THE STRANGER STORY – Lt. Cdr. Pravin Tulpule (Retd.)
“I was an officer in the Indian Navy but 20 years ago I left my Service to serve my Society the other way round. Never ever in my dreams, I had dreamt to become a Clown but there was a turning point and no looking back. Before sharing that with you, let me take you to the era where clicking pictures was a costly affair, where Cricketers couldn’t rely on cricket as a full-time profession, where Magic was nowhere in the career list and the time when I was a 13-year-old schoolboy who would save his pocket money to buy second-hand magic books. The passion continued a long way; even when I was commissioned in the Navy I would entertain my Navy family with my magic tricks and Funny acts. Before turning 40, one day I got a call from a friend who asked me if I can perform for a bunch of kids in the colorful attire and with that red nose on! I agreed and went to the destination which took me aback as there were 30 Cancer patients and all below the age of 8 years.
I had two options; either to quit or choose to perform. As the Navy had already prepared me for the unforeseen situations, I performed! The next morning the picture of a Navy Officer performing as a Joker became the highlight but that too was not a Turning point. After 2 days, I got to know about the demise of one of those kids; the kid who dreamt to meet a clown. This became a trigger for me to devote the rest of my life to make such kids happy!” Shares Lt Cdr Pravin Tulpule (Retd), also known by the name India’s Patch Adams with the tagline ‘Happy Foolingyou’. He left Navy and became a ‘Laughing Stock’ with his Medical/ Therapy Clowning.
“The impulse for following the passion was so high that I didn’t pay heed to any advice and suggestions falling my way. My family was my biggest support though. I finally stepped out of my Uniform and embraced the colors of a clown. Today I am running campaigns to support cancer patients, offering lectures to doctors, raising voice on Gender Lab, and diversifying the scope of my art. We, as humans, are conditioned to laugh at the misfortune of others, so I offer them a ready target, almost inviting them to laugh at me” added the 60-year old compassionate Clown who has been recently awarded with Karmaveer Chakra in conjunction with iCongo and the UN. Also, Yuggantar 2020 by the MS University Baroda.
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