members of the group I spoke to spoke of her horror at the fact they were sleeping on concrete in a nursing home.  She had been looking for a place for her mum and the realisation that what we have in Australia is just not comparable.  She really wants to buy them beds, she had tears in her eyes as the diamond of her humanity shone through the crystal awareness of others.  Our fairy also cried at the state of the nursing home as she works in one.  The love and compassion was overwhelming.  They conveyed that people in Australia have no idea of the hardships others go through, so this was a huge emotional learning experience.   They spoke of some men not wanting to let them go.  They spoke of dancing with the men and women.  It sounds like it was an amazing time.  So beautiful to share our rainbow light.   

My love for this group is growing, their incredible generosity and continuous waves to each other and endurance, for it is not an easy pace we are involved in.  I often awaken with puffy eyes and come back with swollen ankles.  We do a lot of sitting and a few hours of show and then we come back.

The streets are dirty and life is a constant buzz here.  You see people sleeping in the streets, peeing in the streets, some walking past, others spitting, it is dusty and dirty, yet I feel no judgement.  They marvel at we white folk and in clown the streets break open into smiles as those who see us show their surprise and then joy.  It is a sea of humanity and we are very small candles in that sea.  In fact at the restaurant we took a picture of an Indian woman who was a light in the darkness.  I placed Gandhi’s image (on the back of my vest) above it, as he was also.  I see love as that light, we are tiny candles as Ovidi said, but we are shining and that is all that matters.


It is late and I will go to bed now, another early start.  A wonderful day .  It is the September 11  anniversary and I think of the twin towers.  I wish to hold a candle up against this darkness and say only love is the answer in this world.  We must love those who we consider our enemies, we must forgive the ignorance, the desire for power, the greed for we are one family as Puzzle and I discussed today.  We will unite this family one candle at a time.

Peace to you and yours.

Love Peacefull clown

Mohandas Gandhi

“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong”


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