Madhu Balaji, the brother of the late dramatist Crazy Mohan, did not waste any time getting back to what he thought would be the next logical step — deciding when to stage the next play of their troupe, Crazy Creations.
It speaks much of the popularity of Crazy Mohan that it was not just his brother who was on this path. Friends, family, members of the stage, artists — all urged Mr. Balaji to hasten and organise a “Crazy drama, soon.”
A tribute to ‘Crazy’ Mohan
The first among them was probably actor Kamal Hassan, who was a good friend of Mohan and the family. “He called me and asked me, when we were going to stage a play. Then he said I’d have only 13 days to grieve and complete the rituals. He asked me to book Narada Gana Sabha for the 100th show of our current play, Crazy Premier League, and promised that he would be there. In fact, he told me that he would be a trustee of sorts for Crazy Creations, and that plays would have to be staged every weekend, as Mohan himself would have wanted it.”
And that is how Crazy Creations will take to the stage again, just 20 days after its founder and prime mover Crazy Mohan’s death. But that is just the beginning.
Mohan’s biggest friend, his brother, Mr. Balaji says he tries to keep himself busy and stave off thoughts of sorrow, by putting the whole show together. They have plans for other plays too, tours abroad, possibly an exhibition of his talented brother’s paintings and drawings, a dance drama, and a musical performance of his poetry.
“We are advertising this show as Crazy Creations coming out with a big bang. It is going to be a big bang for us. Mohan couldn’t be sad at all, irrespective of the circumstances. The best tribute to him would be to make people laugh again, the thing that he did so well,” Mr. Balaji says. Tickets are being sold for the play, he explains. He has been flooded by mails and WhatsApp messages, and texts, people sending their condolences, and then following it up with the question that was basically the same, though articulated in many different ways: When do we see another Crazy play? “That completely convinced me that I was on the right path. I was simply overwhelmed. During the one hour that he was in hospital, his phone never stopped ringing, and messages wishing him a speedy recovery poured in. I had no clue that he was this popular,” he adds.
A trip to Australia is on the cards end of this year, and a 2020 summer tour in the United States. Discussions are on to see who will replace Mohan, and suggestions are aplenty, with the overwhelming opinion swinging in favour of his brother. Among the plays that will make an appearance is a yet-to-be-staged, Crazy Premier League – 2, Beware of Madhu, a possible stage adaptation of his serialised novella KPT Sirippu Rajan, and Chocolate Krishna (Mohan’s favourite play). Tech experts have been hired to hack into his computer to retrieve all his work stored painstakingly in neat compartments on the hard drive. “We will get it all, soon,” Mr. Balaji assures.
Rumours on health
The death came as a big shock, he says. His brother was healthy and not in any distress, dismissing rumours of his hospitalisation earlier and health status that were circulated on social media. “He was healthy and at his tasks even on the morning of June 10. He said he had a mild niggle in the stomach and wanted to see the doctor. I promised to take him a little later, but by then, he had had a massive attack. He used to say that the best way a person could go was to melt like soap while having a bath, and run into the drain. Mohan did not have that, but perhaps his death was the second best. As sudden as his death was, we are all happy that he did not suffer,” Mr. Balaji adds.
Article source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/crazy-humour-set-to-stage-a-comeback-with-a-bang/article28130015.ece