Our surroundings, the environment we live in, the other people who inhabit that space, the things and the happenings around us, all of it has an impact on a person. It does not matter how much of a loner or an introvert one is; it does not matter if one lives on a deserted island, all of it will still have an effect.
Monday began with a piece of rather sad news. The death of a prominent artist – Girish Karnad. His presence in the entertainment industry, be it theatre or cinema, will be missed. My earliest memory of him is from Malgudi Days. That particular programme on TV was such a joy. The book itself is a favourite of mine, and the televised version of it was very enjoyable. That little tune in the opening credits was in itself a beacon for us little ones.
The very same day in the afternoon another piece of sad news came about. The death of another artist – Crazy Mohan. This one perhaps was even more of a shock. I mean, everyone who has watched Tamil Cinema (or that cultured lot who went to plays) know of this man. And everyone has laughed… deep belly laughs, slow giggles, and of course, serious rolling on the floor with tears flowing out of your eyes sorta laughter. Crazy Mohan was indeed crazy when it came to making people laugh. Clean humour, the kind that’s becoming non-existent, was his forte. It is unimaginable today that one could watch an entire movie or play of his with our grandparents, parents, friends and not cringe inwardly. Of his entire lot of movies, Micheal Madana Kama Rajan, Sati Leelavati, and Magalir Mattum are favourites. Then there is the Vasool Raja MBBS, and Pammal K Sambhandam and many other movies that will definitely feature in the top ten lists as well.
But, the loss that we had on Monday went beyond the death of an artist. It called to most of the populace because of the memories associated. Fond memories of going to theatres with dear ones, memories of watching shows on TV, memories of saying “That how do I know, sir?”, so many memories come floating in from the deep recesses of our consciousness. Memories we had perhaps buried under the stress of everyday adulting.
Monday’s news was evidence enough that no matter how grown up we are, how sophisticated and posh one seems, that “thanana thana nana na…” or “kannadi munnadi pinnadi” will remind us of the childlike innocence that still lives within us.