News about Crazy Mohan's untimely demise broke online yesterday hours before authentic sources could confirm it. Even as attempts to treat him was underway, news of death spread fast and wide and the already worried kin had to answer calls talking about death as if it has already occurred. In the dash to be the first outlet to impart news, media houses sometimes end up endorsing fake or exaggerated news. Somehow, news of the passing of a celebrity incites a morbid curiosity in the audience that the media houses are loath to let go. Many people have died at the hands of the media only to resurrect in the matter of hours and embarrass our morbid fascination with celebrity tragedies. Here are some death hoaxes that went on to become viral stories during their times: 

JAYALALITHAA

Most people will still remember the confusion Tamil Nadu went through on the day Jayalalithaa - the lady of many records - passed away. The death of the supremo, who undisputably reigned over the screens and the Assembly during her time, could have begun an outpouring of grief that could be too hard to contain. After the news of the incumbent chief minister's death spread on December 5 evening, people began downing shutters everywhere. Even as people began a mad rush to get home, news spread that Jaya was safe. This brief reassurance and the respite it provided probably helped the cops mind the streets that day and take precautions for mob movement - by 9'o'colck on the same night, the authorities confirmed the passing of the first woman who became the CM of Tamil Nadu. 

Jayalalaithaa

RAJINIKANTH

Given the level of his popularity, Rajinikanth should have been killed off by the media more often that he has been. The most memorable death hoax involving the superstar happened in 2011, as the (fake) news spread fast and way too many people believed it. Probably, people readily believed heresay and began grieving as Rajini was indeed in hospital at that time. The public outpouring of grief was so huge that Rajini's family had to put out a statement saying the actor was fine. Another Rajini death hoax is memorable for how hilariously it bombed - sometime in 2016 a Sri Lankan website claimed that Rajinikanth was dead. Maybe some hearts broke overseas, but people in Tamil Nadu didn't bat a lid over it. 

Rajinikanth

K BALACHANDER 

When director K Balachander was hospitalised in 2014 before demise, Ram Gopal Varma tweeted really heartfelt condolences - a full ten days before the veteran director actually died. RGV deleted the tweet on the same day, but not before it raised some brows in the south. RGV did not issue an apology or explanation though. 

K Balachander

MS BHASKAR

In 2014, the news that MS Bhaskar was dead did the rounds one fine day, much to the surprise of MS Bhaskar. Tired of answering shocked phone calls, the actor just appeared in front of the media and essentially said, "look, I'm not dead!" and that was it. Nobody really found out why or how the death hoax came about. 

MS Bhaskar

ANANDARAJ

One actor who was able to spot the silver lining for death hoaxes was Anandaraj, who died online back in 2016. The actor, who was at a shooting location at the time, later said that concerned calls from friends and family reminded him how many people loved him. 

Anandaraj

S JANAKI

Even singers fall prey to death hoaxes. S Janaki should know, as she was victimised twice - once in 2016, when SPB officially declared her 'alive and kicking'. After the rumours surfaced following her retirement in 2018, the popular singer's son had approached the media with clarifications. 

S Janaki

LATA MANGEKSHAR

From death to retirement, the iconic voice of India has heard it all. The latest probably was the most heartbreaking of all. An online message, in December 2018, shared a song clip calling it the 'last song' from Lata Mangeshkar and claimed that the beloved singer was retiring, breaking the hearts of millions. Mangeshkar later clarified that she still had a year to go before her self-defined retirement age of 90 and the collective sigh heaved on the internet was practically audible.

Lata Mangeskhar

DIRECTOR SURESH CHANDRA MENON 

Suresh Chandra Menon and wife Revathi were in for a rude shock after news of his death spread in 2017. Though it was immediately corrected on twitter, the incident was indeed less-than-pleasant for the director of Jungaa and Lucifer (Malayalam). 

Suresh Chandra Menon

KANAKA

In 2013, news spread in Kerala that yesteryear sweetheart Kanaka had passed away in a palliative care hospital due to cancer.  The actor, who debuted in Tamil with the 1989-hit Karakattakkaran, had been away from the film fraternity following her mother's death in 2002 and had to break her longtime silence to clarify that she didnt have cancer and was definitely not dead.

Kanaka