Search This Blog

Monday, June 10, 2019

alas Crazy Mohan who made us laugh is no more !!

Today when I first heard the news of ‘Crazy Mohan’ passing away – it was a moment of sadness and it took time to sink in .. .. .. a man who made us laugh with his hilarious dialogues – ‘no double meaning’ – jokes that young and old can sit together and enjoy !  Today’s social media is replete with rich tributes to this gentle giant – emperor of Comedy ‘Crazy Mohan’ with everyone feeling so close to him ~ the humility and connect was his supreme strength. 

Drama comedy : இந்தியாவின் முதல் பிரதமர் யார் ? - தெரியாது !; அவர் பேர் 'நே' ல ஆரம்பிச்சு 'ரு' வில் முடியும்   'நேர் மாறு'
சார், நீங்க எங்கியோ போயிட்டிங்க ! (அபூர்வ சகோதரர்கள்)
பின்னாடி .. இல்ல, முன்னாடி, பின்னாடி என்ன இருந்தது ? [பஞ்சதந்திரம்]
ஆண்டவன் சொல்றான் ! - அருணாச்சலம் முடிக்கறான் !! [அருணாச்சலம்]
Health tips  :  பரீட்சைக்கு முன்னால தயிர்ல சக்கரை கலந்து சாப்பிட்டா, ஞாபகம் நன்னா இருக்கும்னு எங்க அம்மா சொல்லுவா !! [வசூல் ராஜா]

Sad to know Crazy Mohan is no more ~ I have watched his dramas on stage, have watched few movies [remember Indian scene where Kamal would identify him as Parthasarathi !] and have seen him walk briskly in the mornings at Marina. Have spoken to him on a few occasions.  A couple of times, he was to come to SYMA programs as Guest (sadly did not materialize !).  On an ‘Elders day’ at Gandhi beach, he was to quip – ‘ I live with my parents in a joint family’ – so for people like thus there is no special significance on such days, as we care and pay respects to our elders daily !  .. ..  

Not many would know him by name Mohan Rangachari – but World knows him Crazy Mohan, famous brother of famous Madhu Balaji.   An engineer by profession,  Crazy carved out a special place for himself both in drama and cinema.    He has written over 30 plays, worked on over 40 films (and played cameo roles in each of these films), and written 100 short stories.  He used to write poems is lesser known.

Rajaraman, nicknamed "Vasool Raja" (Kamal Haasan), is a local don in Chennai, making a living by collecting money from people who refuse or dilly-dally in paying their debts to others, with the help of his right hand man Vaddi (Prabhu).  When by quirk of fate, he wishes to become a Doctor, comes the encounter with Dr  Margabandhu (played by Crazy Mohan).  It was full length comedy – hilarious dialogues with rib ticking scenes – ‘How do I know Sir’ Crazy would standout in the film. 

Way back in 1976 – I occasioned to see the drama at Sri Parthasarathi Swami sabha – exactly the place where I live [Vijay Avenue, Venkatrangam Street, Triplicane, Chennai 5] .. .. the drama ‘Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam’ having Mohan, SVe Sekhar and more was a super-duper hit.  Owning an house and moving out the congested rented house was the ‘biggest achievement dream’ of every common man of those days !  - those were the days of expanding Chennai city – Adyar itself was the outskirts and beyond that there was nothing !! .. .. the play was all about buying a house and going to Palavakkam [see, a man is walking at the other corner of our street; if we shout it would take a day or so to reach the man at the next house – were the description of loneliness of that Palavakkam]

The storyline was  about a bunch of thieves who break into a home and stay there for sometime. They would choose the lonely house at Palavakkam .. .. this became the first drama available in audio tape format.  It was launched at a time when Madras had more than 100 sabhas and more no. of troupes vying to get a chance – many a times, the same drama would be put on two days to ensure that all members of the Sabha were given tickets.  Cho, S.V.Sahasranamam, Manorama, R.S.Manohar, Suralirajan, Crazy Mohan, Sve Sekhar, Mouli, YG Parthasarathi, Heron Ramaswami and more  were very active on the stage.  ‘Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam’, perhaps changed the destiny of Tamil drama drawing huge crowds wherever it was played.

Most of us do not understand the stress and travails of public personalities – be it sportmen or artistes.  They become popular – not sure whether they earn so much of money, and whether they are able to or actually end up keeping good amount of wealth is all far different than we imagine them to be.   Crazy Sir too may not have  received payments for some of his movies;  drama is not a money spinner. Man who made people laugh lived a happily life, though not sure whether he was really rich to the extent he deserved !!

Today (10th June 2019) is a sad day as Mohan had a massive heart attack, was admitted to Cauvery hospital and passed away peacefully.  Have seen walk him briskly in Chennai beach – all of us would miss this genial person.  Mohan Sir besides his tinseldom, was  a student at the College of Engineering, Guindy, where he graduated as a mechanical engineer in 1973.  Before venturing to drama and becoming  a full-time writer, he worked in TVS group  Sundaram– Clayton.   

The first feature film he worked on was K. Balachander's Poikkal Kudhirai for which he wrote the dialogues. The film itself was based on Mohan's drama Marriage made in Saloon. He went on to write dialogues for several comedy films, particularly starring Kamal Haasan, which include Sathi Leelavathi, Kaathala Kaathala, Michael Madana Kama Rajan, Apoorva Sagodharargal, Indian, Avvai Shanmughi, Thenali, Panchathanthiram and Vasool Raja MBBS. In 1989, he also began producing television comedy series. Serials he produced include Here is Crazy, Kalyanathukku Kalyanam with over 600 episodes and Vidathu Sirippu.. .. while we laughed heartily on his dialogues, he was writing venbas too ! is a news.

His death has really shaken people and me too has been one of his strong admirers and fan..

With grief – Om shanthi to the departed soul
~ S. Sampathkumar.
10th June 2019.

No comments:

Post a Comment