Crazy Mohan, well-known playwright, actor and scriptwriter passed away at a city hospital on Monday. The 67-year-old died after a heart attack. Doctors in the hospital where he was admitted earlier had tried to revive him, but in vain and the hospital declared his death at 2 pm.
A statement from the hospital read, “The measures taken to resuscitate did not succeed and the iconic scriptwriter, actor and theatre personality passed away at 2 pm.”
He is survived by wife Nalini, two sons Arjun and Ajay. Close sources said that his last rights would be performed by Tuesday afternoon.
Born in 1952, as Mohan Rangachari, he graduated as a mechanical engineer from Gundy Engineering College.
While in college, he first wrote The Great Bank Robbery, a skit for inter-college contest in 1972, which fetched him ‘Best writer’ and ‘Best Actor’ award and he received them from actor Kamal Haasan. Before turning a fulltime writer, Mohan was working in the TVS group.
He got the sobriquet ‘Crazy’ after his hit comedy play Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam, which was staged by S.Ve. Shekar for his Natakapriya troupe.
Recalling how he got the prefix, his colleague Kumar says, “He wrote Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam in his original name Mohan Rangachari. Later, when his short story ‘Karikala Karikala’ got published in a popular magazine, the byline given by the editor was ‘Crazy Mohan’, which later became permanent.
He then created a drama troupe called Crazy Creations. Chocolate Krishna, Maadhu +2 and Madhil Mel Maadhu were popular comedy plays written by Crazy Mohan and his brother Maadhu Balaji who took a hand in all his plays.
Crazy Mohan's first film was K Balachander's Poikkal Kudhirai, based on his famous drama Marriage Made in Saloon, for which he wrote the dialogues. Crazy Mohan is also known for his collaborations with actor Kamal Haasan, writing the dialogues for blockbuster films like Aboorva Sagodarargal, Magalir Mattum, Avvai Shanmugi (Chachi 420 in Hindi) and Michael Madana Kamarajan, Thenali, Panchathanthiram and Vasool Raja MBBS. He also worked with Rajinikanth in the film Arunachalam.
In all his writings, the lead female character name will be Janaki. “Many would think that Janaki was either my lover's name or my wife's name. No! Janaki was my teacher in school who taught me what a drama all about while I performed in a stage play Veerapandiya Kattabomman at the age of six. Giving her name to all female protagonists was my way of offering Guru Datchanai,” Mohan had said while revealing the secret behind the name. Mohan has worked in more than 40 films and played supporting or cameo roles in them. He was a recipient of Tamil Nadu State Government's Kalaimamani Award for his excellence in the fields of arts and literature.
Condolences to Crazy Mohan has been pouring in from all quarters.
Kamal Haasan who was in the hospital during the treatment expressed his grief through twitter and a statement. “I have always been jealous of my friend Crazy Mohan's childlike attitude. Not everyone is blessed with it. In the process of becoming worldly-wise, many lose this exceptional quality,” wrote Mr. Haasan in a statement released on Twitter.
“The title 'Crazy' does not suit him, since he is a Nagaisuvai Gnani. He was someone who downplayed his talents to make his writings relatable to the public. In various circumstances, to display the nature of his bond he shared with my family, he used to call himself as 'Mohanhasan', taking after my brothers Charuhasan and Chandrahasan.
As a sign of this friendship, I along with his brother Balaji bid adieu to Mohan by keeping our hands on his forehead. There is no end to friendship. Friendship can still exist without a person's physical presence.
Mohan's humour will live on through his fans. I will also carry on his legacy.
His family is a beautiful joint family. No amount of condolences would help now. Let them get the mental strength to cope up the irreparable loss.”...