Laughter and Joy Where It’s Needed the Most
The Papa CJ Happiness Project goes to a children's cancer ward
Absolutely nothing prepares you for the feelings that engulf you when you walk through a children’s cancer ward in a hospital. I have no words to express the range of emotions that I felt when I visited the Post Graduate Institute of Child Health this week.
Before I interacted with the children, I met the head of the hospital. He had some doubts about how and whether I’d be able to engage the children, give the treatment some of them were undergoing and the discomfort they were in. In all honesty, when preparing for the visit, I had concerns myself.
For the 90 minutes I spent with the children however, we turned that room into a space of energy, laughter, music, dance and joy. I told them jokes and stories, we did laughter yoga, we learned and performed a dance, and we got dressed up with fun props and took photographs. Each of the kids also got to take some gifts away.
The session in addition to lifting the spirits of the children, was de-stressing and enjoyable for the doctors, nurses and hospital staff. However two sets of people I believe, got the most out of it. Firstly the parents, who got to witness their children enjoying themselves and having fun, quite possibly after a very long time. And secondly me. While I put so much energy into those 90 minutes that I was hardly able to move for a day after that, it was an incredibly gratifying feeling to have been able to share in the joy of my companions.
No shows I do are as meaningful to me as those that I do as a part of The Papa CJ Happiness Project. I’m incredibly grateful to Arjun Bahl, St+art India, Asian Paints, Dr Ajai, Dr Nita and the Post Graduate Institute of Child Health for inviting me to do this. I cannot tell you how much respect I have for healthcare workers, carers and cancer warriors. Your bravery is inspiring and may you be forever blessed.
The video clip here will give you but a tiny feel of the experience we shared together on the day. Thank you so much Rini Chatterjee for capturing and editing this.