Theatre

Milestone and memories

HUMOUR HONOURED: 'Crazy' Mohan, Kamal Haasan and K. Balachander at the 400th show of 'Chocolate Krishna.'  

One is a proud atheist and the other, a diehard theist. That’s only the main dissimilarity -- there should be a lot more. Yet the two have been friends for long! The bonding between ‘Crazy’ Mohan and Kamal Haasan is befuddling! It is when the two share stage space to voice their views that are as different as chalk and cheese that I realise the main factors that bind them – sense of humour and love of literature. When seated beside each other, ‘Crazy,’ looking absolutely at home in the attire of Lord Krishna, and Kamal, in a tee, exchanged asides, they presented a hilarious picture of incongruity!

Beginning with Nithyasree Mahadevan’s invocation, the verses of which were from ‘Crazy’ Mohan’s literary foray, ‘Kannan Anubhuti,’ to Kamal’s address at the end, the mood that marked the 400th show celebration of Crazy Creations’ ‘Chocolate Krishna’ at Narada Gana Sabha on Sunday last, was one of camaraderie and goodwill. Everyone, including the audience, was made to feel part of the proceedings. So when Nithyasree remarked, “I belong to the ‘Crazy’ family too,” the sentiment went down well.

Adding to the all-pervading atmosphere of fun was one of the special invitees, Prof. G. Gnanasambandam. As always Gnanasambandam’s acumen and gift of the gab found admirers on the stage and off it.

Though Gollapudi Maruthi Rao, who felicitated Mohan, referred to himself as “the odd man out,” we knew that the litterateur and actor from the Telugu world, was a fitting inclusion on a dais decorated with doyens.

The accent of the speeches was on ‘Crazy’ Mohan, the humorist. But the Crazys’ contribution to charity causes is equally significant, as S.B.Khaanthan, the troupe’s director, the anchor of the evening, noted.

“I’ll be lost without members of my troupe. We are friends who are theatre performers, not the other way round,” Mohan stressed, even as he admitted his allegiance to Kamal Haasan.

When K.Balachander, the theatre and film veteran, made ‘Poikkaal Kudhirai,’ the film version of Crazy Creations’ play, ‘Marriage Made in Saloon,’ he may not have envisaged Mohan’s steady straddle in the decades that followed. “I am amazed at his skill to make the audience laugh relentlessly,” he began. The culmination point was when KB referred to the pivot of the team, ‘Maadhu’ Balaji, as the “super star of the stage.” For Balaji, encomiums came from brother Mohan too, who described him as “an asset of Crazy Creations.”

R. Krishnaswamy, secretary, Narada Gana Sabha, ‘Trisakti’ Sundar Raman and producer V. Vishwanathan were also on stage to wish the troupe well. Swathi Family Entertainment’s DVD of ‘Crazy’ Mohan’s ‘Madhil Mel Maadhu’ was released on the occasion.

“I like the company of people like Mohan and Gnanasambandam. I’m here because I wished to. You may get bored with my talk, but that bothers me little. I’m enjoying every moment of it,” said Kamal, the star speaker. Listening to him was equally enjoyable. Peppered with levity, his speech was informal and far from cryptic.

Finally, when it was curtains, I looked at my watch. 11 p.m.! The hours had flown past in a jiffy! ‘Crazy’ humour had done the trick!

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 7:26:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/milestone-and-memories/article2301893.ece

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