Kamal Haasan, who took part in a virtual tribute event for the Crazy Mohan on his first death anniversary, shared delightful trivia on the making of Michael Madana Kama Raja (MMKR), for which Crazy Mohan.
Kamal said, “I had written MMKR script like a kolam that you teach a child. There were just a few dots and crosses. Mohan was the only one who truly got it. We are fans of Oscar Wilde and PG Wodehouse. And it might be surprising, but MMKR has its origin in The Importance Of Being Earnest.”
Kamal said further, “The Aboorva Sagotharargal you see is the fourth version of the story that we were trying to do. We sought the advice of Panchu Arunachalam, and he suggested that we should make the dwarf character the hero of the film, and make it in the vein of Yaadon Ki Baaraat.
Mohan and I grasped what he was suggesting, and reworked the script. But I’d call that as a rehearsal for MMKR, because with MMKR, we used to fine tune the scenes like crazy. Like grinding grains, we ground it so well that you could see only the fine powder and not a single grain.”
Stating that he had Crazy Mohan stand in for a character, Kamal added: “He fell headlong from a height of two feet while rehearsing one of the sequences in the climax. I still do not know how he managed to fall that way from such a small height,”
Talking about Nagesh, he said, “Nagesh fought (playfully) with me on why I had given that role to him. I asked if he wanted mine, and he remarked, ‘As if you’d give me that if I asked you for it!’ Then, he said that I should have at least given SN Lakshmi’s role of the thieving grandmother to him. In fact, he used to tease her, saying, ‘If I had done that it would have been at a different level.”
The Tokyo Tamil Sangam had organised a Zoom Live with people who had been close to Crazy Mohan.
Kamal said, “I was first introduced to him not in person but on page. I happened to read the script of Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam when I was unwell; I had typhoid or something. I immediately asked, ‘Who’s this guy? I need to see him right away.’ The writing was so impactful that I used to repeatedly talk about the jokes with my family. So, I should say I was a fan before I became a friend.”