“I am very sentimental about living in a joint family, I only go to Vijaya Stores for my stationeries and to Rex Fashions for my clothes. I am loyal to my Lomani perfume and I always source my betel leaf supplies ( vethalai-seeval-pogayelai ) from my favorite Netaji Seeval Store. I am sentimental about whatever I love. And I don’t change my preferences. That’s perhaps why I am always happy and content,” exclaims Mohan.
His eyes light up even more as he shares what he has learnt from Ramana Maharishi’s teachings. “Happiness happens when you enjoy all that you have. Don’t look at what may have been or what will be. Just live with what is there and you can never be unhappy,” he explains. To Mohan, humour is a means to reach the divine. “My plays, my scripts, my dialogues, they make you forget everything and keep you engaged in the present moment. There is no anger, no guilt, no grief, no stress, no worry, no anxiety and no fear that can invade your present moment, particularly when you are laughing. A humorist is really an anaesthetist who leads you to forget yourself,” he avers.
Living in the ‘real’ world, how does he deal with his share of everyday challenges and debilitating emotions? “All my weekends are soaked in grace because I am performing to audiences. They are actually my strong-ends,” he quips and adds, “I take away so much positive energy doing plays and making people laugh, they last me all week until I am back on stage again over Saturday and Sunday!”
Although he has devoured Wodehouse, Mohan has also read all the scriptures; he lives by the teachings of the Masters and believes that his spirituality inspires his humour. I ask him for his definition of life. His spontaneous reply is, in fact, a prescription for happiness: “Take it easy! Life is crazy!! Don’t take anything, except death and taxes, seriously in life!” He’s very Zen when he points out that “the ultimate wealth in Life is the ability to sleep well and eat well whenever you want to.”
If we can understand this truth about Life, we too will find humour everywhere – and the ability to laugh at everything and everyone around us!
@AVISViswanathan is a Life Coach, Happiness Curator & Author of ‘Fall Like A Rose Petal’