Vanraj Bhatia at his residence at Napean Sea Road, Mumbai. (File picture)(Mint)
Vanraj Bhatia, a noted music composer of his time, is living a tough life at the age of 92. The composer who gave music for several films such as Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, is living alone with his domestic help and has put his crockery and other artefacts on sale for survival.
Vanraj has worked with the likes of Shyam Benegal and many other noted figures. According to a report in Pune Mirror, he is now suffering from severe knee pain, hearing loss, extended bouts of memory lapses and said, “I have no money but one rupee left in my account.”
His only company is his domestic help who is serving him since a decade and informed the tabloid that since the composer haven’t undergone regular checkups, his exact illness is not known.
The report has quoted filmmaker Shyam Benegal as saying, “I think unfortunately, Vanraj painted himself into a corner over time. Apart from financial needs, he doesn’t have friends who can match his intelligence, sense of humour and world view. He needs someone to talk to on a day-to-day basis. A tough call in this day and age.”
According to his domestic help, he is single and has a sister settled in Canada with her family. He was very close to his pet cat Papsoo but went silent after its death in a car accident near the house.
The report states that a few individuals and foundations have been providing him financial assistance of which he is not much aware of.
Vanraj is a recipient of the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for Tamas in 1988 and also won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989. He also holds a Padma Shri conferred to him in 2012. His most noted works include Manthan (1976), Bhumika (1977), Junoon (1978), 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981), Trikal (1985) and Mandi (1983) and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983).
He is trained in western classical music and has also studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London.
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First Published: Sep 15, 2019 16:57 IST