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Comedy cocktails his forte

CHARISMATIC Crazy Mohan with his brother Maadhu Balaji (left), as ‘Chocolate Krishna’ in the play (right top) and in the make up room (bottom)   | Photo Credit: PHOTOS : K. GANESAN



If watching Crazy Mohan perform on stage is fun, talking to him is even more, feels T. SARAVANAN

My entry into the field of drama is purely an accident. Generally, people lose lives in accident but in my case I got a new lease of life,” Rangachari Mohan kicks off the chat, punctuated with his inimitable pun and fun.

People know him better as ‘Crazy’ Mohan. The title got pre-fixed to his name after his maiden full-length play ‘Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam’ became a big hit.

“Drama is full of life and blood. Actors perform live and the public gives instant reaction. You can feel and see audience ‘pulse’,” he again plays with the word ‘puls’, which in Tamil means teeth, underlining his passion for plays.

Maiden attempt

“As a Mechanical engineering student of Guindy Engineering College, I first wrote ‘Great bank robbery’, a skit for the inter-collegiate contest. It was a sensational hit and propelled me to write more,” he recalls.

It also filled him up with confidence to write scripts for his younger brother ‘Maadhu’ Balaji’s drama troupe at Vivekananda College, Chennai. The stupendous reception inspired the brothers to set up their own play production house ‘Crazy Creations’. What followed was a string of success.

“Behind every successful man there is a woman. In my case, there are lot of women.… I’m talking about my wife, sisters, aunts and grandmother,” Crazy Mohan demonstrates his is not slapstick humour but clean comedy.

Coming from a big family, his faith in traditional joint family system is tremendous. “We live together. I owe a lot to my family. They are my strength and guiding force. With many people around, there is never a dull moment in my life as each person is enterprising,” he says fondly.

His choice

What made him choose humour? “Of all the people at Krishna Deva Raya’s court, you remember only Tenali Raman apart from the King. It is because he was a jester, who entertained all. Humour soothes you. It is like a massage that helps you relax and erase worries from your mind. It is like watching a baby. You don’t analyse whether the baby is fair or dark. You just enjoy its presence. While watching a play, you remember only the serious portions and find it difficult to recollect the funny part in full. You forget hilarious scenes. It is good to forget rather than brood over it. Forgetfulness is bliss,” he explains

“Society has a lot of problems. We, entertainers, are like anaesthetists trying to help audience forget their mundane problems and pressures so that great people like Ramana Mahirishi, Mother Teresa perform the role of social doctor to relieve them off the social problems through their preaching,” he sounds philosophic.

A voracious reader that he is, he never fails to read even a piece of printed packing material covering his evening snack. “Sometimes they provide me breakthroughs when I am stuck with ideas,” he smiles.

Inspiration

Crazy Mohan derives inspiration from literary figures like P.G. Wodehouse, O’ Henry, Kalki and Devan, whose writings, he says, made him understand the value of sensible writing. “My plays are dialogue-oriented. I follow P.G. Wodehouse type of humour. It is exaggerated. People like exaggeration.”

His brilliant dialogues attracted filmmakers who provided him the opportunity to exhibit his talent in the tinsel world. He lived up to K.Balachander’s expectations with his debut movie ‘Poi Kal Kuthirai’. His association with actor Kamal Hassan is a perfect example of an ideal combination.

“My frequency and Kamal’s matched to perfection. If we were able to churn out successes, it is a credit to our relationship. If Kamal had liked he could have rolled out films on the lines of ‘Thevar Magan’. But his ability to foresee things well in advance brought out movies like ‘Apoorva Sagotharargal’, ‘Michael Mathana Kamarajan’ and ‘Vasool Raja M.B.B.S.’. But still I love stage and I continue to work for drama,” he says.

Stage performance

Crazy Mohan was in Madurai to perform his latest sensation “Chocolate Krishna” last weekend. He will be in Trichy for the same performance on January 10. “Most of the members are performing in this play are old-time college friends. Our group is very democratic. Whoever joins us has to undergo two years training...not for acting but to become a friend. During the course they develop acting skills too,” he chuckles.

He firmly believes that extended humour can turn into philosophy. “I always debated in mind what will happen if God meets modern man. ‘Chocolate Krishna’ is an outcome of this thought process. Many may have made similar attempts in the past but mine is different. I chose Lord Krishna, for, the name conjures up an image of a playful boy, which goes well with the title ‘chocolate’,” he justifies.

His dedication is such that when the job demanded him to perform some tricks on stage donning the role of Lord Krishna, he sincerely learnt the tricks from one Shivaji Chaturvedi and performed with aplomb. “I am planning to try out appearance and disappearance of Lord Krishna live on stage,” he reveals his future attempt.

Other interests

Crazy Mohan is also good at painting and writing poetry besides his love for cricket. Good command over language is a pre-requisite for any good dialogue writer, he advocates.

Having travelled all over the world and staged more than 5000 shows, the embers to write and perform burn bright in him. In the U.S alone, he has staged more than 100 shows.

His latest play has recorded 100 shows in less than four months.

He has written 30 plays and penned dialogues for 40 films, besides several plays for television. He has also written 100 short stories and is at present busy answering queries from readers of ‘Kalki’ magazine.

“You can make people cry but to make them laugh involves hard work. Writing humour is a dynamic meditation to me. It is like the sixth sense. You don’t call sense of seriousness but when it comes to humour, you relate it to sense. Humour is a bridge that connects you to heaven,” he parts.

SOME OF HIS WORKS

STAGE DRAMAS

Chocoloate Krishna (2008)

Crazy Ghost (2004)

Jurassic Baby (2001)

Meesai Analum Manaivi (1992)

Maadhu Plus Two (1984)

Marriage made in Saloon (1981)

Alaudinum 100 watts Bulbum (1979)

Crazy Thieves in Paalavakkam (1976)

FILMS

Dasavadharam

Vasool Raja M.B.B.S.

Pammal K. Sambandam

Pancha Thanthiram

Thenali

Chinna Mappillai

Arunachalam

Aaha

Avvai Shanmugi

Sathi Leelavathi

Magalir Mattum

Michael Madhana Kamarajan

Apoorva Sagotharargal

TELE PLAYS

Here is Crazy

Maadhu Cheenu

Nil Gavani Crazy

Siri Gama Padhani

Crazy Times

Vidaathu Siripu

Siri Siri Crazy