Padma Shri music composer Vanraj Bhatia says he is penniless
Veteran music composer Vanraj Bhatia, known for films like 36 Chowringhee Lane, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Manthan, Junoon, is facing a hard time these days. According to reports, the 92-year-old music maestro, who claims to be penniless, has been forced to sell his British crockery and other artifacts for survival. "I have no money, not one rupee left in my bank account," Vanraj said.
He can't afford medical check-ups owing to his financial condition
According to a Mumbai Mirror report, Vanraj, rendered bedridden, has been staying in Mumbai with a domestic help. He has been battling several old age-related ailments, like severe knee pain, hearing loss and memory lapses. The report also suggested that Vanraj's exact illness is unknown as he hasn't gone for a check-up for a while, since he is unable to afford it.
Vanraj went silent after the death of his pet cat
According to Vanraj's domestic help Sujit Kamti, he didn't get married. However, he has a sister, who is settled in Canada. Kamti also revealed that he was quite close to his cat Papsoo, who was with him for years. However, Vanraj was left heartbroken after Papsoo died in a car accident. "Sir went silent. I often hear him calling out her name," Kamti said.
"He needs someone to talk to on a day-to-day basis"
To note, Vanraj has worked with several noted filmmakers including Shyam Benegal. Talking about his condition, Benegal stated that the music composer had "painted himself into a corner over time." "Apart from financial needs, he doesn't have friends who can match his intelligence, sense of humor and world view. He needs someone to talk to on a day-to-day basis," the renowned filmmaker pointed out.
Kabir urges Bollywood to help Vanraj in his difficult time
Though Vanraj is battling isolation and other old age problems, some of his friends and fans have been striving to raise funds for his upkeep. But, the veteran artist isn't aware of it. In fact, Kabir Bedi, who visited Vanraj recently, asked his counterparts to help the music maestro. "He is lively and spirited as ever. ALL friends should help him," he tweeted.
Vanraj won National Film Award for 'Tamas' in 1988
For the uninitiated, Vanraj, who is hailed for blending western influences with eastern classical music in his compositions, had worked in movies like Manthan, Bhumika, Junoon, 36 Chowringhee Lane, etc. He is the recipient of the prestigious National Film Award for Best Music Direction for Tamas in 1988. Vanraj also won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989, and received Padma Shri in 2012.