Flashback: Laughter for drought-affected farmers, Maharashtra May 2015

In April 2015 Nimesh bhai, from Caring Friends organization reached out to me to accompany him and two Indian performing artists to entertain the people of Beed and Latur districts of Maharashtra. 9 days later I was there. That was the quickest mobilization I have done in this work, and the second of three trips to India that year.

The 2014 monsoon had not provided enough water in the reservoirs and the severe drought meant that people had nothing to drink and were starving because their food had not grown. In this region and around India, farmers began to take their own lives because they had lost all hope. Caring Friends and a associated local charity, Manovlok, began providing water and food to the communities, as well as overseeing the enlarging of huge reservoirs. It also occurred to them to uplift the people with laughter, and so invited the performers.

Pravin (a wonderful clown and magician…and ex ship captain), Ami (extraordinary ‘juggleress’ and bartending ‘flare’ artist), and myself, were accompanied by Nimesh bhai, and Deepti, a volunteer with Caring friends. It was a great honor and pleasure to work with them both to entertain the people in the villages where smiles have been a rare occurrence. Some times we teamed up, and other times we worked solo.

Ami was not well for a time, and on a visit to the hospital I entertained the folks in the waiting room.

After the show you saw in the video above, a young gentleman said to me, “You are the first white person I have seen in my village, and that probably goes for most of the people here. And this is the first magic show we have seen too.” Another person asked how it was possible that I should come all the way from America to entertain them, and not be paid at all. He found this very inspiring and judged that he, and the people in his village, ought to be more generous and do more reaching out themselves.

You never know the impact you might have on someone by just doing something you love!


Later that year when the monsoon came, the rains were tremendous and filled the reservoirs with 2 to 3 years’ supply of water. Bravo Caring Friends and Manovlok!