Veteran music composer Vanraj Bhatia has breathed his last today at the age of 93. He had scored music in several films such as Shyam Benegal’s ‘Ankur’ and Naseeruddin Shah starrer ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’. He had been suffering from age-related illnesses and lack of financial resources, living alone with his domestic help at his apartment on Napean Sea Road in Mumbai. According to reports, his health further deteriorated for the last couple of months. He was avoiding doctor’s appointment owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Actor-politician Smriti Irani, writer Varun Grover and filmmaker Hansal Mehta were among those who sent in their condolences. “Shocked to learn about the passing away of Vanraj Bhatia. Wagle ki Duniya , Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, he leaves behind countless memories in his scores. My condolences to his loved ones & fans. Om Shanti," Smriti tweeted.
Shocked to learn about the passing away of Vanraj Bhatia. Wagle ki Duniya , Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, he leaves behind countless memories in his scores. My condolences to his loved ones & fans. ॐ शान्ति 🙏— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 7, 2021
— वरुण 🇮🇳 (@varungrover) May 7, 2021
Earlier this year, music composer Ehsaan Noorani, of the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio, had posted about Bhatia’s plight on Facebook, seeking financial help.
Farewell Vanraj Bhatia one of India’s finest composers … was glad to have known you worked with you and been part of your music ……. There will not be another you ….— Ehsaan Noorani (@EhsaanNoorani) May 7, 2021
In September 2019, Aamir Khan had announced a book based on the life of Bhatia, after media reports shed light on his declining health and poor financial situation. “Hey guys, happy to announce a book project on the great music composer Vanraj Bhatia, to be written by Khalid Mohamed, at the initiative of my friend Dalip Tahil," Khan had tweeted.
Bhatia is best known for his work in Indian New Wave cinema. He is also one of the leading composers of Western classical music in India. He is a recipient of the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the television film Tamas (1988), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Creative and Experimental Music (1989) and India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri (2012).