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Laughter therapy

art-and-culture Updated: Jul 28, 2012 16:31 IST
Sarit Ray
Sarit Ray
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Who says you need to look sombre when aiding a charitable cause? Stand-up comedians from the group that goes by the rather explicit name Schitzengiggles, give you the opportunity to laugh (and occasionally, be laughed at!) for a good cause. Familiar names on the city’s growing stand-up circuit — Tanmay Bhat, Karan Talwar, Sapan Verma, Atul Khatri and Brij Bhakta — come together at the Bombay Store to raise money for city-based NGO, Project Crayons, that works with marginalised children by providing them healthcare and education.

Schitzengiggles founder Karan says that they try and do a philanthrophic event once a month: “This will be our sixth such gig this year. It started out as a way of giving back through comedy.” Karan does about six or seven regular shows a month and says that other comedians are more than eager to jump in for a charity show.

About performing in a rather unorthodox space — a retail store — he says, “We perform amid clothes hung for display. But I’ve performed at the store before. They (The Bombay Store) help us by giving the venue for free, and the place seats about a 100-odd people.” Tanmay, who you will rarely catch saying, or tweeting something unfunny (his Twitter handle the tanmay has more than 18,000 followers), says he does these gigs to earn good karma. “It’s my one chance to not go to hell,” is how he puts it. On a more serious note, he commends Chandni Parekh, who works with Samhita (the group provides platforms for social causes) for getting them on board.

This time, the proceeds from the show will help Project Crayons further two of their main causes, says director Pavan Kolavoor: “School on Wheels, where we take a mobile school on a bus into areas like the Mankhurd slums and Malwani (in Malad); and Young Women’s Welfare Centre (which provides shelter for girls and aids in their education)”.

Who knew laughing out loud could do so much good?