All smiles, giggles, memories and few tears were on their way to the auditorium at Films Division last week, where the entire Indian animation fraternity was present to remember the maestro, Ram Mohan!
After his sad demise in October 2019, various organisations gave their respect and tribute to the father of Indian animation in various ways. Graphiti Multimedia gave him a tribute by organising a wonderful night with all his students, well-wishers, co-workers, friends, followers present at the do.
Graphiti Multimedia co-founder Munjal Shroff addressed the audience by sharing his fond memories with Ram Mohan. Film Division was chosen as the event venue because that’s the place where Ram Mohan began his career.
The audience were shown a film on the maestro and it was quite an emotional moment when he spoke to all through the screen. His wife Sheila Rao, son Kartik Mohan and friend Arun Khopkar spoke all their heart out about Mohan.
His friend and colleague B.R. Shendge spoke about his working years with Mohan at Film Division. Addressing him as ‘Guru’, Shendge said that he is proud to tell everyone that he learnt animation from legends like Ram Mohan, Bhimsen Khurana and others.
“Guru has ‘Ram’ in his name and Indians look over to Ram as ‘Purushottam’ (the best man) and he indeed is the ‘Purushottam’ of Indian animation,” Shendge added.
A session titled Golden Years had Prahlad Kakkar, Manmohan Shetty and Govind Nihalani on the dias, sharing fond memories with Mohan. Nihalani said, “When he put his pen to paper, things came to life.” Kakkar shared some funny moments with him and the audience was in giggles.
The colleagues from Graphiti and artists whom he mentored got emotional while remembering their beloved teacher. Tony Hanspal, Tilak Shetty, Ashish Khosla and Pradeep Ghosh expressed their love for Mohan. Hanspal mentioned how his childlike enthusiasm in every small thing was enduring and how he was bestowed with the name ‘Sirji’.
Khosla who couldn’t attend the event physically was present at the event throughout, through Skype. Joining him was Mohan’s son Kartik Mohan.
The team at Ram Mohan Biographics which included Simi Nailaseth, Sanjeev Waeerkar, Chetan Sharma, Gayatri Rao, Nilima Eriyat, Srirang Sathaye were all teary eyed while talking about their dear mentor who was a fatherly figure for them all and how there was a certain bond the team shared with him, individually.
The event night came to an end with Japanese artist and production supervisor Megumu Ishiguro and Ramayana executive producer Kenji Yoshii showing the audience the making of the first animated Ramayana, followed by screening of the movie.
The audience left the auditorium with a heavy, but memory loaded heart, remembering their beloved maestro!