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Remembering Crazy Mohan, a year after his death

N Ramakrishnan Chennai | Updated on June 10, 2020 Published on June 10, 2020

Crazy Mohan   -  THE HINDU

It was early afternoon on this day last year – June 10 – that news filtered out that Crazy Mohan had died of a heart attack in a city hospital. A range of emotions overcame me even as I took a while to digest that piece of information. Why him? He was just in his late sixties!

But then as always with Crazy, it was the jokes and wisecracks that he made through his dramas and screenplays in movies that came to me. The tribute that I wrote for him that day came from the heart.

If you are from Chennai and if you have watched Tamil dramas and movies, there is every chance that Crazy would have definitely touched your life. And, all of it would be pleasant and make you recall those jokes.

It was just two days back that my teenaged daughter asked me if I would like to watch Michael Madana Kama Rajan (MMKR), that rip-roaring rib tickler starring Kamal Haasan in four roles and an enviable star cast, which included Nagesh, SN Lakshmi, Kushboo, Rupini, Urvasi, Venniradai Moorthy, Nassar, Santhana Barathi, Delhi Ganesh, Manorama and Crazy himself playing a cameo as a provisions store owner in the movie directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao.

I haven’t kept track of the number of times I have watched this movie, but you ask me to watch it one more time, I promise you, I will. The jokes flow from the start and keep going till the very end, when in typical Crazy fashion the movie ends on a happy note, after 10-15 minutes of chaos and confusion.

My first interaction with Crazy was at a press conference organised by a mobile telecom company Hutchison – it was the third operator in Chennai then – and Hutch, of the pug dog fame, had tied up with Crazy to offer his drama dialogues as ring tones for its subscribers. After the press conference, Crazy and I struck up a conversation – yes, you guessed it right, by discussing MMKR and exchanging dialogues from the movie.

The last time we met was when he spent more than an hour at BusinessLine’s office with a few of us, keeping us engrossed with his witticisms one afternoon. I had asked him then if there were chances of having a sequel to MMKR with Kamal, and Crazy remarked that Kamal and he had discussed this a number of times. When he called me up to congratulate me for receiving a service recognition award in office, I asked him if he would come and watch MMKR with us at my house. Tell me when, was his prompt reply, after making sure I had no dogs at home. He was mortally scared of dogs. And, then he asked if I would keep him supplied with savouries and regular cups of coffee. I mentioned to him that it will be great if Kamal could also be there. Kaettuta pochu (can ask him), was Crazy’s response.

Alas, that is not going to happen. And, that is the only regret that I will have, of not having followed up with Crazy on my request.

In these crazy times induced by the coronavirus pandemic, when everyone is going through tension and paranoia, I am sure that Crazy would have come up with a play based on Covid-19. And, it would have been yet another rib-tickler. I wonder what he would have named the play! Covid Kodumai or some such thing. Any guesses anyone?

Here is the link to the tribute to Crazy on June 10, 2019:

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/veteran-tamil-playwright-and-actor-crazy-mohan-passes-away/article27754708.ece

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Published on June 10, 2020
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