When a Comedian Dies



When a comedian dies, will his funeral play his jokes,

And the funeral goers shed tears of laughter instead of grief?

Will his coffin hold a recording of his comedy

And his tombstone hold a punch line as his quote

So that whenever people visited the cemetery,

He could make them laugh from within his grave?


Will his wife have an easier time processing his death?

Will she watch him on TV and forget her loss?

Will his friends reminisce the fun times they had with him

Or will they stick to the serious times to fit the occasion?


Is it wrong to laugh at the funeral of a comedian?

Isn't that what he would wish for?

Is it weird that when watching his comedy now,

It makes you weep?


When a comedian dies, do his fellow comedians put on a show

In front of his body to pay their respects?

Will his elegy contain riddles or will it completely be replaced with stand-up?


When a comedian dies, does laughter die with him?

Is it ironic that he gets to fill people's lives with joy as they grow up

Only to take it all away at once when he leaves?

Then, is he really a comedian?

Or a barbarian in his scheme to make the world break its heart one day?


Why does the world cry when a comedian dies?

Is it because he failed to make them laugh?

Or is it because they know he's never going to make them laugh again?



The first thing I saw in the morning was a large TV screen blaring that I lost a part of my childhood. The man who made all of Tamil Nadu laugh and think with his comedy and social commentary was gone.

The man who was determined to follow in his hero Abdul Kalam's footsteps, who taught children about philosophy and history through his humour was no more.


I remember his comedy:

He once took a poor boy for admission in a school, and the principal wouldn't take him because he had no shirt on. So he points to the shirtless photo of Gandhi in the principal's office and questions his hypocrisy.

When a woman in a Brahmin household refuses to feed a beggar at her door and instead goes to caw for a crow to come eat the food, he questions her morality.

When he urges people celebrating Bogi to donate their old belongings instead of burning them, and they refuse, he brings out an old and sick man, and asks them to burn him because he is of no use anymore either.

He once opened a tap and when only air came out of it, he criticized capitalism for connecting the pipelines to Usha fan house.


When he lost his son to dengue, he held campaigns to spread awareness on the same.

And he has always been in the forefront to raise awareness on any disease, issues affecting children, and the planet.

He planted 33 lakh trees and was on his way to plant one crore, but mother Earth hugged him close and said, "Enough, my son. Now, rest upon your forest."

I know he is in heaven right now, holding his son, making gods laugh, and wondering how his wife was feeling.

Maybe he wonders if a TV was placed right next to his ice box, playing his jokes on repeat, it'll make her shed tears of laughter instead of grief.

And he might be thinking something along the lines of "Did the comedian fail when everyone at his funeral cry instead of laughing?

Or is this a compliment to how much my comedy will be missed?

Will watching my jokes make them laugh now or will it only make them cry more?"


I tried to think of his comedy, and started weeping. Then I watched a few scenes, and I smiled a sad smile – one that his wife might be smiling when she sees a picture of him.

Today, Tamil cinema lost a great comedian. And Tamil Nadu lost a great man.


R.I.P. Vivekh sir.

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