Here's a pocketful of sunshine for Kerala
Papa CJ's upcoming stand-up gig aims to raise funds for the flood-affected survivors of the state
Disaster / di'za:stÉÂ/ noun/ a sudden accident or a natural catastrophe that causes great damage or loss of life.
Meanings don't always capture magnitudes and magnitudes don't capture essence. The telling loss of those who braved the crippling floods in Kerala recently cannot but be quantified. That leaves us with two options — feel sorry or help. And the latter is what comedian Papa CJ is trying to do, along with hundreds of people who came forth and showed unflinching support for the state's residents.
CJ's upcoming gig in the city is a fundraiser of sorts that will witness the confluence of comedy, psychological illusion (performed by Karan Singh Magic) and a noble cause. The Delhi-based stand-up artiste is no stranger to social initiative. He runs the Papa CJ Happiness Project, a charitable enterprise that works with organisations, NGOs and hospitals across the country. So, how does comedy help build a better society? "I believe in individual social responsibility. Comedy is like a rubber sword. You can make a point without drawing any blood. I try and use my comedy to hold up a mirror to the powers that be to try and inspire change," CJ explains, adding, "I've done many fundraisers in the past, performed for cancer patients, and have taken it to a micro level where I visit homes and hospital rooms of ailing people. Kerala is faced with a humanitarian crisis on a significant scale and I wanted to help. With regard to how this initiative is going to help, for me, it's not about identifying an area of work where I'd like to contribute, but identifying the right partners to contribute to. They are much better informed about the situation on the ground and how best to utilise the funds to help those most in need."
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